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Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:39 PM

 

A Tribute to Hugo

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

by CARLES MUNTANER, JOAN BENACH, MARIA PAEZ VICTOR

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).

SNIP

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.

SNIP

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.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/14/the-achievements-of-hugo-chavez/print





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."





27 replies, 4475 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Tribute to Hugo (Original post)
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

Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:41 PM

1. Thank you for the memorial.

RIP Hugo.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:41 PM

2. thank you

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 07:49 PM

3. Big History is correct.

 

May you rest in peace, Mr. Chavez.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 09:30 PM

4. Thank you, JackR. A nice tribute to a great human being. The world is darker today, but better for

Hugo Chavez having been here.

Shame on the US 'media' for their vilification of a great man.

Rest in peace, Sir.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 09:43 PM

5. I salute the gentleman.

.RIP

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 09:44 PM

6. Tried to DO GOOD...for THE PEOPLE!

K&R!

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 10:03 PM

7. Thank you

In everything I've seen he appeared to be a very nice and personable guy. Apart from being an outstanding, great human being.

South of the Border

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 10:05 PM

8. Yes!!

Very nice tribute

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 10:22 PM

9. I will miss him and remember him with admiration. Thank you.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:21 AM

10. kick n/t

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:26 AM

11. Well Done, Sir

He was a good man.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:19 AM

12. Thanks for replies & bump.

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:38 AM

13. The guy not only tried...

Hugo DID it -- he helped remake Venezuela into a place where ALL people matter, not just the wealthy, white, reactionary few.

Thank you for the outstanding post and replies, JackRiddler!

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:43 AM

14. k&r

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:47 AM

15. He was a hero and a role model for the world.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 05:26 PM

16. rip, Hugo

thank you for standing up to the oligarchs and putting the people of venezula first.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:35 PM

17. May history remember him correctly and ignore what our CIA has to say.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:36 PM

18. RIP, CHAVEZ

n/t

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:51 PM

19. In the spirit...

 

Uruguay.

They not only managed to vote in a Liberal government but that government took the next step that's only in our wildest dreams and put the former right-wing dictatorship on trial for it's numerous crimes including crimes against humanity. They used to "disappear" people using the military and the judges went along with it.

It was only possible to reform because Bush was fixated on the Middle East.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 04:07 PM

20. Eulogy from Tariq Ali & some other good stuff...

 

This is a wonderful piece, must reading, with some very funny moments:

Tariq Ali: Hugo Chávez and me
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/06/hugo-chavez-and-me-tariq-ali

I hesitate to quote, because it's of one piece. Just follow link.

Oh, okay, if you need convincing:

I remember sitting next to an elderly, modestly attired woman at one of his public rallies. She questioned me about him. What did I think? Was he doing well? Did he not speak too much? Was he not too rash at times? I defended him. She was relieved. It was his mother, worried that perhaps she had not brought him up as well as she should have done: "We always made sure that he read books as a child." This passion for reading stayed with him. History, fiction and poetry were the loves of his life: "Like me, Fidel is an insomniac. Sometimes we're reading the same novel. He rings at 3am and asks: 'Well, have you finished? What did you think?' And we argue for another hour.'"

It was the spell of literature that in 2005 led him to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Cervantes's great novel in a unique fashion. The ministry of culture reprinted a million copies of Don Quixote and distributed them free to a million poor, but now literate, households. A quixotic gesture? No. The magic of art can't transform the universe, but it can open up a mind. Chávez was confident that the book would be read now or later.

The closeness to Castro has been portrayed as a father-son relationship. This is only partially the case. Last year a huge crowd had gathered outside the hospital in Caracas, where Chávez was meant to be recuperating from cancer treatment, and their chants got louder and louder. Chávez ordered a loudspeaker system on the rooftop. He then addressed the crowd. Watching this scene on Telesur in Havana, Castro was shocked. He rang the director of the hospital: "This is Fidel Castro. You should be sacked. Get him back into bed and tell him I said so."

Above the friendship, Chávez saw Castro and Che Guevara in a historical frame. They were the 20th-century heirs of Bolívar and his friend Antonio José de Sucre. They tried to unite the continent, but it was like ploughing the sea. Chávez got closer to that ideal than the quartet he admired so much. His successes in Venezuela triggered a continental reaction: Bolivia and Ecuador saw victories. Brazil under Lula and Dilma did not follow the social model but refused to allow the west to pit them against each other. It was a favoured trope of western journalists: Lula is better than Chávez. Only last year Lula publicly declared that he supported Chávez, whose importance for "our continent" should never be underestimated.


