A moment with the consul of Burkina Faso

Interviewee : Karidia K. Friggit, Burkina Faso Honorary Consul in Madrid
This interview was held in French, because it is our common mothertong both to the consul and me. Therefore here it is a translation from French to English.
«Me: What did you do before becoming consul ?
Karidia K. Friggit: Well, I have a master of English. Then I moved to London with my husband, and because of my children, I did not want to work. But I was working voluntarily in an association. The association was called London Detained Support Group. I heard difficult stories so I took psychology lessons, to understand people and put distance between them and I . Simultaneously, I made a degree of interpret, which allowed me to be more independent when I had meeting with lawyer and refugees. So we stayed 7 years in London and after we moved to Madrid. We created a foundation to build primary schools and high schools in Burkina Faso. It was notably to help girls who usually who drop out of school early. Then we were searching for a consulate in Madrid, for the foundation, but there was not any in Madrid. I began to help the Embassy to find a consul, then they ask me to assume it. So now I am honorary consul.

What is an honorary consul ? What is the difference with a general consul ?
Honorary means that I am not paid, like volunteerism. It is a honorary title for the good actions I make and to represent the government abroad. Many countries create honorary consuls because it costs nothing to the government, unlike an Embassy or a general consulate. There is an Embassy of Burkina Faso in Paris, and I represent it here in Spain. At the beginning I had my office at home. Fastly the work became important, so we decided to buy rooms in 2014. Since 2012 I am accredited, it means that I am working as a consul. I am leading the foundation and a master in Sciences Po Paris at the same time.
What does the job of consul consist in?
I make visas, I take care of Burkina people’s passports : I receive their file and I send them.
I am a listening ear for Burkina people’s personal problems. But I am not here to give solutions, I am here to listen them and to let themselves finding solutions. When they have administrative problems, I redirect them to lawyers.
I make also conferences about the situation in Burkina Faso. But it is quite difficult because we do not have all the information here, when there was the attacks, or the coup d’état for instance. We organize manifestations, such as one on the 8th March, for women, or cine debates. However, I don’t do anything when I receive eviction notices of undocumented people. But if an undocumented person from Burkina Faso come here, I will redirect him to a lawyer.
Is Burkina Faso’s community important in Spain?
I would say that we are almost 300 people from Burkina Faso in Madrid and almost 3 000 in Spain.

And must they all come to Madrid when they need help from the consulate ?
I forgot to say that there are four consulates in Spain. I am in Madrid, there is another in Valencia, another in Andalucia, Almeria, and in Barcelone. They were created according to the needs, because Spain is wide. Before it was the French embassy who was treating the visas, now it is me. So we create the consulates in the cities where there are many people from Burkina Faso and in the cities where there are people who wants to go to Burkina Faso, where there is an interest for the country, with a lot of associations related to for instance.

What about the relations between Spain and Burkina Faso ?
They are complicated. Before, Burkina Faso’s government had private relations with the Spanish government. Now the new Burkina Faso’s government, in power since last December, try to implement new relations. At the consulate, we try to organize meeting to welcome Burkina Faso’s leaders. But it is difficult for them to understand that now there is not a government in Spain. They do not understand either that they could more cultivate ties with the Communidades, which are strongly independent, such as Navarre, which is two times Burkina Faso’s GDP. They prefer to wait for the new Spanish government. Moreover there are many Spanish NGOs in Burkina Faso, they are really involved, such as Caritas, Manos Unidas, which work with my Foundation on a project over a school, los Amigos de Rimquieta, who are taking care of more than 300 children who are
living in Ouagadougou streets. That’s why, we have to work more on the cooperation between Spain and Burkina. There is also a bilateral cooperation between the two countries over the renewable energies, notably the solar energy, over the agribusiness and the pharmaceutical industry. For instance for emergency medication, the notices are in Spanish so we try to cooperate to translate
them in French or English at least.»
Thanks to Karidia K. Friggit for answering my questions and to you Alana Moceri, to allow me to meet her.

Written by Ludivine Mouly

The Islamic Culture As A Bias Point Of View

MADRID – Arabic translators, whose mother tongue is Spanish, are not plentiful at present. For this reason, I decided to make contact with one for granting me an interview about his work and the current problems related with the Middle East.

