annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



Thanks for your suggestions re reading to ED - when I phoned her today the OT had been round and shown her how to use the CD player so she was back on that, but time will tell how long she remembers it for. Though the OT may have had some suggestions on how to do that as well.

The big news in my half-Venezuelan family is the death of Chavez, the reporting of which will do my head in if I let it.

I first went to Venezuela in 1980, long before his time and was shocked to my then superficial core at the conditions I found there, especially considering that the place is one big oil puddle. The revenue from that oil was in the hands of a very few people and they spent it all elsewhere. There was no infrastructure - the roads were shit, full of craters that had to be driven round, the electricity supply was so erratic as to be useless for refrigeration, education was expensive and crap, there was no welfare or contraception so single girls who got pregnant ended up either in one of the local brothels or working as general servants 12 hours a day, 13 days a fortnight - ach I could go on and on. I know these things are true because I saw them, I lived with them, with people who didn't go to doctors or dentists, but got pissed and had a friend take out painful teeth, but were comparatively middle class.

When I went back in 2005, the roads were the first thing I noticed - the journey to my family's town only took a couple of hours instead of all day. And housing - there were clusters of proper little houses all over the place and there was reliable electricity. When YD became ill we went to the hospital, which had quadrupled in size, and were charged about 20p for some medicine as opposed to the very idea being way out of our reach (I was working and thought fuck it, I'll pay - couldn't get my head round doctors not treating sick people). And education - that's the biggest thing to come out of his presidency - proper education for all. And the people loved him and had plans and hope for their own futures in a way that had been totally absent.

But of course America wanted his oil and doesn't want another socialist in what it perceives to be its 'backyard' (borders only work one way) so Chavez has been configured as some kind of evil bastard dictator and people are celebrating his death, people who have never known what it is to be dirt poor and hungry and it makes me livid. Out of respect and in some cases love for my American readers I avoid mouthing off about what your government/media do (also because ours are almost as bad these days), but I'm not keeping quiet about this. Chavez's crime was to choose looking after his impoverished country rather than getting personally rich by doing the bidding of the US - what a bastard.

Of course he was a man not a saint - there are people who hated him and they will be wheeled out to say vile things, but there are always haters - not even Jesus Christ or Shakespeare are loved by all, it just doesn't happen.

I fear for my Venezuelan nephews and nieces. It takes a strong leader to stand up to America's sense of entitlement to cheap oil. This is a shitty fucking world with no fucking moral compass at all. I hate it.

11:08 p.m. - 05.03.13


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