Also:

AP: Chavez Wasted His Money on Healthcare When He Could Have Built Gigantic Skyscrapers
http://www.fair.org/blog/2013/03/06/ap-chavez-wasted-his-money-on-healthcare-when-he-could-have-built-gigantic-skyscrapers/
By Jim Naureckas

One of the more bizarre takes on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's death comes from Associated Press business reporter Pamela Sampson (3/5/13):

Chavez invested Venezuela's oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world's tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.


That's right: Chavez squandered his nation's oil money on healthcare, education and nutrition when he could have been building the world's tallest building or his own branch of the Louvre. What kind of monster has priorities like that?

In case you're curious about what kind of results this kooky agenda had, here's a chart (NACLA, 10/8/12) based on World Bank poverty stats–showing the proportion of Venezuelans living on less than $2 a day falling from 35 percent to 13 percent over three years. (For comparison purposes, there's a similar stat for Brazil, which made substantial but less dramatic progress against poverty over the same time period.)




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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Thu Mar 7, 2013, 04:19 PM

21. Wonderful post!

I've been saddened to see so many DUers who seem to think Hugo Chavez was the epitome of evil.

He did a whole lot of good for the non-1%ers in his own country as well as elsewhere in the world (including the US!).

I am grateful for what he accomplished for his people and hope their next leader has the same priorities. I think the outpouring of mourners shows he was much loved and many of the closer up pics show sadness and apprehension.

Julie

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Fri Mar 8, 2013, 04:17 PM

22. Chavez memorial tonight in New York City (SEIU)

 

http://www.facebook.com/events/172119516270450/172310686251333/?ref=notif¬if_t=plan_mall_activity

Friday

6:30pm

1199SEIU New York City 310 West 43rd Street New York, NY 10036 auditorium

Those who die for life can not be called dead

A Celebration and procession for the life of our comrade Hugo Chávez extraordinary human and revolutionary. Your energy, love and example will not be forgotten.

The revolution will continue until there is liberation for all.

QUE VIVA CHAVEZ!!

QUE VIVA LA REVOLUCION BOLIVARIANA!! NI UN PASO ATRAS!!

Join us and spread the word, show your solidarity and support in memory of President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution

Si le temiste a su presencia cuando vivo, Cuando Muerto ahora sentiras el significado de un Alma que brota en millones! Maferefun Obatala.

Bring candles will walk to the statue of the Liberator Simon Bolivar in Central Park.

Traigan velas que caminaremos hasta la estatua del libertador Simon Bolivar en Parque Central.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:21 AM

23. !!! bump for la lucha !!!

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:45 AM

24. Nice, thanks! nt

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 11:51 AM

25. Gone far, far too soon. Thank you. K & R. n/t

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 08:58 PM

26. Embalming? Please say it's not so.

 

Gah, ya gotta be kidding me, word is they're going to embalm him and put his body on eternal display. Not by his wish, either.

More importantly, the propaganda preparation for a possible coup d'etat by the well-armed oligarchs and their well-armed mercenaries has begun:

The wild card in Venezuela: armed Chavistas
http://apnews.excite.com/article/20130307/DA4SGFR83.html

By FABIOLA SANCHEZ and FRANK BAJAK

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Carlos Torres opens the wire-fence gate to a neighborhood controlled by the La Piedrita gang that even police don't enter without permission.

"Loyal to Comandante Chavez," reads a banner just inside the 23 of January redoubt in western Caracas. The poor neighborhood is home to a small army of pistol-toting young men who, like Torres, see themselves as guardians of President Hugo Chavez's "socialist revolution."

These die-hard Chavistas say there is no way they will let Venezuela's "oligarchy" and its alleged Washington patrons to return to power.

"That would cost us blood, sweat and tears, but they won't be back," he said.


Etc. etc., follow link.

I gotta like the picture that goes with that, however:


In this Sept. 16, 2010 file photo, a man walks past a mural of Jesus Christ holding a machine gun alongside the words in Spanish "La Piedrita Will Overcome" in the La Piedrita area of the 23 of January neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela. On alert, and some apparently on edge, are hundreds of well-armed toughs spread through the hills of metropolitan Caracas who have been blamed for strong-armed intimidation of political opponents of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez and worse. As Venezuela ponders the next steps after Chavez's death Tuesday, the late leader's most uncompromising, and radical supporters make up a menacing unknown in a country brimming with guns and afflicted by the world's second-highest murder rate. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)

Strong-armed! Gangs! Well-armed toughs!

Nothing like the distinguished Self-Defense Committee in the rich neighborhood a couple of miles away, surely.

Well, Vz is one place where you can take the idea of armed defense against potential dictatorship half-seriously.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Mar 13, 2013, 03:26 PM

27. Well, if an old TV joke may be allowed a week later...

 

Good evening. Hugo Chavez is still dead.

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