Friday, 28 January 2011

Economic priorities for Venezuela

The Venezuelan military government announced it will subsidize petrol for the poor in the United States once again. This will cost some 60 million dollars. Why does the military do that? Is it to help the poor in the US? Not really. It is to rub it to the US Americans. Although there is a lot of misery in the States, Venezuela should firstly care about the poor who are in more problems in Venezuela.

Where could the regime use that money instead? Some ideas:

- invest in solving the housing problem beyond Caracas. Hundreds of thousands desperately need houses in the Llanos, in Falcón, in Sucre.

- invest in programmes to create sustainable jobs in the Llanos

- help to improve the infrastructure that poor farmers use for agriculture (but without forgetting to keep an eye on maintenance and accountability in general)

Farmer in Venezuela working as my great-grandfather did

Oil prices keep going up. Venezuela should profit from this...if only the government had a plan.

One thing I do not understand is why the Castro government in Cuba feels so compelled to carry out the current reforms when they could ask more money to the Venezuelan military. Or not? Perhaps they realised Chávez has no economic plan? Miguel showed us the way a dictator acts in pretending to deal with economic issues.

It is about time the alternative parties demand from Chávez to have an open, live debate with him about, among other things, the economy. Not that he will accept. Chávez is just a thuggish lieutenant who has never -ever- accepted a debate*. But the alternative parties need to make the point time after time.

* Two years ago Peruvian writer Vargas Llosa asked to have a debate with Chávez ahd the military "accepted" but only to say he would be one of many others who would be in the debate. Then Chávez said once that he could not debate with Vargas because Vargas was a writer and he was "just a soldier. He then said he could not debate with Vargas Llosa because he (Chávez) was "first league" and Vargas Llosa was not even a candidate. It is mind-boggling how both the state media and Globovisión described the whole issue.

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