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Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:59 AM

Why Chavez won re-election and why his VP Nicholas Madura will be elected if...

...Chavez is too ill to be sworn in for his third term or dies prior to his inauguration (in which case there will be a new election for president in 30 days).


The Achievements of Hugo Chavez: An Update on the Social Determinants of Health in Venezuela



...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 Bolivarian government has placed a particular emphasis on education allotting it more than 6% of GDP. UNESCO has recognized that illiteracy been eliminated furthermore, Venezuela is the 3rd county in the region whose population reads the most. There is tuition free education from daycare to university; 72% of children attend public daycares and 85% of school age children attend school. There are thousands of new or refurbished schools, including 10 new universities. The country places 2nd in Latin America and 5th in the world with the greatest proportions of university students. In fact, 1 out of every 3 Venezuelans are enrolled in some educational program.(2) . It is also a great achievement that Venezuela is now tied with Finland as the 5th country with the happiest population in the world.(3) .

Before the Chavez government in 1998, 21% of the population was malnourished. Venezuela now has established a network of subsidized food distribution including grocery stores and supermarkets. While 90% of the food was imported in 1980, today this is less than 30%. Misión Agro-Venezuela has given out 454,238 credits to rural producers and 39,000 rural producers have received credit in 2012 alone. Five million Venezuelan receive free food, four million of them are children in schools and 6,000 food kitchens feed 900,000 people. The agrarian reform and policies to help agricultural producers have increased domestic food supply. The results of all these food security measures is that today malnourishment is only 5%, and child malnutrition which was 7.7% in 1990 today is at 2.9%. This is an impressive health achievement by any standards.

Some of the most important available data on health care and public health are as following (4),(5),(6):

*infant mortality dropped from 25 per 1000 (1990) to only 13/1000 (2010);

*An outstanding 96% of the population has now access to clean water (one of the goals of the revolution);

*In 1998, there were 18 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, currently there are 58
(doctors per 10,000 inhabitants), and the public health system has about 95,000 physicians;

*It took four decades for previous governments to build 5,081 clinics, but in just 13 years the Bolivarian government built 13,721 (a 169.6% increase);

*Barrio Adentro (i.e., primary care program with the help of more than 8,300 Cuban doctors) has approximately saved 1,4 million lives in 7,000 clinics and has given 500 million consultations;

*In 2011 alone, 67,000 Venezuelans received free high cost medicines for 139 pathologies conditions including cancer, hepatitis, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, and others; there are now 34 centres for addictions,

*In 6 years 19,840 homeless have been attended through a special program; and there are practically no children living on the streets.

*Venezuela now has the largest intensive care unit in the region.

*A network of public drugstores sell subsidized medicines in 127 stores with savings of 34-40%.

*51,000 people have been treated in Cuba for specialized eye treatment and the eye care program “Mision Milagro”; has restored sight to 1.5 million Venezuelans

An example of how the government has tried to respond in a timely fashion to the real needs of its people is the situation that occurred in 2011 when heavy tropical rains left 100,000 people homeless. They were right away sheltered temporarily in all manner of public buildings and hotels and, in one and a half years, the government built 250,000 houses. The government has obviously not eradicated all social ills, but its people do recognize that, despite any shortcomings and mistakes, it is a government that is on their side, trying to use its resources to meet their needs. Part of this equation is the intense political participation that the Venezuelan democracy stands for, that includes 30,000 communal councils, which determine local social needs and oversee their satisfaction and allows the people to be protagonists of the changes they demand.(7)

The Venezuelan economy has low debts, high petroleum reserves and high savings, yet Western economists that oppose President Chávez repeat ad nauseam that the Venezuelan economy is not “sustainable” and predict its demise when the oil revenues stop. Ironically they do not hurl these dire predictions to other oil economies such as Canada or Saudi Arabia. They conveniently ignore that Venezuela’s oil reservoir of 500 billion barrels of oil is the largest in the world and consider the social investment of oil revenues a waste or futile endeavour. However these past 13 years, the Bolivarian government has been building up an industrial and agricultural infrastructure that 40 years of previous governments had neglected and its economy continues to get stronger even in the face of a global financial crisis.