Rafael Mayor is a sworn translator, an interpreter and an expert in the Islamic culture. In addition, he translates texts and books about literary criticism and history. He decided to study sworn translation due to the fact that he previously had studied a degree in Law (which he has never finished), so he had knowledge about these affairs. He has been working as sworn translator since 2007 and he works with the Spanish Police at present.

Many years ago, when he started studying translation, he never thought he would become an Arabic translator, but his Arabic professor Milagros Nuin, who works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs now, made him being interested in this language. He admitted that “learn Arabic is difficult and it takes a long time, but it is amazing”.  However, the main problem he has to face daily is the lack of specialized dictionaries, which would make his labour easier. When I asked him about his colleagues he points out that “anyone who knows Arabic and studies in Spain, is an Arabic translator, thus, it affects the quality of work done”. However, there are few of them who have the appropriate studies in order to be a sworn translator.

Regarding to his facet as islamologist, Rafael emphasised the importance of being an expert of Islam when you are a translator because “there are a lot of aspects of Arabian world that you cannot understand if you do not have knowledge about Islam due to the fact that the Islamic and Arabian world is constantly doing references to the Coran”. In his opinion, the Arabian world is misunderstood without the pertinent knowledge about the past and the present of this ancient culture.

This drove me to ask him about the causes of the radicalization of young men. “There are a lot of reasons”, he answered. Referring us to France, he argued that: “In France, for example, the problem is that these young men feel uprooted because they are not considered by the State as French persons, but as Moroccan persons, even they do not know how to speak Arabic”.

This identity problem added to a broken home is the equation whose result is to join Daesh and fight for a cause that they did not support before, but it makes them feel part of a community. For him, they are “radical young people who find a justification for doing something in a part of Islam”.

Moreover, for him, the “Islamic radicalism is a phenomenon which belongs to the Western world”. He supported his statement by saying that “Middle East is not exporting terrorists, otherwise it is importing them from Europe”.

Nevertheless, he thinks that the last terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have not woken up the dormant racism in Europe. The responsibility of this belongs to “the French government, which adopted wrong solutions”. He alluded to the protocol taken in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo attack, whose purpose was to identify the Islamic radicalism at schools. “The protocol stated that if a child stops listening to music, it was a sign of radicalism and it is not true, it depends on other factors”, he said as an example. “To stop listening to music is a normal behaviour on Muslims, so the protocol categorized all Muslims as terrorists”.

If we talk about looking for a solution, he finds out that the main point is starting in the education field. He determined that “if these jihadist terrorists were taught about what is really Islam, they probably would have not committed those atrocities”. In the Western countries, the problem is the lack of institutions where people can study Islamic religion so “people turn to their families (who often do not have enough information), to mosques (which frequently are managed by not seasoned professionals) and to Internet (which has only information about Wahhabism)”.

Regarding to Spain, he told me that “in 1992, the government signed an agreement that allowed to teach Islam at school, but it has never been introduced.” The agreement that he mentioned is the “Acuerdo de Cooperación del Estado con la Comisión Islámica de España” included in the Law 26/1992.

Finally, to conclude, I asked him about a short-term resolution to the conflicts in the Middle East and Rafael answered that “these political conflicts will resolve within time period of five years”. I insisted on the end of the jihadist organization but “Daesh is not the problem, is only a sign”, he stated. “Daesh will be eradicated but the phenomenon will be repeated as far as they deal with the underlying problem”.

Rafael Mayor, interviewed by Macarena Dueñas.

An interesting conversation with the Tunisian Consul in Madrid

MADRID – Last June 8th I had the pleasure to meet and interview Omar Amine Abdallah, the Tunisian Consul here in Madrid. I have chosen to interview someone from Tunisia because it is one of the few countries, among the Middle East and Maghreb region, that I visited and because I like it.

Omar Abdallah is a Tunisian man. His family comes from Monastir, but he was born and grew up in the capital of Tunisia, Tunis. After the high school (the so-called baccalauréat), he attended the career of Communication and Press. Since he was a child, his dream has been to become a diplomat, so he successfully participated to a ministerial competitive exam and he could attend the two-year diplomatic school. In 2008, he began his first assignment as a diplomat and since 2013 he has been the Consul in Madrid.

