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Scholars’ letter of support for Ricardo Hausmann

Summary:
Here is a letter that I have prepared and signed with some colleagues in response to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s ugly attacks on Ricardo Hausmann. “We the undersigned write to express our dismay at Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s repeated targeting of our colleague Ricardo Hausmann and to express our support for Professor Hausmann. Two years ago, President Maduro ordered Venezuela’s Attorney General to proceed against Professor Hausmann following an article in which Hausmann argued that the government consider defaulting on its external debt to spare the Venezuelan people further economic hardship. Last year, he aired the tape of a private conversation between Professor Hausmann and a Venezuelan businessman and ordered that Hausmann be prosecuted. And most recently, on November 3rd, he called Professor Hausmann a “traitor” in a televised address and accused him of conspiring with ratings agencies and the International Monetary Fund in order to deny Venezuela access to capital markets. Professor Hausmann is a distinguished scholar and practitioner who has worked with governments around the world. He is a leading voice on economic policy and a frequent contributor to the world’s financial media. In his writings and policy advocacy on Venezuela, Professor Hausmann has exercised his right of free speech, essential to any open society.

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Here is a letter that I have prepared and signed with some colleagues in response to Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s ugly attacks on Ricardo Hausmann.

“We the undersigned write to express our dismay at Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s repeated targeting of our colleague Ricardo Hausmann and to express our support for Professor Hausmann.

Two years ago, President Maduro ordered Venezuela’s Attorney General to proceed against Professor Hausmann following an article in which Hausmann argued that the government consider defaulting on its external debt to spare the Venezuelan people further economic hardship. Last year, he aired the tape of a private conversation between Professor Hausmann and a Venezuelan businessman and ordered that Hausmann be prosecuted. And most recently, on November 3rd, he called Professor Hausmann a “traitor” in a televised address and accused him of conspiring with ratings agencies and the International Monetary Fund in order to deny Venezuela access to capital markets.

Professor Hausmann is a distinguished scholar and practitioner who has worked with governments around the world. He is a leading voice on economic policy and a frequent contributor to the world’s financial media. In his writings and policy advocacy on Venezuela, Professor Hausmann has exercised his right of free speech, essential to any open society. President Maduro’s response to these activities speaks volumes about his regime’s respect for free speech and the rule of law.

We find President’s Maduro’s attacks on Professor Hausmann appalling and shameful. We stand in solidarity with Professor Ricardo Hausmann against these attacks.”

Besides me, the letter is signed, among others, by Daron Acemoglu (MIT), Pol Antras (Harvard), Guillermo Calvo (Columbia), Domingo Cavallo (Argentina), Guillermo de la Dehesa (CEPR), Barry Eichengreen (Berkeley), Eduardo Engel (Universidad de Chile),  Alejandro Foxley (CIEPLAN), Jeffrey Frankel (Harvard), Michael Kremer (Harvard), Robert Lawrence (Harvard), Scott Mainwaring (Harvard), Rodolfo Manuelli (Washington University in St. Louis), Andreu Mas-Colell ( Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Andres Neumayer (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella), Joseph Nye (Harvard), Jose Antonio Ocampo (Columbia), Rohini Pande (Harvard), Guillermo Perry (Universidad de los Andes), Lant Pritchett (Harvard), Carmen Reinhart (Harvard), Roberto Rigobon (MIT), Andres Rodriguez-Clare (Berkeley), Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard), Chuck Sabel (Columbia), Kathryn Sikkink (Harvard), Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia), Federico Sturzenegger (Central Bank of Argentina), Ernesto Talvi (CERES), Roberto Mangabeira Unger (Harvard),  Andres Velasco (Columbia), Stephen Walt (Harvard), Richard Zeckhauser (Harvard).

For the full list of signatories, please see here (updated list as of November 18, 2016).

Dani Rodrik
I am an economist, and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School. My most recent book is Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science (Norton, 2015). I was born and grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. I still follow Turkish politics very closely, as you will find out if you spend any time with this blog.

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