An indication of the increasing diversification of the economy is the fact that the State now obtains almost as much revenue from tax collection as from the sale of oil, since it strengthened its capacity for tax collection and wealth redistribution. In just one decade, the State obtained US$ 251,694 million in taxes, more than its petroleum income per annum. Economic milestones these last ten years include reduction in unemployment from 11.3% to 7.7%; doubling the amount of people receiving social insurance benefits, and the public debt has been reduced from 20.7% to 14.3% of GNP and the flourishing of cooperatives has strengthen local endogenous economies. In general, the Venezuelan economy has grown 47.4% in ten years, that is, 4.3% per annum. (8). Today many European countries would look jealously at these figures. Economists who studied in detail the Venezuelan economy for years indicate that, “The predictions of economic collapse, balance of payments or debt crises and other gloomy prognostications, as well as many economic forecasts along the way, have repeatedly proven wrong… Venezuela’s current economic growth is sustainable and could continue at the current pace or higher for many years.”(9) .

According to Global Finance and the CIA World Factbook ,the Venezuelan economy presents the following indicators.(10): unemployment rate of 8%; 45,5% government (public) debt as a percent of GDP (by contrast the European Union debt/GDP is 82.5%); and a real GDP growth: GDP per capita is $13,070. In 2011, the Venezuelan economy defied most forecasts by growing 4.2 percent, and was up 5.6 percent in the first half of 2012. It has a debt-to-GDP ratio comfortably below the U.S. and the UK, and stronger than European countries; an inflation rate, an endemic problem during many decades, that has fallen to a four-year low, or 13.7%, over the most recent 2012 quarter. Even The Wall Street Journal reports that Venezuela’s stock exchange is by far the best-performing stock market in the world, reaching an all-time high in October 2012, and Venezuela’s bonds are some of the best performers in emerging markets.

Hugo Chavez’s victory had an impact around the world as he is recognized as having spearheaded radical change not only in his own country but in all Latin America where progressive governments have also been elected, thereby reshaping the global order. The victory was even more significant considering the enormous financial and strategic help that the USA agencies and allies gave to the opposition parties and media. Since 2002, Washington channeled $100 million to opposition groups in Venezuela and this election year alone, distributed US$ 40-50 million there. (11) But the Venezuelan people disregarded the barrage of propaganda unleashed against the president by the media that is 95% privately owned and anti-Chavez. (12) The tide of progressive change in the region has started to build the infrastructure for the first truly independent South America with political integration organizations such as Bank of the South, CELAC, ALBA, PETROSUR, PETROCARIBE, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, TELESUR and thus have demonstrated to the rest of the world that there are, after all, economic and social alternatives in the 21st century.(13). Following a different model of development from that of global capitalism in sharp contrast to Europe, debt levels across Latin America are low and falling.

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 (14). 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 ... has brought more democracy, national sovereignty and economic and social progress to the region.(15) . 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.



Carles Muntaner is Professor of Nursing, Public Health and Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He has been working on the public health aspects of the Bolivarian Revolution for more than a decade including Muntaner C, Chung H, Mahmood Q and Armada F. “History Is Not Over. The Bolivarian Revolution, Barrio Adentro and Health Care in Venezuela.” In T Ponniah and J Eastwood The Revolution in Venezuela. Harvard: HUP, 2011

María Páez Victor is a Venezuelan sociologist, specializing in health and medicine.

Joan Benach is a professor of Public Health at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He has collaborated in a number of studies on the public health policies of the Bolivarian Revolution.


1. Páez Victor, Maria. “Why Do Venezuelan Women Vote for Chavez?” Counterpunch, 24 April 2012


2. Venezuela en Noticias, Venezuela en Noticias <venezuelaennoticias@minci.gob.ve> Venezuela en Noticias, Venezuela en Noticias venezuelaennoticias@minci.gob.ve

3. Gallup Poll 2010

4. Muntaner C, Chung H, Mahmood Q and Armada F. “History Is Not Over. The Bolivarian Revolution, Barrio Adentro and Health Care in Venezuela.” In T Ponniah and J Eastwood The Revolution in Venezuela. Harvard: HUP, 2011 pp 225-256; see also 4, Muntaner et al 2011, 5, Armada et al 2009; 6, Zakrison et al 2012

5. Armada, F., Muntaner, C., & Navarro, V. (2001). “Health and social security reforms in latin america: The convergence of the world health organization, the world bank, and transnational corporations.” International Journal of Health Services, 31(4), 729-768.

6. Zakrison TL, Armada F, Rai N, Muntaner C. ”The politics of avoidable blindnessin Latin America–surgery, solidarity, and solutions: the case of Misión Milagro.”Int J Health Serv. 2012;42(3):425-37.

