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Venezuelan robbery

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Fri Apr 25, 2013

Editor: I am one conflicted farmer right now. When I study the scarcity that many Venezuelan people have to endure, while we Vincentian farmers are lining up to take EC$6 million largely out of their ALBA funds, I feel sick. Credit to us farmers shouldn’t come to us from a hurting people in Venezuela; it should come from our own policy decisions and resources.{{more}} You mean to say that our SVG agriculture is not worth at least a $60 million credit and investment programme over five years to raise our sector to a higher land and turn it in new directions. A public/private sector partnership can readily capitalize such a well governed fund from our own local resources.

Looking at Venezuela, it is clear that over the past 20 and more years, policy making, under Hugo Chavez, has changed from neglecting the poor of the country to providing massively for the poor. That is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, it seems that the different sections of the Venezuelan economy are out of balance. That section of the economy which provides investment items like power generation and other capital inputs is not managed efficiently. The economy is not governed wisely, it stumbles, society – especially the “middle class” gets hurt, while crime and violence germinate and sustain themselves from within the long discontent.

But we don’t care about Venezuela’s economic problem. Like parasites, we just want to suck every drip of charitable virtue and value that we can get from her Bolivarian breasts. I think we can do better. We must not be blind beggars. Can we not reopen an intense and honest development dialogue among our regional and hemispheric allies, and examine together our strengths, our weaknesses and strategic pathways? I really don’t want to use Venezuelans hurting money on my farm. I am calling for a decent SVG agricultural credit and investment programme, locally sponsored.

Oscar Allen

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