Thanks to the policies of the Bolivarian Government poverty in Venezuela fell to 23% in 2009 from 70.3% in the second half of 1996 accompanied by 40% of extreme poverty and a record inflation rate of 103%.
These figures were presented by the President of the Venezuelan National Statistics Office (INE), Elias Eljuri, in the TV program “Between Jornalists” broadcast on the private TV channel Televen.
Eljuri explained that poverty in Venezuela which reached 55% and extreme poverty 25% after the oil industry sabotage orchestrated by the right wing opposition in an attempt to overthrow the Hugo Chávez government, has been falling steadily. It is currently 23% in total with 6% being qualified as extreme poverty. The calculation is based on international standards which take income into account as the overriding factor.
“Many of these opposition politicians and intellectuals seem to forget that they took inflation to over 100% and poverty to over 70% when they were in power,” Eljuri commented. He defended the validity of the INE’s statistics which are frequently questioned by the opposition.
He emphasized that the Gini Index of inequality was the lowest in Latin America which descended from 0.49 to 0.39 in 2009. Now, the richest 20% control 46% of the wealth compared to 54% in 1998.
“The richest 20% still control a large chunk of the country’s wealth but this is a steady change in favor of the vast majority of Venezuelans”, Eljuri added …
“We are still not satisfied with this wealth distribution and the only way to change this is by implementing deep structural changes in the economy which President Chávez is currently undertaking.”
Despite opposition studies which always show that poverty is son the rise Eljuri concluded by saying that the INE figures are fully supported as being transparent and objective by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as by the World Bank.