7. Ismi, Asad. “The Bolivarian Revolution Gives Real Power to the People.” The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor , December 2009/January.http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/latin-american-revolution-part-iv

8. Carmona, Adrián. “Algunos datos sobre Venezuela”, Rebelión, March 2012

9. Weisbrot, Mark and Johnston, Jake. “Venezuela’s Economic Recovery: Is It Sustainable?” Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C., September 2012.

10. Hunziker , Robert. “Venezuela and the Wonders of Equality”. October 15th, 2012

11. Golinger, Eva. “US$20 million for the Venezuelan Opposition in 2012”, http://www.chavezcode.com/2011/08/us-20-million-for-venezuelan-opposition.html

12. Páez Victor, Maria. “Chavez wins Over Powerful Foreign Conglomerate Against Him”, Periódico América Latina, 11 October, 2012

13. Milne,Seumas. “The Chávez Victory Will be Felt Far Beyond Latin America” , Associate Editor, The Guardian, October 9, 2012:

14. Alvarado, Carlos, César Arismendi, Francisco Armada, Gustavo Bergonzoli, Radamés Borroto, Pedro Luis Castellanos, Arachu Castro, Pablo Feal, José Manuel García, Renato d´A. Gusmão, Silvino Hernández, María Esperanza Martínez, Edgar Medina, Wolfram Metzger, Carles Muntaner, Aldo Muñoz, Standard Núñez, Juan Carlos Pérez, and Sarai Vivas. 2006. “Mission Barrio Adentro: The Right to Health and Social Inclusion in Venezuela”. Caracas: PAHO/Venezuela.

15. Weisbrot, Mark.”Why Chávez Was Re-elected”. New York Times. Oct 10th 2012

Source: CounterPunch
This work is licensed under a Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives Creative Commons license

found at: http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/7568


These authors repeatedly make the point that the corporate-controlled press DOES NOT REPORT these extremely important facts about Venezuela's remarkable economic success and dramatic social improvements. It is a point that I have also repeatedly made. The corporate media fails to give their "news consumers" any understanding of the Chavez government's continued electoral victories. They give people the impression that Chavez elects himself. They also, of course, fail to report that Venezuela has an honest, transparent election system ("the best in the world," Jimmy Carter recently said). They want you to believe that Chavez is "a dictator" when, in fact, he has been honestly elected and is doing the will of the people which is WHY he gets re-elected (like our own FDR), and he has NOT "dictated" to ANYONE. He and his government have, instead, by intelligent, far-thinking policy, served the people who elected them, whether by vastly expanded health care, or vastly expanded educational opportunity, or high employment and good wages, or responsible money management.

The authors also stress the contradiction between the corporate media LIE that Venezuela is not doing well economically and the REALITY that it IS doing well by almost any indicator you could name. They DON'T WANT it to do well and they entirely INVENT a newsstream about Chavez and his government that fulfills their own WISHES. They DON'T LIKE a government succeeding at making wealth FAIRER. They hate it. So they create another reality--that, THIS YEAR it is GOING TO fail. All their past predictions of failure are wrong--grossly wrong--but, hey, "trust them" that, unless you give the 1% all the money and power, you WILL fail. They are pathological liars on Venezuela.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Chavez won re-election and why his VP Nicholas Madura will be elected if... (Original post)
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 OP
newfie11 Dec 2012 #1
idwiyo Dec 2012 #2
flamingdem Dec 2012 #3
Bacchus4.0 Dec 2012 #4
Peace Patriot Dec 2012 #5
Bacchus4.0 Dec 2012 #6
Bacchus4.0 Dec 2012 #7
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #11
Judi Lynn Dec 2012 #13
naaman fletcher Dec 2012 #12
joshcryer Dec 2012 #10
Judi Lynn Dec 2012 #8
Bacchus4.0 Dec 2012 #9
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #14

Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:30 AM

1. If only America could do so much for its people

When I was working on the Cheyenne Indian Res in NW SD I was told all their heating oil/propane? was a gift from Chavez. I was told this in not new but happens every winter.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 05:13 AM

2. K&R. Thank you for this post

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:17 AM

3. Interesting info


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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 10:36 AM

4. what a load of crap!! propaganda

just one item is the article states that only 30% of food is important. No its 70%

Despite the jump in the number of farmers, Venezuela continues to import about 70% of the food it consumes. And for the first time in recent history there are shortages of basic foodstuffs such as corn meal, coffee, black beans, cooking oil, beef and powdered milk.


