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Monday, September 17, 2007

Venezuela: And now it's the private schools


When Hugo Chavez declared a socialist republic las January, I predicted that Venezuela's private economy will disappear as we know it.

Chavez's latest target? Private schools (h/t Pamela):
Venezuela's Chavez Warns Private Schools (emphasis added)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened on Monday to close or take over any private school that refuses to submit to the oversight of his socialist government as it develops a new curriculum and textbooks.
"Society cannot allow the private sector to do whatever it wants," said Chavez, speaking on the first day of classes.

All schools, public and private, must admit state inspectors and submit to the government's new educational system, or be closed and nationalized, with the state taking responsibility for the education of their children, Chavez said.

Those who can leave, are leaving:
Teachers and academics may see the measure as an attempt to politicize the classroom, speeding up a brain drain that has been underway for years as educated, skilled workers move abroad to escape Chavez's "Bolivarian" revolution, said Ercilia Vasquez, director of the school of education at the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello in Caracas.
Of course, there's a new curriculum to indoctrinate the "new citizens", while
the education minister said the aim is to develop "critical thinking," not to impose a single way of thought.
And who is the education minister, you ask?

Hugo's brother, Adan Chavez.

On related news, A colombo-americana's perspective has a report on religious freedom in Venezuela.

Update, Tuesday 19 September:
If you need it spelled out, here's why private schools will be taken over,
"If they attack us because we're indoctrinating, well yes, we're doing it, because those capitalist ideas that our young people have — and that have done so much damage to our people — must be eliminated," Campos said.
Any questions?

The salami tactics of Hugo Chavez
This is a serious slice, and there is a lot here: the submission of the private to the public, a leader speaking for "society," a new (re-)educational system, propaganda, threats of nationalization and state control, the concept of a "new citizen," nepotism. This could be 1984. There may not yet be any killing fields — none that we know of — but the rest is beginning to look a lot like the tyrannies, the totalitarian tyrannies, of the last century. Pol Pot, meet Hugo Chavez.
(h/t Captain Ed)

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