Nov 29/07 | On Reuters’ five “facts” about Chavez
to Avenida Bolivar to protest against Chavez...this BTW is a Reuters picture from today.
Reuters’ five “facts” about Chavez
Gustavo Coronel and Pedro M. Burelli
The news agency Reuters has just published a curious description of Hugo Chavez under what turns out to be a deceitful heading: FACTBOX: Five facts about
- “Chavez spent much of his later military career conspiring with other leftist officials to overthrow the country’s corrupt political order. Chavez led a 1992 coup that failed but made him famous and propelled him toward the presidency”.
This “fact” falls short of the truth. The government he tried to overthrow in the bloody and inept military rebellions of 1992 was as democratically elected as his and in hindsight has proven to have been much less corrupt and divisive. It was the benign nature of
- “Opposition politicians and dissident military officers led a coup against Chavez in 2002, but supporters and loyal soldiers swept him back into power in less than two days”.
This “fact” falls even shorter from the truth. In April 2002 the largest popular demonstration ever seen in
- “Chavez has won the backing of the poor majority with massive social spending that has expanded health and education programs. He has also cultivated support by openly confronting the
…” United States
This is a dangerous “truth”. Chavez has not engaged in structural health and education programs. He has spent billions of dollars in massive handouts, not to be confused with plans to attack the structural roots of poverty, illness and ignorance. He distributes fish but does not teach the people to fish. As a result poor Venezuelans are more dependent than ever on the paternalistic, populist and vindictive leader. The entire health, educational and commerce infrastructure has been decimated due to incompetence and corruption. The state of the most major hospitals is deplorable and thousands of patients are flown every year to be operated in Venezuelan funded hospitals in
- “Born to a poor family in
’s plains Chavez once aspired to be a painter and later dreamed of being a professional baseball player…” Venezuela
This is true but is not the whole truth. Today the Chavez family is among the richest in
- “Chavez has a folksy
Caribbeanstyle and is famous for his long-winded speeches…”
To define Chavez’s rhetoric as “folksy
It is unfortunate that Reuters has tried to present the Venezuelan dictator in a favorable light, defining him and his bad habits as “famous”. He is not famous like Mother Theresa or Albert Einstein, just notorious like Paris Hilton or O.J. Simpson.
Original publication follows:
FACTBOX: Five facts about
Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:27pm EST
Here are five facts about Chavez:
* A former lieutenant colonel, Chavez spent much of his later military career conspiring with other leftist officials to overthrow the country's corrupt political order. He led a 1992 coup that failed but made him famous and propelled him toward the presidency.
* Chavez won power at a presidential election in 1998 and took office the following year. Opposition politicians and dissident military officers led a coup against Chavez in 2002, but supporters and loyal soldiers swept him back into power in less than two days. Chavez accuses
* Chavez has won the backing of the poor majority with massive social spending that has expanded health and education programs. He has also cultivated support by openly confronting the
* Born to a poor family in
* Chavez has a folksy
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