Weblog von Patricia Wegenast

Mar 17, 2009 at 20:37 o\clock

Venezuelan Liberty Film Festival :Human Right Foundation

by: Venezuela   Keywords: HRF, venezuela, Filmfeestival

 Human Rights Foundation

CARACAS, Venezuela (March 17, 2009)--The first ever Venezuelan Liberty Film Festival premieres tonight in Caracas, Venezuela. The three day event is a joint collaboration among the Chacao Cultural Center, UNA — Asociación Civil Unidad Nacional (National Unity Civic Association) — and the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), and aims to inspire, educate, and encourage discussion about human freedom.

“We are thrilled that the municipality of Chacao and UNA are so courageously devoted to the promotion of dialogue and public participation. Confronted with a government that persecutes those who oppose it, shuts down or threatens dissenting media, and employs unimaginable tactics to perpetuate itself in power, it is magnificent that Venezuelans will have a safe space to learn more about the historic struggles for human rights in Poland, South Africa, Hungary, India, Estonia, Chile, Denmark, and the U.S.,” said HRF Chief Operating Officer Sarah Wasserman.

“This event would not be possible without HRF’s generosity, patience, and guidance. For us, this is an opportunity to strengthen public debate about human freedom as fundamental to human happiness and prosperity. Our festival aims to raise awareness about individual and political freedom by showing films and documentaries that inspire our youth and leadership—in Venezuela we need all the hope we can get,” said UNA spokesperson Isabela Iturriza Soules.

The festival, which has garnered significant publicity and is oversubscribed, will consist of three films: Freedom’s Fury (directed by the brother sister team: Colin Keith Gray and Megan Rainey Aarons about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956); The Singing Revolution (directed by husband and wife: James and Maureen Tusty about Estonia’s peaceful struggle against Soviet occupation); and A Force More Powerful (directed by Steve York about the impact of non-violent struggles in world history).

Two of the films shown, Freedom’s Fury and The Singing Revolution, were co-produced by HRF’s president, Thor Halvorssen, and appear courtesy of the filmmakers. The dubbing of the films into Spanish was made possible thanks to a collaboration between non-profit organization Moving Picture Institute (MPI) and HRF. A Force More Powerful was produced by Peter Ackerman and Jack DuVall and appears in the festival thanks to the generosity of the Centre for Nonviolent Action.

UNA’s mission statement defines the organization as a non-profit devoted to solidarity, civic participation, property rights, the fight against poverty, freedom, justice, and democracy as a way of life and not just as a form of government. UNA also promotes civil unity, personal development, rule of law, separation of powers, free elections, and free markets.

Directed by Diana Lopez, Centro Cultural Chacao is devoted to fostering a democratic culture and promoting education for residents of Caracas. Its programs are free and open to the public.

HRF is an international nonpartisan organization devoted to defending human rights in the Americas. It centers its work on the twin concepts of freedom of self-determination and freedom from tyranny. These ideals include the belief that all human beings have the rights to speak freely, to associate with those of like mind, and to leave and enter their countries. Individuals in a free society must be accorded equal treatment and due process under law, and must have the opportunity to participate in the governments of their countries; HRF’s ideals likewise find expression in the conviction that all human beings have the right to be free from arbitrary detainment or exile and from interference and coercion in matters of conscience. HRF does not support nor condone violence. HRF’s International Council includes former prisoners of conscience Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Armando Valladares, Ramón J. Velásquez, Elie Wiesel, and Harry Wu.

Contact: Sarah Wasserman, HRF: info@thehrf.org

Isabela Iturriza Soules: isabela.is28@gmail.com

Mar 17, 2009 at 20:35 o\clock

Festival de cine por la libertad.Patrocina :The Human Rights Foundation

by: Venezuela   Keywords: HRF, venezuela, cine

Human Rights Foundation


350 Fifth Avenue, Ste 809
New York, NY 10118
Voice: (212) 246.8486
Fax: (212) 643.4278
www.laHRF.com



Contacto:
Sarah Wasserman, HRF
info@thehrf.org
(212) 246.8486
Isabela Iturriza Soules, UNA
isabela.is28@gmail.com

HRF copatrocina festival de cine por la libertad en Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (17 de marzo de 2009)—El primer Festival de Cine por la Libertad empieza esta noche en Caracas, Venezuela. Copatrocinado por el Centro Cultural Chacao, la Asociación Civil Unidad Nacional (UNA) y la Human Rights Foundation (HRF), este evento de tres días busca inspirar, educar, y fomentar la discusión acerca de la libertad.

“Nos emociona que el municipio de Chacao y UNA se dediquen tan valerosamente a la promoción del diálogo y de la participación ciudadana. Enfrentados con un gobierno que persigue a los que se le oponen, que cierra o amenaza a medios de comunicación disidentes y que emplea tácticas inimaginables para perpetuarse en el poder, nos parece genial que los venezolanos tengan un espacio seguro para aprender más sobre las luchas históricas por los derechos humanos en Polonia, Suráfrica, Hungría, la India, Estonia, Chile, Dinamarca, y los E.E.U.U.”, dijo Sarah Wasserman de la HRF.

