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Odysseus
11-19-2008, 12:25 PM
This is a great article on the state of affairs in Chavez's version of the workers' paradise. Should be required reading for all DUmpsters.

November 18, 2008, 6:00 a.m.

‘A Matter of the People’
Careening toward chaos in Caracas. (http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=NjQzYTJkZTczOGJmMDRhYzlmNmZmMjM3Y2NlZGJhY2U=)

By John R. Thomson

Caracas can deceive a visitor initially. Despite a horrifically debilitating decade under Hugo Chavez’s negligent despotism, some things remain the same. The city still has a range of excellent restaurants. If you look over the city from the hills — better yet, peer down from an elegant condominium balcony — by day or night, Caracas can seem like the energetic, exciting city of yore.

It isn’t. The drive to Caracas from Maiquetia airport is dangerous at night and unsightly by day. By night thugs, many dressed as police, stop vehicles, rob their passengers and often steal the cars. The hills are filled with squalid ranchos — shack-filled ghettos — populated by a million or more desperately poor Venezuelan peasants, who have become the most solid core of Chavez’s steadily eroding support. Once inside Venezuela’s capital, it’s clear the street network has not been expanded for years, and its pothole-filled lanes are blocked around the clock.

Caracas is on a downward slide that seems unstoppable. The rural poor have invaded and endangered the city of six million as never before. The wealthy — those who have not fled to southern Florida, Colombia, or Spain — lead a surrealistic existence, smiling through ever-increasing gloom and believing that somehow, some day Venezuela will be rid of Chavez, socialism, corruption, and insecurity.

Read the rest here. (http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=NjQzYTJkZTczOGJmMDRhYzlmNmZmMjM3Y2NlZGJhY2U=)