venezuela protestor Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

¿Por qué Trump aceptó el dinero de Venezuela?

CAMBRIDGE – Hay cierta ironía en la reciente noticia de que Venezuela donó medio millón de dólares para la ceremonia inaugural de la presidencia de Donald Trump, a través de la empresa estatal Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). Venezuela, por si hace falta decirlo, es un impagador serial de deudas: en los últimos dos siglos fue uno de los países que más veces cayó en cesación de pagos.

Hace poco, el despótico gobierno socialista de Venezuela estaba tan desesperado por evitar otro default (que sería el undécimo del país desde su independencia) que hipotecó sus activos industriales más preciados (entre ellos la refinería Citgo en Estados Unidos) a cambio de préstamos de Rusia y China. (La marca Citgo es especialmente famosa en mi ciudad, Boston, donde el icónico cartel de la empresa ya es un hito urbano en los alrededores de Fenway Park, donde juega el equipo de béisbol Red Sox.)

No está muy claro por qué el presidente venezolano Nicolás Maduro está tan desesperado por evitar un impago de la deuda externa que está dispuesto a hambrear a su propio pueblo, más o menos como hizo el dictador rumano Nicolae Ceauşescu en los ochenta. Con una escasez tan grave de alimentos y medicamentos básicos, es casi seguro que si el autócrata llega a ser depuesto, habrá imágenes de horror espeluznantemente familiares.

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