The main culprits of the most radical measures taken by the Venezuelan government come from Spanish politician Alfredo Serrano Mancilla, according to Spanish Adviser to President Nicolás Maduro Deputy Carlos Valero.
Valero told the newspaper ABC in Spain that Serrano “is the author of the latest and most radical economic measures undertaken by the Chavistas, who have only managed to impoverish the country.”
Expropriations, the seizure of businesses, “urban agriculture” on balconies, the soviet supply system and forced employment in the public agriculture sector are all a result of Serrano’s influence.
Earlier this year, the newspaper El Nacional reported about “Alfredo Serrano Mancilla, the Spaniard who pulls the strings of the Venezuelan economy.” The newspaper pointed out the Podemos member is one of the most influential figures in Maduro’s economic cabinet.
“The fact that the government continues to insist on the economic model of socialism in the 21st century, despite the queues, shortages and inflation is entirely from him,” the paper claimed.
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Who is Alfredo Serrano Mancilla?
Mancilla “is the last redoubt that the Spanish populist left keeps in Venezuela,” according to ABC.
He is the coordinator of the Center for Political and Social Studies (CEPS), a Spanish anti-capitalist organization that provides political consulting. He has consulted for the governments of Spain, Venezuela, Ecuador, El Salvador and Bolivia. CEPS is currently listed as an “appendix” of Podemos. Several of its leaders operate within the Spanish leftist party (most notably Podemos leaders Pablo Iglesias and Iñigo Errejón).
Mancilla studied economics in Barcelona, Spain and in Quebec, Canada. He arrived in Venezuela 10 years ago with a group of leftist Spanish teachers (Juan Carlos Monedero, Pablo Iglesias, Luis Alegre, Roberto Viciano Pastor) who were attracted to the idealistic thought of Hugo Chavez.
Mancilla began a friendly relationship with the Marxist political intelligentsia of Venezuela until meeting with then-Planning Minister Ricardo Menendez, after which he began rubbing shoulders with even more important higher-ups.
In 2014, he presented the paper The Economic thought of Hugo Chavez, for which President Nicolás Maduro praised him and introduced him to the elite of the regime. Mancilla immediately became an advisor to Maduro.
From there, Mancilla became a kind of ideologue of Chavismo. He wrote speeches for President Maduro, including the most important ones presented to the National Assembly.
Mancilla, according to El Nacional, has solidified the idea that the socialist economic model of the 21st century is unquestionable, and that any failure is the result of attacks from the opposition.
“Clinging to the hope of an economic miracle to save his country, Maduro has placed his trust in a dark Spanish Marxist professor whom he calls ‘the Jesus Christ of the economy,'” The Wall Street Journal recently reported.
ABC noted Alfredo Serrano Mancilla is the man behind the Maduro’s constant refusal to allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela.
“Serrano said he wanted to hide the crisis and not allow the entry of humanitarian aid. Even NGOs like Doctors Without Borders cannot act in Venezuela without asking permission from authorities.”