Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hugo the First and Kalashnikov

Our president, Hugo Chávez, has just given a copy of Simón Bolívar's sword as birthday present to AK-47's (in)famous designer, Mikhail Kalashnikov. The sword is supposed to have precious stones.

You can find more information on that in Russian here and in Spanish here.

The Venezuelan government had purchased about 100000 Kalashnikov rifles in 2005.
This year the chavista regime spent some 2.2 billion dollars in more Russian weapons.

The Kalashnikov rifle has killed millions of people in the last decades. There is a huge black market for that device. It is the usual weapon in many civil wars in Africa.

The government should have used the money it gave away for that flashy toy sword to buy books for pupils in poor schools or to pay Venezuela's entrance in the PISA programme, a programme for improving education standards (there is little chance for this to happen as the Venezuelan government rejects any form of transparency).

Venezuela should have spent those 2.2 billion dollars not in weapons but in the construction of a couple of very good hospitals in rural Guárico or still more rural Amazonas. Perhaps we could have had enough to finance a really groovy public library for children in Portuguesa as well.

It should be so obvious. I am sure most people agree. I am so ashamed Venezuela has such a president.

PS. If Hugo wanted to celebrate the birthday of someone, he could have celebrated the birthday of Jacinto Convit, a great Venezuelan scientist who has given so much for science and for our country. Mr Convit's work for better treatments of leprosy and leishmaniasis have saved many lives.