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HUGO CHAVEZ hero, villain, or a bit of both?


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42 replies to this topic

#21 JohnM

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

Actually the more I read about him the more I like him. his heart was certainly in the right place.

Free education from daycare to university
5th in the world per capita university students
5th happiest population in the world
reduced poverty by 44%
reduced food imports by 60%
Reduced child mortality by 50%


That all may well be true and its great news.

In South American child mortality, Venezuela is now only bettered by Ecuador, Columbia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Chile has an infant mortality rate of just 1/3 that of Venezuela.

In the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela homicides up from 4,550 in 1999 to 20,000 in 2011 in a country with a population of 29 million, compared with a fall from 1,100 to 550 in England and Wales ( pop 58 million) over the same period. Truly the people's friend!

Of course, there is no evidence of a causal link in any of these figures but with Venezuela being a deeply religious country, maybe it was God not Chavez wot did it. see http://en.wikipedia....on_in_Venezuela

In Venezuela, a growing population Santeria followers has been growing since 2008. The rituals can cost 40,000 bolivars and include the slaughtering of a rooster, a chicken, or a goat.

Edited by JohnM, 06 March 2013 - 09:39 PM.


#22 Northern Sol

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:39 PM

Actually the more I read about him the more I like him. his heart was certainly in the right place.

Free education from daycare to university
5th in the world per capita university students
5th happiest population in the world
reduced poverty by 44%
reduced food imports by 60%
Reduced child mortality by 50%


Think how much more could have been achieved without the egoistic grandstanding.

Not to mention how many Colombians were adversely affected.

Edited by Northern Sol, 06 March 2013 - 09:41 PM.


#23 marklaspalmas

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:48 AM

perhaps he'd read about the various wys the CIA tried to kill Castro and took it from there.


Possibly. It sounded more than slightly ridiculous to me, but you never know.

Actually the more I read about him the more I like him. his heart was certainly in the right place.

Free education from daycare to university
5th in the world per capita university students
5th happiest population in the world
reduced poverty by 44%
reduced food imports by 60%
Reduced child mortality by 50%


Self-produced govt. stats should always be taken with a healthy dose of scepticism, but this kind of stuff

5th happiest population in the world


is always utter nonsense.

Edited by marklaspalmas, 07 March 2013 - 08:48 AM.

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#24 Futtocks

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 09:50 AM

5th happiest population in the world


They aren't many RL fans in Venezuela. Coincidence? ;)

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#25 l'angelo mysterioso

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:06 AM

Possibly. It sounded more than slightly ridiculous to me, but you never know.



some of the things they did to try to get rid of Castro made Austin Powers look like a documentary.

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#26 Wolford6

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:38 AM

What did Thatcher do with our oil money?
- let British Industry go to the wall
- paid the dole for the redundant workers
- paid for the police and courts to rig the justice meted out to protesting workers
- looked after her fatcat pals, many of whom despised her anyway.
- scrap the Royal Navy Ship that protected the Falklands, thus precipitating the need for a war.
- paid for that war
- awarded Denis (and thus Mark) Thatcher a hereditary peerage

Thirty years later, we've got a marginal industrial base, millions unemployed and an ex-PM who' now seems to be "officially" demented.


Chavez has certainly done no worse with Venezuela's oil money.

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#27 Northern Sol

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

What did Thatcher do with our oil money?
- let British Industry go to the wall
- paid the dole for the redundant workers
- paid for the police and courts to rig the justice meted out to protesting workers
- looked after her fatcat pals, many of whom despised her anyway.
- scrap the Royal Navy Ship that protected the Falklands, thus precipitating the need for a war.
- paid for that war
- awarded Denis (and thus Mark) Thatcher a hereditary peerage

Thirty years later, we've got a marginal industrial base, millions unemployed and an ex-PM who' now seems to be "officially" demented.


Chavez has certainly done no worse with Venezuela's oil money.


Venezuela has far more oil money than we ever did.

#28 Bob8

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:32 PM

May I suggest the compromise that he was a crackpot leader and the best one Venezuela had for a great number of decades.

The two points are entirely compatible.

#29 hindle xiii

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

May I suggest the compromise that he was a crackpot leader and the best one Venezuela had for a great number of decades.

The two points are entirely compatible.

Whisper it quietly.

Oh, you already did.

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#30 Northern Sol

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 08:58 PM

May I suggest the compromise that he was a crackpot leader and the best one Venezuela had for a great number of decades.

The two points are entirely compatible.


You can but I'm going to reject it.

Chavez was a step backwards for democracy in Venezuela and also for law and order.

His era was a big step forward for its economy but that's down to the massive increase in oil revenues (quadrupling!) not any particular competence.

The only positive thing that can be said of him is that he could have been worse.

#31 slowdive

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:36 PM

You can but I'm going to reject it.

Chavez was a step backwards for democracy in Venezuela and also for law and order.

His era was a big step forward for its economy but that's down to the massive increase in oil revenues (quadrupling!) not any particular competence.

The only positive thing that can be said of him is that he could have been worse.

The fact that he improved infant mortality by some considerable way, is in itself a good thing wouldn't you say? That's hundreds of kids who didn't die who would have done hadn't he made those changes.
"At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right."

#32 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 06:48 PM

The fact that he improved infant mortality by some considerable way, is in itself a good thing wouldn't you say? That's hundreds of kids who didn't die who would have done hadn't he made those changes.


The question is to what extent "he" improved infant mortality.

