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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 09:54 PM

Why Do Poor People Living in an Abandoned Skyscraper So Outrage the New Yorker?

Why Do Poor People Living in an Abandoned Skyscraper So Outrage the New Yorker?
By Jim Naureckas
Jan 25 2013

Jon Lee Anderson is a reporter I've long admired–since reading Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League, which he co-wrote in 1986. But his latest piece for the New Yorker, "Slumlord: What Has Hugo Chavez Wrought in Venezuela?" (1/28/13–subscription required), reads almost like a parody of corporate media coverage of an official enemy state.

"For decades…Venezuela was a dynamic and mostly stable democracy. As one of the world's most oil rich nations, it had a growing middle class, with an impressively high standard of living…. Most other Latin Americans had come to regard the country as a beautiful place for beautiful people."

Then Hugo Chavez came to power: "His pronounced goal was to elevate the poor," Anderson writes. "In Caracas, the nation's capital, the results of his fitful campaign are plain to see":

After decades of neglect, poverty, corruption and social upheaval, Caracas has deteriorated beyond all measure…. Venders wade through the gridlock, hawking toys, insecticides and bootleg DVDs, while drug addicts wash windshields or juggle for change. Spray-painted graffiti covers facades; trash is piled up on roadsides. The Guaire River, which runs through the heart of the city, is a gray torrent of foul-smelling water. Along its banks live hundreds of homeless indigents, mostly drug addicts and the mentally ill.

Anderson goes on like this for 11 pages. The astute reader will note that Chavez has not been in power for "decades," and at one point the reporter does note that "by the time Chavez assumed power, in 1999, the city center was neglected and run-down." But how it fell to this state from what Anderson calls "the good life in Venezuela" is not discussed; nor is anyone blamed for any of Venezuela's problems other than Chavez himself. This is, as the subhead says, a portrait of what Chavez has wrought.

More:
http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/01/25/why-do-poor-people-living-in-an-abandoned-skyscraper-so-outrage-the-new-yorker/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-do-poor-people-living-in-an-abandoned-skyscraper-so-outrage-the-new-yorker

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Reply Why Do Poor People Living in an Abandoned Skyscraper So Outrage the New Yorker? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
DBoon Jan 2013 #1
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:50 PM

1. This sounds like a description of most American cities

If Chavez is to blame for Caracas, I guess Detroit is Bill Clinton's fault

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 08:07 AM

2. Perhaps

 

He was not so upset by the tower itself, but rather he uses it as an example of the thug-ocracy that rules Caracas, where gangs have become the effective government amid sky-high crime and spiraling murder rates.

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