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May 30th 2006

Dictadorzuelo (con dinero!)

La palabra del día es: dictadorzuelo.

¿Uso cotidiano? Para describir a nuestro amigo Hugo Chavez. ¡Gracias a Alan García!

El Dictadorzuelo

18 Responses to “Dictadorzuelo (con dinero!)”

  1. Curtis

    Is that the new name for “guy democratically elected by his people with 70% approval rating currently who is villainized by the US media and hated by the corrupt US elite because he does good for his people and doesn’t bow down to the rich?” If so then it fits.

  2. doug

    I have no idea who you are quoting.

    As for doing “good for his people”, you must be kidding.

    In the seven years that Hugo Chavez has been in power in Venezuela, starting in 1999, $350 billion have entered the country in oil revenues. Nevertheless, the Poverty Index already at 43% has risen to 54% (numbers from the National Institute of Statistics, INE [doug’s note: The INE is a Venezuelan government agency]). En the same time period, indigence has risen from 20% to 28% (same Venezuelan source). The external debt has risen from $22 billion to $27 billion.

    And these are his government’s numbers!

  3. Curtis

    Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids. It is very convenient to quote INE numbers before the error was corrected, or to quote numbers influenced heavily by the economy-crippling oil industry strike perpetrated by the political opposition to Chavez. However, the facts are different if you care to look beyond the purpose of most to villify Chavez. I give you this quote from the Miami Herald:
    “INE’s president Elias Eljuri told me in a telephone interview from Caracas. The new figures result from a dramatic increase in Venezuela’s gross domestic product during the past two years. And they were taken using the same measuring standards as in previous years, he said.

    ‘Poverty levels had soared in 2002 and 2003 because of a drop in the GDP caused by the [anti-Chávez] coup d’etat and the oil workers’ strike,” Eljuri said. “But since then, the economy has grown by 18 percent in 2004, and will grow by near 10 percent in 2005. A recovery of such magnitude brings about a big drop in poverty rates.”

    ”There is an opposition campaign against the INE,” he told me. “When I reported that poverty had risen [during Chávez’s first four years in office], I was their hero. Now that the economy has grown and I’m reporting that poverty has dropped, I’ve suddenly become a liar.”

    Read the numbers from the INE and weep:

    1997= 48.1%
    1998 = 43.9 %
    1999 = 42 % [Chavez takes office]
    2000= 40.4 %
    2001 = 39 %
    2002= 48.6 [coup and strike]
    2003 = 55.1
    2004 = 47.0
    2005 (first semester) 38.5%
    2005 (second semester – anticipated) 35%

  4. doug

    Trix? I couldn’t have chosen a more apt metaphor. In the end, lefty arguments for Chavez are simply a concoction of sweet and seductive empty calories that end up soggy after prolonged exposure to the truth.

    My favorite line:

    It is very convenient to quote INE numbers before the error was corrected…

    Indeed!

    Had you read the entire article from the Miami Herald, you would have learned the why behind said “correction” to the previously released INE poverty data:

    Shortly after I wrote about these figures, Chávez criticized the INE’s statistics, saying they reflected a “neo-liberal” free market way of measuring poverty that did not reflect the reality of a “socialist” economy like Venezuela’s. He called on the INE to change its methodology.

    Oops! The dictadorzuelo forgot to follow Fidel’s instructions of fudging economic numbers. Oh well, live and learn. This gig as a dictadorzuelo is all about training-on-the-job.

    Nevertheless, despite the ridiculous nature of this “correction”, American leftists continue to swallow Chavez’ horse poo-poo as gospel. What can I say?

  5. Curtis

    Dude, you’re obviously not open to a fair appraisal of Chavez or you’d be slower to condemn and quicker to study the facts. If you call the nature of the correction “ridiculous,” it would behoove you to know what you are talking about. That’s a problem with your type though, quick to condemn without the facts.

    Since Chavez has taken office there are a lot of new benefits available to the Venezuelan poor that make their purchasing power much greater and provide for them a better quality of life than before. You add in the effects of subsidized food for example, and you get a truer measure of the financial well-being of each household. That is the sort of thing that was changed by the INE in reckoning the percentage of households in poverty.
    Of course, Chavez’s detractors would rather stick with numbers that don’t reflect reflect reality, but I guess in the final tally, Chavez’s approval rating of 70% or so among his constituents tells the true story. Sort of the same way Bush’s 30% approval rating tells another kind of story.

  6. doug

    Dude, you’re obviously not open to a fair appraisal of Chavez…

    Only someone not willing to give Chavez a “fair appraisal” would dislike him. I do not like Chavez, ergo I am “not open to a fair appraisal of Chavez.” Dizzy yet?