IMG-20160608-WA0003The first question that I wanted to address Omar was how the relationship between Spain and Tunisia is and, if in some way, this relationship has been affected by the Arab Spring. Tunisia is a political and business partner for Spain, Omar answered. Between these two countries there is a diplomatic cooperation and a clear will to improve and increase these bilateral relationships. In addition to this, Omar highlighted that the Spanish Government has expressed its support and solidarity to the Tunisian Government and citizens during the post-revolutionary democratic transition. The evidence of this support are the multiple official visits between these two countries in the last few years. For instance, Omar mentioned the frequent visits to the other country of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the visit of the Tunisian Prime Minister, Habib Essid, to Spain in November 2015.

Another issue that Omar and I discussed was the presence of Tunisian people in Spain and the reasons why they decided to come to Spain, but also the role of the Embassy in their lives. Spain and Tunisia belong to the same Mediterranean region, affirmed Omar, and friendly relationships exist between the two countries, as stated before. These reasons push Tunisians to move to Spain in order to find a job or to study, in particular in scientific careers. There are about 4,000 Tunisians in Spain and they are workers or students. Thanks to the increasing teaching of Spanish in Tunisia as a foreign language, more and more Tunisians select Spain as a new destination besides France, Germany and Italy.
Regarding the Embassy’s role, Omar very well knows what the Embassy can do for its citizens, as he works within this sector. Tunisians often go to their Embassy to ask for certificates, in particular the renovation of the passport, civil registry’s documents, or just to ask for information.

I wanted to ask Omar if he would advise Spanish people to go to Tunisia on holiday, especially after the two terrorist attacks of 2015 – for who does not remember, Bardo Museum attack at Tunis and tourist resort attack at Sousse. Omar gave an answer that convinced me. He affirmed that there are several reasons that can push Spanish people and everybody to go to Tunisia in this moment. First, in the last few months, no region of the world is safety. For instance, France, Belgium and Turkey are the most attacked countries at the moment, but people have not stopped to go there. This is a good thing because if people stopped travelling, terrorists would win the battle. Secondly, despite Bardo Museum and Sousse attacks, Tunisia continue to promote its country to go on holiday because in just two-hour flight from Madrid Spanish people can discover a captivating country, one of the most developed countries in the Islamic world. In addition to this, Tunisia «offers different natural environment, from desert to oasis, along with a 1,300-km long coast. Hospitality and kindness of my community are other characteristics of Tunisia, besides the cultural heritage – result of the remnants that Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs leave in the Tunisian land. We can’t forget Tunisian cuisine, craftwork, … an endless list», Omar specified.

As last question, I chose to ask about the current situation in Tunisia. The Consul offered me to talk with the Deputy Head of Embassy. His name is Mounir Fourati and worked all around the world, along with Japan, Argentina, South Africa and now Spain. He gave me a very detailed panorama on the present situation in his country, from terrorism issue to economy and education. In particular, he wanted to highlight that they are not familiarized with terrorism and from 1956, the year Tunisia reached the independence from France, they have never faced this kind of situation. «We have to deal with, to understand and to work. It’s not a national problem; it’s an international problem», affirmed Mounir. This is what the Western countries have to understand.

In conclusion, as Mounir said to me, it is important to remember that some countries do not welcome this potentially contagious democratic wave and they see Tunisia own pacific democratic transition as a threat. It is thanks to the maturity and education of the Tunisian citizens that the democratic transition in Tunisia took place peacefully.

By Giulia Belometti

Interview to an European in NY

B. C. is an European young photographer who lives nowadays in New York. She has a great and varied heritage: Her parents are both Cuban, who met when they studied in Russia, and there she was born. So was born in Russia, then moved to Portugal when she was 6, and later, when she was 19, she moved again to Spain to study a degree on Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Then she traveled to Estonia as part of the Erasmus Exchange Program. She travelled then to California, where she finished her studies. She lived in Miami for a while, and finally she moved to NY, where she has been living for one year, four years in the States. Now she works at a company of entertaining news.

She has travelled a lot, and she has met a lot of different cultures, which I found really interesting to interview. During our interview, B.C. explained how did it feel to live in the States, and in New York. As she said, places like California and New York are the most representative places because of their different cultures and nationalities. There you get to know people from all over the world, unlike in the center of the USA, where there are only Americans. In New York, the people is very open-minded. In Europe,  she felt a bit alien because there aren’t a lot of people who has moved as much as she did, but in New York there is a lot of people who has lived in a lot of different places, which makes her feel very normal.