Goals of the administration are not the same as reality.

anyway, its all about Hugo. Maduro probably couldn't win an election.

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:30 PM

5. What do you think of 21% malnutrition in '98, down to 5% today?

It's HORRIBLE that 5% of Venezuelans are malnourished and the Dictator has DONE NOTHING ABOUT IT?

Har-har. Bacchus, you are so funny!

"its all about Hugo," eh? Nope, what it's really all about is the corpo-fascist media (and its echoers here at DU) wanting us to believe that.

It's never been about "Hugo." It's always been about the people of Venezuela and what THEY want, and how they have gotten it, by creating an honest, transparent election system ("the best election system in the world," according to Jimmy Carter in a recent statement). And that's the funny part: Utilizing the best election system in the world, the people of Venezuela just gave a thorough drubbing to the anti-Chavez coalition, awarding 20 of 23 governorships to the socialists! And you think they are going to turn around and reverse their own "New Deal" by voting for the neo-liberal/fascist coalition to take over the presidency (if Chavez is not inaugurated and a new election is held)?

Not likely. Not likely at all. The most likely scenario is that Maduro will win by a 5% to 10% margin, and maybe more than 10% (out of sympathy for, or in mourning for, Chavez). (Chavez just won a third term by a 10% margin.) But the corpo-fascist media doesn't deal in reality, when it comes to Venezuela--and you obviously rely on them to reinforce your own lack of reality. The realities of Venezuela--prosperity, economic growth, shared wealth, vastly increased health care and educational opportunity, good wages and benefits, high employment, good economic management, vastly improved public participation over the previous era, and an abiding sense of current happiness and hope for the future (establlshed by outside pollsters)--are NOT REPORTED by the corpo-fascist media and therefore do NOT register in the minds of corpo-fascist echoers as important in Venezuelan elections. But, believe me, they are important to Venezuelan voters--the missing matter in corpo-fascist media coverage!

It is hilarious, in its way.

Amazing, in its way.

Appalling all day long.

And stupid-making.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 03:33 PM

6. considering the source its probably not accurate either

you should look for sources with at least a pretext of objectivity. by the way, Colombia, Chile, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Chile, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, Domincian Republic, and Mexico all have better child nutrition indices than Venezuela. Bolivia, the poorest country in south America has nearly the same child malnutrition rate. Colombia, Jamaica, Paraguay, and the DR are also generally poorer per capita but have better child nutrition numbers.

See your favorite source simply cherry picks numbers that make the administration look favorable, or apparently just reports what the administrations claims. You don't see numbers on homicides, industrial and agricultural productivity, inflation, loss of foreign investment, tourism, because those numbers aren't favorable to Hugo.


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:06 AM

11. We do look for sources that appear to have far more than a pretext of objectivity.

We've been watching the elections in Venezuela for the past decade and have noted that despite the best efforts of the far Right wing nut jobs in Ven and here, the Venezuelan people continued to reelect the man they believe has worked for THEM.

I will trust the people of Venezuela who I imagine know a lot more about the state of their country than any media outlet. But of course their repeated choice of Chavez seems to say that the sources in the OP are far more objective than any of the Right Wing anti-Chavez garbage we see in the Western Propaganda machine we call the 'media' here.

The Venezuelan people have spoken for themselves. You are wasting your time.

What really is odd to me though having watched all of this since 2002 that back then there was not a Democrat on any Internet Forum that I participated on or just read, who was not fully supportive of Chavez and the people of Venezuela. I keep wondering where these anti-Chavez people came from, starting around 2004 on Democratic forums. There were always plenty of them on Right Wing forums, FR airc, always hated Chavez eg.

The only people who opposed Chavez and all the other democratic Latin American leaders were Right Wingers. Only here in the US do you see this kind of anti-Chavez garbage. The man has worked miracles in that country which was devastated by right wing policies for so long and there is nothing you can do to try to change that fact.

I loved it when Right Wingers saw him get reelected every time and were thoroughly frustrated after believing the stupid propaganda they got from Murdoch's propaganda machine. Chavez sure got under the skin of the far right because he cared about people and that is a 'commie' idea they could never understand.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:57 PM

13. It would be better if they'd stick to their own forums, instead of pitching themselves

into the conversation places for mentally, spiritually healthy people!

