How can Venezuela counteract hyperinflation

Venezuela wants to boost the economy and fight corruption

Caracas. The government of Venezuela wants to counteract the economic crisis in the South American country with a package of measures. The Vice President for Economic Affairs, Tareck El Aissami, spoke of an "economic turnaround" that the country must achieve. Venezuela must find its way back on a path of "economic growth with equality and social justice".

At a meeting with leading business representatives this week, measures relating to price setting were discussed. In Venezuela, government-set prices apply to many everyday products. Often, however, the products are not to be found in the legal distribution networks, but rather overpriced on the black market. In the future, the pricing is to be set in round tables, in which producers and dealers are also involved. The price regulations apply to 50 products, including coffee, sugar, oil, rice, pasta, meat, milk, flour and corn.

The country's new Vice-President, Delcy Rodríguez, emphasized the importance of economic policy for President Nicolás Maduro's government, which was newly formed after the May 20 elections. Venezuela must promote national production, demanded Rodríguez. She promised the authorities would "counteract the internal factors that cause social discontent" and explicitly mentioned bureaucracy and corruption.

At least in the fight against corruption, the law enforcement authorities have recently been developing activities that also affect large state-owned companies. Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced this week the arrest of the deputy chairman of the state mining company Minerven, Doarwin Alan Evans. Evans, a member of the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV), will face charges of illegal diversion of "strategic materials" and smuggling. Evans, the managing director of a private investment firm, who allegedly participated in the illegal business, was also arrested.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Metal Hands, which the authorities launched in early June with the aim of preventing the illegal mining of strategic metals, particularly gold, silver and bronze. It complements the "paper hands" campaign, which aims to combat foreign exchange smuggling and the corruption networks associated with it.

Some of the largest gold reserves in the world are located in southeastern Venezuela. The precious metal is often mined in uncontrolled and illegal small mines. After the latest arrests, the attorney general spoke of a "network" that illegally bought gold from miners in order to bring it onto the international black market. Saab said nine men have been arrested since the "metal hands" operation began. The agency also issued 39 arrest warrants, seized 23 vehicles and issued 30 search warrants.