Venezuela: The solution?

After reading the note below, my journalist colleague Maria Trombly asks, quite sensibly, "So what's your solution? ... you outline the conflict, the three sides, etc... So what is to be done?" Here's my response:

Maria -- It's not for us to solve. Venezuelans will have to work it out. Any stable settlement will have to take into account several conflicting interests.

What I think would be best for most Venezuelans, and for developing the country to provide more opportunities to its citizens, would be some form of the oil law reforms that the Chávez government is trying to enact, but with stronger guarantees of independent management so that neither this nor future governments will fiddle with oil revenues to enrich themselves. Especially, the reform to collect royalties on sales (easy to calculate -- how many barrels at what price) rather than as at present, as taxes on profits (easy to manipulate) makes a lot of sense. It's resisted by PDVSA executives, though, for obvious self-interested reasons.

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