Archive for February 6th, 2006

Another cynical show by the corrupt Chavez Government

February 6, 2006

leaders are so unethical and cynical, that faced with the charges that the
financing by the Government of Saturday’s march was a felony penalized by the
anti-corruption Bill, instead of staying quiet in the knowledge that the
corrupt system of justice that they have stacked with their own will never find
them guilty, they have the audacity to actually hold
a press conference
and with a straight face say:

“Everyone came and participated in spontaneous and voluntary fashion, we
did not pay anyone a penny…This did not cost the Venezuelan state a penny. Each
person assumed his own costs”

Well, Mr. Lara maybe you can explain something to us. First can you tell us:
Who paid for everyone to be wearing the red t-shirts? I imagine that you will
have us believe that people that can barely make ends meet, “voluntarily
and spontaneously” purchased each one a shirt to please Hugo Chavez? Well,
I find it that incredibly difficult to believe. But Mr. Lara, let me show you
what scientists would call a couple of “data points” that I have been
able to gather on my own.

Let’s start with the paper below, which happens to be a quote to the
“Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales”, that institution that
has gone broke in modern Venezuelan history. The quote is made by a
suspiciously sounding “Cooperativa La Mayorquina” a coop for social
tourism, whatever that may mean. The quote totals Bs. 19 million (US$ 8,800 at
the official exchange rate) to provide:”water, Gatorade, fruits, juice, a
sound truck and transport” for (see below): “1000 people. Event
related to February 4th. which will take place in the Cota Mil in the capital

Ummm, I wonder what event this refers to. Coincidentally the Chavista march
took place along Cota Mil on that date and was an event “related” to
February 4th. Coincidence?

So Mr. Lara, a Government institution pays for a political rally in support of
Hugo Chavez and his coup. What do you call that? Corruption? Misuse of Funds?
Or a donation? I call it graft, but what do I know

But see, just on my own on my spare time I can also find more evidence. Remember the pictures of the 85 buses I made a collage out of ? I imagine that you want us to believe that the same people who can barely make ends meet paid their way. But see, glancing through the pictures I quickly found the two below. The one on the left happens to say “Bolivarian Government” and the one on the right says upfront “Official Use”. Well, shucks, this is illegal in Venezuela. What are we going to do about it? Chavez just said that 2006 is the year to stop corruption, but I guess like so many other lies he has said, he really did not mean it. Neither did you in your cynical show today. Shame on you and your dishonest cronies.

The infrastructure of Poverty by Luis Pedro Espańa N.

February 6, 2006

Nobody knows about poverty in Venezuela more than
Luis Pedro Espańa N. from Universidad Catolica de Venezuela in Caracas. He now writes regularly in El Nacional, this was last Saturday’s article on the meaning of direct aid versus improving the infrastructure of poverty.

infrastructure of Poverty
by Luis Pedro Espańa N.

in a meeting about socio-economic perspectives in this 2006, an executive
commented to me when we were leaving that he could not believe that poverty was
going to be reduced this year. At the beginning, ingeniously, I reiterated what
I had said a while back. That it was a matter of poverty as measured from the
point of view of income. The economic growth expected for this year, together
with the favorable impact of the educational aid of the misiones on the popular
sectors (even if badly identified, with worse educational assistance and lots
of leaks) was going to signify an improvement in the income of the families. That
evidently, we were reaching the limit in reducing poverty for those that have
the ability to generate income (or capture the oil income) and that the
decreasing return of these policies would end up losing their impact to reduce
poverty indices, even income. With this I was trying to say that evidently it
was little or nothing that was being done on the side of the own capability of
the families, that is, on the side of the generation of their own well-being,
sustained and sufficient.

Thus, I
almost repeated in two minutes what I had thought was most important of what I
had said in the previous 45.

Even when my counterpart’s face looked like he was
understanding me, he did not appear satisfied with my summary, he replied,
improving his skeptical questioning of his doubts and reminded me of the
beggars, street kids, garbage, the street vendors, the precarious housing,
crime rates, victims of tragedies, the urban chaos where poverty resides,
precarious services, thus, all of those images that we see so much that they
seem normal.

It evidently was the classical case of subjective perceptions that clash
against the “objective data” which, because of its oversimplification,
sometimes hide reality from us. I realized what he wanted to tell me, I got rid
of statistical technicalities (those that the Government likes when they favor
it) and I said goodbye to the participant to the seminar promising and article
about “the infrastructure of poverty”

The barrio, the popular areas, although heterogeneous, even when they are not
exclusive and exhaustive hosts of poverty, are certainly the residence of urban
poverty, that one which even if it is not as cruel and of subsistence as the
rural one, is the largest one in a country like Venezuela. The calamity of life
in the popular barrios makes it such that family income, even if it may be
high, can not make up for the terrible quality of life that the precarious
condition of transportation, the terrible services, the difficulty to have
access to articles of consumption, the problem with crime and the impossibility
of recreation for kids and the young.

But even with the income strengthened in the last two years
and perhaps three with the current one, the infrastructure of poverty not only
has remained unaltered, but it has worsened in a substantive manner.

Risk is a social reality in the face of nature. The latter reveals itself in
terrible fashion every time it rains. Examples abound dramatically so as to
lose space by naming them.

On the other hand, the social risk of poverty can be synthesized
in the two most sensitive problems felt by Venezuelans: employment and personal

The deterioration of employment, due to the absence of formal jobs,
the unproductiveness of the tasks performed by Venezuelans which explain their
low salaries, are the result of the lack of opportunity for the generation of
wealth together, with the shortage that member of the labor force have in terms
of dexterities, capabilities and knowledge that can be converted into assets to
access good jobs.

In recent years, these years of the oil boom, we are acting on the
income. By the effect of percolation and the simple distribution of income, the
average income of families is improving, but the causes of poverty, the
infrastructure over which it lies, remains unchanged.

Only 17 young people graduate from high school out of every
100 that enter first grade, 40% of kids of pre-school age continue to fail to
enter school, our school averages in verbal ability are not over ten
points and in numerical ability 6 (both
out of 20), 17 infants continue to die each years for each 1,000 live births,
up to 20% of the population will not reach the age of 60, the number of
homicides has stayed at the alarming number of 10,000 per year, almost one out
of every four houses lacks basic services and our cities show more and more an
urban deterioration characterized by the lack of environmental sanitation,
public transpiration and road access according to their growth.

All of the above illustrates what the the circumstantial
numbers of income hide. We are under a “certain illusion of progress”,
supported once again by a level of income which does not correspond to the level
of productivity of the Nation, which is not based on social development. Summing
up the infrastructure of poverty remains intact, it is a pity that it is only
the physical infrastructure that is falling apart.


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