Monday, 3 January 2011

Chávez goes for Formula One instead of sustainable development

Luxury Venezuela cannot spend money on

An article in Russian Lenta said last month Hugo Chávez is backing Venezuelan racing driver Pastor Maldonado with PDVSA money. It's a pity we did not see that on Venezuelan media. This is happening even though PDVSA is financially under stress, this is happening even though PVDA in problems with debtors galore and even thoughVenezuela is a Third World country with serious needs.

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for the promotion of such a sport at the cost of priorities for poor Venezuela. Sponsoring Formula 1 races could be fine for Kuweit or the United Arab Emirates, with money to waste, not for Venezuela.

PDVSA apparently gave 12 million euros for Maldonado's racing team. I don't think we should spend 12 million euros to have a Venezuelan flag waving on a formula 1 car. That is simply silly. Financing a hundred sportspersons who work and live in Venezuela? Yes. Financing fancy car races? That's simply mental.

I would have preferred that money be spent on a very useful high-tech project to improve health in Venezuela and in many other countries thanks to Venezuelans' technology. Venezuelan researchers get a monthly salary of some $200. Those 12 million euros could pay a lot of diagnosis and vaccination campaign and even the development of new technologies. Or they could be used for educating and providing better equipment for 50 farmers like the one on the picture below.

Ps. My thanks to Dan for that picture of Real Venezuela.

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