Instead, they plant themselves up to their ears in our message boards and start screaming we're all wrong and THEY represent main-stream, knowledgeable America. We are shown daily it takes all kinds. Unfortunately.

Here's an article posted here before which STILL stands, regarding corporate media treatment of Venezuela's President:

Media, Propaganda and Venezuela

Media Reporting

But it would be hard to get this information from the mainstream media. At some media outlets the reporting has been partial to say the least. Even New York Times editorials for example, portrayed the coup as a resignation by Chavez, rather than as a military coup, as criticized by media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR).

Reporting on the ongoing issues, such as the protests and Chavez’s economic policies in Venezuela have shown similar signs of one-sidedness, from both the mainstream media of western countries such as the U.S. and U.K., and from Venezuela’s own elite anti-Chavez media, which “controls 95% of the airwaves and has a near-monopoly over newsprint, and … played a major part in the failed attempt to overthrow the president, Hugo Chavez, in April 2002…. The media is still directly encouraging dissident elements to overthrow the democratically elected president—if necessary by force.”

Charles Hardy, who lived in Venezuela for some 19 years and worked with the poor notes that “A great difference exists between what one reads in the U.S. newspapers and what one hears in the barrios and villages of Venezuela, places where the elite do not tread. Adults are entering literacy programs, senior citizens are at last receiving their pensions, and children are not charged registration to enter the public schools. Health care and housing have improved dramatically.” Reading mainstream versions, you would not get this picture. Hardy also notes a number of themes of the Venezuelan and U.S. elite that both do not like Chavez:

In 1998, Hugo Chavez was elected president with almost 60 percent of the votes, incredibly overthrowing the entrenched and well-financed elite that had controlled the country for decades. That elite has never forgiven him and today is doing everything possible to tumble him. Sadly, the U.S. government and mass media have joined in this very undemocratic effort.

Their accusations have some common themes. First, Chavez is a communist because of his close association with Cuba. Is George W. Bush a communist because the U.S. has close ties with China?


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:34 AM

12. Check out my source in the other thread


The malnutrition source here is BS.

It's almost as if you can't just uncritically believe every single thing that venezuelanalysis says. What is the world coming to?

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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #4)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:23 PM

10. I don't know, they have unlimited pockets to spend.

They literally bought the last election. They will do so again.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Original post)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:19 PM

8. So glad to add this copy of a Counterpunch article to my files. Phenomenal.

Perfect timing in taking such a comprehensive look and accessment of the progress of this Venezuelans' government's performance up to today. Couldn't be better.

The President, whether he leaves or not, can't help but realize it has been a Herculean effort, a non-stop assault on the physical and spiritual bankruptcy of the massive poor Venezuelan population by a jealous, racist small elitist core.

As you point out, the people themselves have decided this MUST be their future, a decision which was made for all sentient Venezuelans by the time El Caracazo, the hallmark of oligarchic management, was fired directly into the heart of the real Venezuelan people. They are NOT going back, no matter how hard it is for the oligarchy perverts to accept it, no matter how hard they fight against it day after day.

The facts favor the PEOPLE.

Thank you for catching and sharing this material. We need to be refocused on the facts, to be refreshened, to be reminded they have come so far by now, they are NEVER going back, just as the racists here can NEVER put our civil rights progress back in the past.

The fight gets more deadly as their side gets closer to the end of power. They fight against reality.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 04:22 PM

9. yep, he did a hell of a job to fuck up that country n/t


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Response to Bacchus4.0 (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:51 PM

14. He did what the Venezuelan people elected him to do and confirmed in the

recent election that they are very pleased with he has done for THEIR country.

It is none of OUR business, is it? Or do you view the people of Venezuela as being somehow incapable of making their own decisions? How arrogant we are considering the mess we've made of our country. As someone said recently the US should be consulting Chavez to find out how to run this economy.

With a literacy rate now of 99%, I would think the people of Venezuela know exactly what they want and have said so.

Btw, why are you so concerned about a country that is none of our business?

What do you think of Uzbekistan, or Uganda eg? Both allies of the US, and shamefully we ignore the brutality of the Karamov regime towards their own people, the genocide, the torture the oppression. Not a ward anywhere from the oh-so-concerned about Venezuela people, about some of our ALLIES. Venezuela is a democratic state with some of the cleanest elections in the world. It is curious that they are NOT allies of this democracy, don't you think, while brutal dictators who murder and torture their own people are our best friends.

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