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Old 07-25-2006, 02:34 PM   #16
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http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4199

In this article it's says there are rumors he is supporting FARC which is the terrorist organization in Colombia.
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:56 PM   #17
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The guy's a rogue. He's supporting terrorists, he's repressing his own people, he's good for nothing.
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Old 07-25-2006, 02:58 PM   #18
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Did you read the article?
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:03 PM   #19
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The Venezuela of Hugo Chávez: The truth in numbers
By Gustavo Coronel
http://www.venezuelatoday.net/gustav...n-numbers.html
March 6, 2005



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



In parallel with the Venezuela of words and promises that Hugo Chávez expertly delivers both inside and outside the country, there is a real Venezuela that is well known to Venezuelans but only vaguely known to the outside world. This real Venezuela is a sad country, where streets and avenues remain dark at night because cables and bulbs are vandalized or stolen, where the public art works of recently deceased Venezuelan master Jesus Soto are dismantled by scavengers to be sold as scrap metal (remember the environment portrayed in Mel Gibson's The Road Warrior or Mad Max?) and where thousands of street children drug themselves and sleep half naked in the sidewalks of our cities.



No matter how many times I describe these horrors and write about the tragic social involution generated by the authoritarian and now socialist regime of Hugo Chávez, there will always be many honest and idealistic people located outside Venezuela who will say: "This guy is exaggerating or, worse, he is lying. He probably lost his privileges when Chávez came into power. For all I know he is a corrupt member of the elite that Chávez is trying to dismantle." Therefore, I am trying now to present numbers, which corroborate this dismal picture of my country. Of course, people can always say that the numbers are not real, that the statistics serve to prove almost anything. Although this is true, I believe that many more people will pay attention to the Venezuelan tragedy generated by Hugo Chávez if I mention some numbers, almost all of which come from a source that is very credible: The Venezuelan Central Bank. These numbers came out before the President of the Bank was ousted by Chávez because he refused to hand over to the Chávez government the monies that properly belong in the Bank, since they represent a portion of the country's international reserves.



The numbers pertain to the six years, 1999 to 2004, of the Chávez period and show the chaotic economic performance of the Chávez regime.



1. The petroleum income during this period has been the highest in Venezuelan History.


The last five presidents of Venezuela have received the following amounts of money from petroleum production and sales:



Luis Herrera
USD $80.3 billion
Jaime Lusinchi
$51.4 billion

Carlos Andrés Pérez
$57.8 billion

Rafael Caldera
$73.3 billion

Hugo Chávez
$120.9 billion













Source: Venezuelan Central Bank



The Bank has also said that the Chávez income could be significantly greater as the government has failed to deposit petroleum income in the Bank, as the law dictates.



Where has this money gone?


2. During the same period the Gross Domestic Product has fallen 11%.




Meanwhile, during the period,


3. The expenditures of the government increased 323%.




And the public debt increased significantly, as follows:


4.

1998
2005

Internal Debt $4.2 billion
$20.0 billion

External Debt $23.3 billion
$24.8 billion




The total debt has increased by 63% in these six years, in spite of the highest petroleum income ever.



The volume of petroleum exports has fallen, due to the collapse of PDVSA in the hands of the regime.


5. In 1999 exports of petroleum were over 2.8 million barrels per day (b/d). In 2004 petroleum exports were of 2.4 million b/d, a drop of about 400,000 b/d, representing a loss to the country of some USD $6 billion only during that year and of some USD $25 billion during the Chávez period.


What we have had, then, is an inexplicable and unjustifiable situation, as follows:


6. During the period the Petroleum income has increased 142%, the national debt has increased 66%, public expenditure has grown 323% and the per capita Gross Domestic Product has decreased 11%.


But inflation is the highest in Latin America.


7. Accumulated inflation during 1998-2004 has been 292% but, worse, the inflation related to food costs has been 383%.


Workers salaries have remained far below food related inflation.


8. From 2002 onwards the gap between salaries and food inflation have widened. The word for this is impoverishment.


Unemployment is the highest in Latin America.


9. In December 1997 the rate of unemployment was 10.5%, 15% in December 1999, 19.5% in June 2003 and 16.7% in June 2004. These figures are official Venezuelan Central Bank figures but the Venezuelan Business and Labor associations claim that the real rates are always 3 to 4% higher. The rate of under-employment is close to 50% (including the people working as street peddlers).


Venezuela is one of the top ten countries in the world where hunger prevails. The growth of underfed population in these countries is as follows, 2000-2002:


10.

