Chavez deserves credit for progress

Re: Venezuela ponders life after Chavez, Gwynne Dyer, Red Deer Advocate, March 11.

Re: Venezuela ponders life after Chavez, Gwynne Dyer, Red Deer Advocate, March 11.

In general, the media coverage of the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been as hypocritical and biased as it was when he was alive. It is a ubiquitous, one-sidedness that extends from the petty, spiteful newspaper articles; of obvious opposition figures; to the high plateau of that most British of institutions, the BBC.

The Life after Chavez article by Gwynne Dyer is in a different category: it is one of the most thought out articles to be found, balanced, with opinions that appear to be honestly given.

Although Dyer thinks that Chavez was unnecessarily combative and polarizing, he points out the fact that Chavez achieved much of what he set out to do. Indeed, the major success of Chavez was the diversion of a part of the oil wealth from the coffers of the multinational companies to the pockets of ordinary working Venezuelans, transforming their lives.

The Chavez government has reduced poverty by half and reduced extreme poverty by 70 per cent, and millions now have health care for the first time. College enrolment has doubled and illiteracy has been eliminated, this fact has been recognized by UNESCO. The number of seniors receiving old age pension has doubled. Thousands of affordable houses have been built to a high standard for workers and the poor.

Gwynne correctly says, “What made it possible was not ‘socialism’ but Venezuela’s big oil reserves.”

The problems experienced in Venezuela including high inflation, crime, dislocations and shortages of food are not the result of socialism, which does not yet exist. They are not the result of poor administration or the nationalizations that have been carried out, but on the contrary from the economic sabotage of big business.

Big corporations still control the commanding heights of the economy and despite much false information, which would suggest the opposite, they control most of the media.

Although Chavez was accused of ranting about the class struggle, the rich oligarchy was and is busy practising it. Despite the electoral successes of the Chavez government, the Venezuelan economy is still controlled by the rich.

The economic problems stem not from the fact that the Bolivarian Movement has moved too far or too fast toward socialism, no just the opposite, it has not moved far enough or fast enough.

It is a serious miscalculation, however, to think that the loss of a general election by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela would not be a tragedy. The economic gains of the workers and poor would be rolled back in an instant, orchestrated by the CIA at the behest of international oil companies. It would mean a return to the same poverty for the mass of the people that existed before the election of Chavez.

If the Venezuelan people do not take control of the commanding heights of the economy by nationalizing the banks and the monopolies under workers’ control and management in a democratic planned socialist economy, they will continue to be plagued by the threat of the return of the bad old days of hardship and exploitation.

Keith Norman Wyatt



Just Posted

Stolen vehicle and gun seized in Blackfalds

Blackfalds man to appear in court

250 passengers stranded aboard airplane in frigid Labrador for 16 hours

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — An end is finally in sight for… Continue reading

Red Deer church donates to Safe Harbour

It was all about helping those in need at Safe Harbour in… Continue reading

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Curtain rising Sunday night on total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The celestial curtain will be rising soon on… Continue reading

At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding

WASHINGTON — Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Democrats and Republicans… Continue reading

Holocaust victims buried after remains found in UK museum

LONDON — The remains of six unidentified Holocaust victims were buried in… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘So what’ if Trump and Cohen discussed testimony

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani left open Sunday the… Continue reading

Photos: Rocks fly at 37th Annual Oilmen’s Bonspiel

Twenty-nine teams gathered at the Pidherney Curling Centre in Red Deer for… Continue reading

Death toll reaches 79 in Mexico fuel pipeline fire horror

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — People in the town where a gasoline explosion killed… Continue reading

With Trump out, Davos chief eyes fixing world architecture

DAVOS, Switzerland — The founder of the World Economic Forum says U.S.… Continue reading

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Most Read