Dude’s sick. No comment on his policies, he’s actually sick, with the cancers.
Well, Chavez is only 56 years old, I wouldn’t put him in the Death Pool for this year or next, but this does raise the question: What happens to the [“Bolivarian Revolution”](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolivarian_Revolution) in Venezuela after the leader most identified with it passes away? Obviously, whether wisely or foolishly, the majority of the people like it because they keep re-electing Hugo (fairly and squarely), the United Socialist Party of Venezuela probably will remain more popular than any other party in the country for several election cycles to come, but how will the lack of a charismatic leader change things?
As I pointed before, those who wanted to make Chavez an equal of the dictators that fell thanks to the Arab Spring and elsewhere, do forget on purpose that the people of Venezuela actually did rise to stop the right wing coup that wanted to remove Chavez from power.
As I do see democracy as the higher goal, it does not help that a movement has to depend exclusively on one person, if the left in Venezuela can not get a new candidate that is trusted by the people then they are the ones that did not get what democracy is all about.
I disagree. Chavez is very much the Putin of Latin America - a socialist that has been swept into power by the will of the people in order to save his nation from the ravages of capitalism. He is so popular precisely because he is so effective, and this popularity must not be held against him. If and when the time comes, I’m sure that he will choose a suitable person to carry his policies forward (as Putin did with Medvedev), and the people will dutifully vote for the chosen. Talk of changes of power is premature at this point.
Also, here’s hoping that Chavez will be able to gift his great nation with his wise rule for many decades to come. Together with the Castros, he is a shining beacon of hope in the often-dreary world of Latin American politics.
I’ll grant you neither Castro nor Chavez are in any way dreary . . . but “bizarre” sometimes applies, and is not necessarily a desirable thing in public life. When people have had a bellyful of bizarre they are usually thankful for dreary.
Oh, minor things like re-nationalizing core industries that had been moronically given away by his immediate predecessors, thus saving the nation from imminent and total economic and social collapse. There was also the side-issue of taking physical control of Russia back from the oligarchy, which had by then spent years living it up at the expense of millions of average Russians.
How has he been effective? I’ve read articles stating that the country’s infrastructure, including the oil infrastructure, is neglected and crumbling. The agriculture industry cannot feed the population, and output has been decreasing. Oil production has been falling because of lack of maintenance and loss of experienced operators. Cargo handling equipment at ports is inoperative causing slow loading and unloading, further causing shippers to avoid Venezuela.
I’ll keep looking for the report, but pretty much every industry that Chavez seized and nationalized has crashed and burned. Inflation is out of control.
Not only are these “facts” dubious, they are also almost entirely irrelevant. Sure, it is easy to use GDP to “prove” that socialist nations fall behind. After all, socialism puts human wellbeing above the capitalists’ beloved concepts of cost-cutting and efficiency. The GDP goes up, even as the standard of living for actual people plummets.
Thus, it really is irrelevant how much the Venezuelan economy has grown or shrunk (according to Western calculations), how fast the ports are, or how much oil is extracted daily. All of that matters a lot to foreign capitalists, and not at all to the Venezuelan people.
What does actually make a difference is the restructuring of the national economy to emphasize anti-poverty programs, goods subsidies, food self-sufficiency, wealth redistribution, and the fact that millions of people now have access to medical care for the first time in their lives.
And guess what? The Venezuelans keep giving Chavez a resounding mark of widespread approval by continuously reelecting him in free contested elections. While Westerners rage, pout, and disparage the great experiment, those with an actual stake in the matter keep voting in favor of the socialist policies. Can’t really argue with that, can you?
The Venezuelan people are entitled to elect anyone they want. If they like living with rolling blackouts and food shortages and insane inflation and crumbling road and rail networks, that’s their choice.
Then again, what else do they know - I believe Chavez also controls the TV and radio…
As I pointed out before, if the oil did not flow Chavez would be a goner already, the right did try underhanded methods to put the brakes on oil production, but they failed.
OTOH, it is also true that in other matters he is not doing so well. But what I see in you and Commissar is the exclusion of a big middle in the arguments.
Not true at all, while Chavez could stop a few of the TV companies that helped set up the right wing coup, after a court order, the main TV company was denied the use of the Venezuelan public airways, but it had no effect on Cable TV, so they and most of the press that also said that coup that failed was a democratic act :rolleyes: are still going after Chavez.
Allende ran Chile’s economy into the ground. He ran inflation up to 140% by printing money, and then put the country into a deep, deep recession. Food imports more than doubled because Chile wasn’t producing enough food for its people. His attempt to rule businesses by decree resulted in strikes by business owners, shutting down transportation and other essential services.
As for Chavez, almost nothing he’s done has been beneficial to that country.