Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President

I read an interesting article titled, The Man Who Controls Venezuela. Hugo Chavez, when campaigning to be the Venezuelan president in November of 1998, had an interesting way of running for presidency. He stood in front of the television cameras and cracked a whip in a fury. "This is what I am going to do to my opponents!" Now a well-known figure in politics, one unique program known as Chavez's Barrio Adento program, has aided his economy by bringing in thousands of Cuban doctors to Venezuela in exchange for oil. The goal of bringing healthcare to the needy is not confined to his government alone. Although, maybe a little eccentric in his ways, he seems to be producing positive results for the Venezuelan economy.


Seth said...

The article Zoe linked says nothing about the economic progress of Venezuela. It does mention Chavez bring in Cuban doctors in exchange for oil but most of the economic content has to do with firing government oil workers and arbitrarily give jobs to people that call his show.
Like most dictators, Chavez uses a stick to force people to behave. Mussolini made the trains run on time and Trujillo keep the streets of Santo Domingo clean.
From an economic standpoint the question is whether centralization is as efficient and decentralization. The history of centralized economies shows that it generally is not. My feeling is that Chavez’s decision are not economically efficient and that he is every bit the loose cannon that he accuses President Bush of being.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Seth's comment for multiple errors.

I could jump all over this issue, but let me try and be as straightforward and unemotional as possible.

Is it a good sign when people or countries have to barter? Usually not - but that is what Venezueala and Cuba are doing.