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What the Statistics Tell Us about Venezuela in the Chavez Era

Chavez died on 5 March 2013, on 16:25. What is his legacy? It will be awhile before we can answer this question because Venezuela has for a long time reveived bad press. A quick assesment:

"As the statistics show, the reality in Venezuela is far from the picture painted by the media in recent years. The nation’s poor have made important gains, and have significantly improved their standard of living. The social changes have been so rapid, in fact, that despite impressive increases in local production, the national economy has not been capable of meeting the growing demand. This has created an increase in food shortages and blackouts in recent years that have fuelled much criticism of the Chavez government. But the attention given to these problems by Chavez opponents and private media hides the important social reality behind them: Venezuela’s poor are living much better.

Much remains to be done, however, if Venezuela intends to get to the root of its economic problems and diversify its economy away from oil exports. In the coming years, great emphasis will need to be put on growth in manufacturing and investment in domestic industry. An important stimulus for this could be finding a way to drastically improve agricultural productivity" (Nov 30th 2012, by Chris Carlson - (retrieved on 06/03/2013 - 2:34am,

On the other hand corruption and crime have increased. Chavez had his priorities straight: eliminate povert and reduce the difference between the rich and the poor.

Chavez has not only been an inspiration for the region, especially the political leaders. But also his Petrocaribe program was significant for the Caribbean islands.

The impact of this change on the islands Aruba and espacially Curacao remains to be seen. The oil refinery in Curacao is rented by the State Owned Company PDVSA. The contract will expire in 2019. There are no negociations going on between the two countries. The polution is a growing concern of a growing part of the populations. The organization SMOC is fighting a legal battle and Green Town is proposing an alternative for after removing the refinary.

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