Latin America

Maduro hopes to become Venezuela’s Deng Xiaoping

Analysts see a pragmatic turn in Chavismo, one that is helping improve the trade and inflation situation — though dramatic problems remain after a decade of economic chaos

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers his annual state of the nation speech during a special session of the National Constituent Assembly, in Caracas. Photo: Manaure Quintero/Reuters via Alamy

For years, the Venezuelan economy has been little more than a horror show, losing more than 80 percent of its GDP in the Nicolás Maduro era, an economic catastrophe rarely seen outside of wartime. Empty shelves, hunger, and hyperinflation became the norm — and pushed millions to flee the country.

In the months before the pandemic, however, the country was showing some signs of economic recovery — albeit a very unequal one. And with the worst of the Covid-19 crisis hopefully in the rearview mirror, economic consultancies critical of the regime are now forecasting a full year of

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