I don't propose that I know very much about anything lol, but I observe and think and then I wonder... Recently I watched a program about Venezuela's growth under Hugo Chávez and it raised my eyebrows several times. The program was dedicated to his huge supporters, mainly low income people, and showed them ecstatically speaking his praise. It seemed that they adored him, despite others around the world calling him a dangerous dictator. At first I thought perhaps the general world public was getting the wrong idea about this man, but as I observed and learned, I noticed that his supporters were going home to their little tin shacks built into the hillsides. Families were talking of how they have lived in these homes for 25+ years, all the while smiling and dancing in the streets for their dear leader. It baffled me - their homes were tiny shacks with no running water, large families piled into small spaces, still looking deep in poverty. Maybe their lives were much worse before? I don't know, but I did not see from this program how their lives were made so much better after 10 years of Chávez. I saw good things such as a large hospital being built that would treat children no matter their family's income and I think that is important - children are innocents and should not suffer due to adults' choices. But who is to say any other govt would not have provided that for them? They don't know that (and neither do I of course, either way). What made me sit back and think was seeing people praising a man for saving them, yet still living in dire poverty and not advancing in the world. If you are 'saved' and your life is owed to the leader and his policies, why are you still sleeping on a dirt floor a decade later? What exactly did he do for you? Put food on your table perhaps... but how much? He lives in The Palacio de Miraflores while the bulk of his supporters are low income and from the few I saw on the program, their lives had not changed that much. Of course there has been some good progress for them, there must have been - or he would not have this support. However, with all the allegations of past voting fraud, who is to say how much support he really has. The program also showed a man who keeps trying over and over to run for certain offices such as Mayor and each time he is doing well, Chavez knocks him down and says he is not elligible to run - removing his name from the list of choices. How often does that happen, I wonder.
And in light of recent events in the USA, it is happening all over the world - corruption in politics - and the people are sitting ducks while it is going on.'
***Update: I was sent an article about Chavez as a way of saying "See, he does good things, he cares for his people!". I read it and it detailed the Chavez noticed a new mall going up in Caracus that he did not know about. It was almost completed. He was very angry and talked to the Mayor, saying that it should have been used for housing such as apartment buildings, etc. At first glance the article appeared to show a man who was caring for his people by not wanting space used for malls when homes were needed. But I read it again and started "thinking outside the box". I also noted a small part of the article mentioning that Chavez had already build a mall in the same area a few years ago.
Hmm.... lightbulb moment - if it was not okay for the Mayor to approve this new mall when homes were 'so badly needed', why was it okay for Chavez to make one in the same area a few years ago? If he cares so much about his people, why didn't HE build an apartment block there instead? I guess he thought his people needed somewhere to shop when they crawled out of their little cardboard box in an alley down the street? You really need to THINK about what you are reading and open your mind to a broader perspective. Is it possible that Chavez was angry because he, the dictator, was not informed of this new shopping center? Impossible for me to know of course, but I just ask why HE didn't build new homes there instead.... Think about it.