Friday, March 2, 2007

Hasta la Victoria Siempre


In 2000, Venezuela's Annual Growth Rate was negative 7.2%

Now, I don't know exactly how the mathematicians and the bankers come up with these numbers, but I think we can all agree that Venezuela was in dire straights; starving people, homeless orphans huffing glue; it was a mess.

It was about that time that the IMF (International Monetary Fund), came to the recently elected President Chavez and said, "We're here to help your impoverished little country. We can give you a loan to get your public programs on track, and you can pay us back with your oil revenue...

Sign here, please."

But President Chavez could see the fire in the bankers' eyes and the way their mouths watered when the words 'oil revenue' oozed off their tongues. He looked around at all the other third world countries the IMF had "helped." He saw those countries straining to survive under the weight of crippling debts, and how the IMF had put so many restrictions on how the countries could use their loan money, that the leaders were powerless to truly lead their people to a better way of life.

"No, thank you" said President Chavez to the IMF. "I will find a way to help my people without making my country a slave of the western economic powers."

"You fool!" said the bankers. "You can't survive without us! We own the money by which your economy and every economy on earth is measured!"

"Then I guess we'll have to get rid of your money as well," said President Chavez to the bankers. "We will trade our oil for the services that our country needs."

"BARTER!!" The bankers laughed. "Okay then, Mr. Chavez. You go barter your oil! We'll be back when you learn how the modern economy works!"

Venezuela's Annual growth rate in 2006: 10.3%

The United States Annual Growth Rate in 2006: 3.2%

24 comments:

Julia_1984 said...

The economics grow is only a facade, of a big hell in the back. Dont trust the numbers, dont make stupid conclussions out of them, without knowing the reality.

Heather Annastasia said...

I appreciate the comment, but if you want to argue, please make a point.

What are the facts as you see them?

What is the hell of which you speak?

When the U.S. backed a coup that ousted Chavez in 2002, the people rioted in the streets and demanded that he be returned to power.

Why would they do such a thing if he was making their lives hell?

He may very well be overstepping his bounds as of late, afterall, power corrupts, but give me some specifics here.

sinincincinnati said...

I'm honored to be here with Julia 1984, who may know whereof she speaks.
Chavez is nothing more than another in a long line of what Aristotle called demagogues. (As it says in the book of Ecclesiastes--written in about the time of Aristotle--there is nothing new under the sun.)
If Huey Long hadn't been assassinated, it's not too much of a stretch to assume he might have been a US President, deposing FDR. Then he probably would have done some sort of secret deal with Hitler, just as the Communist leaders of the USSR did.
Could it have headed off US involvement in WWII?
Beyond that, I'll leave it to someone else to speculate.

Heather Annastasia said...

et tu sin?

I'm all for an argument, but you're not saying anything specific about Chavez.

What has Chavez DONE?

What is he DOING?

Come on people, this is an easy one. I could argue with myself !

How difficult is it to come up with specific arguments against Chavez?

sinincincinnati said...

Glad you axed.
I was volunteering to teech English to furriners several years back. A scrumptious student was a sister-in-law to the VP under Chavez.
I tried to gently badmouth him, but she wasn't buying. Duh.
Mussolini made the trains run on time.
According to Marge Schott, Hitler was okay in the beginning.
The Commie experiment took from 1918 to 1980-something before it flopped.
Demagogues are parasites. A poor little bluebird feeds a baby cowbird that has just shoved all the baby bluebirds to their death.
Sheeple are Thermos Bottles: They keep hot things hot and cold things cold even if they can't discern the difference betwixt hot and cold.
Whatcha gonna do?

Heather Annastasia said...

*sigh*

More metaphors and examples of bad people who are not Chavez, but what have you got on Chavez??

How do you know your dislike of Chavez is not some programmed response which you yourself do not even understand?

Orwell? 1984? Moment of Hate?

If you people can't justify your position, how can you be sure that you have one?

Jason said...

I'm ignorant on this one kids :)

I know he makes neo-cons uneasy and he hasn't threatened anyone with force. He's also comically animated and fun to watch. He seems to command the ferver of his peoples.

