News: Chavez: More Oil Revenue? More Aid!

Bolstered by windfall oil profits, Venezuelan president Chávez's government is now offering more direct financial aid to Latin America and the Caribbean than the United States. This article states Venezuela pledged more than $8.8 billion in aid, financing, and energy funding for its neighbours so far this year.
Compare that to the $3 billion of US grants and loans reaching the same region in 2005, and you can see who gains more influence...!

Add to this,
a previous news round-up showing the UAE investing $10 billion USD in an education package, and you easily see international (financial) aid shifting from the US and IMF's lead "Western Alliance" to... well, to others... Good! Hopefully the same will happen also with the economical power in the world!


For updated humanitarian news, check out The Other World News

4 comments:

vagabondblogger 04 September, 2007 05:37  

"Money talks" - isn't that how the saying goes?

Peter Casier 04 September, 2007 08:44  

Indeed, indeed. So the question is now: how will the US react if Latin America will start talking the 'Chavez-talk' rather than the 'US foreign office'-talk?

Chavez by himself was one thorn in the bum for the US. His alliance with Cuba is another. But what if 'all of the masses south of the border' will start singing socialist songs?

Another Allende story?

P.

Anonymous,  10 September, 2007 12:21  

Peter,

Influence come with money, so 'giving' is actually a wrong word for what you're describing. 'Buying' would be more appropriate. Now I do not think there's anything wrong in buying, as long as the seller and the buyer are on equal terms as to what the exchanged goods are, the prize paid for the same goods, and the terms and conditions of the deal. But I don't think that's the case in international dealings of the sort you are describing. The way I read you leads me to think that you share my scepticism.

What I do not think we share, however, is the assumption that all that comes from the West is bad, and what comes from her opponents is good. You mention Chavez' Venezuela, which I know better that UAE, and which therefore will remain the case commented on.

Hugo Chavez is running a country with large revenues from oil trade. That makes him powerful. But how does he use his power? Venezuela under Chavez has clear authoritarian traits. Suffice to glance at the closure of the RCTV, but you might also want to have a look at changes senor Chavez has proposed to the Venezuelan Constitution. Internationally, he befriends the rulers of Iran and Syria in a common effort to spread intolerance and illiberalism. All this he does in the name of the Venezuelan people.

The money Chavez spends buying influence for his autocratic message, is the money of the same Venezuelan people, many of whom are still living in poverty, despite his socialist revolution. To make reference to my previous comment on selling and buying - I'm not sure if they agree on how their money is spent.

In realistic terms, in contemporary international politics what we as buyers (for we are, indirectly) have to chose from is many times, and especially in Latin America, the influence of the United States and her opponents, and I agree that the influence of the US on other countries is often not very positive, and in many instances has proven to be directly devastating. In fact, what annoys me the most about that country is that they often proclaim to be the champion of Western values. The US! Words like, Allende, el Chivo, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, spring to mind, and I'm outraged, believe me.

But what makes me equally angry, is how you resign to autocratic powers - resign is what I think you do when you write that the influence of anyone but the West, even of people like Hugo Chavez, is to be preferred.

Are you familiar with the terms and conditions of the sale of influence to Chavez and his likes? Or do you just prefer it to the only other option you see? In the latter case, how can you give up the West like that? Wouldn't it be better to fight for an alternative? If you agree, then be aware that what you are doing is devastating to those of us that strive to establish an alternative offer - an offer built on values that I actually suspect that you share.

Peter Casier 10 September, 2007 12:43  

Yeah, I agree with you on many of issues you raise. I realize I am prejudice in the way I encourage ANYthing that could balance the one-sided domination of the world by 'the West' and the US specifically... Without looking too much if 'those alternatives' are actually to be preferred versus what 'the West' offers.

I also agree with you that foreign aid is mostly used as an investment or 'buying of alliances', rather than done from 'the good of one's heart'...

P.

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