Anatomía de Chávez

Los casi ocho años que Hugo Chávez lleva en el poder en Venezuela –y que intentará prolongar en las elecciones presidenciales del próximo mes- parecen desafiar los análisis económicos. Por lo pronto, lo que viene sucediendo en este caso es aquello que solía advertir el ingenioso economista Edgar R. Fiedler: “si uno interroga a cinco economistas obtendrá cinco respuestas… o seis, si uno de ellos se graduó en Harvard”.

Algunos ven en Chávez a un innovador hombre de estado capaz de aprovechar un instante casi mágico –signado por el alto precio internacional del petróleo- para cambiar las reglas básicas del juego en la sociedad que gobierna. Ciertos indicadores claves parecen apoyar este punto de vista: la inversión extranjera en Venezuela creció en los últimos tiempos de 1.500 millones de dólares (2004) a 2.500 millones de la misma moneda (2005).

En ese bienio Chávez pisó el acelerador de sus reformas sociales -educación, salud, etc.- y también intensificó sus esfuerzos por distribuir una excesiva concentración de la riqueza. Aunque más del 70% de la renta nacional sigue en manos del 20% de la población, Chávez obligó a las grandes petroleras extranjeras a pagar regalías mucho más altas y comenzó a expropiar tierras e instalaciones industriales improductivas.

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