Who runs Venezuela?

The Devil’s Excrement has had a series of excellent posts recently on the economic and political disaster that is Venezuela.  Here is one called “Is there a government in Venezuela?” It highlights the incredible inconsistency of policymaking and shows that the top people in the government are not even close to being on the same page.  And Maduro isn’t even on the same page as himself, in the sense that he’s cannot decide which direction to go.  The post (and blog) is well worth reading in full, but the last outraged paragraphs of the piece are especially good:

Who runs Venezuela? I am starting to think nobody. This is a collection of individuals with no apparent command or direction, led by an indecisive man. I don’t think Maduro went to Cuba to receive orders. I believe he went to Cuba to ask Fidel which of the many proposals he should follow. And Fidel likely told him to just hold tight, try to sell Citgo, see how long they can last. And if they can’t sell Citgo, you can make very tough decisions, like hold payment on debt, borrow somewhere and try to ride it out. But Nicolas, Fidel likely told him: You are not Hugo.

And so the country drifts into som sort of economic black hole. Today it is fingerprint scanners, tomorrow it will be some different imaginary battle. But it will always be about attacking the consequences, not the causes. Those, they will not touch. Maybe a small adjustment in the price of gas. Maybe move the Bs. 6.3 per US$ rate to the Sicad 1 rate. But that’s it. In the absence of Government, there will be no decisions. No real policy changes until 2016. At the earliest.