“Este evento no sería posible sin la generosidad, paciencia, y disposición de la HRF. Esta es una oportunidad para fortalecer la sociedad civil y la opinión pública sobre el tema de la libertad como elemento fundamental de la naturaleza humana. Nuestro festival tiene el objetivo de elevar el valor de la libertad individual y política a través de películas y documentales que inspiren a nuestra juventud y a nuestros líderes—en Venezuela necesitamos esperanza”, dijo Isabela Iturriza Soules de UNA.

El festival, que ha recibido mucha publicidad y cuyo cupo ya está agotado, consistirá de tres películas: La furia de la libertad (dirigida por el equipo de hermanos Colin Keith Gray y Megan Rainey Aarons sobre la revolución húngara de 1956); La revolución cantada (dirigida por los esposos James y Maureen Tusty sobre la lucha pacífica de Estonia contra la ocupación soviética); y Una fuerza más poderosa (dirigida por Steve York sobre el impacto de luchas no violentas en la historia mundial).

Dos de estas películas, La furia de la libertad y La revolución cantada, fueron coproducidas por el presidente de la HRF, Thor Halvorssen, y serán mostradas por cortesía de los cineastas. El doblaje de las películas al español fue una colaboración entre la organización sin fines de lucro Moving Picture Institute (MPI) y la HRF. Una fuerza más poderosa fue producida por Peter Ackerman y Jack DuVall y será mostrada gracias a la generosidad del Centre for Nonviolent Action.

La misión de UNA la define como una asociación civil sin fines de lucro comprometida a la solidaridad, la participación, la propiedad privada, la libertad, la justicia, y la democracia como forma de vida y no sólo de gobierno. UNA también promueve la unidad civil, el desarrollo personal, el estado de derecho, la separación de poderes, y las elecciones y mercados libres.

Bajo la dirección de Diana López, el Centro Cultural Chacao se dedica a fomentar una cultura democrática y a promover la educación para los residentes en su municipalidad. Sus programas son gratis y abiertos al público.

La Human Rights Foundation (HRF) es una organización internacional, apolítica, dedicada a defender los derechos humanos en el continente americano. La Fundación centra su trabajo en los conceptos entrelazados de autodeterminación y libertad. Estos ideales encuentran su más alta expresión en la creencia de que todos los seres humanos tienen derecho a la libertad de expresión, de asociación con personas de ideas afines. Las personas que viven en una sociedad libre deben recibir el mismo trato y debido proceso de conformidad con la ley y deben tener asimismo, la oportunidad de participar en los asuntos públicos de su país. De la misma forma, los ideales de la HRF están determinados por la convicción de que todos los seres humanos tienen el derecho a estar libres de detenciones o exilios arbitrarios, de esclavitud y tortura y de la interferencia y coerción en asuntos de conciencia. La HRF no justifica ni aboga por la violencia. El Consejo Internacional de la HRF está constituido por individuos que fueron presos de conciencia como Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Armando Valladares, Ramón J. Velásquez, Elie Wiesel, y Harry Wu.


Contacto:
Sarah Wasserman, Human Rights Foundation, (212) 246.8486, info@thehrf.org
Isabela Iturriza Soules, UNA, isabela.is28@gmail.com

This press release is available in English here.

Mar 17, 2009 at 20:35 o\clock

Festival de cine por la libertad.Patrocina :The Human Rights Foundation

by: Venezuela   Keywords: HRF, venezuela, cine

Human Rights Foundation


350 Fifth Avenue, Ste 809
New York, NY 10118
Voice: (212) 246.8486
Fax: (212) 643.4278
www.laHRF.com



Contacto:
Sarah Wasserman, HRF
info@thehrf.org
(212) 246.8486
Isabela Iturriza Soules, UNA
isabela.is28@gmail.com

HRF copatrocina festival de cine por la libertad en Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela (17 de marzo de 2009)—El primer Festival de Cine por la Libertad empieza esta noche en Caracas, Venezuela. Copatrocinado por el Centro Cultural Chacao, la Asociación Civil Unidad Nacional (UNA) y la Human Rights Foundation (HRF), este evento de tres días busca inspirar, educar, y fomentar la discusión acerca de la libertad.

“Nos emociona que el municipio de Chacao y UNA se dediquen tan valerosamente a la promoción del diálogo y de la participación ciudadana. Enfrentados con un gobierno que persigue a los que se le oponen, que cierra o amenaza a medios de comunicación disidentes y que emplea tácticas inimaginables para perpetuarse en el poder, nos parece genial que los venezolanos tengan un espacio seguro para aprender más sobre las luchas históricas por los derechos humanos en Polonia, Suráfrica, Hungría, la India, Estonia, Chile, Dinamarca, y los E.E.U.U.”, dijo Sarah Wasserman de la HRF.

“Este evento no sería posible sin la generosidad, paciencia, y disposición de la HRF. Esta es una oportunidad para fortalecer la sociedad civil y la opinión pública sobre el tema de la libertad como elemento fundamental de la naturaleza humana. Nuestro festival tiene el objetivo de elevar el valor de la libertad individual y política a través de películas y documentales que inspiren a nuestra juventud y a nuestros líderes—en Venezuela necesitamos esperanza”, dijo Isabela Iturriza Soules de UNA.

