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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Venezuela: Norwegian MSM goes to the hospital; Beeb flounders; rioting in Trujillo
Norwegian Channel 2 news reports on Venezuela video here. It flies in the face of all the craven lies about how Hugo's free-medical-care-works-so-well-for-the-poor. I’ve translated the Spanish subtitles and include the full text since I don’t know for how long the video will remain available:
Anchor: Venezuela earns huge amounts of money from its oil production, but the money doesn’t reach its people. The country lives under misgovernment and corruption. TV2 asked President Chávez, where is the money going?
Male reporter’s voice (off-screen, in Norwegian): The beautiful country is rich in oil but is in economic chaos. In Caracas, emergency rooms are in crisis. Poverty, and therefore, violence, are out of control.
Vargas Hospital emergency room doctor (in English): He has gunshots.
Male reporter (off-screen, in Norwegian): The kid’s only 15 (years old)
Emergency room doctor, speaking in English and pointing to gunshot wounds): One in the hand, one in the stomach, one in the leg. You’ll see a lot more [like him].
Reporter at the emergency room, in Spanish, pointing at another patient: And what happened to this gentleman?
Emergency room doctor, in English English: That’s another gunshot.
Completely absurd. Completely grotesque. This is not supposed to happen. We’re not at war.
Reporter at the emergency room, in English, referring to a man who’s writing on a note pad while standing next to a wounded young man lying on a gurney: And what’s he doing?
Emergency room doctor, in English: Right now he’s asking what’s the medicine he has to buy. And he’s writing it down to go and buy [the subtitles say his dad will buy them]. And that is supposed to be free medicine.
Male reporter’s voice (off-screen) in Norwegian: The hospitals of the country full of oil are out of medicine.
Emergency room doctor, in English: We don’t have gloves, we don’t have needles, we don’t have or the medicines, or antibiotics. Things that a nurse uses to work with a patient, we don’t have. Someone is keeping the money; it’s obvious the money’s coming into Venezuela.
Male reporter’s voice (off-screen), in Norwegian: Poverty’s increasing, more than half live below poverty level, while the price of oil reaches record highs and money pours in.
For three days we struggled with the bodyguards surrounding socialist president Hugo Chávez.
Everything turns into chaos when Chávez comes down to the level of the people to greet them (Norwegian newsman now on screen, with Chávez shaking hands with the crowd in the background), and it’s difficult to ask him even one question that might criticize him.
Norwegian reporter asks Chávez in English through a Spanish translator: I visited a hospital and they didn’t even have medicine. What’s happening?
Chávez: I don’t know what you’re talking about. But beyond what you might have found, we have a strategic project that advances social projects, to give you an example. . .
The Norwegian reporter didn’t give airtime to whatever else Chávez said, continuing instead by saying: He started talking about something else, turned around, and his bodyguards pushed us aside.
Back to the Vargas Hospital Emergency room doctor, in English: After all the years of democracy, there’s something that is killing us, and that is corruption. I want to run, I want to go away, because being here is really really sad. It’s really difficult to work like this.
The Beeb has this article: Chavez denounces poll 'sabotage' on the upcoming congressional elections, which three opposition parties have decided to boycott. Don't miss Captain Marlow's excellent post on the boycott.

The BBC page also has video report (see sidebar under Opposition politicians on why they have pulled out), which they aired in this morning’s BBCA broadcast, that starts with the usual blab about Chávez's charisma and helping the poor
“No one in Venezuela’s polarized society as much as Hugo Chávez. President Chávez is charismatic, outspoken, and is swimming in dollars from the country’s oil bonanza. And he’s spending most of it on the poor. They make up around 70% of the country.”
Maybe the Beeb should watch more Norwegian TV while they're holed in their hotel room. Or maybe they just think of “the poor” in terms of money spent on weapons purchases, cozying up to Mugabe, Chirac, and Castro, trying to export the Bolivarian revolution, and the folks in Massachusetts: Last week I posted on how Hugo’s helping the people of Massachusetts -- people like Bill Delahunt and Joe Kennedy. The WSJ throws the ultimate insult at William Delahunt (emphasis mine)
"To Citgo, to the people of Venezuela, our debt," the Congressman pledged. Mr. Delahunt should rightly feel a debt to the people of Venezuela, whose per-capita income is perhaps one-tenth that of Massachusetts and whose sole source of hard currency is the oil that their leader is now giving away to the second-richest state in the union. But Mr. Delahunt has no unpaid debt to Mr. Chávez. For some years now the Congressman has been lobbying hard for the Venezuelan despot, whom he paints as a misunderstood humanitarian. How French.
(Before you email accusing me of hating/dumping on the French, read this post. Not my fault the French have a reputation of being corrupt.)

The Journal explains,
Mr. Chávez came to power in 1999. In seven years he has a domestic record of human rights abuses, election fraud, property confiscations a la Zimbabwe's Mugabe, erosion of the independent judiciary, limits on press freedom and militarization. His best friends include Fidel Castro, the Iranian mullahs and Colombia's FARC terrorists.
The poor people at the Vargas Hospital Emergency room? They’re not in Hugo’s list of friends. Congressman Delahunt is.

Don't count Mario Vargas Llosa among Hugo's friends. He says
Chávez "mirrors a pseudo-indigenous choice. As a matter of fact, it is racist, militarist, authoritarian, a Peruvian-style, clearly racist, fascism, which, astoundingly is high in the surveys."
But back to the Beeb's report: while the video says "Gone are the days when Venezuela's opposition managed to get crowds of tens of thousands trying to oust Mr. Chávez", Gateway Pundit (via Publius Pundit) has a long post on the rioting, where one person died Monday night, and VCrisis says that students are reportedly rioting in Merida, Valencia and Barquisimeto. The Devil's Excrement has a photo of the rioting in Trujillo. Since it took the Beeb a few days to report the French riots, I'm not surprised.

Venezuela News and Views posts on the electoral system, including some problems with the fingerprinting machines.

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