The economy doubled in size because the value of Venezuela's oil exports quadrupled, partly because oil prices are extremely high right now and partly because of new discoveries. Neither fact is particularly connected to Chavez. It was also linked to Venezuela becoming a route for international drug smugglers (hence the huge rise in violence). There is good evidence to suggest that Chavez made Venezuela's economy worse in many ways e.g. food production has fallen dramatically.

If the economy doubles in size then yes infant mortality will go down. And unemployment. And life expectancy. And education. All without the government doing much.

The only thing you can say for Chavez is that he didn't build golden palaces (relatively speaking).

#33 Bob8

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:50 PM

The question which you answered in my post was how he compared to predecessors, which is a far lower target.

#34 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 07:55 PM

The question which you answered in my post was how he compared to predecessors, which is a far lower target.


It is unanswerable in economics terms because his predecessors did not have huge oil revenues. The other thing being that Argentina aside, this has been a very good era for Latin America, countries like Brazil and Peru have grown quickly.

In political terms, he is worse.

Edited by Northern Sol, 09 March 2013 - 07:57 PM.


#35 Bob8

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:10 PM

It is unanswerable in economics terms because his predecessors did not have huge oil revenues. The other thing being that Argentina aside, this has been a very good era for Latin America, countries like Brazil and Peru have grown quickly.

In political terms, he is worse.


You are good at this.

It is unanswerable in economic terms, fine.

In political terms, would you be so kind as to compare. You are an intelligent man and it would be informative.

#36 slowdive

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 08:55 PM

The question is to what extent "he" improved infant mortality.
Well ensuring access to health care for all will clearly have had some impact.

The economy doubled in size because the value of Venezuela's oil exports quadrupled, partly because oil prices are extremely high right now and partly because of new discoveries. Neither fact is particularly connected to Chavez.
Venezuala has always had huge oil reserves. He took advantage of these unlike previous governments; increased oil revenues; revitalised OPEC; increased revenue to the government per barrel of oil and renationalised parts of the industry.
It was also linked to Venezuela becoming a route for international drug smugglers (hence the huge rise in violence). There is good evidence such as? to suggest that Chavez made Venezuela's economy worse in many ways e.g. food production has fallen dramatically.

If the economy doubles in size then yes infant mortality will go down. And unemployment. And life expectancy. And education. And education what? Chavez ensured free education for all, unlike any of his predecessors. All without the government doing much.

The only thing you can say for Chavez is that he didn't build golden palaces (relatively speaking).

What a completely one eyed assessment. Chavez clearly had many faults, but to dismiss him as having achieved nothing is wrong and presumably ideologically driven.


"At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right."

#37 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 09:55 PM


He achieved little.

Venezuela has long had oil wealth which is why it was far richer than the average Latin American country before Chavez came to power. However, the thing about oil in Venezuela is that a lot has been discovered recently, it was unknown. Look at the graph, it speaks volumes.

http://en.wikipedia....es1968-2006.png

Yes, there have been improvements in health care provision etc but given that the GDP per capita has doubled that is not particularly surprising. The economy wasn't rich enough before and now it is.

There are food shortages now because of the usual socialist inefficiencies, food rotting in cargo ships whilst they are held up at port etc etc. This just gets obscured by the fact that Venezuela is now rich enough to import its food.

Would he have achieved anything at all if not for the huge hike in oil revenues? Probably not. A one-trick pony.

Edited by Northern Sol, 09 March 2013 - 10:02 PM.


#38 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 March 2013 - 10:00 PM

You are good at this.

It is unanswerable in economic terms, fine.

In political terms, would you be so kind as to compare. You are an intelligent man and it would be informative.


I'll make a longer post tomorrow but the basics now.

He has a nasty habit of "rule by decree" even when he has a majority in the parliament. He has rewritten the constitution as well. There has been concentration of power in his hands and domination of the media (Berlusconi style). Political opponents roughed up etc.

Not that Venezuelan politics has ever been clean but he is a step backwards when Latin America, in general, has moved forwards. His best mate was Fidel Castro, an unelected dictator for life. It says a lot.

#39 slowdive

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 01:11 AM

He achieved little.

Venezuela has long had oil wealth which is why it was far richer than the average Latin American country before Chavez came to power. However, the thing about oil in Venezuela is that a lot has been discovered recently, it was unknown. Look at the graph, it speaks volumes.

http://en.wikipedia....es1968-2006.png

Yes, there have been improvements in health care provision etc but given that the GDP per capita has doubled that is not particularly surprising. The economy wasn't rich enough before and now it is.

There are food shortages now because of the usual socialist inefficiencies, food rotting in cargo ships whilst they are held up at port etc etc. This just gets obscured by the fact that Venezuela is now rich enough to import its food.

Would he have achieved anything at all if not for the huge hike in oil revenues? Probably not. A one-trick pony.

Sort of confirmed my previous post. You seem to dismiss improvements in the standard of living and quality of life for ordinary people presumably because they followed a socialist agenda. You claim any improvements anyway were down to an improvement in the economy, yet it was Chavez who presided over the economy whilst these improvements were taking place! Venezuela has always been oil rich but the benefits of it's oil reserves are now being shared more equally amongst it's people.


"At times to be silent is to lie. You will win because you have enough brute force. But you will not convince. For to convince you need to persuade. And in order to persuade you would need what you lack: Reason and Right."

#40 Northern Sol

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

Socialist state run economies are almost universally inefficient.

Scandinavians always claim to be the exception yet are gradually dismantling their systems.




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