El festival, que ha recibido mucha publicidad y cuyo cupo ya está agotado, consistirá de tres películas: La furia de la libertad (dirigida por el equipo de hermanos Colin Keith Gray y Megan Rainey Aarons sobre la revolución húngara de 1956); La revolución cantada (dirigida por los esposos James y Maureen Tusty sobre la lucha pacífica de Estonia contra la ocupación soviética); y Una fuerza más poderosa (dirigida por Steve York sobre el impacto de luchas no violentas en la historia mundial).

Dos de estas películas, La furia de la libertad y La revolución cantada, fueron coproducidas por el presidente de la HRF, Thor Halvorssen, y serán mostradas por cortesía de los cineastas. El doblaje de las películas al español fue una colaboración entre la organización sin fines de lucro Moving Picture Institute (MPI) y la HRF. Una fuerza más poderosa fue producida por Peter Ackerman y Jack DuVall y será mostrada gracias a la generosidad del Centre for Nonviolent Action.

La misión de UNA la define como una asociación civil sin fines de lucro comprometida a la solidaridad, la participación, la propiedad privada, la libertad, la justicia, y la democracia como forma de vida y no sólo de gobierno. UNA también promueve la unidad civil, el desarrollo personal, el estado de derecho, la separación de poderes, y las elecciones y mercados libres.

Bajo la dirección de Diana López, el Centro Cultural Chacao se dedica a fomentar una cultura democrática y a promover la educación para los residentes en su municipalidad. Sus programas son gratis y abiertos al público.

La Human Rights Foundation (HRF) es una organización internacional, apolítica, dedicada a defender los derechos humanos en el continente americano. La Fundación centra su trabajo en los conceptos entrelazados de autodeterminación y libertad. Estos ideales encuentran su más alta expresión en la creencia de que todos los seres humanos tienen derecho a la libertad de expresión, de asociación con personas de ideas afines. Las personas que viven en una sociedad libre deben recibir el mismo trato y debido proceso de conformidad con la ley y deben tener asimismo, la oportunidad de participar en los asuntos públicos de su país. De la misma forma, los ideales de la HRF están determinados por la convicción de que todos los seres humanos tienen el derecho a estar libres de detenciones o exilios arbitrarios, de esclavitud y tortura y de la interferencia y coerción en asuntos de conciencia. La HRF no justifica ni aboga por la violencia. El Consejo Internacional de la HRF está constituido por individuos que fueron presos de conciencia como Vladimir Bukovsky, Palden Gyatso, Armando Valladares, Ramón J. Velásquez, Elie Wiesel, y Harry Wu.


Contacto:
Sarah Wasserman, Human Rights Foundation, (212) 246.8486, info@thehrf.org
Isabela Iturriza Soules, UNA, isabela.is28@gmail.com

This press release is available in English here.

Mar 14, 2009 at 09:51 o\clock

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Mar 3, 2009 at 13:20 o\clock

Die Welt Online: Armes Venezuela.Pobre Venezuela.Hildegard Stausberg

Armes Venezuela

Von Hildegard Stausberg 2. März 2009, 02:12 Uhr

Es ist gerade mal zwei Wochen her, da sicherte sich Venezuelas Präsident Hugo Chávez in einem erneuten Referendum die Möglichkeit seiner ewigen Wiederwahl. Ausgestattet mit dieser Machtbestätigung, holt er nun aus zu einem weiteren Schlag gegen die Privatindustrie: Das Militär übernimmt die Kontrolle über die Reisproduktion - die Perspektive ist eine völlige Enteignung

http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article3299643/Armes-Venezuela.html

Mar 3, 2009 at 13:16 o\clock

Die Welt Online: Venezuelas Soldaten sollen die Reisproduktion sichern

Venezuelas Soldaten sollen die Reisproduktion sichern

Von Hildegard Stausberg 2. März 2009, 02:12 Uhr

Präsident Hugo Chávez droht mit Verstaatlichungen - Inflationsrate könnte in diesem Jahr auf 40 Prozent steigen

Berlin - Das venezolanische Militär hat auf Anweisung von Präsident Hugo Chávez die Kontrolle über die Reis produzierenden Fabriken des Landes übernommen. Chávez begründete die Maßnahme damit, dass sich die Firmeneigner nicht an die staatlich festgesetzten Preise gehalten hätten.

 http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article3299635/Venezuelas-Soldaten-sollen-die-Reisproduktion-sichern.html

 

Mar 2, 2009 at 11:45 o\clock

Debating the progress of the Bolivarian Revolution

by: Venezuela   Keywords: chavez, arria, venezuela

10 Years with President Hugo Chavez: Debating the Progress of the Bolivarian Revolution

American University

 The Council on Latin America Presents  

10 Years with President Hugo Chavez:

Debating the Progress of the Bolivarian Revolution  

Panelists Include:  

H.E. Diego Arria

Former Venezuelan Ambassador to the United Nations

                                                And 

Dr. Mark Weisbrot

Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)  

Panel will be moderated by

Dr. Robert Pastor

Co-Director of the Center for Democracy and Electoral Management (CDEM)  

Tuesday, February 24

7:00pm-8:30pm

 A DEBATE ABOUT THE CHAVEZ REVOLUTION AFTER A DECADE

American University in Washington DC, February 25, 2009

Ambassador DIEGO ARRIA and Dr MARK WEISBROT, Director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research of Washington DC

(Follows notes taken of Ambassador Arria’s presentation. Do not include yet his replies during the question and answer period)

Debate and  Q&A

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6760231116609302070

 AMBASSADOR DIEGO ARRIA

Obviously someone who did not like diplomats-or maybe knew them  too well said : A diplomat, is someone who thinks twice before saying nothing. But this evening I  will do my best to say a few things…..

