yes, my first post in ages

i don’t really know what to blog, because everything i have to say somehow gets funneled into one friend or outlet or another — rather than my blog

many days ago i spoke of a documentary by some irish folks about an attempted coup in venezuela, it’s called the revolution will not be televised
a grand documentary, it’s making its rounds in theaters around the united states
(i saw it on cbc a long time ago)

for some reason i find myself very interested in venezuelan politics, lapping up all the news — currently hugo chavez (the leftist president of venezuela) is facing the possibility of a recall election … a referendum on his presidency (to be replaced by his vice-president) … won’t know whether or not the referendum will be held until sometime in january

what’s interesting is the history of latin america and how right-wingers and conservatives have held the power so tightly, leading to massive polarizations of society — in venezuela for instance, 80% of the population is poor, 20% is above middle class

i was reading an article about lord of the rings (yes, i take a course on lord of the rings in university … and yes it’s easy and i’m acing it, i deserve a break so shut up) — at any rate the author of the article was speaking of how many parts of the world have evolved from the typical pyramid structure, with the elite rich at the top grading down to the majority of the population being in the lower class at the bottom, and how we’ve evolved into a diamond type of structure, with a small population being rich, a large population middle class, and a small population being lower class

assuming even such a structure is acceptable (i don’t see anyone proudly waving, i support the diamond structure!), that’s certainly not how it is in many parts of latin america, venezuela for instance
hugo chavez came into power with the promise of making things better for the poor — from nearly the first day though he faced a stiff opposition from these rich elitists and so he’s really been able to do little economically for the poor — but it makes really no difference to them
it has made a difference to the middle class, as they see their spending power decrease because of the crappation of the economy because of the opposition (union leaders and business interests close factories and disallow workers from working, and then say this is a “general strike” — some workers at a pepsi factory apparently took over it and started working forcefully, though)

but chavez has introduced progams such as mission robinson — so far having educated over half a million people to read and write
this is no easy feat, coming from the east, countries such as afghanistan (with a 99% illiteracy rate) and pakistan and india, where the majority of people are so illiterate it’s appalling, this is immense

venezuela has over 20 million people, i think around 23 million, and considering eighty percent are poor (and therefore, logically, more likely to be illiterate), that means around 18 million people live in poverty — educating over half a million out of these is not a slim task, and the way it is being done is quite fine too

certainly chavez has his faults, and it’s not for me as an outsider who was admittedly spurred to take a look at this country because of a pro-chavez documentary to judge who’s fit to rule venezuela … i’ve never been there and chances are slim i will be there any time soon

but it’s interesting how there seems to be a pattern here, take a look at chile and the not so well known 9-11, september 11, 1973 when the popular and democratically elected government of salvador allende was overthrown by the now notorious, though previously unheard of, augusto pinochet (among others, for that matter) and the CIA of course

of course in the end this is a matter for the people of venezuela to decide, and hopefully it will go well for the people of venezuela (and not its business firms and interests)

note that opinions are very polarized in venezuela, there’s either overwhelming pro-chavez sentiment or vociferously anti-chavez sentiment
it’s very hard to find a voice that’s in between — that doesn’t mean people don’t feel that way, it’s just hard to find these voices

that’s my venezuela rant of the day this!

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