Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Synergy with the Devil

Artigo na New Yorker:

A year ago, progressive activists and policy wonks descended upon Caracas, Venezuela, for the World Social Forum, a kind of Davos conference for the global left. (...) And yet, only six months earlier, in the very same hotel, Chávez’s government had hosted a rather different meeting of international luminaries. The attendees were American businessmen, and the meeting was a trade fair intended to convince American companies that Venezuela was friendly to foreign investment and eager to expand trade with the U.S.


Chávez’s rhetoric might not be out of place in “The Little Red Book,” yet everyday life for many Venezuelans today looks more like the Neiman-Marcus catalogue. Thanks to the boom in the price of oil, many Venezuelans have been indulging in rampant consumerism that might give even an American pause. In the past year, auto sales have doubled, property prices have soared (mortgage loans are up three hundred per cent), and, thanks to this buying frenzy, credit-card loans have nearly doubled. And while Chávez has done a good job of redistributing oil revenue to the Venezuelan poor, via so-called misiones, designed to improve education, health care, and housing, and has forced oil companies to renegotiate contracts, there has been no nationalization of industry, relatively little interference with markets, and only small gestures toward land reform. If this is socialism, it’s the most business-friendly socialism ever devised.


Anonymous said...


Miguel Madeira said...

O artigo que o Luis Pedro linkou (há 11 anos...) agora está aqui https://www.economist.com/free-exchange/2007/01/09/overtaken-by-events

[Provavelmente será preciso "abrir o link numa janela privada" para o conseguir ler]