Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Venezuela, Chavez, bitterness, etc 

This is a good article. Highlights are strewn on a perspective that does not gush forth from the US, and presents a situation from another's point of view-in this case, Venezuela. Read it. It's quite good; and it's important to not only hear, but think about the other, often unstated perspective.

Venezuela using its oil to benefit Latin Americans

ZNet Commentary
The Failure of Hugo-Bashing April 04, 2006 By Mark Weisbrot

It was yet another public relations coup for Venezuela: Vila Isabel, the samba
club sponsored mainly by the Venezuelan government, won the parade competition
in Rio de Janeiro's Carnaval last week. A float with a giant likeness of Simon
Bolivar, combined with thousands of ornately costumed participants parading
down the avenue, trumpeted the winning theme: Latin American unity.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice just last month called for "a united
front" against Venezuela, continuing a long-term policy of trying to isolate
the country. But Washington has been spitting into the wind. Venezuela's
influence in the hemisphere has continued to rise while the U.S. has succeeded
only in isolating itself more than at any time in at least half a century. It
might be worth asking why.

First, Venezuela is a democracy -- despite the best efforts of the Bush team to
use President Hugo Chavez's close relations with Cuba's Fidel Castro as
evidence to the contrary. Its elections are transparent and have been certified
by observers from the Organization of American States, the Carter Center and
the European Union. Freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of
association prevail, at least as compared with the rest of the hemisphere.

In fact, most of the media remains controlled by the opposition, which attacks
the government endlessly on major TV channels. It is the most vigorous and
partisan opposition media in the hemisphere, one that has not been censored
under Chavez.

Like all of Latin America, Venezuela has governance problems: a weak state,
limited rule of law, corruption and incompetent government. But no reputable
human rights organization has alleged that Venezuela under Chavez has
deteriorated with regard to civil liberties, human rights or democracy, as
compared with prior governments. Nor does the country compare unfavorably on
these criteria with its neighbors in the region. In Peru, the government has
shut down opposition TV stations; in Colombia, union organizers are murdered
with impunity.


Read the rest here

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com