[Marxism] Good Article on Current Situation in Venezuela

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Mon Mar 8 08:22:00 MST 2004

From: "Pieinsky" 
 Good Article on Current Situation in Venezuela


Their ( the opposition's)  two month strike in December 2002 through 2003
turned out to be a political disaster as they bankrupt many of their
supporters, and got their 18,000 striking oil company employees fired. The
oil company is now much more efficient after eliminating a bloated
managerial class, and is producing and expanding. Besides, the price of oil
is up, and therefore the economy, which, owing to the strike, contracted
severely in the first semester of 2003, grew at a rate of greater than 9% in
the last quarter. A recent report from First Boston/Credit Suisse predicted
a 9.8% growth rate in 2004. In 2003 the Chavez government also began an
extensive series of social programs directed at developing the 80% of the
population that live in poverty: campaigns to eradicate illiteracy, get
people studying for high school diplomas, new and urgently needed public
universities, and paying thousands of Cuban doctors to live and serve in the
poor barrios. It is also giving out many micro-credits, especially to
increase agricultural production. Unemployment has gone down, and most
sectors of the economy, except private construction are growing. There are
many public construction works in progress though, including several rail
lines connecting strategic commercial points in the country, and ambitious
new railroads that will connect Caracas with relatively distant surrounding
poorer bedroom communities. Venezuela may already have built the best sports
facilities in South America. This vigorous attempt, after 40 years of
corrupt, incompetent and squalid governments, to confront Venezuela's
problems has even earned the begrudging and cautious respect of many former
opposition supporters. 

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