    When all avenues of argument are exhausted, insult the “open mindedness” of your interlocutor. Classic tactic of Marxists and, not surprisingly, Chavez apologists.

    What is amusing, nonetheless, is the incredible leeway you give to Chavez.

    Here is what happened:

    1 – Government economic numbers indicated that Chavez isn’t alleviating poverty.
    2 – Chavez complained publicly.
    3 – Government economic numbers were “corrected”.
    4 – Government economic numbers now indicate that Chavez is doing an astounding job of alleviating poverty.

    Your conclusion: Nothing to see here, move along.

    Replace “Chavez” with “Bush” in the above sequence of events. Would your conclusion be the same? Heh, I think not.

  7. doug

    Curtis, regarding your explanation of the “corrected” numbers, I second what Andres Oppenheimer wrote in his column:

    My conclusion: If Venezuela’s INE is right, and wants to maintain its reputation of unbiased economic reporting, it should accept some adult supervision and open its books to independent economists, like most governments do.

  8. Curtis

    Very well. As you choose to put forth no substantive arguement, we can close this chapter. Where I come from sound bites don’t carry much weight. There isn’t reply to in your comments and so I’ll save my replies for a time when you have something intelligent to say.

  9. Curtis

    Having said so, I just couldn’t resist leaving you with this last piece of information, just in today from the World Bank.

    “Venezuela has achieved substantial improvements in the fight against poverty. The statistical evidence that we have compiled shows that from 1995 to 2005 the number of homes under the poverty line has decreased,” stated the World Bank.

    The organization said that in these years the number of homes in poverty decreased from more than 40% to 30%

    It described this advance as important and stated that it is related to Venezuelans’ higher income levels and as a result of the social missions.”

    This is from:

    http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=1979

  10. al

    He is kidding right… I mean, seriously. Curtis, you have to be kidding!

  11. Curtis

    Ask the INE and the World Bank if they’re kidding.

  12. I’m curious, Curtis, where does your source of wisdom about Venezuela come from? (I hope it’s not Alo Presidente.) You seem to be so knowledgeable as to economic statistics, but my friends there tell me very different stories. The rich ones are thinking of leaving the country, the middle class ones are poorer, and the poor ones are still poor. Rather than accusing you of being wrong, I’m actually really curious as to where I can find more (preferably impartial) data.

  13. Curtis

    Sure Peter,
    I have a couple of sources. One is venezuelaanalysis.com. This site usually has very good reporting and have good numbers on the economy as well. There are a few links at that site that are helpful as well. The other is a blog from a very knowledgeable person in Venezuela at oilwars.blogspot.com. This person is fairly pro-Chavez, but uses official numbers for her rationale and is difficult to argue with.

    I take a personal interest in this situation as it upsets me when our government participates in the attempted overthrow of a democratically elected leader. I’ve been watching the situation there for a few years now. Hope it gets better.

  14. I used to read venezuelanalysis.com, but about two years ago I started to question their impartiality. I can’t remember what it was, but it made me think it was more of a PR site than straight reporting. I’ll have to go back and check it out.

    I will say that I’m somewhat suspicious of many of the “official numbers” that the Chavez administration releases. When I lived there they seemed like they were doctored. I confess that I don’t have a very high opinion of the credibility of most Latin America regimes. But I suppose I could say the same about a lot of numbers generated in North America.

  15. Curtis

    I must say that I also see a pro-Chavez tilt in the sorts of stories posted on Venezuelaanalysis.com, but trust that I’m at least partially able to filter thru the debri to get at the facts. I like to check up on their sources and I’d love to visit there sometime. One number you can’t argue with is the approval rating of near 70%. I’m not sure where that number is now, but it was right up there for a long time. That’s got to say something is going well there.

  16. Curtis

    A nice example of good numbers from oilwars.blogspot.com is on a post put out today. She provides numbers from the Venezuelan American Chamber of Commerce, (apparently a rather not pro-Chavez type of organization) that show US direct investment in Venezuela is up 724% in the first half of 2005 over the first half of 2004 and is markedly increased over that seen in the last few years of the previous administration. It is strange to see such numbers in a country that is supposed to be unfriendly to investment like socialist Venezuela. Apparently there is still money to be made in Venezuela, which is not what the political opposition down there would like us to believe.

  17. […] –Curtis, June 2006 [link and link] Settle down Doug….[your comments are] totally out of line. […]

  18. […] curtis, call hugo chavez. tell him the common people–those who don’t have the benjamins to subscribe to an obscure outdoor nature channel–urgently need his help. Posted by travis in travis, sports | […]