Editorial of Brazil’s O Globo

September 28, 2005

Today’s Editorial of Brazilian newspaper O Globo

The price of a barrel of oil has increased more than four times in the
last six years and Venezuela (One of the largest oil exporters of the world), earned
billions of dollars more of what the most optimistic projections could have previewed,
Despite this, there has never been so many poor Venezuelans-more than half the population-
and in no other period of its history did poverty grow at such an accelerated rhythm.
This is demonstrated by studies by the United Nations for Development (PNUD)
and the Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas of the country itself.

Colonel Hugo Chavez assumed the Presidency in 1999 with the argument
that the existence of poverty in a rich country was inadmissible and with the
compromise of making a social revolution (Baptized later by him as the Bolivarian
Revolution), to end with poverty in record time. Chavez, as is well known, concentrated
himself more in obtaining more powers than his predecessors and the international
circumstances could hardly be more favorable. Then, what went wrong ?

It is clear that the Bolivarian revolution, a mixture of assistance, populist
rhetoric and certain notions of social justice, far from being the solution to the
problems of Venezuela,
is today the biggest obstacle to for production and the distribution of wealth.
The extra money that has come in, is being misspent in propaganda programs that
at the most guarantee the needy daily survival, from the hand to the mouth, but
do not alter his living conditions.

Chavez selected as his guru Fidel Castro and as compass the anachronic
example of Cuba,
not exactly a model of prosperity and democracy. As if the victory in the ballot
box was a blank check, he, speaking in the name of the Venezuelan people, uses the
executive power to coerce the judicial power, configure the legislative one in
his own image and similarity and intimidate the press

The result
is a country that preserves the institutions as façade, but where the will of
the President prevails over the Constitution. Not by chance, does the Venezuela
of Chávez live in crisis; with freedom threatened and the private sector
fearful and inhibited, even with the price of oil at these heights. It is a
scenario radically hostile to investors, who are horrified at the unexpected,
but that, in a global economy, are the guarantee for the continuous production
of wealth.

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