Sunday, May 09, 2004

"Numeritos" - Little Numbers 

The editor of Ultimas Noticias Eleazar Diaz Rangel today pointed out some interesting numbers with respect to the Venezuelan economy. The reason for referring to them as “Numeritos” – little numbers – is that the opposition to President Chavez goes to great lengths to avoid mentioning numbers that might reflect well upon his administration. This avoidance of dealing with hard numbers on the part of the opposition can really lead to some bizarre articles. For example, there are lengthy essays on the supposed decline of PDVSA that go on and on about all sorts of things but never mention whether the company is making more or less money than before. And of course there is good reason that such numbers won’t be mentioned – PDVSA is far more profitable now than it ever was before. So publishing numbers about PDVSA’s profitability would make it look like Chavez is doing a darn good job. And that is not what the opposition wants to do.

So today Mr. Diaz Rangel gave some numbers that you won’t find in any opposition controlled media. Here are some of them:

“The sale of motor vehicles went up from 17,145 in January to April 2003 to 32,429 in January to April 2004; the Stock Market climbed from 8,100 in April 2003 to 26,204 in April 2004; the deposits in the 50 largest banks went up in the last 12 months by 13 trillion bolivares (73.46%); the foreign reserves went up from $14 billion to $24.3 billion; the sale of cement went from 450,000 metric tonnes in March 2003 to 716,000 metric tonnes in March 2004; non-traditional exports went from $991 million dollars in January to March 2003 to 1.475 billion in January to March 2004”

These are just a few of the “little numbers” which show the economic recovery after the opposition led strike of 2003. The vigor of the recovery is nothing short of spectacular. And it shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that while the opposition is bad for the economy, Chavez is good for the economy.


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