2017年09月18日

Nicolas Maduroはベネズエラを凶漢の国家にしようとしている。 独裁主義にしようとする不人気の体制の試みは悲惨な結果に終わるだろう。

Nicolas Maduro tries to make thugocracy permanent in Venezuela
An unpopular regime’s attempt to impose dictatorship could end bloodily
Print edition | Briefing
Jul 29th 2017 | CARACAS

Nicolas Maduroはベネズエラを凶漢の国家にしようとしている。
独裁主義にしようとする不人気の体制の試みは悲惨な結果に終わるだろう。

thugocracy:チンピラ主義



IT COULD almost be a piece of contemporary art, rather than a tool of political struggle. Overlooked by a mango tree heavy with blushing fruit, a rope is strung across Avenida Sucre as it climbs through a comfortable middle-class area towards the forested slopes of Monte Avila overlooking Caracas. Arranged beneath it are two distressed wooden beams, two pallets placed vertically, a wheel hub, a rusting metal housing for an electric transformer and several tree branches. They form a flimsy barricade watched over by a couple of dozen local residents. 

Overlooked:一望する
blushing:赤くなっている
strung:張り巡らされている
distressed:使い古した
wooden beam:《a 〜》木の梁
pallets:パレット
housing:カバー
electric transformer:変圧器
tree branch:木の枝
flimsy:もろい

Why are they blockading their own street? “Because we want this government to go,” explained Maria Antonieta Viso, the owner of a catering firm. They were taking part in a 24-hour “civic strike” on July 20th, called by the opposition coalition, Democratic Unity (MUD, from its initials in Spanish). Down the hill, across innumerable such roadblocks, the sting of tear gas signalled clashes between demonstrators and the National Guard, a militarised police force. The strike, repeated this week, was part of “Zero Hour”—a campaign of civil disobedience aimed at blocking a plan by Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s president, to install a constituent assembly with absolute powers. 

catering:仕出し業
innumerable:数え切れない
constituent assembly:憲法制定会議

Mr Maduro claims that the assembly is the “only way to achieve peace”, to provide Venezuelans with social welfare and to defend the country against what he claims is an “economic war” launched by America (though he provides no evidence of this). “What they are trying to do is to install the Cuban model in this country,” retorts Ms Viso. “We will all be screwed even if we take to the streets. There won’t be private property, my business will go to the state.” The long battle over power and policy in Venezuela that began when Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998 has reached a critical point. Both government and opposition believe that they are fighting for survival against a backdrop of a failing economy, rising hunger and anarchy. 

retorts:言い返す
screwed:騙す
take to the streets:街頭でデモを繰り広げる、街頭で抗議をする
backdrop:背景
hunger :飢饉

Chavez, a former army officer, proclaimed a “Bolivarian revolution”, named for Simon Bolivar, South America’s Venezuelan-born independence hero. He, too, summoned a constituent assembly, which drew up a new constitution and which he used to take control of the judiciary and the electoral authority. For much of his 14 years in power he had the support of most Venezuelans, thanks partly to his charismatic claim to represent a downtrodden majority and to the flaws of an opposition identified with an uncaring elite. 

proclaimed:宣言する
downtrodden:抑圧された
uncaring :気配りにかける

But above all the soaring price of oil gave him an unprecedented windfall, some of which he showered on social programmes in the long-neglected ranchos (shantytowns). A consumption boom, magnified by an overvalued currency, kept the middle class quiescent. He governed at first through a broad coalition of army officers, far-left politicians and intellectuals.

showered:ばらまく
ranchos:農場
shantytowns:スラム街
magnified:拡大する
quiescent:一時的に活動が静止した

Angered by opposition attempts to unseat him and influenced by Fidel Castro, Chavez pushed Venezuela towards state socialism after 2007. Economic distortions accumulated, along with corruption and debt. Before he died of cancer in 2013, Chavez chose Mr Maduro, a former bus driver and pro-Cuban activist, as his successor. 

Angered:反対派に腹を立て
distortions:歪み

From Chavez to Maduro
Mr Maduro, however, lacks Chavez’s political skills and popular support. And he has had to grapple with the plunge in the oil price. Years of controls and the takeover of more than 1,500 private businesses and many farms mean that Venezuela now produces little except oil, and imports almost everything else. The government is desperate to avoid defaulting on its debt, since that would lead to creditors seizing oil shipments and assets abroad. 

grapple:取り組む



Rather than reform the economy, Mr Maduro has simply squeezed it, applying a tourniquet to imports (see chart 1). The government has no clear strategy for external financing, and the fiscal deficit, mainly financed by printing money, is out of control, says Efrain Velazquez, the president of the National Economic Council, a quasi-official body. The result: “you can’t have growth and will have a lot of inflation.” Between 2013 and the end of this year, GDP will have contracted by more than 35% (see chart 2). What this means for most Venezuelans is penury. 

tourniquet:止血帯
contracted:縮小する
penury:赤貧


Near Plaza Perez Bonalde, a leafy enclave in the gritty district of Catia in western Caracas, 100 or so people, mainly women, queue up outside a bakery. They hope to get a ration of eight bread rolls for the subsidised price of 1,200 bolivares (less than $0.15 at the black-market exchange rate). “At least it’s something, because everything else is so expensive now,” says Sol Cire, a mother of two. She is unemployed, having lost her job at a defunct government hypermarket. Her fate stems from a change of government strategy. 

leafy:緑の多い
enclave:飛び地
gritty:砂にまみれた
bakery:パン屋
ration:配給
defunct:機能停止した
hypermarket:大型スーパーマーケット

ベネズエラはチャベスのときには石油価格が高止まりしていたので、彼の政治がどうあろうと、国民は蘇のおこぼれに授かってきた。ところがチャベスが後継者に指名したマドゥロになって、石油価格が暴落し、また彼はチャベスのようなカリスマ性がないので、国家の管理ががたがたになってしまった。インフレは管理できず、GDPも35%も落ち込んでしまった。市民は赤貧のどん底に落とし込まれてしまった。

火曜日。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
代表取締役社長

アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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