Country % of growth of underfed

population

Jordan 300

Congo Democratic Republic 191

North Korea 119

Guatemala 100

Liberia 100

Botswana 100

Gambia 100

Swaziland 100

Venezuela 87

Turkey 80


Source: United Nations





These are some of the numbers that I felt were pertinent, in order to show what the reality of Venezuela has been under the self-proclaimed defender of the poor, Hugo Chávez. The reality is that our country, Venezuela, has been into a steep descent into chaos. What started out, six years ago, as a democratic feast has turned into a horrendous national tragedy characterized by inefficiency, corruption and ideological logorrhea. Six years ago Hugo Chávez said to Venezuelans that he would solve the political problems first and then he would tackle the social and economic problems. This sounded logical at the time but, six years later, he is still muddling through political problems artificially created by his egocentric manners, while the social and economic afflictions of Venezuelans have grown much worse. One of his cronies, Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez, in an effort to defend the increasingly authoritarian nature of the regime, claims that Latin Americans, given to choose between democracy and the solution of their economic problems would choose the latter. What he says is true since a survey of UNDP suggests that slightly more than half of Latin Americans feel that way. But this is not what we are experiencing in Venezuela. In our poor country we are witnessing a tragic double whammy of lack of democracy combined with galloping poverty.



This is a combination that no one in Latin America or anywhere else wants to experience.



© 2005 Gustavo Coronel
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:06 PM   #20
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Yes, I read the article. It's very informative. I think I was wrong about us not doing anything in Venezuela. But it's got to be a new strategy. It looks like that's what they're doing, trying to isolate Chavez.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:21 PM   #21
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Good grief, that second article told me even more. He's tearing up pieces of art. That's not the worst thing he's doing, but it does hit home. This guy is bad news.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:29 PM   #22
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Yet instead of him bringing down unemployement he is using it for a new arsenal of weaponry and for what? Invasion of his neighbor in Colombia, or defend a fiction invasion of the United States? Is he recruiting the poor into the Army. I know he is building a huge Civilian militia, where kids as young as 8 are trained on the use of AK-47's and grandmas with rifles.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:33 PM   #23
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If he's a threat to his neighbors that's not good. Something needs to be done to help the Venezuelan people and spare Colombia an invasion.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:41 PM   #24
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I'm not saying Chavez is a saint, but there are powerful forces in the U.S. and Venezuelan capitalist elite that have resources to distort the truth...and many of us have had it force fed.

Let's not fall for cliched one-sidedness.

Let's see what others are saying.

Centre for Economic and Policy Research:

http://www.cepr.net/columns/weisbrot/2005_11_01.htm

But Chavez' popularity is now among the highest of any president in Latin America, with a 77 percent approval rating, according to the latest polling.

A few economic statistics go a long way in explaining why the Venezuelan government is doing so well and the opposition, which still controls most of the media and has most of the country's income, is flagging.

After growing nearly 18 percent last year, the Venezuelan economy has expanded 9.3 percent for the first half of this year - the fastest economic growth in the hemisphere. Although the government's detractors like to say this is just a result of high oil prices, it is not so simple.

Oil prices were even higher and rose much faster in the 1970s. But Venezuela's income per person actually fell during the 1970s. In fact, for the 28 years that preceded the current government (1970-1998), Venezuela suffered one of the worst economic declines in Latin America and the world: per capita income fell by 35 percent. This is a worse decline than even sub-Saharan Africa suffered during this period, and shows how completely dysfunctional the economic policies of the old system had become.

Although Chavez talks about building "21st century socialism," the Venezuelan government's economic policies are gradualist reform, more akin to a European-style social democracy. The private sector is actually a larger share of the Venezuelan economy today than it was before Chavez took office.

One important reform, long advocated by the International Monetary Fund, has been the improvement of tax collection. By requiring both foreign and domestically-owned companies to pay the taxes they owe, the government actually increased tax collection even during the deep recession of 2003 -- a rare economic feat.

As a result, the government is currently running a budget surplus, despite billions of dollars of increased social spending that now provides subsidized food to 40 percent of the population, health care for millions of poor people, and greatly increased education spending. The official poverty rate has fallen to 38.5 percent from its most recent peak of 54 percent after the opposition oil strike. But this measures only cash income; if the food subsidies and health care were taken into account, it would be well under 30 percent.

VenezuelaAnalysis.com

Venezuela: Economic Populism or Pragmatism?

Tuesday, Jul 04, 2006

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1766

Recently a well known economist wrote a piece about Latin American economies, noting that "the spectrum of economic policies in the region in the last few years has spanned the entire range from pragmatism to populism...At the very far left corner there is the extreme radical populism of Venezuela's Chavez."

An examination of Venezuela's recent economic performance suggests that the country's economic policies actually fall into the pragmatic camp, not the populist one.

A look at macroeconomic indicators shows that the economy is performing well. Economic growth has been the fastest in Latin America for each of the past two years. In the first quarter of 2006 growth continued apace, registering 9.3%. Yet in the midst of the economic boom, inflation has been halved. This year, at least one forecaster expects Venezuela to experience its lowest inflation in 18 years though it will still be one of the highest in Latin America. Declining inflation in the midst of an economic boom, while not unprecedented, is atypical and suggests pragmatic economic management.

Factoring in social indicators, Venezuelan economic performance looks even better. Unemployment has been steadily dropping, reaching 10.1% in April 2006. In 2005 the government's index of social wellbeing reached its highest level in 10 years. Incomes of the poor doubled in the past two years. The poverty rate, which had been increasing for most of the past twenty-five years, has been dropping. In fact, the World Bank recently noted that "Venezuela has achieved substantial improvements in the fight against poverty."

