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Venezuela: one country, two realities

By Aleksander Boyd

While president Chavez and his international guests were having a bash for the reinstallation of "democracy", other not so cheerful events were taking place. In the period between Friday the 11th and Sunday the 13th, 92 people were killed in Venezuela. It adds up to the 114 deaths of the previous week and the 514 of the previous month. The drastic reduction in the security budget coupled with the disarmament and politicisation of the police forces in the city of Caracas are measures ordered by the president and implemented by his cronies. It is therefore ignorant to accuse the opposition about the unsustainable situation of the country.

Critics pointed out the cost of the Bolivarian celebrations. Let us assume for one moment that the cost of such a special occasion was indeed 23 Bn Bolivares (Bs) or roughly 9.2 million dollars. Considering that the minimum monthly wage is 350.000 Bs or 140 dollars, how many poor people could have benefited from that amount? 65.714 people. 65.714 people. I have written it twice just in case.. How many international guests enjoyed Hugo Chavez's hospitality at the expense of the ruined Venezuelan economy? How much does their sympathy cost? The humanitarian side effect is overwhelming, with such demanding guests no wonder that the president has been so eager to take control of PDVSA.

The poll on the right shows some interesting results regarding the perception of the Venezuelan president internationally. The results of the question " do you consider Hugo Chavez responsible for the killings of the demonstrators last April?" are quite amazing:
-Yes 92 % of 2081 votes
-No 5 % of 2081 votes
-Don't know 3 % of 2081 votes
It is worth mentioning the profile of Vcrisis readers. Mainly Venezuelan ex pats who are either working of studying abroad, researchers in politics and sociology, human rights activists, journalists, professionals with a good level of education, in sum the sort of people any country needs for developing a sound socio-economic system. I am absolutely convinced that Venezuela will not surmount this or any crisis being governed by individuals like Hugo Chavez or Jose Vicente Rangel or Tarek William or any of the luminaries who form this administration. And please do not get me wrong, is not that in the past we have had Einsteins at the presidency, predecessors had the same sort of "intellect". Many people have asked me if I have received hate mail or threats, the response is negative for quite a simple reason, die hard "chavistas" are not able to read, speak let alone write English, which has become Lingua Franca. Hence the government's need to court "international figures" to counteract our success.

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