“..It’s really no mystery – and it’s happening elsewhere in Latin America.
Hugo Chávez was re-elected president of Venezuela on Sunday – by a margin of 11 percentage points.
For most people who have heard or read about Chávez in the international media – this might be puzzling.
Almost all of the news we hear about Venezuela is bad:
Chávez is cantankerous and picks fights with the United States – and sides with “enemies” such as Iran -
- he is a “dictator” or “strongman” who has squandered the nation’s oil wealth -
- the economy is plagued by shortages – and is usually on the brink of collapse.
Then there is the other side of the story : since the Chávez government got control over the national oil industry poverty has been cut by half -
- and extreme poverty by 70 percent.
College enrollment has more than doubled -
- millions of people have access to health care for the first time -
- and the number of people eligible for public pensions has quadrupled…”
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