La méthode Chávez

LONDRES – Je me souviens précisément de la date de mon voyage au Venezuela. Je prenais un bain de soleil au bord de la piscine sur le toit de l’hôtel Caracas Hilton. Un serveur s’est approché et marmonna quelque chose à propos d’une attaque à la bombe à New York. Je me suis précipité dans ma chambre et vit l’incessante succession d’images des chaines d’actualités des deux avions s’écrasant dans les tours du World Trade Center.

J’étais au Venezuela le 11 septembre 2001 pour assister à une conférence sur « la troisième méthode. » Hugo Chávez était très intéressé par cette troisième méthode – un modus vivendi entre le capitalisme de style américain et le socialisme d’état – comparable à l’action de Tony Blair quelques années plus tôt. Chávez lui-même, revêtu d’un treillis, avait honoré brièvement la conférence de sa présence et reçut un lourd volume de textes marxistes d’un vieux professeur.

Un jour plus tôt, j’avais été invité à déjeuner par la Banque Centrale du Venezuela et placé à côté de son Gouverneur adjoint, Gastón Parra Luzardo. Il me dit que tous les Vénézuéliens croyaient qu’ils étaient nés avec « une miche de pain sous le bras » - soit un droit à partager les revenus pétroliers du pays. En conséquence, personne ne travaillait dur. Un économiste, Orlando Ochoa, expliqua que l’économie vénézuélienne était dominée par une quête de maximisation de la rente. Les oligarques luttent pour préserver le contrôle des revenus pétroliers, les populistes promettent de les redistribuer, et les uns comme les autres volent pour se préserver le maximum de bénéfices. Personne ne se préoccupe de la création de richesse.

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