The Economist has an interesting thought exercise about Venezuela and Chavez lies even if none of them is mentioned. In the chart below, using available data, The Economist has tried to imagine where would the different US states rank in the world Human Development Index if each one tomorrow became an independent nation.
Quite surprising no? Mississippi, US 50th, above Italy, world 25th!
My point is that on occasion Chavez loves to point out how Venezuela is rising in such ranking games (with data offered by the regime, data that cannot be audited, data that international organizations accept at face value because, well, no one can conceive a government able to fraud and fudge tot he extent the Venezuelan does). Well, The Economist does not bother taking us, Venezuela, into account, not even Chile, our top of the class. On occasion also Chavez tells us how the US is unfair and has extensive pockets of poverty that the glorious bolivarian revolution must help rescue. For example giving discount heating oil to misery laden Massachusetts (not in the table but certainly comparable to neighboring New York at position 6 or Connecticut at position 1). Or bemoaning the fate of the poor in the South with Mississippi maybe at 50, is above Italy and quite close to Britain that no one in Venezuelan imaginary would consider a poor country... Heck, even Texas is above socialist Denmark!
Maybe Chavez can arrange for me to be traded for someone equivalent, education and responsibility wise, in Jackson Mississipi. The way things are going in Venezuela I am willing to consider the swap.