Monday, July 19, 2004

Vzla: Presidency bought with a price

Once proposing to raid the Central Bank's reserves, then turning to Petróleos de Venezuela to fund them, President Hugo Chavez is using his social programs, called “missions,” to hopefully buy his way through the looming referendum that threatens to recall him.

Petorleos is devoting 30 percent of its investment budget this year to social projects designed to turn the heads of the electorate.

Typical of the programs is the Ribas Mission, designed for the estimated 1.5 million Venezuelans over 18 who never completed high school. So far, more than 700,000 have enrolled. Meanwhile, however, critics maintain that the traditional school system is still marred by truancy, lack of funds and poor results.

Promising a “peaceful revolution” to help the nation’s disadvantaged, Chavez leadership has, in reality, left Venezuela's poor worse off in almost every measurable respect.

Regardless, millions are expected to vote for him in a referendum on his presidency due on August 15th. The latest polls suggest he might narrowly win the referendum.
Sounds like Chavez has learn a lot from Democrats and their hero FDR.


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