I am encouraged and grateful for the presence of so many students We need independent and well informed emerging leaders–not only about  what has taken place in my country during the Chávez decade-nothing can be done about it now -but above all what is the future and what is at stake for our people and for our region- and much can be done from now on to change the course of what I believe is the worst political , economical, social, cultural decade of the twentieth century  for Venezuela.

   A POINT OF INFORMATION

A debate like we are having this evening is not possible in Venezuela. The regime not only refuses to do it-but practices silence and intimidation to dishearten or quiet dissidents- to give up.

 But such practice- is followed also outside Venezuela. This evening I will not be debating a Venezuelan official or citizen like it would have the normal case for any democratic government.

 But I am glad  and thankful to do it with  Dr. Mark Weisprot who takes the time and the resources of his institution to study my country and to write about it. I look forward to an animated inter change of views –mine of course as a stakeholder of my country. Hope that the Venezuelan regime would attend and debate directly with people with different views.

 At the outset I like to make three points:

 1. I am proud to have served under two democratic Venezuelan Presidents of two different political parties :Rafael Caldera and Carlos Andrés Perez . What the chavistas call the Fourth Republic.

 2.  The theme for this debate is “The Hugo Chávez Revolution after Ten years” -which obviously is not restricted to statistics -but to the whole process of the systematic destruction of our nation. My good friend Gustavo Coronel told me that to argue today only about statistics would be the equivalent of informing a passenger in the Titanic that his good cholesterol was up.

 3. The ISSUES facing us- Venezuelans -are the state of democracy and liberty, human rights , rule of law , human dignity and freedom of speech and empowerment of the poor.

 Now- and before I make my case , I like to quote Arthur Schlesinger Jr. who wrote something-which I believe has played a fundamental role in deforming realities and creating half truths about my country:

 "It is useful to remember that history is to the nation as memory is to the individual. As persons deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where they have been and where they are going, so a nation denied a conception of the past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future.  He added:  "The longer you look back," said Winston Churchill, "the farther you can look forward."

 This is precisely what has been taking place in Venezuela. A costly effort to deny- to obliterate our democratic past.

 To create a history that started, first in February 1992 when Lieutenant Hugo Chávez led a failed coup to overthrow the constitutional and democratic government-and in the process almost killed the President wife's and daughters  who resisted morter and machine guns attack by its forces in the presidential residence.

 Such attempt to create a new history takes a new turn for the regime in 1998 when Hugo Chávez was democratically elected with about 56% of the votes-making it clear that Venezuela used to have rule of law –independence of powers, and a fair and transparent electoral system, that  allowed him to ascend to the Presidency

 To illustrate an important point. Hugo Chávez and his family are the best example of the open society which we had since 1958 that allowed his whole family of humble origin- to study in public schools and universities- Chávez himself at the Military Academy. His brothers all professionals as well as his father and mother who are teachers. Today the Chávez family is reported to be quite prosperous.

 AFTER THIS  BRIEF HISTORICAL REFRESHMENT

 As a Venezuelan I have been reflecting, writing and speaking on the consequences that this HORRIBILIS decade has meant for all-and  without any hesitation I can affirm here that it has been tremendously successful for Hugo Chávez and his inner circle . Why?

 Simply. He has entrenched himself in power by systematically eliminating all checks on his rule –he now rules on the supreme court-the national assembly-the electoral board-the comptroller office- all subordinated to his unipersonal regime-and has undermined the political parties.

 Created an apartheid society-we against them. Now we are enemies like during our independence wars, when Bolivar declared: “Spaniards and Canarians –count that we will kill you even if your are indiferent”…..it has not reached this point-but the poisonous seed has been planted by Chávez among his followers.

 Subordinated the weakest and the poorest of our people to his political needs-humiliating  them in the process by forcing them to wear red shirts attend public demonstrations and of course to vote for him. Turned Venezuela into a PINATA that only those with red shirts can hit it-and get its candies.

 Such “success” has been possible thanks to the support of the armed forces –that one day will be share the responsibility with Hugo Chávez- and of course thanks to the uncontrolled use of public funds to fuel  the rampant and extended corruption of our military regime

 Also turned our country in a sort of a  giant  barrel of oil for almost all the countries of the region –mainly Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina.

 Has proven that even bad ideas could  be sustained when oil was at $140 per barrel-but times are changing and those policies are unsustainable

 HAVING SAID ALL THAT- I believe important to recall that the poverty indexes poverty increased from 20%  to 50% between 1979-1989  -a period of massive impoverishment –that created the conditions for a political change-which Chávez had the talent to capitalize  generating an unprecedented political  hope in his presidency.

 It is also important to acknowledge that Chávez put the poverty issue at the front  and center of the public debate. He gave to many a voice and a sense of representation which they lacked- creating in this way a powerful emotional connection with him-reinforced with the economic hand outs –that linked them even closer to him.

