Somehow it is difficult to adjust to the fact that the reference frame for the revolution is not that Venezuela succeed, but that the “Empire” fail. Minister Giordani, for example, spent the first half hour of his economic press conference on Thursday, telling us how out of 250 million people in the US (wrong!), 50 million had lost their homes (wrong!) and how they are now living in “tent cities”. Then he tells us how in contrast with the US where less than half of the population have social security (wrong!), in Venezuela 95% of the population does (wrong its around 20%).
But it really does not matter. These guys are proud of 27% inflation, while they predict the demise of the US$ or the US economy, while the Bolivar has done worse in the last five years than the US$ and the US economy is likely to grow more the last quarter of 2009 than the Venezuelan one and ditto for 2010.
And then the People’s Ombudswoman Gabriela Ramirez, the same one that rarely shows up to defend the “people” of Venezuela, holds a press conference minutes after Obama gets awarded the Nobel Prize, to tell us that this is an insult to human. rights. The truth is, she is an insult to human rights in Venezuela and organizations like Provea, who have been at defending rights for years and this is what they get. Because in the nine years since the creation of this position, Venezuelans have had two “Ombudsmen” who were more devoted to defending the Government than the rights of the people. And are quick to hold a press conference to attack Obama, but seldom talk about the horror of the daily homicides in Caracas and Venezuela.
Or take health care, for example. Chavez has revived his “Barrio Adentro” mission, because there are elections coming up. He brought 2,000 “Doctors” from Cuba to fill the empty space in the modules he installed in 2004-2004. The question is where did 7% of the GDP of the country go for three years, if so much money went to Barrio Adentro and it wasn’t even working properly. Do I hear Cuba anyone? Yes, Cuba seems to be more important than Venezuela. Or its people.
And funny how this is the same week that the Government announces electricity rationing for Caracas, for the first time in a long time, we hear that the Venezuelan Government will spend US$ 80 million in producing electricity in Bolivia.
And obviously, Chavez was too sick to hold his variety show Alo Presidente, but had to take a poke at the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama. I mean, this is not the Physics Nobel Prize, that has gone to the best physicists most of the time. This is the Peace Prize, the same one that Arafat and Jimmy Carter won. And Kofi Annan. And Al Gore. And Oscar Arias and Rigoberta Manchu.
And yes, Nelson Mandela did win it. And Aung San Suu. But Gandi did not, nor Havel. So how can I get upset about Obama winning it, with that track record?
Clearly, neither Chavez nor Piedad deserved it. They left their Prize in the jungles of Colombia. Uribe had a lot to do with that.He didn’t deserve it either.
But what hurts is not whether Obama won it or not. It’s that a US President did. Because the US is the enemy, the same way that China will be the enemy for Chavez in 50 years when that country becomes the most important power in the world and the most capitalist at that. Or that Cuba with its gigantic failure in 50 years, is a friend. Nobody is asking for results or consistency, just ideology.
Because what Chavez fails to understand is that Brazil and Chile in Latin America and China, Korea, Malasya, Hong Kong and all those Asian countries are becoming powers, not by following hair brained ideologies, but by embracing capitalism from A to Z, going through the H of hard work and the T of taxation.
But don’t tell our socialist brainiacs that. The President of our Central Bank, a math Ph.D. told us last week how next year they will have a priority list for CADIVI outflows by needs and by sectors. Brilliant! It has taken XXIst. Century Socialists leaders five years of exchange controls and a couple of Ph.D.’s being in charge to come out with the bright idea of having a budget. How did they ever think of that!
Maybe they should be awarded the Economics Prize for thinking of the revolutionary idea of using an Excel spreadsheet to establish priorities for giving out billions of dollars. I bet this guy gets the Venezuelan National Science prize. And I am not kidding. Write it down.
But these are the people ruling and running Venezuela. Incompetent fools concerned more about the failure of others than our own success. The same ones that justify getting rid of 27 scientists because they are retired despite the fact that they are all younger than all of the Nobel Science winners of this year, all of whom are all still active in their own countries.
But they sing the demise of the “Empire” as the local subway system has not been running in its entirety for days, electricity is going to be rationed in Caracas for the first time in decades, inflation is going to be 27% in 2009, 45 of the Venalum cells are down when the standard used to be that four was bad, two of the three most important highways going into Caracas were shut down for hours last week, the largest maternity in Caracas is running at 20% of its capacity, homicides will run at almost 15,000 in 2009…
Should I go on?
But they talk about wealth redistribution, while they all send their kids to private schools and their families to private hospitals. And they have bodyguards and fancy cars (and wish for Ferraris) and use fake statistics to prove that poverty has remained the same in the ten years of the revolution. Yes, it has improved since 2004, but did you hear oil prices went up? Or that the country’s debt soared. And all they have accomplished is to take us back to 1998. And they call it a revolution!
Meanwhile they celebrate the demise of the US as a world power and condemn Obama’s Prize.
But refuse to acknowledge their dramatic failure.