Advertisement
Features

Maduro’s fake and fleeting victory

Nicolas Maduro won Sunday's presidential election by a mile – and surprised no one.

897-Maduro-634
Nicolas Maduro: ignoring economics

The result of Sunday's presidential election in Venezuela was "never in doubt", says Gideon Long in the Financial Times. Nicolas Maduro won "by a mile", thanks to a mixture of coercion including, allegedly, food for votes propaganda and "possibly outright fraud". What is less predictable, is what happens between now and 2025, when his term expires.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The US has already announced a ban on US purchases of debts owed to the socialist government and state-owned oil company PDVSA. The Lima Group of 14 countries, including Brazil and Mexico, refused to recognise the election result and said they would increase scrutiny of sanctioned members of the Venezuelan government. However, analysts think Washington is unlikely to impose a full embargo on Venezuelan oil, not least because its output is "falling so quickly" it is losing relevance.

Since Maduro took over from his mentor Hugo Chvez, who died in 2013, Venezuela's crisis has "intensified" due to lower oil prices, "corruption and a socialist system plagued with mismanagement", say Anthony Faiola and Rachelle Krygier in The Washington Post. Oil production is collapsing. Last year, 25,000 workers at PDVSA 25% of the workforce quit in a mass exodus.

The economy is in freefall, along with public services. Diseases such as diphtheria are "not only resurfacing but surging". Citizens cannot afford to eat. The minimum wage has dropped by 95% in real terms since 2013, inflation is running at 13,000%, and at least one million have emigrated in the past four years, adds Stephen Gibbs in The Times.

"Little is left of the hope and fury that animated protests against the regime last year," says The Economist. But Maduro cannot defy for ever the laws of economics or the international coalition ranged against him. His victory "may be not only fake, but fleeting".

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
South Africa faces a big economic storm
Emerging markets

South Africa faces a big economic storm

Recession hit South Africa has been the fifth-worst hit country in the world measured by the number of coronavirus cases. The local stockmarket has so…
7 Aug 2020
Is the bond market wrong about inflation?
Government bonds

Is the bond market wrong about inflation?

The bond rally suggests that markets are sanguine about inflation, but the gold rally suggests inflation is a real threat.
7 Aug 2020
The charts that matter: gold finally sets a new record high 
Global Economy

The charts that matter: gold finally sets a new record high 

As gold surges past its previous high, John Stepek looks at how it's affected the charts that matter most to the global economy.
1 Aug 2020

Most Popular

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back
Income investing

Don’t despair on dividends – these companies could be set to bring them back

The value of dividends paid out by UK stocks has plummeted this year as companies “rebase” their payment policies. But things could soon start to look…
6 Aug 2020
Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?
Gold

Gold hits the big $2,000 level – are Aim miners about to play catch up?

With the price of gold shooting through $2,000 an ounce, the yellow metal looks unstoppable. Things are so bullish, even Aim-listed junior gold miners…
5 Aug 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is “real return”?

MoneyWeek's latest "too embarrassed to ask” video explains what a real return is and why it's so important for investors.
5 Aug 2020