  This is the truth –but it is also true and tragic- that he failed to empower them with programs to overcome poverty like Chile and Brazil for example. The amount of sudden wealth combined with the regime ineptitude moved him to alleviate poverty –not to resolve the structural problems of poverty. Plus he needed to have  the people subordinated to him-and that is why he turned the national treasury into a gigantic house of charity-without controls that have been one of the greatest sources of corruption. Amazingly he parades the “ Government budget hostages” as an accomplishment of progress.

 Not a single president of Venezuela- before Chávez had such exceptional opportunity to lead the country to a superior level of progress and prosperity. A man whose popularity and support reached years ago 70% with oil prices at $130 represented an exceptional and unbeatable combination.

 For most Venezuelans the decade has been a monumental tragedy- a once in a lifetime wasted opportunity in the midst of the biggest bonanza 850 billion dollars–squandered inside and outside the country  buying the silence  and complicity of many nations.  At a cost of  about $40 billions

 While Venezuela has 80% of its population under $400 monthly the regimes subsides heating oil for the wealthiest nations like the US and the UK.

 Building houses in Cuba Bolivia Nicaragua Honduras-while millions of Venezuela live in slums. Buying $10billion in armaments (to be used against Venezuelans). Such amount could have allowed to provide scholarships to about half a million of Venezuelan to study in the best universities and technical schools of the world. In previous governments the Ayacucho Scholarships were awarded to 40 thousand students.

 The highest inflation ration in the world after Zimbabwe.

 Importing 75% of the food we consume-at the expense of our agricultural and industrial sectors

 The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Freedom House and Reporters without Borders have all issued scathing reports on the regime

 Caracas is today the most violent  city of the region. 100 thousand people were  killed in this decade in Venezuela-

 Bottom ranking in all sort of indexes: transparency, corruption, competitiveness, freedom of expression and today the Misery Index prepared by Arthur Okun puts Venezuela in the last place among 60 countries with a misery index of 39,8%.

 Venezuela and its head of State has been denounced before the International Criminal Court, the Inter American Court-the local judicial system is closed to  protect the regime .

 The brain drain forced of so many Venezuelans forced by the local political climate is the greatest exodus of our people ever. Human capital that cost fortunes to our country and most probably would not return

 Develop a communications system designed to promote hate and violence and awakening and promoting resentment as a political instrument that has affected the social fabric of our country. Chávez himself is the premier evangelist of such incendiary campaign. I have warned him and his regime that in the Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda the most severe sentences were given to those people that used a TV and Radio Station Mil Collines to incite violence that triggered the horrible massacres.

 Dr. Weisprot has provided you with his web page to look into more detail about the presentation he just made to us

  I would also ask you to look at Dr. Francisco Rodriguez paper in the June 2008 issue of Foreign Affairs “An Empty Revolution . The Unfulfilled Promises of Hugo Chávezhttp://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080301faessay87205/francisco-rodriguez/an-empty-revolution.html that addresses the main points of Dr. Weisbrot and his colleagues at the Center for Economic and Public Research in Washington DC. That been the case I will limit myself to the most salient points of his intervention and of his paper , "The Chávez Administration at 10 Years:The Economy and Social Indicators”

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/press-releases/press-releases/report-examines-economy-and-social-indicators-during-the-chavez-decade-in-venezuela/ Published February 5, 2009.

   My comments to the paper

1) The current expansion began when oil prices turned up -- from $22 in 2002 to $26 in 2003 to 86.81 in 2008. As oil revenues increased, Chávez could spend more on social programs etc. creating a consumption led boom which produced dramatic year to year GDP "growth" but it is "growth" that will vanish in 2009 and 2010, now that the government. No longer has the revenues to support it.

 The fact that the government got control of the industry had nothing to do with it. In fact, government control has "cost" the nation in terms of some 1.5 million barrels per day of lost production capacity. Firing 22,ooo of its best employees-thus collapsing the technical capacities of the entity.

 And, not to belabour the point, there has been near-zero private investment during these years. Production capacity has stagnated. Job growth has lagged population growth. Etc.

 2) That the "growth" has been in the non-oil economy makes sense...government spends and the private sector consumes...

 3)  Government's poverty figures are not reliable. By rough estimate, actual poverty figures should be around double what the government says they should be...

  4)Yes, what the government calls "social spending" is up. But if you separate out real social spending from hand-outs, it is probably down. If social spending were really up, measures of health and education would have improved.

 5) Taking that in reverse: despite its flaws, the fourth republic's health programs reached most Venezuelans, including barrio dwellers who had access to the ambulatories. So to claim that millions of Venezuelans who did hot have it before now have access to health care is false.

 Then there's the question of the quality of those services. Barrio Adentro program is in deep trouble, the ambulatories have been abandoned and the hospitals are severely deteriorated. I invite Mr. Weisbrot to visit one of them like I have done

  Every doctor I have talked to says infant mortality is up, not down. Add to that the large scale reintroduction of diseases once thought eradicated such as malaria, tuberculosis, mal de Chagas and mumps (of all things) and you have an idea of just how bad the situation is.

 6) As with everything else government says, the figures on employment are not what they seem. There are several gimmicks here. For one, if you are on a "misión", you are not included in the work force and hence you are not unemployed.

 7) Debt figures are also misleading. Bolivar debt is up twelve fold since 1998 and dollar debt is up 25% not including some $13-15 billion owed by PDVSA. When that is factored in, total debt has nearly doubled...and that does not include government and PDVSA'S backlog of unpaid current expense totaling perhaps another $12-15 billion.

