Venezuela: Stand and deliver
A narrow and disputed election win by Nicolás Maduro opens the way for greater changes in Venezuela’s economic management
By Ben Miller
It’s the kind of list few incoming leaders would
envy. Soaring unemployment. Rampant inflation. Food shortages.
Slumping export demand. A yawning budget deficit. Lack of
investment. And a weakened political mandate.
But these are just some of the challenges facing
Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela’s new president.
The choices he makes are likely to have far-reaching
consequences not only for his party, but for the course the
nation charts for the next generation.
However, a brewing power struggle within his party and the
imperative to prove his credentials – as heir to the
legacy of former president Hugo Chávez – could
force Maduro to entrench the populist policies of his
predecessor, experts warn.
Venezuela’s economic woes are grave.
Moody’s estimates the country ran a fiscal deficit
of 11% in 2012, sharply up from 4% the previous year. That
extra spending was the main impetus for an economic expansion
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