January 18, 2007

Lessons in XXIst Century Socialism

Katy says: Ever since his convincing victory at the polls last December, President Lt. Crnel. Chávez has been claiming a mandate for implementing "XXIst Century Socialism." The main problem with this claim is that nobody can define it. The President did not explain this in the campaign, and there is certainly not a government program nor a platform where the details of this little "adventure" are laid out.

Since our President is not the smartest guy in the room, we here at Caracas Chronicles thought that it would be a good idea to begin a series of posts explaining this vague concept, so crucial for our future. Think of it as our way of doing the mandatory, free public service now required of all Venezuelans.

Lesson #1: XXIst Century Socialism means that the PR needs of our Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant Coronel Chávez, take precedence over the real needs of his people.

Example: Today, the Associated Press carries a story of how rural Alaskans are finally receiving the discounted heating oil from Citgo offered to them by the Venezuelan government. Alaskans were obviously thrilled to receive this gimme, as would be anyone braving it through the harsh rural Alaskan winter. At the same time, El Universal carries a story today about how only 2 of the 11 parishes in Vargas state, in the vicinity of Caracas, have enough doctors to provide reliable medical service. The source is none other than the regional Health director for that state.

Seeing that people in Vargas voted for Chávez overwhelmingly, one can only deduce that the people not being treated are either in the opposition, or simply prefer to sacrifice their health care so that Alaskans can keep warm during this winter. So for all you Alaskans out there, remember: while you are enjoying your hot cocoa and snuggling in your blankets while the thermometer outside hits 50 below, your comfort comes to you thanks to the sacrifice of a small child in rural Vargas who is probably bauling his eyes out because there is not a pediatrician in sight to treat his diarrhea.

There is no need to thank the boy in person. Just thank the Venezuelan Embassy and Chávez's minions at Citgo, proud banner-holders of this popular mandate.