Venezuela´s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, ordered his ministers to prepare a criminal investigation against Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard University professor who criticized his regime.
Harvard Kennedy School
Professor Ricardo Hausmann
The following statement, by Harvard Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood and Harvard University Provost Alan Garber defends Haussman´s rights to write about Venezuela´s government:
Statement in Support of Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ricardo Hausmann
“We stand in strong support of Harvard Kennedy School Professor Ricardo Hausmann's freedom to express his views in the public arena, where others are free to question and debate the merits of his arguments. The most important issues that any nation faces are often subjects of great controversy as well as great interest. Without the opportunity to hear a range of opinions on such issues, both public understanding and the quality of decisions suffer. That is why we are deeply troubled by reports that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has instructed his attorney general and public prosecutor to take actions against Professor Hausmann for voicing his opinion on matters of public debate. Whatever their intent, such tactics intimidate and can stifle the expression of dissenting ideas.
Harvard University and HKS strongly defend the right of any faculty member to communicate his or her views. It is in the open exchange of opinions and ideas that people and nations can learn and prosper.”
Hausmann´s crime was to write this in Project Syndicate:
“Will Venezuela default on its foreign bonds? Markets fear that it might. That is why Venezuelan bonds pay over 11 percentage points more than US Treasuries, which is 12 times more than Mexico, four times more than Nigeria, and double what Bolivia pays. Last May, when Venezuela made a $5 billion private placement of ten-year bonds with a 6% coupon, it effectively had to give a 40% discount, leaving it with barely $3 billion. The extra $2 billion that it will have to pay in ten years is the compensation that investors demand for the likelihood of default, in excess of the already hefty coupon.
Venezuela’s government needs to pay $5.2 billion in the first days of October. Will it? Does it have the cash on hand? Will it raise the money by hurriedly selling CITGO, now wholly owned by Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA?”
“Venezuela’s central bank has defaulted on its obligation to maintain price stability by nearly quadrupling the money supply in 24 months, which has resulted in a 90% decline in the bolivar’s value on the black market and the world’s highest inflation rate. To add insult to injury, since May the central bank has defaulted on its obligation to publish inflation and other statistics.
Venezuela functions with four exchange rates, with the difference between the strongest and the weakest being a factor of 13. Unsurprisingly, currency arbitrage has propelled Venezuela to the top ranks of global corruption indicators.
All of this chaos is the consequence of a massive fiscal deficit that is being financed by out-of-control money creation, financial repression, and mounting defaults – despite a budget windfall from $100-a-barrel oil. Instead of fixing the problem, Maduro’s government has decided to complement ineffective exchange and price controls with measures like closing borders to stop smuggling and fingerprinting shoppers to prevent “hoarding.””.
Read more at Project Syndicate
Maduro´s orders should remove any doubts about the nature of Venezuela´s “Bolivarian Revolution”. Or will those who support the man and his ugly regime just ratchet up their strident support as abuses pile on and on and on….
"Jhon Guerra from the Venezuelan embassy in the UK and
Jorge Martín from the Hands Off Venezuela campaign
addressed a meeting in London to discuss the forthcoming
municipal elections and the on-going economic war against
the Bolivarian revolution."
Photo and text taken from the "marxiststudent.com" website