OYE! Chavez: Pro-poor, not anti-US

Posted on August 15, 2007

The Los Angeles Times is spending alot of time whipping up issues that don’t exist. A few weeks ago, the Times, pretending to report on actual dialogue, built the case for resurrection of the army in Haiti. The Haitian army was an instrument of state repression and, rather than defending the people of Haiti, it turned its guns on them. But the slanted stories on Haiti are just slightly less frequent than the Times relentless propaganda about Venezuela and President Chavez. The propaganda is tiresome and downright juvenile. The anti-US jag that the Times ascribes to President Chavez is a smokescreen so that you don’t see how well his economic and trade reforms are working for the poor, not just in Venezuela but to many places beyond. As former Haitian president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide said, “from misery to poverty, with dignity.” A letter to the editor of the Times about President Chavez’ motives sets the record straight:

Pro-poor, not anti-U.S.
The Los Angeles Times – Letters
August 13, 2007

Re “Chavez brings oil diplomacy to neighbors,” Aug. 8

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may be trying to win friendships, as all governments do in their diplomatic relations, but he is doing so in the context of a deeper commitment to alleviating poverty in Latin America.

This humanistic undertaking is on display in Venezuela, where poverty has fallen under Chavez, and it is the underlying intent of regional integration projects spearheaded by Venezuela, such as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas. This project aims to reduce inequalities and raise the standard of living in the hemisphere.

A recent donation of $3.3 million to community organizations in New York’s South Bronx by the Venezuelan-owned gas company Citgo is a testament to that broader effort. A tour of the region by Chavez may highlight his desire to create alliances for Venezuela, but the tour is pro-poor, not anti-U.S.

Megan Morrissey Media Analyst, Venezuela Information Office Washington

Posted in: Haiti, US, Venezuela