 8) Inflation figures can also be confusing. Take out price controls and you're looking at something like 40% last year...most analysts expect 45-50% in 2009.

 The above realities confirms what I have been saying that Hugo Chávez has condemned to death the future of Venezuela. Why?

  Because he has already  started to execute the weakest and poorest of our people-turning them into a quasi parasite dependency creating the false illusion of permanence-and entrenching them even more in poverty.

. The health report (http://www.derechos.org.ve/Informe_derecho_Salud_2007_.pdf) contains some observations that serve to put the real Venezuelan health situation in a true perspective. Some of its findings include:

Dismantled the national public health system  turning it into a government health system. Since 199 onwards the expenditure for health in Venezuela “is one of the lowest in the world”, at $122 per person for the year 2006. Public investment in health should be between 7-10 percent of the GDP but in Venezuela is around 3 percent. Three fourths of the investment in health in the country is made by the private sector.

 The Barrio Adentro Mission currently has several problems: there is a withdrawal of Cuban doctors that are retuning home. Work hours are not being followed and home visits have stopped. The provision of medical materials, cleaning products and medicines has become irregular. Patients are asked to bring their own materials and/or medicines.

 Due to lack of trained nurses the doctors in Barrio Adentro have had to rely on volunteers to help them. Volunteers do not last long due to the intense routine and doctors have little help.

 Since public hospitals do not receive enough financial resources from the government they request patients to pay for medicines, services or the like. The hospitals that do this include those of the Social Security system (Seguro Social).

 The gratuity of medical attention in public hospitals is largely mythical. This represents a clear violation of the constitution that stipulates that medical service will be free

 The deficit of hospital beds is significant. The WHO establishes a standard of 40 beds per 10,000 people and Venezuela has 17 beds per 10,000 people

 What we question is his cooperation with the narco terrorist forces of FARC-and to have allowed our country to become a Bermuda triangle for international unsavory characters, as well as  the most important center of drugs distribution in the region.

 To have created a climate of impunity and hate responsible for the unprecedented violence-which will take time to heal

 To have brought the issue of racism-anti Zionism which never existed in our country

 A HISTORICAL CONTEXT

 It does not do any harm to know a bit of  Venezuelan history to put into context what has taken place during this decade- to be able to judge the country and its people.

 To start with, the characteristic of the Venezuelan democratic process DURING 40 YEARS was its commitment to social investment-of course there was much more less resources in the past that in the last decade when 850 billion of dollars rained on the Venezuelan territory-

 The Almighty has always been generous providing wealth for us –who have not had to work as hard as other countries to get it. Like mana from heavens. All Venezuelan governments like to take credit for this economic wealth-for which they have really not much to claim for. This one is not alone..but The Chávez regime has taken this to the limit. They speak of spectacular economic growth when we all know that the current economic expansion began with the commodity boom that started in 2003 that impacted all of commodity driven emerging market economies including Venezuela. It was the oil boom and the oil revenues that came with it that allow Venezuela to grow at double digits since 2003.( escalated from $31 per barrel in 2003 to $99 year average in 2008)

 It must be stressed that during these years the regime polices ruined our industrial and agricultural capacities .Half of the industries closed and 70% of our food needs are now imported. Today with much less resources such level of imports cannot be sustained-and the local agricultural sector is no capacity to respond to cover the gap in the demand –this will mean scarcity.

 A comment : Had the oil production not fallen in almost one million barrels of oil a day-the country would have gained at least 40 billions more during the last five years.  And if  you recall that PDVSA. could have been producing 5 million of barrels instead of 2.4 million –the regime policies of destroying for political reasons PDVSA. has cost billions of dollars to the Venezuelans which will never be able to recover. Only in 2008 the oil income would have been 180 billion dollars.. Think of this to realize the magnitude of the crime committed against the Venezuelan people.

 It has been said-(by Dr. Mark Weisprot) that the current economic expansion began when the government got control  over the national oil company in the first quarter of 2003. The opposite is true -By firing 22,ooo of the most skilled personnel the regime brought down a  corporation that was before among the premier world companies.

 It is true that the Social Programs increased As oil revenues increased, Chávez could spend more on social programs. But with the exception of Cuban doctors etc nothing new was created.

 Barrio Adentro was a good program, The Ambulatories before were good. But neither system could replace the hospitals which are now in shambles

 In 2008  Venezuela's oil exports amounted to 92.7 billion of dollars-and even with that significant and unprecedented amount in the history of Venezuela it registered a fiscal deficit of about 18 billion dollars. The 2009 national budget is based on 60 dollars per barrel –even at that price level the oil income would be of only 35.9 billion dollars-or 62 per cent less that in 2008- the deficit then- could reach 30 billion dollars. More realistically at  $50 per barrel x 1.4 million barrels a day- would amount to $26 billion income-so in the best scenario the 2009 fiscal deficit could easily reach a minimum of $30 billions.

  IN CONCLUSION

  This is the only revolution the world has known where the  students, the journalists, the intellectuals, the unions are against it.

 The emerging reality of thousand of young Venezuelans-who were 9 to 10 years old when Chávez started are concerned that their

Future is at stake are energizing the people and challenging the old

Leaders-this is a major gain. That is why they were the first to react. Today having met  many of them I  am sure the regime will not be able to steal their future from them.