I was interested too in the perspective of an European, who has spent quite a lot of year living in the USA, about the political campaign there. From her point of view, it feels a bit crazy, all this Trump stuff. The first thing that surprises her is that she doesn’t really know any Trump supporters, there in New York. “I think people who has access to a minimum  education, that have access to university, know that Trump is not a good candidate for the US presidency. Even though he has a lot of people supporting him. That surprised me because half the country seem to like Trump.” Also, it seems that there is some people who would vote for Trump just because they don’t like Hillary. “The thing is, I think, that a lot of people hate Trump, but there’s a lot of people who hate Hillary too, and that scares me, because I know people who like Bernie Sanders, and that tell me that if he doesn’t win for the democrats, they will vote for Trump, because they’d rather vote for Trump, since they don’t like Hillary.

She also told me a bit about the current situation of the campaign and the ideas and measures Trump is proposing if he achieves to become the next president of the USA. “Well, I think next week is important for the campaign, because California is voting, and there is quite a lot of people in California, so it’s kind of decisive, it can make Hillary win for the democrats or, well, I think if Trump wins, I’ll come back to Europe” She speaks then about how racist are Trump’s measures. “The measures Trump want to implement are very very racist, like the thing about the Muslims, that he wants to control them and stuff, I don’t know, it’s like every week he has something horrible to say. It is quite incredible, because I think at first everyone thought Trump’s candidature was kind of a joke, and that would last for, like, two or three months… Now you can see in the polls Trump’s results very close to Hillary’s and, I don’t know, it worries me a lot because there exists the possibility of Trump actually becoming president.”

Finally, B. told me about her view of the European people and their point of view of the political campaign of the USA. She said that there is a lot of people in Europe that can’t see yet how worrying this issue is, since it isn’t their country and they feel too far away, but the United States of America are a powerful country, whose president is very important too, and what happens there is definitely affecting the whole world.

By Alejandro Conesa Martínez

A short trip into an Embassy: interview with Anna Ruffino

Anna Ruffino is an Italian young woman who has become the First Secretary of the Consular Chancery of the Embassy of Italy in Madrid after passing all the different and difficult stages of the open competitive exam which is organized, every year, by the Italian Foreign Ministry.

Being the First Secretary of the Consular Chancery of the Embassy entails having a great variety of tasks to execute, the majority of which are the same that, in Italy, are carried out by each municipality and especially by the general register office. So, as Anna Ruffino explained me, her work consists in providing Italian citizens, who are living in Madrid, with all the documents and services they need (ID card renewal, passport, fiscal code, possibility to vote from another country, pensions, registration of a change in the marital status and assistance to the victim’s family in case an Italian citizen dies on Spanish territory). In particular, this final aspect of her work is, for Anna Ruffino, the most difficult but, at the same time, the most gratifying. In her words:

“I know that it means facing difficult and really painful situations and tragedies, but knowing that, in some way, you are helping and supporting them by dealing with all the bureaucratic aspects they are not certainly thinking of in such a situation, makes you feel really helpful and useful.”

For example, she has given assistance to the families of the seven Italian Erasmus students who died in Valencia the last 20th March because of the bus on which they were travelling had an accident.

Talking about how to start working for an embassy she explained me that, if someone is interested in starting a career in an embassy the first thing he/she should have is a master degree either in international relationship, law or economics and a very good knowledge of English. Then, he/she must undergo to the five written tests and an oral exam which made up the competitive exam; if the candidate manages to pass all the tests he/she can become Legazione Secretary. When someone decides to work in an embassy, he/she should also be willing to spend two years abroad and after his/her mandate has come to an end he/she can return in Italy and working in the Italian Foreign Ministry, called Farnesina, or in another Italian embassy.

As regards the structure of the Italian Embassy of Madrid it has different offices, the political, cultural, economic, scientific and security one, each of which with its specific function. In particular, I have decided to focus my interview with Anna Ruffino on the cultural issues and projects the Italian Embassy of Madrid carries out. The cultural office is responsible for the coordination of all those events related to the Italian culture which are organized by the public authorities in Madrid and especially by the Italian Institutes of Culture. Moreover, the cultural office improves and promotes the relationships with the Spanish cultural institutions, foundations and universities with a special consideration for Italian studies. With this regard,

“a very interesting thing to know is that in Spain there are two Italian state schools (from kindergarten to high school) of the eight existing all over the world; one of these is in Madrid and other one is in Barcelona”.

