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Ricardo Benjamín Salinas Pliego es un empresario mexicano, Fundador y Presidente de Grupo Salinas. Es un hombre cuyas convicciones y pensamiento se reflejan claramente en su obra así como en sus actividades empresariales. Es un hombre de familia, forjado en el valor del trabajo, la tenacidad, el esfuerzo y la pasión para alcanzar los sueños. Se considera un optimista nato.

Contador Público por el Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, cuenta con una Maestría en negocios por la Universidad de Tulane; sin embargo, no cree que los títulos académicos otorguen conocimiento por encima de la experiencia. Desde muy joven desarrolló su instinto empresarial en diversos negocios. Imposible es una palabra que no está en su diccionario.

Lector apasionado de la historia, sus personajes, el arte, la ciencia, la tecnología así como los negocios y finanzas, gusta de compartir sus intereses y no duda en manifestar su opinión sobre diversos temas de interés, como lo hace regularmente en su blog. Sus ideas las ha expuesto el Foro Económico Mundial de Davos, en The Young President’s Organization, The Economist Mexico Business Roundtable, el Instituto de las Américas, la Cámara de Comercio de los Estados Unidos, UCLA, TED, CAP, The Aspen Institute, The New York Forum, Universidad de Michigan, Universidad de Georgetown y la Escuela de Negocios de Harvard, donde usualmente trata asuntos relacionados con liderazgo, globalización, gobierno corporativo y las oportunidades en la base de la pirámide.
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Venezuelans Deserve a Free and Prosperous Country


“Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”

― Benito Juárez

When considering the current situation in Venezuela, it is an excellent time to remember the most famous words of Benito Juarez, a founding father of the modern democratic republic of Mexico. Today, Venezuelans remain trapped in a lose-lose situation. While the government of dictator Nicolas Maduro crushes the rights and freedoms of individuals, the United States threatens military intervention to "resolve the situation." Both scenarios are unacceptable.

It is impossible to deny that the Maduro regime is corrupt, militaristic, and undemocratic. Needless to say, Venezuela follows a completely failed economic model. The social cost of sinking millions of Venezuelans into misery and fear for so many years is incalculable. In Venezuela today, hyperinflation– which is estimated to reach 1,000,000% this year— coexists with widespread unemployment, famine, and a government complicit in organized crime and violence without control.

Following the Cuban model to the letter, the market cost for coffee or a box of cereal is equivalent to more than a month’s salary— if one is lucky enough to secure a job or even locate products on the nation’s barren shelves. This is indisputably an abhorrent human tragedy that must end. The country that half a century ago was one of the most prosperous on the continent, today is considered one of its most impoverished and dangerous.

The country that half a century ago was one of the most prosperous on the continent, today is considered one of its most impoverished and dangerous.

For more than two decades under Chavismo rule, Venezuelans have suffered systematic repression, the gradual loss of all their freedoms, and open attacks on independent media, organized civil society, and the political opposition— whose leaders and followers have been imprisoned, exiled, or simply "disappeared."

Any remaining vestiges of the legitimacy of the Maduro government were extinguished after elections held last year, when numerous irregularities occurred and were well-documented by outside observers— and government responded to opposition protests, once again, with threats, jail and, at best, exile for their leaders. Opposition in Venezuela is a great act of courage.

The true coup was not in this opposition; instead it came when Maduro unilaterally decided to scrap the nation’s Constitution. Today, of course, very few countries recognize the legality of the regime of terror that holds power in Venezuela.

However, foreign intervention is never justified because, far from improving the situation, it can often worsen political, social, and economic complexities— as we have seen in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. That is why the insinuations and threats of Donald Trump and his security advisor John Bolton, regarding possible military intervention, are absolutely unacceptable and must be firmly rejected by the international community. In the same way, the long term Russian and Cuban interventions in the internal affairs of Venezuela must be firmly denounced. The agents of Russia and representatives of Cuba, who supposedly carry out humanitarian tasks, must be expelled from the country that they have plundered and destabilized for two decades.

However, foreign intervention is never justified because, far from improving the situation, it can often worsen political, social, and economic complexities.

In Latin America we are very aware of the very high political, social, and economic costs of the Monroe Doctrine, but at the same time Russia and Cuba promote a parallel doctrine that is equally toxic; which, from their point of view, gives them the right to export socialism to any country in the Americas. Latin Socialism is a deception, an insidious system that has failed in all its reiterations. It promotes a repeatedly failed system of organizing the economy and public affairs, and authoritarian rule that works to undermine and destroy the institution of freedoms, especially freedom of expression and open commerce.

However, over the last 100 years, this failed system has been sold in different forms in the former Soviet Union, North Korea, and, of course, under the brand of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela— where the collapse of socialism exceeds that of many other countries that have suffered its rule, and a sign of ineptitude and extreme governmental neglect.

Benito Juarez’s ideal of respect for individual rights defines a shared democratic aspiration that should unite all the countries of Latin America. It is this same spirit that today unites hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans who have taken to the streets to express their rightful discontent in Caracas and in many other cities around the world— where already more than 3 million Venezuelan exiles have been forced to flee. This is the spirit that we must support.