 Yesterday Bloomberg published its annual Misery Index prepared by the renown US economist Arthur Okun that places Venezuela last among 60 countries –assigning it a level of misery of %36,8. The year before Venezuela occupied the 59th place.

 The rate of inflation which really was about 40 to 50% during 2008 is undermining all the social programs and of course taking back any advance in the reduction of poverty rates. Venezuela follows Zimbabwe as registering the highest rate of inflation in the world.

 The AGENDA for The Future

 We cannot consider that this was a lost decade. On the contrary it has served for all of us to know today how terrible it is to lose rights, freedom, peace and tranquility. And not to be  able to be optimistic about our future

 And how important was to live under democracy and without fear. But above all how ESSENTIAL is the social and economic inclusion of all the Venezuelans in our future.

 The opposition forces have to really unite-Chávez permanency will not only be determined by the collapse of the economy and our public institutions –but by the united action of the opposition with an alternative inclusive project

 Chávez incompetent government-has proven to be incapable of solving the main problems: jobs, inflation, insecurity and violence and even  scarcity.

 I believe we are entering the

VENEZUELA POST CHAVEZ

 THE TIPPING POINT: I AM CONVINCED THAT THE NON ALIGNED VOTERS WILL DECIDE THE FUTURE OF OUR DEMOCRACY-TO REGAIN OUR LIBERTIES

 Would like to close my words quoting Joaquin Villalobos..former FMNL guerrilla leader of El Salvador

 "Poverty will not be solved by saviors such as Chávez believes he is-but by strong democratic institutions, productive economies, efficient governments and tolerant societies"

Mar 2, 2009 at 11:40 o\clock

Las lecciones del populismo demagógico venezolano.Por Isdidoro Zaidman

La Prensa Libre            
>>OPINIÓNSan José, Costa Rica, Jueves 26 de febrero de 2009, 18:13:38.
 
 
Las lecciones del populismo demagógico venezolano
Isidoro Zaidman
isidoro@racsa.co.cr
 
Cuando en un país, el carácter nacionalista se expresa buscando culpables externos de los males que afectan a la sociedad: los gringos, las compañías transnacionales y el neoliberalismo, solos o combinados y los líderes mesiánicos, elegidos, adoptan ideologías utópicas que se empeñan en llevar a la práctica e imponer a como dé lugar cambios trascendentales en la estructura del país, está sonando la flauta del populismo demagógico.
 
Es lo que está sucediendo en Venezuela. Desde que el gobernante Venezolano en la toma de posesión en su primera elección, juró sobre “esta moribunda constitución” estableció el tono de lo que habría de ser su gestión de gobierno a lo largo del tiempo.
 
La personalidad del presidente Venezolano ha sido objeto de extensos análisis por periodistas, escritores y psiquiatras dos de estos Francel Delgado y Axel Carriles concuerdan en que Chávez tiene rasgos de personalidad psicopática y narcisista que modulan su conducta. Está absolutamente convencido de que es el único venezolano capaz de manejar el país, que es el dueño absoluto de la verdad y quien no comparte sus ideas es su enemigo a quien debe apartar. Está dotado de un talento histriónico increíble, dado a manifestaciones muchas veces exageradas y grotescas, que aplauden y les parecen graciosas a su corte de seguidores y aduladores nacionales y extranjeros, devotos de su jugosa bolsa. Tiene una resistencia física a toda prueba que le permite “proezas” como hacer discursos de seis horas por televisión varias veces por semana además de sus tareas normales. Tiene una voluntad férrea y un ego gigantesco capaz de sobreponerse a los reveses del camino. En estos diez años ha tenido un cuerpo de mentores y asesores que le han proporcionado guías y luces. Además de líder absoluto en su país, tiene aspiraciones de líder continental y quién sabe mundial.
 
Todas estas condiciones personales, haber conquistado y dominado todas las instancias del poder político y militar, haber tenido la fortuna de disfrutar de un fenomenal aumento de la renta petrolera que maneja a voluntad, le han permitido expandir los programas sociales, muy apreciados por aquellos a quienes beneficia y a quienes ha convencido para que consideren que es una manera de compensarles la deuda y su exclusión social de vieja data.
 
Pero al mismo tiempo Venezuela se ha convertido en el país más violento de América, tiene la inflación mas alta de la región, la pobreza no ha disminuido y el crecimiento de la economía está determinado por el aumento de los precios del petróleo y no por el trabajo de los venezolanos; además tiene inmensos índices de corrupción estimulados por el dispendioso gasto público que no tiene ningún mecanismo de control ni de rendición de cuentas.
 
