Venezuela wants to fund social programs for the poor

Oct 17, 2004 02:00 AM

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Frias has told the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) that if it doesn't allow him to use part of its international reserves to fund his social programs for the poor, he'll get a Supreme Court Order to do so.
Mr Chavez requested $ 1 bn of Venezuela's $ 21 bn in foreign reserves. The bank directors say using the reserves for government programs is illegal, and that such use would undermine the local Bolivar currency and harm the country's standing in international financial markers. The BCV previously was critical of some of Chavez's decisions, such as the strict currency control set in February 2003, after a two-month strike to stem capital flight... we believe Mr Chavez will prevail.

Russian aluminium producer Rusal says it plans to construct an aluminium plant in Venezuela at a cost of $ 1 bn. Russian oil giant LUKoil says it will partner Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) to explore and exploit petroleum and natural gas while the Venezuelan Defence Department says it will buy 40 Russian helicopters for civil and military operations; and is presently considering the purchase of 50 MIG fighter planes.
The military equipment will be used to stop cross-border movement and paramilitary fighters, guerrillas, drug traffickers, smugglers and kidnapping bands in the border badlands of western Venezuela.

You get the kind of government you deserve... President Hugo Chavez Frias is in office because wealthy Venezuelans and transnational elitist corporations plundered the nation of its oil wealth. It is estimated that these rich Venezuelans' fortunes hidden abroad aggregate some $ 200 bn.
The criminality has been legion in this country going back to the 1930s. Non-Venezuelans, the rich and the thieves might not like the turn of events... but the person on the street does. They now have food, education and medical and dental care, which many or most of them never had before.

You can attack the government as being socialist or pro-communist if you like, but how would you like to live like these people have had to live? Then stand by and watch helpless as the wealthy and connected looted the country.
Give the Venezuelan government a break. Let some crumbs fall to the people. Venezuela increased spending in August for social programs, up 62 % to $ 2.2 bn versus August 2003.

Source: Vheadline.com
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