Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela. At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humour in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto.
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is getting significant media attention these days, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that it should “be a larger part of our conversation” when it comes to funding the Green New Deal. According to MMT, the government can spend what it needs without worrying about deficits. MMT expert and Bernie Sanders advisor Prof. Stephanie Kelton says the government actually creates money when it spends. The real limit on spending is not an artificially imposed debt ceiling but a lack of labor and materials to do the work, leading to generalized price inflation. Only when that real ceiling is hit does the money need to be taxed back, and then not to fund government spending but to shrink the money supply in an economy that has run out of resources to put the extra money to work. Continue reading The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy→
The citizens and Government of Trinidad and Tobago are being urged to reject the recently announced United States sanctions against Venezuelan government officials accused of violating protestors’ rights during demonstrations earlier this year. Continue reading Reject US sanctions→
HUGO Chavez cast a giant shadow over the Western Hemisphere during his relatively short life. Few world leaders can claim to have influenced the course of history and geopolitics the way he did. For more than half-a-century, visionaries formulated and articulated ideas for the creation of a new power centre that resided outside of North America and Europe. Chavez transformed those dreams into reality, however limited, and upon his untimely death he left behind the legacy of a new world order that seems set to redefine Latin America and influence global affairs in the 21st Century. Continue reading Chavez – Catalyst for Change→
It may be difficult for North Americans to grasp the loss Venezuelans are feeling over the death of President Hugo Chávez since we have no comparable experience in our entire history. I called a friend in Venezuela today to check in with her and find out how she was doing the day after Chávez’s death. She was obviously shaken. “It’s a blow (golpe) and you feel it everywhere. After all, Chávez is a man we’ve lived with for the past fourteen years.”
Chávez, whatever one may think of him or how his legacy will be judged, was a warm, charismatic, down-to-earth, entertaining, larger-than-life figure, part politician, part entertainer. He was from the llano, the land of the cowboys and that was so much of his appeal. When he looked into the camera on his weekly, Alo Presidente, there was a sense of physical contact with him among viewers. I know my friend Juan seemed to feel Chávez was there with us on those Sunday mornings as he laughed with him and even hummed along when Chávez sang. Continue reading Venezuela: Adiós Presidente→
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, or Comandante Chávez, as he was affectionately known by his supporters and followers, passed away on March 5, at 4:25 p.m. local time, following a 21-month battle against cancer.
When he died, at 58 years of age, he had become one of Venezuela’s and perhaps even the world’s most important contemporary leaders, having launched what he and his movement called the “Bolivarian Revolution,” named after Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century independence hero who had liberated Venezuela and four other countries from Spanish colonial rule. Chávez was a devotee of Simón Bolívar, and his vice president, Nicolás Maduro, recently referred to Chávez as “the new liberator of the 21st century.” Whether this is a fair assessment only history will tell, but what is certain is that Chávez changed the face of Venezuela during his 14 years as president. Continue reading The Life and Legacy of Hugo Chávez→
Chavez invested Venezuela’s oil wealth into social programs including state-run food markets, cash benefits for poor families, free health clinics and education programs. But those gains were meager compared with the spectacular construction projects that oil riches spurred in glittering Middle Eastern cities, including the world’s tallest building in Dubai and plans for branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi.
From the Office of the Prime Minister
March 06, 2013
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, it is with great sadness that I extend deepest condolences to the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and to his family on the passing of Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Our prayers accompany them in their time of grief. Continue reading PM extends condolences on the passing of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez→