The disastrous policies of President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government in Venezuela are beginning to significantly impact American corporations. Corporations like Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola, and others are finding their quarterly earnings diminished by the rapid devaluation of Venezuela’s currency.
According to the Associated Press, Clorox saw its shares slip 2% in value after it initially released third quarter figures. While the company grew, it did not reach Wall Street expectations. The company, among many others, blamed the devaluation of Venezuelan currency, as its expansion into Latin American markets was initially credited with increased growth. The AP puts the negative value of Venezuela’s economic decisions at $17 million in the company’s international division for the third quarter.
Similarly, the AP notes, Colgate-Palmolive reported a 16% decline in earnings, and it also blamed Maduro’s government. Coca-Cola also saw its earnings drop 8% in the quarter; the soft drink industry is extremely lucrative in Latin America particularly. Forbes adds Ford, Procter & Gamble, and DirectTV to the list of corporations that also blamed Maduro’s devaluation for their losses.
Venezuela’s economy had been on the brink of collapse for years under President Hugo Chávez, despite having some of the world’s largest oil reserves, but the situation has gotten increasingly desperate as President Maduro’s economic measures have forced corporations to flee the nation. Maduro increased the minimum wage of workers 30% this week, but opponents protest that forcing employers to pay more does little to solve the problem when the workers cannot consume freely. Maduro also imposed a ration card system to prevent individuals from buying out supermarkets. For months under Maduro, Venezuela has suffered shortages of basic goods, such as butter, milk, toilet paper, and vegetable oil.
The economic situation has only exacerbated political objections to the Maduro regime, as those who protest his economic policies have been the victims of political arrests, torture, beatings, and other human rights violations.
Conservative politicians in the United States have warned that Maduro’s mismanagement of the nation is directly impacting the United States. Senator Marco Rubio, who has called for sanctions on Maduro’s high-level allies, noted on the Senate floor that many of Maduro cronies spend millions of dollars on property and luxury items in the United States. A special report by América TeVe’s Javier Ceriani exposed the lavish lifestyles of those who live off of the Venezuelan socialist regime, visiting their million-dollar Miami homes and touring the marina in which they keep their yachts. These same people support policies that are hurting American corporations due to the decreasing value of the Venezuelan bolívar as inflation skyrockets in the OPEC nation.