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A lifetime full of professional intense experiences

Alonso Álvarez de Toledo y Merry del Val, born in 1931, was graduated in Law in 1957 and entered the diplomatic service. He had been destined, among other positions, in the diplomatic representations of Spain upon the United States, France, Mexico, South Africa and Federal Republic of Germany, besides holding several senior positions in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Álvarez de Toledo was also the Spanish ambassador in the former GDR (German Democratic Republic). Later, he was the Spanish State Chief of Protocol. Finally, his diplomatic life ended as Spanish ambassador in Luxembourg.


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Photo: Alonso Álvarez de Toledo y Merry del Val, Madrid.

Spain became a member of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) on May 30th, 1982, when the Spanish government was headed by socialist Felipe González. Thereupon, on May 31st, it was going to be convoked a referendum to Spanish people for whether join in the NATO or not. Mr. Álvarez de Toledo was at that time working as a Business Manager in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he was told to deliver a letter to Perez-Llorca – who was in charge of negotiating the entry of Spain into NATO. In the letter was the approval of such enrolment, but neither the president nor anyone left wing were aware of this. That was because, at that time, the left wing supporters had a strong anti-NATO feeling and they were convinced that if they had known it, they would not have let Spain enter in it.

The problem was that May 30th was a Sunday, and Perez-Llorca did not give audience to anyone during the weekend. But Mr. Álvarez the Toledo held the strings in such a way as to ensure that Spain was joining the Organisation. He finally managed to hold a meeting with Pérez-Llorca, and we could say that we are in the NATO due to the intelligent action and the exceptional work done by Mr. Álvarez de Toledo.

Mr. Álvarez de Toledo began to be the German Democratic Republic’s ambassador on December 28th, 1985. The historical well-known Berlin’s Wall, which divided East and West Germany, was opened on the night of November 9th, 1989.

 “In 1989, Berlin’s Wall had for some time his expiry date, and it was opened when absolutely nobody was expecting that to happen.”

Mr. Álvarez de Toledo saw it with his own eyes, as he was at the forefront. That night he invited “Informe Semanal”– weekly magazine from TVE – team to dinner, and later they were going to a jazz concert. However, they suddenly heard the announcement of the Wall’s opening and he proposed them to approach to the nearest customs office. Upon arrival, they saw about fifty people. So he approached and asked the guard if the Wall was opened, but he was told that it might the following day. Shortly after, he watched a couple of people going through and he went back to ask if they could go, if some documentation was necessary and if they could come back. The guard said they did not need any specific documentation and, of course, they could return. So they were among the first ten people who passed through Berlin’s wall, and “Informe Semanal” were the only ones who recorded this historical event.

“West had been contributing consciously to maintain Berlin’s Wall (…) We were convinced that both, the Iron Curtain and Berlin’s Wall, were the East-West balance’s essential elements. An unstable, but indispensable balance for peace.”

Before the fall of Berlin’s Wall, Mr. Álvarez de Toledo had an experience, in which him and others NATO’s states’ representatives met for fifteen days in a Faraday Camera – a fully isolated and protected from external recording room. One day, it was said that E. Honecker – the president at that time of the German Democratic Republic – had died. Although that was only a rumour, Mr. Álvarez de Toledo thought that Mr. Honecker was in his last days, but those moments he was living were going to be historic, even he had not died yet, he would sooner or later. He was fully conscious of making history, so he began to write his experiences.

Among his publications are: “The country that never existed” – a diary of this last Spanish ambassador of the GDR (German Democratic Republic); “An orange and dusty tram” – a book in which he deals with topics such as NATO or Berlin’s Wall; and finally, “Footnotes” – the most significant and relevant book he has done, because in it he invites us to revive some of his memorable scenes, apart from the ones named above, such as: II Hispano-American Conference, I Jew-Palestinian Conference, Inauguration of Barcelona’s Olympic Games in 1992, or Expo in Seville in 1992.

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Photo: “Footnotes. Memories of a lucky man”, Alonso Álvarez de Toledo.

Mr. Álvarez de Toledo is now retired. His life is full of stories, some less positive than others, for instance, his most uncomfortable moment as ambassador was when he had to translate F. Franco – Spanish dictator who died in 1975 – but overall, the ups outnumbered the downs.