"More metaphors and examples of bad people who are not Chavez, but what have you got on Chavez??"

Yeah, where's the beef ya'll? edumacate me.

Jason said...

This is interesting. If you're not familiar with nndb, you should do some poking around.

http://www.nndb.com/people/382/000025307/

Heather Annastasia said...

What does NNDB stand for?

And see what I mean? Who hates Chavez? The Bush administration and Pat Robertson. And who do they support? Pedro Carmona Estanga. The guy who disbanded congress and tore up the constitution.

Is it coincidence that this administration is also tearing up OUR constitution with the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act and replacing US judges and attorneys with their own supporters do that no one will be able so challenge these acts?

WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

Heather Annastasia said...

bit 'o dyslexia on that last bit:

SO that no one will be able TO challenge these acts.

sinincincinnati said...

Okay, okay. If you insist... look up the Development Policy Analysis at the Cato Institute, written by Gustavo Coronel and titled, "Corruption, Mismanagement, and Abuse of Power in Hugo Chavez' Venezuela."
I haven't read it. I'm just going by the title.

And Heather, I agree with what you're hinting at regarding my tax dollars secretly going into countries like Venezuela in order to influence their elections. Judging by US "success" in Iraq, these CIA efforts are doing little more than creating anti-American backlash.

Heather Annastasia said...

Why should I read a document you haven't read?

You're the one touting government programed positions you can't even justify.

I've been following the goings on in South America for more than seven years, don't pull up anti-Chavez stuff on Google and substitute that for having a valid point.

I know that I'm not going to win any acceptance of Chavez from you because of your fundamental political ideologies, but at least put up an honest fight.

Chris said...

I have two problems with Chavez. The United States is the biggest power in this region and it really serves no useful purpose fighting it. Of course there are many issues with the US but the test of a true leader is one who can manage all the forces around him--both friendly and unfriendly, ensure the survival of his government and at the same time develop his country. Perhaps this explains why Castro and Nkrumah failed, but the Chinese leaders seem to succeed. What is your use when you are either squeezed to oblivion or overthrown?
My second problem with Chavez has to do with his recent attempt to usurp more power in his country. It has been shown over and over again that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The path he is now taking is the surest and quickest way to drive his government out of power. Then what will become of some of the genuine issues he has with the US?

sinincincinnati said...

Heather,
I'm sure I'd enjoy having a few drinks with Hugo, just as I would Bill Clinton.
Demagogues are parasites who destroy the people they claim to help.

Still, Hugo would cease to be a US problem overnight if we weren't stuck, not with a demagogue, but a simpleton.
The truer the democracy, the surer shit will float to the top.
The answer is to make families, not nations sovereign: Peaceful anarchy.
By the way, I have a hard copy of the Cato Report right here. (But you can't make me read it. Neener neener.)

Heather Annastasia said...

Sin,

haha! Fair enough.

Chris,

I like you.

While it may harm a country to fight the US, it's also difficult to not be a slave to the US if you're sitting on enough oil --or drugs, or gold, or whatever. Fighting to the death or being squeezed to oblivion may be the only other options open.

China's saving grace has been its massive size and, until recently, its nearly impenetrable culture.

I think fighting is the best option for several reasons: America has a fairly educated population (literate anyway), and we can vote for our leaders (for now). There's a reasonable chance that, before we go the way of every empire before us, we may actually wake up to the plight of struggling nations around the world and demand real change.

Stranger things have happened (I think).

Your point about Chavez taking an unreasonable amount of power, very recently, is exactly what's troubling me.

Everything he has done up until this point has proven beneficial for Venezuela, and I can see that with foreign powers constantly trying to undermine his government, the positive changes he's made are fragile to say the least.

I can understand that he would want to take drastic measures to ensure the stability of his country, but can any one person be trusted with so much power?

Chris said...

