Win Win


I would be quite interested in hearing the moral principle upon which Danny Glover and “the crowd at Mount Olivet Baptist Church” (explanation here) base their cheers for Hugo Chavez’ statement that the United States should “elect a better president.” Given that as a guest in our country he is allowed to disparage our president, and given that he is eliminating free speech in Venezuela, one hopes it isn’t because they admire his approach to liberty; though this is not certain.

It would also be intriguing to learn how these Chavez supporters could be so eager to accept a subsidy that results in harm to many other less fortunate persons.

That subsidy, of course, is cheap fuel for American poor people. Hugo Chavez has magnanimously offered to help his “American friends” by giving us cut-rate heating oil.

As a man of the cloth, and Hugo’s front-man in this oil-for-ethics venture, it would perhaps be left to Jesse Jackson to reconcile Venezuelan starvation with the needs of the richest poor people in the world for heating oil. He should be able to come up with a parable or two, don’t you think? “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle if he/she is well oiled.”, for example.

Maybe Jackson could work the suffering of the people in Venezuela into it. Here’s the theme: Charity does not begin at home for Hugo Chavez. “50 percent of the county’s 26 million inhabitants earn less than $2 a day.” “Eighty-percent of Venezuelans cannot meet the cost of a basic daily diet.”

Chavez is killing people in Venezuela with bullets and by starvation. He is systematically destroying his people’s freedoms even as he forms alliances with our worst enemies. Yet, he is cheered by Americans in a church in Harlem for calling George Bush names and giving us some cut-rate oil.

High oil prices, of course, are a much heavier burden for the poor countries of the world than for the United States, so one may be puzzled by the bribe charity offered to a country many of whose poor might otherwise be on the horns of the classic “pay the cable bill or pay the heating bill” dilemma; and whose heating bills are already subsidized by local governments.

Other poor people have it much tougher, so why is Chavez adamant that the price of oil not fall below $60 a barrel. He has cut Venezuela’s production by 50,000 barrels per day to support this price, while people in the Sudan and North Korea are starving.

In North Korea, Chavez’ charity takes on a slightly different flavor: Venezuela’s Chavez planning arms-for-oil trip to N. Korea

…Chavez, who has promised a socialist revolution to end poverty in his country, is forging alliances with such U.S. foes as Cuba, Iran, North Korea and some African countries.

…Chavez claimed in September 2005 that the United States was preparing to attack North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. He has aggressively supported Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear technology and has helped undermine the U.S. embargo of Cuba by increasing trade and providing oil to the communist island on favorable terms.

I guess oil below $60 would result in fewer North Korean missles in Venezuela.

When he was lobbying the Reverend Jackson to assist with his oil donation to the United States during Jackson‘s 2005 visit to Venezuela, Chavez had this to say:

“There is a lot of poverty in the U.S. and don’t believe that everything reflects the American Way of Life. Many people die of cold in the winter. Many die of heat in the summer,” said Chavez in explaining why Venezuela was interested in providing discounted heating oil to the U.S. poor. “We could have an impact on seven to eight million persons,” he added.

Maybe charity should start at home. It sounds as if Chavez could double the income of 13 million Venezuelans by keeping the money with which he subsidizes the US. Maybe he could quadruple it if he went without North Korean military technology.

Despite the opinions of the congregation of the Mount Olive Baptist Church and the UN General Assembly, it is obvious that it is Venezuela needing a better president. It’s also quite possible that it’s the United States that needs better citizens. Perhaps we could arrange to swap Venezuela’s poor for Mount Olive’s congregation, Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson and a second round draft pick for the UN Committee on Human Rights.

They think they’d be better off under Chavez, and I’m sure the rest of us would be better off having them there. There’s no doubt Venezuelan poor people would be better off as American poor people. There really ought to be a different word than poor for one or the other. I don’t think “dirt poor” or “abject poverty” convey the difference. There’s a previously linked example here. PAIN IN SLUMS OF CHAVEZ

1 thought on “Win Win”

  1. “Perhaps we could arrange to swap Venezuela’s poor for Mount Olive’s congregation, Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson and a second round draft pick for the UN Committee on Human Rights.”Brilliant!!!!!

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