By Paloma Álvarez Carrillo

Interview to Ivonne Bianchi


Ivonne Bianchi is a Venezolan who has worked in the national bank of Venezuela, and currenltly is working for Group Atapahualpa as Financial Advisor, the main contractor of the Venezuelan Governement. The company, one of the biggest on the country, has been critisized for getting a lot of contracts, producing the controversial “morralas of Chavez” (bags with the face of Chavez), or even being the instrument through wich spanish party “Podemos” would have received money from Venezolan Government.

“I met the owner of the company in the previous work ; It was my client when I held the position of Manager of International Finance in a national bank , when I finish my employment relationship asked me to work in this company.”

Patricia: How long have you worked for Atahualpa Group?

Ivonne: I have been working in the company Atahualpa Group for two years now

P: What is your position in the company ?

I.: I work as a financial advisor to prepare investment projects either creating a new business, expansion of facilities of one of our factories, launching a new product, etc. , led in most cases to apply for funding in banks or decision of the Board of the company.

P. How did you reach that position ?

I: I met the owner of the company in the previous work ; It was my client when I held the position of Manager of International Finance in a national bank , when I finish my employment relationship he asked me to work in this company.

P: Related to social responsibility, could you cite some examples of activities carried out by the company?

I: Atapahualpa Group has developed many activities regarding social responsability in very different areas. For example Talks of Information and Guidance on the beneficiary population were made about issues like the problem of domestic violence, violence against women, drugs, and conflict with children and adolescents, legal and socio-political orientation: a discussion on alternative means for dispute resolution was made. This activity included all those staff benefited from the project.
Another one would be workshops such as the workshop on self-esteem and Personal growth.

P: What product line is the most successful? Who is the client?

I: Currently The textile sector is the strong one of our company, especially in the manufacture of uniforms, school bags and backpacks.
Our customers are mostly state companies such as National bank (Banco de Venezuela, Banco Bicentenario, the Treasury, Ministry of Education, governors, and private clients.

P: Atapahualpa is a private company , an important contractor criticized sometimes for hogging most of Contracts , supposedly without need to submit to public competition procedure required by law. It is really that way ?

I: It is true that Atapahualpa gets the most of governmental concessions , this is due to the fact that our Company operates properly and offers competitive prices and services . Furthermore it is not true that it always gesta ll the concessions,. As an example of It is worth to remember September 2012, our offer for “supply of office supplies and stationery ” presented by the Contractor was rejected by the Government.

P: Atahualpa Group is a main contractor for the Venezuelan Government. Do you think a possible recall referendum against the Government would affect the Company? why?

I: We are a big company which has developed in different economic sectors. In case of an output of the current government, it is clear that the company would be short-term affected because most of our clients are from the public sector, however by its diversification in their products and services would keep us in business.

P: Related to your previous experience in the public banc, in which entity did you work?

I: I worked for the Treasury Bank of Venezuela.

P: Is the banking sector stable in your country?

I: Well, as in the rest of the world, it is not hundred per cent foreseable. Since 1996, after a huge crisis, it seems to have improved. The Bank Superintendency ensures the stability of this sector, mainly dominated for the private banking. Nonetheless, the Venezuelan banking system is not stable as it is currently facing risks both for assets and for liabilities. The recession and high levels of inflation play against revenue and profitability of the system .

P: Although the Venezuelan National Bank with greater capital is state-owned, (Bank of Venezuela), social capital as a whole is in the vast majority distributed in private entities . In your view, what could be the reason?

I: The Banks play different roles. A lot of people distribute money between national and private entities. But, the reason could mainly be the confidence that comes from private entities, since they are mostly bearings profitability of your business, public entities instead its main objective is to benefit society, which makes them riskier .

P: When the government returned to nationalize Banco de Venezuela , which had been before acquired by Banco Santander , revenues grew enormously. Do you believe, in general, that Venezuelan people are reticent to foreign Banks?

I: I do not consider the Venezuelan people to be  reticent to foreign banks , what happened was that by becoming a public bank profits are directed to society , sacrificing profitability to subsidize special financing plans to underserved areas , rate subsidies interest , increased levels of banking , among others. In addition, the national government ordered public institutions to transfer their fund private banks to state banks, which allowed their incomes grow enormously.

Thank you Ivonne, for your time and for giving us a closer perspective of Venezuela´s situation.


Interviewer: Patricia García Blázquez