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Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:39 PM


A Tribute to Hugo [View all]

May he rest in peace. Viva Venezuela.

Let's look back. And forward.

He is a heroic, world-historical figure. For many reasons, but most memorably because with the reversal of the anti-Chavez coup of 2002, the Venezuelan people and his government broke the pattern of nearly 180 years of bloody US interventions and nearly 60 years of CIA coup-making in Latin America. Along with the Argentinean debt default in the same period, this was a giant step in liberating a continent from the grip of foreign imperialism and from its homegrown oligarchs.

That's big history for you: Do the right thing.

A moment of silence.

Now watch this:
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2002) - Chavez: Inside the Coup

One of the most important documentaries of the last 15 years. And probably the most thrilling.

Weekend Edition December 14-16, 2012
An Update on the Social Determinants of Health in Venezuela
The Achievements of Hugo Chavez


While Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez is fighting for his life in Cuba, the liberal press of both sides of the Atlantic (e.g., El Pais”) has not stopped trashing his government. The significance of his victory (12 points ahead of his contender) has yet to be analysed properly, with evidence. It is remarkable that Chávez would win, sick with cancer, outgunned by the local and international media (think of Syriza’s Greece election) and, rarely acknowledged, an electoral map extremely biased towards the middle and upper classes, with geographical barriers and difficult access to Ids for members of the working classes.

One of the main factors for the popularity of the Chávez Government and its landslide victory in this re-election results of October 2012, is the reduction of poverty, made possible because the government took back control of the national petroleum company PDVSA, and has used the abundant oil revenues, not for benefit of a small class of renters as previous governments had done, but to build needed infrastructure and invest in the social services that Venezuelans so sorely needed. During the last ten years, the government has increased social spending by 60.6%, a total of $772 billion (1).


With regard to these social determinants of health indicators, Venezuela is now the country in the region with the lowest inequality level (measured by the Gini Coefficient) having reduced inequality by 54%, poverty by 44%. Poverty has been reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010). And extreme poverty reduced from 40% (1996) to a very low level of 7.3% (2010). About 20 million people have benefited from anti-poverty programs, called “Misiones” (Up to now, 2.1 million elderly people have received old-age pensions – that is 66% of the population while only 387,000 received pensions before the current government.


The changes in Venezuela are not abstract. The government of President Chávez has significantly improved the living conditions of Venezuelans and engaged them in dynamic political participation to achieve it [xiv]. This new model of socialist development has had a phenomenal impact all over Latin America, including Colombia of late, and the progressive left of centre governments that are now the majority in the region see in Venezuela the catalyst that that has brought more democracy, national sovereignty and economic and social progress to the region.[xv] . No amount of neoliberal rhetoric can dispute these facts. Dozens of opinionated experts can go on forever on whether the Bolivarian Revolution is or is not socialist, whether it is revolutionary or reformist (it is likely to be both ), yet at the end of the day these substantial achievements remain. This is what infuriates its opponents the most both inside Venezuela and most notable, from neocolonialist countries. The “objective” and “empiricist” The Economist will not publicize this data, preferring to predict once again the imminent collapse of the Venezuelan economy and El Pais, in Spain, would rather have one of the architects of the Caracazo (the slaughter of 3000 people in Caracas protesting the austerity measures of 1989), the minister of finance of the former government Moises Naim, go on with his anti-Chávez obsession. But none of them can dispute that the UN Human Development Index situates Venezuela in place #61 out of 176 countries having increased 7 places in 10 years.

And that is one more reason why Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution will survive Venezuela’s Socialist leader.


I'm not idolizing him, trust me. This is truly one case where we might say without hesitation: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."

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Reply A Tribute to Hugo [View all]
JackRiddler Mar 2013 OP
Cleita Mar 2013 #1
niyad Mar 2013 #2
Whisp Mar 2013 #3
Mnemosyne Mar 2013 #4
jaysunb Mar 2013 #5
KoKo Mar 2013 #6
reorg Mar 2013 #7
malaise Mar 2013 #8
Overseas Mar 2013 #9
reorg Mar 2013 #10
The Magistrate Mar 2013 #11
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #12
Octafish Mar 2013 #13
Starry Messenger Mar 2013 #14
libtodeath Mar 2013 #15
noiretextatique Mar 2013 #16
jwirr Mar 2013 #17
Dpm12 Mar 2013 #18
Spitfire of ATJ Mar 2013 #19
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #20
JNelson6563 Mar 2013 #21
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #22
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #23
Zorra Mar 2013 #24
Judi Lynn Mar 2013 #25
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #26
JackRiddler Mar 2013 #27