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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-18-10 03:15 PM
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Venezuelan Government Begins Distribution of 350,000 Laptop Computers to School Children
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Venezuelan Government Begins Distribution of 350,000 Laptop Computers to School Children

By JUAN REARDON VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM

Mrida, November 17th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) The Venezuelan government this week distributed the first of an additional 350,000 portable laptop computers to be provided to public elementary school children by the end of the year.

In the Caracas neighborhood of El Paraso on Tuesday, Minister of Education Jennifer Gil, presided over the ceremony in which 109 Canaima computers were handed to first and second grade students at Mario Briceo Iragorry Elementary.

The Canaima Plan is a milestone and a technological innovation. It allows us to keep deepening our integral and massive education system that does not involve just students, but the entire family environment, parents, representatives and teachers, stated Gil at the event.

According to Gil, the Venezuelan government has invested BsF 700 million (US$163 million) this year in the acquisition from Portugal of the kid-friendly Canaima laptop computers, 228,000 of which have already been distributed this year. The goal for 2010 is to distribute a total of 525,000 Canaima computers.

During his weekly televised address to the nation on Sunday, President Hugo Chvez announced that all public schoolchildren are to be secured a portable computer, school uniforms, and books.

In reference to an educational program available on the laptops that portrays Venezuelas liberation hero Simn Bolivar, Chvez said that, it is much better watch these historical and cultural programs than the narco-soap operas filled with anti-values and the destruction of society.

Only in socialism is it possible to make real the rights of children, the rights of the people, to an improved quality of education and standard of living, affirmed Gil.

The Canaima Program began in mid-2009 as part of an oil trading agreement between Venezuela and Portugal. The laptop computers run on the open source operating system Linux, and the educational programs and software included in them is designed by Venezuelan engineers at the Ministry of Education and the National Center for Information Technology (CNTI).

While in Portugal last month, Chvez announced the purchase of an additional 1.5 million Canaima computers as well as plans to install a Canaima production plant in Venezuela.


http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5792
(my emphasis)

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According to RWers here and in the corpo-fascist press, Venezuela's economy is HORRIBLE...but WHO is cutting thousands of teacher's jobs, cutting core educational programs, charging fee after fee after fee in public schools, dismantling teachers' pensions, forcing teachers' to buy their own books and supplies, shutting down libraries and other atrocities, in an assault on education such as we have never seen, amidst bankster bailouts, and enrichment of the super-rich, and unprecedented Pentagon war profiteering?

Venezuela? Nope, they're creating a robust educational system for all! They''re even providing free university education. They are also providing health care for all. They have cut poverty in half and extreme poverty by more than 70%. They have wiped out illiteracy and vastly improved public participation. Their leftist government has its priorities straight. Whatever problems they have, they are SOLVING them and HELPING their people, by using the country's resources the right way--education, health care, bootstrapping the poor majority.

Our corpo-fascist government--whether run by Dems or Pukes--does NOT have its priorities straight. The Pukes massively steal our wealth. The Dems don't even object. They just try to keep a lid on things with minor adjustments--a bit of unemployment benefits here, insurance-run health care there--and they don't seem to care if they win or lose on these minor points, because the Pukes--amazingly, in our "Alice in Wonderland"-Diebold/ES&S manipulated country--are coming back into power, to rape us again.

They haven't stolen enough from our education system and other public services. They haven't seen enough obscene tuition increases at our so-called public universities. They haven't seen enough profit from illness and death. They haven't seen enough looting by the rich, bailouts for the rich, tax breaks for the rich and deregulation of the rich and powerful. They aren't finished with war, torture, soldier suicides, packed prisons, depravity, oppression. Our corpo-fascist rulers WANT MORE! And they've had it with the little tweaks and handslaps the Blue Dog Democrats have given them. By God, they want our blood!

It's damn sad to see this happening--more than sad, it's tragic. Something that is sad is merely pathetic. But something that is tragic is much worse because it is PREVENTABLE. That is the proper use of the word "tragic." A "tragic hero" brings his ruin down upon himself. That's why this is so awful. Our own people have let Diebold/ES&S happen--the takeover of our vote counting system by one, private, far-rightwing-connected corporation, using 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code. Our own people were asleep at the wheel as our public airwaves were taken over by fascist propagandists. Our own people have not been able to overcome the intense propaganda, demoralization and disempowerment that they have been subjected to--a hard task, I admit, but a requirement of being worthy to be called citizens of a democracy. And the Venezuelans HAVE! How? Well, it's not that complicated. They have TRANSPARENT vote counting.

While Venezuela advances--with its own problems, to be sure, but generally headed in the right direction--and most of South America advances with it, for Venezuela has been very influential there, as to social justice, real democracy and Latin American and multilateral cooperation--we languish, in the grip of monstrous forces--transglobal corporations and war profiteers--over whom we have no control. Latin America is going forward. We are going backward. They are achieving a "New Deal" for themselves. We are seeing the one we had dismantled. We are seeing our will as a people ignored and defied. We are seeing our once great, progressive democracy destroyed before our very eyes.

Is this tragedy still reversible? In my opinion, yes! And we must start with the privatized, non-transparent voting machines. Return vote counting to the PUBLIC VENUE. That is the first and essential step back to democracy--and it's still very doable.

With just this one successful movement--the restoration of TRANSPARENT vote counting across the land--we will begin to see change. We will have our leaders falling all over themselves to restore our public school system. We will see decent--not perfect, but decent--taxation and regulation. We will see the end of a foreign policy based on our humongously expensive war machine. We will see the end of all this "austerity" crapola--as if there were no money, ha, ha, ha--and the signs of new and general prosperity, based on our common values of creativity, a living wage, an educated populace, equal opportunity, EVERYONE bearing their fair share of our social responsibilities and a true marketplace, truly regulated to favor true competition, with many small businesses and NO monopolies and NO multinationals.

Well, I'm getting ahead of myself. Transparent vote counting will head us in the right direction. We will--with a lot of effort--be ABLE TO elect DECENT leaders. Further reform will follow.

You won't hear about programs like this--a computer for every child in Venezuela--from our corpo-fascist press. That's the problem. We are deliberately being deprived of the idea that such things CAN be done--by our own socially responsible, communal effort. So I'm posting this to remind us all of what CAN be done--of, by and for the people.

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