Hugo Chavez: new icon of global warming cult
By Aleksander Boyd
London 11.04.07 | It was just a matter of time really. First we got tax fraudster Eva Golinger claiming that Chavez was green. Now we have a proper spokesman, with immaculate green credentials, writing about the wonderful greenization spearheaded in Venezuela by none other than Hugo Chavez. Mind you this is the kind of argument creative and rational minds just can not come up with. But since this is Venezuela we are talking about, and the international defenders of Chavez are almost exclusively foreign recipients of Chavez's hospitality, ever so eager to embark on guided tours to the tropics, we are told that in fact Chavez is green, he cares for the planet, global warming and all that.
A chap called Derek Wall, invited by his "friend Cesar who works in the Ministry of the Environment" published a few days ago an article arguing about the progress Venezuela was making in environmental policies, which has been reprinted in the global warming cult bible. All it took to convince him of Chavez's green credentials was la huerta in Avenida Bolivar. Doctor Wall, he's got a PhD and teaches economics, is the main speaker of Britain's Green Party. Another notorious signing scored by Hugo, isn't it? Dr Wall's predicament was of course supported by comrade Calvin "there was moral justification for Chavez's military coup" Tucker's propagandistic commentary. I thought that a proper fisking was in order...
Well I must give it to you Mr. Wall, you had me rolling in laughter when I first read your article in Indymedia I think it was. Hugo Chavez green? Indeed as much as the pioneer of the global warming cult Maggie Thatcher!! As green as he who invites Chinese oil firms to take over what US oil firms started. As green as he who fancies a 8,000 miles pipeline cutting through virgin Amazon forest. As green as he who wishes to increase oil production to 12 MBD. As green as he who has failed to end a $9 billion/year gasoline subsidy to the rich...
I tell you what Mr Wall, you rock!! Keep those articles coming mate for some of us here can use some brilliant jokes such as those in your article.
As per impostor, and member of the propaganda joint [Venezuela 'information' centre] operated in GLA under the expert guidance of Red Ken, Calvin Tucker, some fisking is needed to set the record straight for those gullible, naive or stupid enough to believe his propaganda.
Venezuela lives in the real world, not in the make-believe world that some commenters create in order bash Chavez.
Chavez's fiefdom, otherwise known as Venezuela, does not live in the real world. Instead the reputation of the country is in an ever decreasing curve thanks to the antics of its deranged militaristic president. Take for instance the issue with ethanol. Not long ago Chavez was all hyped and cheerful for he had signed 11 agreements with the Cuban dictator to develop the ethanol industry in Venezuela. He did the same with his other 'partner' Lula. Not a day had passed after the Texan offered trade and ethanol deals to the nations he visited, and we saw how the 'green' Chavez backpedaled in all his signed agreements and went as far as stating that he would make Lula reconsider Brazil's position on the issue. The bearded pimp got out of his deathbed to lend a hand, all very... green should we say?
Chavez is the most popular president ever in Venezuela because his policies of wealth redistribution are bearing fruit. A free health service has been rolled out across the country, illiteracy has been eradicated, new homes are being built and hundreds of thousands of co-operatives have been set up. Millions of people are involved in democratically deciding their affairs through communal councils and civil society. Previously they were excluded by a small racist elite.
Chavez got less votes at the peak of his popularity in 1998 -with more voters in the roll- than what Carlos Andres Perez got in 1988, how's that for popular? Health care and education in Venezuela have been free, as mandated by the constitution, well before Chavez started his military conspiration in the late 70ies. To his credit Chavez introduced the novel concept of placing Cuban paramedics in the barrios, and that proved one of his most clever ever measures, for it can not be denied that inhabitants of barrios are enormously grateful for having someone nearby that can administer a pill when needed. The opposition argues that these paramedics lack formal qualifications to practice medicine and have failed to meet validation requirements, which is true, however poor people care very little about these formalities. It is the fact that they're there -or were before they started defecting- what has produced a nice political dividend for the caudillo. As for illiteracy, UNESCO begs to differ with Tucker-like claims, which by the way are not supported by credible, independent and verifiable evidence. Housing under Chavez has failed to reach even the lowest amount of units per year built during the preceding presidency of Caldera, despite the fact that the price per barrel then was less than $10. Millions of people are systematically prosecuted and excluded as determined by the Inter American Human Rights Court, which has been denied repeated request to visit the country to check on the human rights situation. The ones who take part in the so called communal councils don't fare any better as all meaningful decisions are taken behind close doors by party apparatchiks. Effectively they are as excluded as before.
