Colombia’s finance minister called for an international contingency plan to respond to a possibly imminent collapse of Venezuela, the neighboring country that is suffering an economic and political crisis.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said at a summit of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that the international community should urgently develop a “day after” plan.
According to the minister, the complete collapse of the Venezuelan state system is a matter of time.
“The idea is to have an economic plan for Venezuela for the day after. We don’t know when the day after will be, but this will be soon because of the gravity of the crisis,” Cardenas told French press agency AFP.
The minister proposed the involvement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to guarantee the reactivation of the economy.
We will quickly have to supply Venezuela with medicine and give businesses in Venezuela supplies and raw materials. This cannot be improvised.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas
More than half a million Venezuelans are currently in Colombia. Many of these migrants fled an increasingly dramatic humanitarian emergency and a potentially explosive political situation.
The exodus has overwhelmed Colombian authorities that were already dealing with domestic forced displacement.
An unknown number of Colombians who lived in Venezuela have also returned, putting pressure on Colombia’s economy.
“All is done with a great sense of solidarity, but if the situation escalates this will create major fiscal difficulties and big problems,” Cardenas said.
Colombia is part of a coalition of American nations that is trying to promote dialogue between Venezuela’s socialist President, Nicolas Maduro, and opposition forces.
Maduro’s political party, the PSUV, has obtained almost absolute control over the state since his election in 2013.