Working to provoke discussion and provide up-to-date information and analysis on US-Venezuelan relations, politics, policies, and culture.

Guest commentary on Chavez

Professor Gary Olson's article in The Morning Call is a reminder that Hugo Chávez is not the evil threat that our government says he is. In fact, he is improving health care, education, land redistribution, and human rights in Venezuela. Although we are constantly hearing about the threat and dangers of Hugo Chavez, we can not limit our knowledge to one source of information. According to Olson's article, Chávez has a 77% approval rate, which means we must also pay attention to how Venezuelans are reacting to Chávez.

Without a doubt, Chávez has implemented beneficial social programs for his country, but what remains questionable is their long term effectiveness. Even though there is dire poverty in Venezuela, Chávez extended his oil resources to heat the poor in some of our East Coast states. If you don't get caught up in all the offensive political rhetoric going back and forth between Chávez and our government, it seems clear that the intent to improve Venezuela's development is not the workings of the "madman" nor the "devil."


Blogger GJPW said...

I'm glad to see you finally made your Chavista bias clear with this post. Ahh, the pleasures of revolutionary tourism.

--Guillermo Parra

March 08, 2006 8:47 PM

Anonymous ConsDemo said...

The Olson piece doesn't really say anything, he just repeats the mantra of all the other Chavez apologists, to wit: Everything Chavez does is good and his enemies fear "an egalitarian distribution of wealth". A balanced approach might suggest that Chavez's constant assertions of an American invasion or a CIA plot to kill him rest of virtually no evidence whatsoever.

March 09, 2006 3:52 PM

Anonymous William Krul said...

One only has to examine the history of America South, especially those countries who chose leaders somewhat to the left of what the USA thought prudent, to understand why Chavez speaks of violent overthrow of his democratically elected regime. The CIA playbook has not changed ala Argentina, Chile, Grenada, Iraq and now Iran.

March 18, 2006 8:55 AM

Anonymous Kojerk said...

In response to consdemo's post, I would reply that why Olson wrote the article was to counter the prevailing US media attitudes toward Chavez. As far as the opposition goes, what do they want? A society that looks like the USA? With advertising non-stop, a degraded public life, and a criminally lax health system? I say this as an American, and a medically-uninsured American to boot. The free market will not solve every ill; instead, it will only advertise unhealthy food products to our children and degrade our environment. While the Venezuelan private sector has grown since Chavez, it must be reigned in to serve local peoples, not foreign investors.

March 18, 2006 3:05 PM


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