Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In Venezuela, the implosion of Chavez continues

Kindof reminds me of what Obama is doing here.
Hugo Chavez has been keeping a relatively low profile of late — there have been no grand world tours, no fiery speeches at the United Nations. The Obama administration, which once promised to “engage” the Venezuelan caudillo, is instead quietly shunning him.

There's a simple reason for this: The implosion of Chavez's self-styled “Bolivarian socialism” is accelerating.

Figures reported Tuesday by Venezuela's Chavez-controlled central bank portrayed an economy that is completely out of sync with the rest of the region — and perhaps unique in the world in the degree of its distress. Gross national product fell 5.8 percent in the first quarter, while inflation remained at 30 percent. Private investment plummeted 27.9 percent as capital continued to flee the country.

Private economists suspect the economic contraction is even worse than what the official figures concede.

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