I appreciate your response. But Heather, I think anyone with a cause has a responsibility to stay alive so as to keep the cause alive. You don't go about picking fights with the stronger guy!
I don't think fighting the US is the best option for these developing countries. The best option for them is to have smart leaders who understand how to manage the enormous power of the US. China, India, etc have found the trick while Cuba, Zimbabwe, and lately Venezuela has jumped on the self-destructive path of fighting the US.
Imagine what Cuba would have been if they had smart leaders like the Chinese! But come to think of it, China represents more harm to the US than Cuba yet they have managed their relationship so well.
Yes, empires come and go…but in today’s world, it is the US that rules…(in spite of all the rhetoric about democracy!)

sinincincinnati said...

Chris,
You still seem to be sticking with the "shock and awe" theory of Rummie and Condi.
International affairs are more complex.
Individuals will always drive prosperity. Governments will aways try to prevent individuals from driving prosperity.

Heather Annastasia said...

Well, I don't think fighting is the right word here. Maybe resistance?

And honestly, I'm not sure who actually poses a "threat" to the U.S.

Our fear of China seems rooted in our fear of Communism and our realization that we would be in for a real fight if we tried to push them around too much.

Is North Korea a threat? Possibly. They don't have the means to get a nuke to our shores, but they are in range of a lot of our shoe and toy factories, so they could really disrupt our economy if they wanted.

Iraq was never a threat to the U.S. Despite Mr. Powell's assertions, their plywood and duct tape missiles could not even have made it to Egypt.

Al Qaeda is certainly a threat, but one we're more concerned about attacking in presidential speeches than in real life. After all, we couldn't keep people in a constant state of fear and irrationality if we actually dealt with them.

Is Venezuela a threat to the United States? has it amassed any troops? Developed any WMDs? Lobbed any missiles... at anyone ??

Well, it's surviving in a world economy that is designed to enslave it. That actually could be dangerous because the economy is a figment of our collective imagination. A dollar is worth a dollar because we all agree it's worth a dollar. Adam Smith calls it "magic," I call it "pretend," either way the whole thing depends on everyone playing along.

Still, when leaders give in to pressure, either from people who are threatening their lives or people who are trying to bribe them with money, they always think, "this is how I will stay in power now so that I can do the right thing later." But the right thing never comes, just more deals and more deals until they are just like the people they once hated, and they've forgotten all about the people they once swore to help.

And Sin,

Individuals will more often than not drive their own prosperity at the expense of other individuals. That's why anarchy would not be civilized.

You guys rock!

Heather Annastasia said...

"When they come for the innocent without crossing over your body, cursed be your religion and your life."
-Anon.

sinincincinnati said...

"That's why anarchy would not be civilized."

It's almost as useless to speculate on life after anarchy as it is to speculate on life after death. In either case there is damn close to an insurmountable/irreversible barrier. However I choose to believe true civilization will not flourish until we've had anarchy. The reading I've done about complexity, which is a spontaneous order, and seeing what the Santa Fe Institute is about have given me "faith."

By the way, Adam Smith was among the first to point out that driving your own prosperity at the expense of others is PRECISELY what drives general properity, and is a "good thing."

Notice I have not commented on your topics of later than this one. I don't think it's helpful for anyone to go there.

Heather Annastasia said...

Sin,

You don't think it's helpful, or you can't justify your position on Chavez?

Ha!

Tomorrow I'll start a thread on anarchy for you. I'll learn more about this "complexity" thing your always on about, and I'll start a thread on that later.

Adam Smith is evil.

More on him later.

Jesse said...

Venezuela recently gave Hugo Chavez Total Control over the country "temporarily" Soon that will be "Permanently." So I assume that if you want socialism; you also want a totalitarian dictatorship.

Heather Annastasia said...

Well, socialism and totalitarianism are two completely different and unrelated forms of government.

Whether Chavez's power is temporary or permanent is exactly my concern.

I want to believe that he will do the right thing for his people. I want to believe that he is only taking this power to protect the positive but fragile economic changes he's made.

But I'm not sure any leader has ever relinquished such power once taken.

He's done right by his people so far, I want to have faith in him

But then, I'm not a person of faith.

Jason said...

Thanks Ya'll, I feel smarter now.

I think nndb=notable names database.