Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Uncle Hugo

This winter just passed certainly wasn't a particularly cold one for these parts. But with the cost of heating oil reaching record levels many turned to assistance from both federal sources and my own favorite international clown, Hugo Chavez. Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum donated some 45 million gallons of heating oil that assisted some 200,000 households (compared to over 6 million assisted federally it's a drop in the bucket. But, hey, it's the thought that counts.) The only state to refuse participation in Uncle Hugo's plan was, unsurprisingly, New Hampshire. A Map of States that received heating oil assistance from Venezuela.
Touching and heartwarming, that President Chavez. The visionary of a social revolution so successful that his regime can afford to toss some hydro-carbon scraps to the unfortunate and downtrodden minions the Evil Empire to the north. Except the whole romantic, Robin Hood in a red Beret presence is a facade, according to Francisco Rodriguez. In this months Foreign Affairs issue, Rodriguez gives a unique insiders analysis of the inefficacy of Chavez reign and how his "helping the poor" has actually brought Venezuela to the brink of economic ruin. A summary:

Even critics of Hugo Chávez tend to concede that he has made helping the poor his top priority. But in fact, Chávez's government has not done any more to fight poverty than past Venezuelan governments, and his much-heralded social programs have had little effect. A close look at the evidence reveals just how much Chávez's "revolution" has hurt Venezuela's economy -- and that the poor are hurting most of all.

FRANCISCO RODRÍGUEZ, Assistant Professor of Economics and Latin American Studies at Wesleyan University, was Chief Economist of the Venezuelan National Assembly from 2000 to 2004.

An excellent read that does much to dispel the popular left wing myth of Chavez' Bolivarian Revolution.


The Red Son said...

Well I did read the whole article and it does seem to prove what it reports to do. I am wary of anything coming from neo-con think tanks such as the CFR as their job is to write articles that discredit "hostile" regimes.