Crisis in Venezuela: Nicolás Maduro presented the 2021 budget with various tricks to avoid US sanctions

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The figures are not known, but his intention is to be able to do business in secret to circumvent Washington’s controls.

The Government of Venezuela presented to the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) your budget for 2021, a project with which they hope to circumvent the economic sanctions imposed on the country, also making use of the recently approved “anti-blockade law” promoted by Nicolás Maduro.

The Vice President of Planning, Ricardo Menéndez, delivered the budget and indebtedness project for 2021 to a commission of the ANC, a body composed only of official members and not recognized by many countries.

“This nation’s budget (…) has some backbone elements, two central elements: one is anti-blockade and the other is the social protection of our people,” Menéndez told reporters without clarifying how much it amounts to total government spending estimates for next year.

He explained that, to calculate these amounts, the Executive took into account “a vision of the impact on income accounts as a result of the economic blockade,” in reference to to international sanctions that have affected the Venezuelan financial system in recent years.

“There has been absolute health from the point of view of the conception of the income that Venezuela is having and the income that we expect to have precisely for the year 2021 (…) We are talking that we are left with 1% of the total of income of the republic “, indicated.

The vice president indicated that, if fewer resources entered the country than expected, the Government it will be more efficient “from an investment point of view” and in “the strategic direction of those resources.”

Among the goals contemplated for 2021, he advanced, is that of “raising the levels of protection” of citizens to the maximum, a task they hope to achieve a “substantial increase” in the health sector, as well as in science, technology and university education, although it did not specify amounts for any sector.

Maduro recently reported that the country went from receiving 56,000 million dollars annually, although he did not specify in which year, less than 400 million dollars in 2019 due exclusively, according to him, to economic sanctions.

To try to circumvent these restrictions, the president proposed the so-called anti-blockade law before the ANC, which approved it after a single session in which there was no debate.

The legal instrument, considered illegal by the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) – led by Juan Guaidó – allows Maduro to do business and de-apply regulations confidentially, under the argument that this way it will be able to circumvent the international limitations that its Administration has for the purchase and sale of products.

For the fourth consecutive year, the ANC receives the national budget despite the fact that the Venezuelan Constitution states that it is Parliament the one that has the attribution of “discussing and approving the national budget”, an extreme that has not been fulfilled since the opposition took control of it by obtaining a clear majority in 2016.

By 2020, the ANC approved an amount of 5,439 million dollars, less than a tenth of the 2014 budget, the first that Maduro prepared as president, which was located above 80,000 million dollars.

The Maduro Administration claims that the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) was found in “contempt” by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to omit presenting their obligations to the deputies.

The Constitution of Venezuela obliges the Executive to present to Parliament the budget of the nation for the following year before October 15 of the previous year.

Source: EFE

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