I have met some of the people who have benefitted from these revolutionary reforms, and believe me to challenge neo-liberal dogma in America's "back-yard" is revolutionary. I challenge the Chavez-bashers to go to Venezuela and tell real flesh and blood people that they were better off when they were condemned to live in shanty towns, and shot in the streets if they protested. Alternatively by a copy of Charles Hardy's book 'Cowboy in Caracas' which tells story of the Venezuelan Revolution through the eyes of the people of the barrios. I have reviewed it here: http://21stcenturysocialism.com/article/the_people_of_the_revolution.html
Tucker, according to his own admission, is a proud member of a propaganda joint called the Venezuela information centre. This joint, chaired by none other than Red Ken, is on a mission to providing 'accurate' information about my country here in Britain. We are yet to find out how much it's costing us Venezuelans -and you Londoners as its manned and operates in City Hall- but the amount of monies in the form of oil recently promised (up to $32 million/year) could give us an indication of the price of this rather expensive propaganda joint. In any case I am sure Tucker knows some people who have benefited from Chavez revolutionary reforms, considering the environment in which he operates. I just happen to come from spending 4 months in my country and although I can not deny that there's much money about -due to the huge oil windfall- to say that the poor are better off is ignorant. In fact Tucker admits further down in another comment that 60% of Venezuelans are still poor. That's about the right figure, in fact poverty has not decreased under Chavez, despite the enormous wealth received in the last few years. For sure the handouts Chavez gives are great for the poor alas that's about the only tangible thing they have received from his regime. Crime continues to take an extraordinary toll on them -more than on any other social group- unemployment is rampant and so is inflation, which again erodes away poor's meager disposable income faster than anyone else's. Tucker also would have you believe that Chavez is making progress vis-a-vis the environment, however he would hard pressed in reconciling such preposterous argument with the still in place gasoline subsidy, the trans-Amazonic pipeline -no word on that Mr Wall?- etc. It is rather difficult to understand how a man allegedly worried with climate change wants to destroy thousands of hectares of pristine forest while seeking partnerships with the Chinese, purportedly the greatest flaunters of green policies, to continue pumping oil like there's no tomorrow. But hey, according to Professor Wall's predicament any leader that comes up with a vegetable garden in the middle of the city is a green. Could someone please pass the message along to leaders of other developing nations?
Dr Wall claims he was invited by his friend Cesar. Would it be correct to assume that airfares and other expenses were covered by Venezuela's Ministry of the Environment? Quite frankly it is quite shocking to observe how easily duped well educated fellows carrying a grudge are. Dr Wall of course, pretty much as Tucker, won't be able to provide any serious statistics or independent evidence about his claims, beyond the nice picture of the vegetable garden in downtown Caracas.
As for Tucker, he continues with his 'mature' debating tactics stressing that I'm an open admirer of Pinochet. Is it not true that he wrote not too long ago "...Cuba - that survivor of 20th century socialism - as an ally and inspiration..." Last time I check Cuba was America's longest communist dictatorship led by a brutal murderer that hasn't allowed free elections in, what, 50 years? Tucker has also argued that in certain circumstances -as those preceding Chavez's coup in 1992 there exist "moral justification" to overthrow via military coups democratically elected governemnts.
Oh well, one has to enjoy the rationale of some leftists that cheer for militaristic dictators and his green friends who think that green credentials are gained after planting a garden...
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