Sunday, February 13, 2005

A review of articles evaluating the Vargas disaster in Venezuela...

...not to mention assessing the mendacity of the Chavez administration.

With the Vargas II disaster, relatives in the middle, and my return from a long trip, I have not been covering other items that I wanted to cover. For example the Danilo Anderson case which is turning out to be a case of rival extortion gangs in the prosecution offices of the state. Just today El Universal publishes that the sister of Danilo Anderson was to receive 80 millions Bs. (41 K USD) from her brother. Darn! I wish that one of my brothers would send me a gift for a quarter of that amount!

But before I cover a few of these issues which the government is desperately trying to cover up, I prefer to do a press review on Vargas articles that came out this week.

Factual information on what the government did not do for Vargas

Well, there is already the article of Miguel that I previously mentioned.

El Universal has a series of articles on Vargas. One covers the works that were incomplete or shoddily done. Another article serves as an introduction to a series of reports covering many aspects of the post 1999 pseudo-reconstruction. One article, adequately titled El Gran Fracaso (the great failure) carries an interesting item on something that could have been done rather cheaply but that was never done. Besides listing the monies that Vargas received IN ADDITION to its normal budget, it recalls the promise made by Chavez right after Vargas I to build housing for 5 000 families that lost everything, within TWO YEARS. Well, apparently only 500 were built (5 years later), and experts had said that around 16 000 were needed. The funds existed, so how come these houses were not built, not even the ones promised by Chavez himself. Not to mention that subsidized middle class housing was built only to end up in the hands of certain public officials that had no business in Vargas, Danilo Anderson being one of them, curiously.

Tal Cual is not any kinder. In an article they actually take the trouble to write down the chronological list of some of the stuff promised, some of the monies collected, some of the warnings made by experts and more stuff. Since it is by subscription I have posted that article in my Documents on Venezuela section (sorry, no transaltions, too many to do, but at least you can forward these post to your favorite chavista and sit tight waiting for answer).

I have also added a little text on the amounts of rain that fell these days, and more importantly how much rain needs to fall for how many days until mud slides begin. Vargas II seems not to bear comparison as to the potential damage of the rains as Vargas I. Yet, we all saw what we saw.

The mendacious people who are in charge of the future of our country

Two strong op-ed pieces have graced our newspapers last week. The first one I will report is the one by Milagros Socorro, a long time favorite of this blog. In it she muses about the symbolical value of the new Vargas disaster. Comparison with more organized societies and chavista Venezuela are certainly not flattering for Venezuela. At the end of the article she coldly alludes to the social disaster that awaits us as the Chavez administration keeps mismanaging the country.

The other piece is Teodoro Petkof editorial of Friday (posted right after the piece from Socorro). The title says it all "Eureka! It is Bush's fault!" In that short piece Teodoro ties it all up very nicely, from the supreme incompetence (and corruption ?) of Corpovargas to the abuse of weather information by people too interested in producing lies to hide they hide. He ends with a flourish quoting Lincoln's words: You cannot fool everybody all the time. (Note added: a translation of this article has been made by Mora Y Leon)

To these we can add the informative listing of the short comings of Vargas administration also published as editorials on Wednesday and Thursday.

From all of this emerges quite clearly the picture of a government more interested in building little Mercals (subsidized food distribution), giving little grants here and there to buy votes, than ensuring the durable welfare of its people. As we all know the two best social programs are stable jobs and a reasonably safe environment.

The truth on the most mendacious of the populist governments that we ever had is finally emerging for all to see. Courtesy of recent events from Danilo Anderson to Vargas II .

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