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The Chavez reader

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hugo holding US aloft.gif
Los que mueren por la vida
no pueden llamarse muertos

Those who die for life
cannot be called dead.
(Ali Primera – www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKsD8PIwzE)

“Most of what you read or hear in mass media about President Hugo Chavez is always negative, his faults exaggerated, his discourse distorted and his achievements ignored. The reality is quite different.

“Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams.

“An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life – the “good life” (el buenvivir), as he called it.”

[From ZCommunications | Hugo Chavez, Dream Maker by Eva Golinger | ZNet Article]

“In many ways, it has. Under Chávez’s watch, Venezuela has become more equal, the most egalitarian country in Latin America in fact, according to the Gini coefficient if income distribution. Poverty has been reduced significantly, and extreme poverty almost stamped out. Illiteracy has been eliminated and education is freely accessible, through the university level, to even the poorest Venezuelans. Health care is free and universal. Despite catastrophic language by the Venezuelan opposition and foreign press, the economy is strong, and has weathered the global economic crisis better than most (notably, the United States).”

[From ZCommunications | Preparing for a Post-Chávez Venezuela by George Ciccariello-Maher | ZNet Article]

“When Hugo Chávez triumphed in the 1998 presidential elections, the neoliberal capitalist model was already foundering. The choice then was none other than whether to re-establish the neoliberal capitalist model — clearly with some changes including greater concern for social issues, but still motivated by the same logic of profit seeking — or to go ahead and try to build another model.

“I believe that Chávez’s chief legacy is having chosen the latter alternative.”

[From ZCommunications | Chávez’s Chief Legacy: Building, with People, an Alternative Society to Capitalism by Marta Harnecker | ZNet Article]

“Well, I guess in the economic or socioeconomic scale, there’s—the most important thing is having turned Venezuela from being one of the most unequal countries in Latin America to one of the most equal ones, or actually the most equal ones in terms of income. It’s a complete turnaround, and that’s quite dramatic. If you look at statistics about income inequality, Venezuela has now the least income inequality of South America, right after Cuba, in any case.

“And then the other thing is that he halved the poverty rate. He decreased the extreme poverty rate by two-thirds.”

[From ZCommunications | Chavez Democratized Venezuela Making it the Most Equal Country in Latin America by Gregory Wilpert | ZNet Article]

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Written by Sean Bozkewycz

March 17, 2013 at 05:17

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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