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Venezuela's Future

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Chavez is struggling to recover from his fourth cancer surgery in 18 months. Earlier post-operative problems were resolved.

New reports say severe respiratory infection ones arose. Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said he "faced complications as a result of a severe lung infection."

He's fully conscious. He's getting superb care. On January 3, Granma International said he remains in "stable condition within the context of his delicate condition."

Venezuelan Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Jorge Arreaza, said he's "battling hard and sends his love to our people."

On December 11, Chavez underwent complex surgery in Havana. He hasn't spoken publicly since. A climate of uncertainty remains. Most Venezuelan pray he'll recover fully.

The Times suggests possible change. Asking what social, economic and political issues a new leader "must" confront wrongly implies possible Bolivarian transformation.

Calling Venezuela's relationship with America contentious points fingers the wrong way. Chavez sought normalized relations. He still does. So do likeminded officials. Washington spurns them. 

Chavez is vilified for doing things right. Times editors turn truth on its head. They've done it throughout his tenure. They support wealth, power, and privilege. 

They ignore Chavez's responsible progressive policies. They're polar opposite destructive US ones. Explanations aren't forthcoming.

The Times matched Weisbrot against eight establishment figures. Actually nine. One article had two contributors. It's hardly a fair exchange. It's typical Times.

Moises Naim is Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior associate. He's featured in mainstream publications. In 2009, he participated in the corporate-run World Economic Forum. He didn't come to discuss progressive politics.

His article was titled "An Economic Crisis of Historic Proportions." He called Chavez irresponsible. He blames him for "mismanagement."

He ignored remarkable achievements. Popular needs are prioritized. Child mortality fell from 20 per 1,000 to 13. Unemployment dropped from 14.5% to 6.4%. 

Income inequality is Latin America's lowest. Poverty was cut in half. Extreme poverty fell over 70%. Economic growth in 2011 was 4.8%. In 2012, it was 5.5%. Forecasts estimate 6% in 2013.

Hundreds of thousands of new homes were built. Commerce grew 9.2%. Communications advanced 7.2%. Manufacturing increased 2.1%. Oil sector production was 1.4% better.

Moises and others claim Venezuelan debt tops 20%. Accurate calculations indicate 8.8%. America's gross federal debt exceeds 100% of GDP. Annually it grows exponentially. Moises didn't explain.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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It is hard to take the NYTimes' "Room for Debate" ... by Robert Cowen on Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 at 6:58:40 AM
Viva Chavez.... by Ken Stevens on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 12:38:10 AM
in the region with its high inflation & number... by Darren Wolfe on Sunday, Jan 6, 2013 at 7:59:12 AM