Estas son las condiciones que en la actualidad imperan en el país. El populismo utópico venezolano –como todos los anteriores– ha evolucionado hacia su próximo nivel que es el populismo demagógico como lo ha definido Enrique Krauze “el líder es un demagogo porque se acomoda, miente, halaga, desacredita, amenaza y recompensa según convenga al crecimiento de su poder” que al final se convierte en el norte de su vida. “Seduce con actitudes que embelesan, promete maravillas y traslada sus errores y fracasos a enemigos que escoge con este fin” Si a esto se suma el fracaso del estamento político tradicional con la pérdida casi total de sus cuotas de poder, la falta de una generación de relevo político, la desconfianza de los venezolanos en sus instituciones y las grandes diferencias sociales se pueden entender las razones de los eventos que ocurrieron en Venezuela hace algunos días.  
Si se quisiera aprender de lo ocurrido en Venezuela, habría que estar muy concientes de la imperiosa necesidad de estimular la formación y abrir oportunidades a líderes emergentes interesados en el bien común, con un sólido cuerpo de valores éticos y morales, que no estén interesados solamente en adquirir y disfrutar del poder. Es preciso evitar a toda costa el deterioro y la pérdida del respeto hacia las instituciones. Es preciso combatir la pobreza, evitar las injusticias y la exclusión, mejorar la educación y tratar de asegurar que la mayoría de los ciudadanos pueda disfrutar de una vida digna y que existan los incentivos necesarios para incorporarlos a ellos y a sus hijos a la vida social, económica, cultural y espiritual del país.
 
Solo así se podrá evitar la aparición de líderes populistas que a la larga siempre terminan haciendo daño y arruinando los países.
 
 
Miembro de la Sociedad Periodística Extra Ltda.
Diario Extra • La Prensa Libre • Canal 42 • Radio América

Mar 1, 2009 at 16:18 o\clock

Violinista en el tejado.Ana Julia Jatar

Son de esos artículos que uno lee y se queda pasamado!Bello! 

Y si...esa es la Venezuela que conocimos todos, la de la tolerancia y armonía!

De dónde diablos salió este resentido loco del Chávez?

 Violinistas sobre el Tejado

Ana Julia Jatar

Hoy se re estrena el musical “El Violinista sobre el Tejado” en el Aula
Magna de la UCV por “Producciones Palo de Agua” y dirigido por Michel
Hausmann, el hijo de mi esposo Ricardo, es decir, también hijo mío. Es la
conmovedora historia de una familia judía en el pueblo de Anatevka en la
Rusia Zarista la cual sufre los abusos y maltratos de un gobierno
intolerante. Los habitantes de Anatevka aman, sufren y sólo aspiran a caber
en su propio país: que se les respeten sus ideas, sus costumbres y su
religión. Es un mensaje para la Venezuela dividida de hoy. Una Venezuela en
la cual podría decirse que todos somos violinistas sobre el tejado. Tratamos
de vivir con optimismo mientras con dificultad mantenemos el equilibrio
sobre el inclinado tejado del abuso, la intolerancia, la división y el
totalitarismo. Es una obra magistral que unos talentosos jóvenes
venezolanos han montado pues representa la historia universal del individuo
oprimido por un Estado que viola sus derechos más fundamentales. Por eso
Michel Hausmann decide montar esta obra; porque representa el amor a la
Venezuela que aspira y el rechazo a la intolerancia que este gobierno nos
quiere imponer.

Pero a Michel le pasó hace unos días algo que jamás nos hubiéramos
imaginado. Luego del cobarde y nada “resuelto” ataque a la sinagoga de
Maripérez, alguien -quien pidió permanecer en el anonimato- le comunicó a
Producciones Palo de Agua que la Orquesta Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho se
retiraba del proyecto El Violinista sobre el Tejado por ser “una obra
judía”. ¡Así será la percepción de antisemitismo que esta irradiando este
gobierno! La razón esgrimida fue un triste reflejo del totalitarismo
rampante: temían perder el subsidio del Gobierno Nacional. Por ello invito a
mi admirado amigo José Antonio Abreu a que se pronuncie sobre esta
situación. Si no lo haces José Antonio, mañana también vendrán por ti.

Pero Producciones Palo de Agua no esperó explicaciones, siguió adelante y
decidió hacer lo que se llama un “ventetu” es decir invitar de manera
individual a los músicos a participar; y para esperanza de todos, muchos
respondieron positivamente. Jose Antonio Abreu, otro elemento para tu
reflexión.

¿Qué nos esta pasando? ¿Hasta donde va a llegar la perversidad de esta
maquinaria de odios y miedos? ¿Cómo es que mis hijos ahora se van a sentir
extranjeros en su propia patria al igual que se sintió mi familia en la Cuba
de Fidel o mis suegros en la Alemania de Hitler?

El arraigo de Michel no solo le viene porque es venezolano de pura cepa sino
porque así lo aprendió de sus abuelos sobrevivientes del Holocausto quienes
encontraron aquí un paraíso de tolerancia y amor, de su madre Verónica, de
su padre Ricardo, de sus amigos y de toda mi familia. Yo no soy judía pero
me case con un judío, soy nieta de
libaneses y españoles Canarios. Mi madre Belkys es cubana y se caso con mi
padre Braulio Jatar Dotti, venezolano, fundador de Acción Democrática e hijo
de Libanés mientras pasaba su exilio de la dictadura de Perez Jiménez en el
hotel San Luís en La Habana. Hotel que por cierto fue propiedad de mi
abuelo hasta que Fidel Castro se
lo quitó. En cortas palabras, yo soy nieta, hija, esposa y madre de la
Venezuela de la tolerancia, del respeto y de la libertad. Cuando mi única
hija Joanna Hausmann Jatar, decidió ser judía por religión, toda mi familia
cristiana la acompaño con amor fuerza y admiración. A nadie se le ocurrió
pensar distinto. Ese es el camino de la libertad
y la dignida el que lo pierde por miedo, lo pierde para siempre.