| Se distancia pero no tanto, pues insiste que algunas empresas del estado pueden ser tan eficientes o más que las privadas. El problema en Venezuela, desconocido por Stiglitz es que las empresas estatales como Cantv, Sidor y algunas eléctricas tuvieron que ser privatizadas por su deficiencia, lo que resultó en claros beneficios para la población.|
Dow Jones Newswires
CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz distanced himself Tuesday from a campaign by Venezuela's government to paint him as a supporter of President Hugo Chavez's nationalization drive.
"We have no details (of Venezuela's nationalizations) so I can't take a view on something like that without knowing what it is," Stiglitz told Dow Jones Newswires in a brief telephone interview.
Venezuela's government published a paid advertisement in local newspapers Tuesday citing recent remarks from Stiglitz that appeared to back Chavez's decision to nationalize key sectors. "Nationalizations in Venezuela should generate no fears," the ad reads under Stiglitz's photo, citing an AFP article and an interview with Colombia's Radio Caracol. Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor and former chief economist at the World Bank, said he gave an interview to the Colombian radio last week, but knew nothing of Venezuela's paid advertisement.
Stressing that he is unfamiliar with Venezuela's case, Stiglitz said "my point was, there is a widespread prejudice against government-run enterprises." Many of these can be very efficient, he added. Stiglitz noted that countries leading a nationalization drive such as Venezuela would do well to include "a number of safeguards, such as transparency benchmarks, and advisory boards that look into what goes on" inside these state- run enterprises.
Chavez announced last month he would nationalize the country's top telecommunications company and power companies. Using special presidential powers granted by congress the president also plans to revamp key economic laws over the next year and a half. Faced with mounting criticism over his nationalization plans, the leftist leader has spared no effort trying to convince people that state-run enterprises under his watch would work well.
Over the past few weeks, state television news programs have interviewed analysts and politicians supportive of Chavez's policies trying to dispel the notion that his administration would manage these companies poorly.
Oil industry experts note, though, that the state energy company's oil production in fields that it alone operates has declined dramatically in recent years. Nor has the government ever met any of its housing construction targets. Critics also say publicly run power utilities suffer more brown- and black-outs than private power companies.