But we must not stop there. The nations of Latin America must actively collaborate in the creation of an actionable solution. Our country has a tradition of participating in, and not only being an observer in the solution of conflicts around Latin America. This is an opportunity to show once again the strength of our diplomacy. In Venezuela, dialogue must prevail, but the international community must establish specific limits, times and objectives so that the systemic long term problems of the country can be resolved.

We Mexicans have a moral obligation to support the Venezuelan people to find the solution to the serious problems they face— democratically and by their own means. In Latin America we must work so that the terrible situation in Venezuela, caused by the incredible neglectful mismanagement and corruption of Chavismo socialism, will soon reach a solution. Respect for the rights of others must be transformed into the active promotion of the rights of our Venezuelan neighbors.

For more on my views regarding the rights of the Venezuelan people and the failure of Chavismo socialism in Venezuela see my article published in the Hill in March 2019, “Branding aid for Venezuela as a US coup is dead wrong.”

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Ivan Nuñez, Panama:

Dear Ricardo, I am not be too sure of a US intervention, as mr Trump’s words have typically been more ‘fireworks’ than anything else. As we know, an intervention is a complex and risky bet, and as long as the POTUS can ensure his re-election with words and embargoes, he may not need to commit any US troops. In such case, I see few possibilities of Venezuela returning to democracy in the medium term. It is excellent to denounce all that global powers are doing wrong in that country, but truth is, neither Rusia nor China are particularly keen on democratic rule, preferring instead autocratic rulers who do not care much about formal complaints, and which constituents barely have access to free press. Without a US intervention, and given the unsuccessful history of dialogue with Maduro’s regime (totally uninterested in free elections and much less in independent judges), the best solution I see is one where the Chavista party itself finds a way to regenerate its leadership and opt for a more pro-market leadership, while keeping the usually tight control of the media, oil, drug trafficking, imports etc. In any case, Mr Trump’s incendiary remarks and lack of action (except for the classic ‘a la Cubana’ sanction package) risk creating a large scale long term strategic problem for the hemisphere for years to come.

Andrés Maqueo, Toluca:

3- Como mexicano y latino, sé que Trump, sus políticas y trato hacia nosotros no ha sido el más justo, pero creo que si EU decide intervenir militarmente en Venezuela el 90% de los venezolanos dentro y fuera del país estarán de acuerdo, ya que necesitamos un defensor ante el gobierno dictatorial. 4- La calamidad y el éxodo van mas allá de lo comentado en su blog. La cantidad de familias separadas es abrumadora, un ejemplo, de mi promoción de la escuela solo 2 de 30 estudiantes siguen viviendo en Venezuela, tengo amigos en todos los continentes. No solo falta comida si no las medicinas. En lo personal lamento decirle que mi padre murió en Venezuela de un infarto hace 1 mes. Todos los meses le mandaba dinero, pero me enteré después de su muerte que a pesar del dinero las medicinas no las encontraba. Mi padre nunca quiso salir de Venezuela, amaba ese país. Hoy es una víctima más de un gobierno tirano. Finalmente, hace menos de 2 semanas Jorge Rodríguez, ex yerno de Chávez y parte del gabinete de Maduro, dijo refiriéndose a la situación de Venezuela: "El sufrimiento de un pueblo no puede ser la clave para generar un cambio de gobierno", con lo cual se deja ver que lo único que importa es que ellos gobiernen, lo demás no tiene importancia. Saludos.

Andrés Maqueo , Toluca:

Estimado Sr. Ricardo Salinas: soy mexicano de nacimiento y venezolano de corazón. Tuve la fortuna de llegar a Venezuela cuando tenia 2 años y poder crecer y criarme allá. Era un país vibrante con muchos recursos y gente cálida. El vivir antes, durante y posterior al chavismo me permite opinar. He tenido la fortuna de vivir en 4 países desde entonces (México, China, Colombia y Venezuela) lo cual me permite comparar con otros países y ver la situación que le ha tocado vivir a Venezuela por 21 años. 1- Venezuela o el pueblo venezolano NO puede por sí solo salir de la dictadura de Maduro. Este dictador tiene comprado al ejército, al cual no le conviene la salida de Maduro ya que perderían la complicidad para el tráfico de drogas por parte del Cartel de los Soles (militares). 2- Se ha hecho el intento en innumerables ocasiones de salidas democráticas, pero empecemos, bien lo dice usted en su blog, Maduro violó la constitución. Al hacer esto no hay cabida a una salida democrática o a un diálogo. Se ha intentado cientos de veces, siempre quebrado por el mal llamado gobierno.

noel tichy, ann arbor:

Ricardo, your point of view on Venezuela is spot on. I have worked there on and off since 1964 and have had graduate students from Venezuela both at Columbia University in the 1970s and at the University of Michigan. I work closely with Ivan Lansberg, from Venezuela and former Ph.D student of mine and now professor and head of Family Enterprise programs at Northwestern U, Kellog School (check out his website). You and Ivan should connect. Regards, Noel.