--------------

This one's a couple years old, but it's a good third-party market/investment analysis:

http://www.ameinfo.com/42051.html

Venezuela's economic recovery is bolstering Chavez's popularity. In the first quarter of this year, gross domestic product increased by nearly 30 percent. Economic growth should top 10 percent for all of 2004. The restructuring of PdVSA and the company's rapidly expanding domestic investment are contributing strongly to economic growth.

Restructuring is also increasing cash flow to the government. Increased revenue from PdVSA is being used to fund numerous social development projects as well as subsidized loans to farmers and small businesses. Both increased investment and cash flow to the government are laying a solid foundation for continued economic growth in Venezuela.

Though strongly contradicting the Washington Consensus, the Chavez government is proving that social development and firm state influence in the economy can produce strong economic growth. Other countries in South America are beginning to implement economic policies similar to Venezuela's. Such developments are natural, as the Washington Consensus has proven to be economically disastrous for South America.

--------------------------

And how is Venezuela usually portrayed by U.S. media (and why)?

There's good insight here:

http://www.counterpunch.org/delacour06012005.html

Framing Venezuela

In analyzing U.S. press coverage of Venezuela, it is instructive to examine how U.S. news reports "frame" the political issues. Operating on the basic assumption that framing is a process of selecting certain fragments of a perceived reality and making them more prominent in a text, one can deduce that news frames are not necessarily neutral in a political or ideological sense. By emphasizing certain fragments of a perceived reality and omitting (or downplaying) others, U.S. media can promote their own political agendas.

A recent examination of reports about Venezuela in The Miami Herald, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor suggests not only that U.S. media frequently invoke biased news frames but also that their choices of which "independent" analysts to cite is strongly correlated with the level of bias.

--------------------

U.S. correspondents often invoke variants of the "property rights" frame in slanting their coverage against Venezuela's government. For example, an L.A. Times report (January 30, 2005) pays special attention to the complaints of Venezuela's privately-owned media, casting a highly critical eye on the government's new media law that restricts daytime broadcasting of sex, violence and profanity. The Times report --which is demonstrative of how U.S. media often fail to accurately contextualize the issues-- neglects to point out that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposes similar restrictions on public broadcasting.

Surely Venezuela's media law is partially designed to restrict the political manipulation of violent images, but only by reviewing the nature of the private media's anti-government propaganda can we begin to understand why pro-government legislators would feel the need to regulate. The L.A. Times neglects to seriously consider the ways in which Venezuela's private media have waged campaigns to politically and economically destabilize the country. As the political scientist Daniel Hellinger points out, Venezuela's private media have been more than simply biased; "they actively organized efforts to oust Chávez via coup, work stoppages, and recall" (Latin American Perspectives; May 2005). The manipulation of violent images for partisan political purposes has been a trademark of Venezuela's private channels.

Perhaps the most famous example is the private stations' telecast --during the failed coup-- of a video showing Chávez supporters firing handguns from a bridge near the presidential palace. According to the video's voiceover, the gunmen were shooting at a peaceful opposition march below, but Eva Golinger points out in an article for the alternative news site Venezuelanalysis (September 25, 2004) that the video "manipulated the setting and failed to include the wider angle of the scene." Simultaneous video footage evidenced not protesters on the street below but rather police --under the command of an opposition mayor-- "hiding behind vehicles and buildings, taking shots at the Chávez supporters on the bridge."

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Old 07-25-2006, 03:43 PM   #25
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How do you explain the 20% unemployment with an economey that is supposedly "Booming?"
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:54 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24
How do you explain the 20% unemployment with an economey that is supposedly "Booming?"
The July 4, 2006 article above (VenezuelaAnalysis.com) says:

Factoring in social indicators, Venezuelan economic performance looks even better. Unemployment has been steadily dropping, reaching 10.1% in April 2006.
-----------

I don't know the date of the 20% number you quoted or that report's source.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:55 PM   #27
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If he's not doing anything about the unemployment that's disgusting. That makes him a real hypocrite. Unemployed people are poor people, after all.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:57 PM   #28
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Perhaps this is a better indicator. This shows unemployment hasn't been 20% in any of the last six years, but was close to 16% in 2002 and has been steadily declining.

http://www.latin-focus.com/latinfocu...a/venunemp.htm
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:05 PM   #29
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Here's the latest economic indicators i can find (from the same source as the above unemployment numbers). These are real up to 2004, and then you can click on each to eventually get to forecasts of 2006 to 2010.

Note the amazing turnaround, especially in GDP, investment and manufacturing.

Again, i'm not an expert on Venezuela...history or economy or politics. But, again, let's not look at narrow sources when passing judgement.
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Old 07-25-2006, 04:12 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Judah


The July 4, 2006 article above (VenezuelaAnalysis.com) says:

Factoring in social indicators, Venezuelan economic performance looks even better. Unemployment has been steadily dropping, reaching 10.1% in April 2006.
-----------

I don't know the date of the 20% number you quoted or that report's source.
Thanks for the information. It is important to get a balanced look at any situation. You always need more than one source to get a balanced look. If you only use one source your information is going to be incomplete. If Chavez' popularity is 77% he must be doing something right.
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