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Old 01-17-2012, 08:30 PM   #16
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Yeah, that was him. With that he's prone to saying some very silly things, in jest or not. He's taken a few shots at Obama in recent times as well.

You probably may not have heard about this but Venezuela has a company that provides low cost heating to a number of Americans.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:41 PM   #17
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Thought so. Taking shots at Obama too tells me either he's, like you said, just prone to making silly comments, or it's more just a general criticism of America as a whole and they just happen to be the target given they're the "face" of the country.

Having had to deal with that whole "affording heat" problem before, I approve of that .
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:48 PM   #18
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To be honest, Obama dug in with the usual "we're worried about how you're 'undemocratic'" etc etc.

In regards to Chavez's popularity, a GISXXI poll in December showed that he had an approval rating of 57% with the highest opposition having only 11%. In addition to that, the UN and CEPAL confirmed that Venezuela is the least unequal country in Latin America and in the past 12 years poverty decreased by 26.8% and extreme poverty by 19.7%.

link

Again, I'm not suggesting Chavez is some sort of heavenly messiah, but he's done much good for the people.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:50 PM   #19
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:06 PM   #20
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One of my favourite things about Chavez was that he offered 26 homeless families to stay at the presidential palace after floods in 2010, and for as long as they wanted until they found a new home.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #21
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:12 PM   #22
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You wish for Venezuela to return to the good old days of pre 1998?

Don't worry, you still have Colombia.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #23
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #24
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I highly respect him for speaking out against George W. Bush, the most evil man in the world.
You wanna try that again? We all make mistakes sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:46 PM   #25
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Yeah, that was him. With that he's prone to saying some very silly things, in jest or not. He's taken a few shots at Obama in recent times as well.

You probably may not have heard about this but Venezuela has a company that provides low cost heating to a number of Americans.
Chavez is very popular among the poor in Venezuela, who enjoy a better standard of living than the poor in the US. Certain corporate vested interests oppose him of course, but that is to be expected.

Americans looking askance at South America countries electing left wing leaders look foolish and uneducated when they fail to acknowledge that part of the reason for the leftwards shift in South America politics in recent years is blowback from the US financing right wing military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:50 PM   #26
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Chavez is very popular among the poor in Venezuela, who enjoy a better standard of living than the poor in the US. Certain corporate vested interests oppose him of course, but that is to be expected.

Americans looking askance at South America countries electing left wing leaders look foolish and uneducated when they fail to acknowledge that part of the reason for the leftwards shift in South America politics in recent years is blowback from the US financing right wing military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s.
Agreed.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:52 PM   #27
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Likewise, you could also say this about any political leader.

But the reality is that most Venezuelans would agree that more negative than positive has come out since he took office.
I'm afraid that, although not in love in Chavez, Western Europe doesn't have the massive negative impression about him as it does across the ocean.
I personally agree with financeguy that not everything is bad about Chavez. In fact, I think he has as much positive and negative things as most or as the average of the other western leaders. The difference is that he doesn't hide the how much lunatic he is, unlike the other leaders.
This may sound ridiculous to you, but if I was forced to choose between Chavez, Merkel, Sarkozy, Orban or portuguese Passos Coelho... It'd be a really really hard task for me, I wouldn't know which one would be the worse.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:00 PM   #28
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To be honest, Obama dug in with the usual "we're worried about how you're 'undemocratic'" etc etc.

In regards to Chavez's popularity, a GISXXI poll in December showed that he had an approval rating of 57% with the highest opposition having only 11%. In addition to that, the UN and CEPAL confirmed that Venezuela is the least unequal country in Latin America and in the past 12 years poverty decreased by 26.8% and extreme poverty by 19.7%.

link

Again, I'm not suggesting Chavez is some sort of heavenly messiah, but he's done much good for the people.
We like them or not, I strongly believe that the leaders of South America were generally the best ones in the world, in the period 1995-2000. Lula da Silva, Chavez, Kirchner, etc, all of them attracted consensus among their population, kept the things calm, but most of all were able to raise the south american economies and, simultaneously, were able to decrease poverty very quickly and in a large scale. Plus, they implemented strong education and health policies, the statistics prove that South America is having miles better equal distribution of richness (unlike the developped Europe and US) as nowhere else in the world, they did put the economy growing well and stable and, most of all, with some peace, with no big conflicts... And without the "help" of the IMF which totally ruined the economies over there with their one-dimensional policies.

So, I may not like Chavez and some others, but I have to applaud them for all of that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:04 PM   #29
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They also have the fifth highest university enrolment in the world which is pretty neat for a developing country.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:26 PM   #30
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Really? Where's the proof?

But to be honest, I am not surprised you all think this way, the media is very anti-Chavez and understandably so.
The media doesn't necessarily make you anti-Chavez, you just have to see the reality.

In the past 12 years since he became president, there has been an alarming increase in violence across the country with an average of 200 people dead every week just in the metropolitan area of Caracas, not mentioning the increased robberies, police corruption, kidnappings and overall insecurity that its citizens face in a day to day basis.

The national currency has devalued so much that he was forced to remove zeros from it and introduce a new currency pegged to the US dollar. To make matters worse, he imposed a strict exchange control where only a government agency can sell and buy foreign currency. Making foreign investments non-existent. Since the inflation is about 24%, prices for basic goods are extremely expensive and prone to increase in price very rapidly, this effect has a detrimental impact for the majority of the population that live with a minimum wage of less than USD 350 per month. Due to his huge subsidies in the food production industry, basic goods such as milk, sugar, dairy products, and flour are scarce in supermarkets around the country.

Apart from taking the economic standpoint, can the overall system that Chavez is creating can be looked with a positive side? Sure he has done educational advances, an euphemism for a socialism-based brainwash curriculum, gives gifts such as food stamps and other social services to keep his people happy, which the majority are poor. He is creating an anti-capitalistic system where he wants to keep his citizens stupid and isolated from the evils of the "empire". It's very easy to manipulate poor people who have not seen the goodies and riches that you see in first-world nations by giving them gifts and acting as their holy father.

Chavez has also introduced expropriation laws that in a typical scenario, they take your 3-bedroom house, and according to his laws, you are required to give up two bedrooms of your own house to two poor citizens free of charge and live with them, while you live in the extra remaining bedroom of your house. Private property doesn't exist in socialism nor in communism eh?

As a result, the majority of the middle and upper class in Venezuela have left for the best, and ironically have settled in the shopping mecca of South Florida mainly in the outskirts of Miami. The expansion of real estate sales in Miami is swarmed by Venezuelans seeking to invest in properties and thereby getting out of Chavez's property expropriation insanity.

Contrary to Popular Belief - Venezuelans Dominate South Florida Real Estate

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine...6/b4040048.htm

I have nothing against helping the poor and giving them opportunities instead of gifts. But the situation is not like that, the poor and working class are getting used to receiving from the government at the expense of the middle and upper classes. Why not raise taxes to the wealthy instead? Spread the wealth through taxation may be a better approach in the long run.

Chavez is sickened with power and has to get out, otherwise Venezuela would become another Cuba with a dictator and an embargo.
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