News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela

It’s about time that the people of the USA began to learn about reality commentarist Oscar Heck writes:  On May 15, after listening to a good portion of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ weekly Sunday television program “Alo Presidente,” I began thinking about education again.  

This was Chavez’ 222nd Alo Presidente.  

Hugo Chavez speaks about education almost every time he speaks, whether it is during Alo Presidente or whether it is during the inauguration of a new government Mission or whether he is speaking in Brazil, Argentina or at the UN. Education should be at the forefront of society’s agenda – providing that the leaders of society have the best interest of its citizenry at heart.  

However, education, without food and without accessible health-care is meaningless – it is a vicious circle.   If one has not eaten in two days, how can one absorb knowledge? If one is in bed, suffering from untreated raging pneumonia, how can one learn or retain information? Education goes hand in hand with well-being. 

Food and good health are the basics for well-being – the well-being by which a person’s emotional, psychological and physical disposition permits him/her to be “well enough” to live life and to experience it to the fullest.

I think that we all “know” this to be true.

From what I have been able to gather, during every Alo Presidente, Chavez, a former military man and history teacher, does the following: He teaches millions of viewers –  

–about history, mathematics, philosophy, and an array of other subjects.

– about human values such as respect, honesty, loyalty and love. 

– about Venezuelan society (with statistics) and about government programs and Missions, comparing present-day Venezuelan society with the past and with the potential future. 

– about strategy, tactics, goals, actions and how to achieve them. 

– about what is going on in the world, in other countries and in other societies. 

He also teaches people that patience, constancy, dedication and hard work (hand in hand with respect, loyalty and honesty) are critical – and how these are the driving factors to creating a more equitable society. He emphasizes national unity and the “good for all” as the foundation for a healthy Venezuelan society.

But the most important thing that Chavez teaches (in terms of acquisition of knowledge) is something which should be taught in every classroom in every country of our world, starting at an early age.   

Chavez teaches “reality.”

What “reality” does Chavez teach? Little by little, Chavez is teaching millions of people in Venezuela and abroad about the reality of how this world works. How un-checked capitalism is the cancer of our world. How capitalism and “free-trade” and the machinery behind capitalism is fomenting an increase in poverty and human un-dignity – how capitalism only contributes to assuring the increased accumulation of wealth at the hands of the 20% – while the 80% continue to struggle to eat – unable to have reasonable access to decent health care and education. 

This is reality. 

If unabated capitalism were to flourish in Venezuela, Mision Robinson, Mision Ribas, Mision Barrio Adentro, Mision Sucre, Mision Mercal, Mision Vuelvan Carcas and a host of other Venezuelan government health, food and education programs would be shut down. Education would be privatized and so would health care. (Note that in the pre-Chavez era, Venezuela was well on its way to complete privatization and exclusion.) If privatization were to occur in Venezuela, education and health care would only be “really” accessible to the wealthy 20% – while food would be the only basic necessity which the poorer 80% would have reasonable access to. 

This is the present reality of many countries around the world – and increasingly so – and – it is completely contrary to what “free-trade” and “globalization” advocates preach to their innocent “western world,” “uneducated” citizens.

Capitalism’s aim is to keep people stupid – that is, to keep them “uneducated” – making them believe that “globalization” and “free-trade” are viable avenues for humanity and that “american values” are healthy and that these “values” must be thoughtlessly replicated worldwide for the benefit of humankind.

To be truly “educated” does not mean to be an “intellectual” or a “professional” or an “expert” – or to be able to retain scientific data or stock-market fluctuation information.  

To be “educated” (as so many “experts” and “professionals” believe) does not mean to have a degree in law or in engineering or in medicine.

To be “educated” (or intelligent, as some people claim) does not mean to understand complex mathematical systems or to design electronic controls or telecommunications algorithms. 

To be truly “educated” is to understand how the world works (reality), who is in charge, and for what reasons.  

It is to understand that engineering, law or medical degrees are “really” only accessible to about 20% of the world’s population, most of which is whiter-skinned.   It is to understand that once a person receives his/her university degree, that person has no choice “really” but to go work for the forces that control the world, the elite – those who continue to perpetuate the segregation between the 20% and the 80%.

Sure, there are some engineers and lawyers and doctors who work for humanity (instead of working for money and/or for prestige) – but they represent a very small minority.  Remember the Doctor, Patch Adams ? He was apparently ostracized, criticized and laughed at. I wonder what people thought of Dr. Bethune at the time? “Professionals” of the medical society probably said something like, “Oh, he’s just a poor old sod, a misfit, introverted – a marginal person who has delusions of being better than the rest of us doctors.” 

To be truly “educated” is to understand that “free-trade” and “globalization” are the tools of the world’s capitalist and imperialist, back-stabbing elite – those who generally do not give one damn about humanity, not one iota. 

They conveniently cover up their lack of caring for humanity by providing “corporate financing” to organizations such as Green Peace or Amnesty International. They divert attention from the true cause of poverty (themselves, and their without-conscience policies and actions) by providing us, the gullible, good-hearted, “uneducated,” “western” public with tear-jerking programs such as “World Vision.”

In real reality, this is how life happens.

Here is another example. While we “western,” “herd-working,” “honest” citizens pay our taxes from our “herd-earned” dollars, many (if not most) of our government leaders, politicians, bankers, insurers and corporate-business leaders stash away millions (if not billions) of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, in the Caiman Islands, in Guernsey, in the Bahamas and other “tax free” havens. How come we can’t do the same, huh? Why do we have to pay taxes through our noses when these guys/gals can get away with paying a minimum amount of tax while making hundreds of times the money we make? The criminality in all of this is not the fact that they are stashing money away – it is the fact that they have access to doing it whilst the vast majority of the world population doesn’t, even being penalized or jailed if they attempt to do the same. This is the crime. It is the same as the crime of “being treated by a medical doctor if one can afford to pay for it.”

This is reality and these are the kinds of things that Hugo Chavez teaches his people, or anyone else who wants to listen to the truth.   

To become truly “educated” is to listen to people like Hugo Chavez Frias … to investigate what he says, to question it, to research it and then convince yourself that it is true.   True “education” is to know and to understand reality.

On Sunday, Chavez brought up an excellent and very true example of how “un-education” has twisted reality. The powers of this world have inculcated in most of us the falsehood that socialism is contrary to democracy. For example, he quoted a survey which asked the question,  ”Do you prefer socialism or democracy?”

In reality, socialism is a form of democracy – and capitalism is not democracy. Capitalism leaves no room for democracy (even if it appears to) whilst socialism, such as in Venezuela (which is a participative democracy), is true democracy.   

Capitalism would rid Venezuela of all the Missions and of all the present-day mechanisms for a participative democratic system (such as the referendum process, which is unique to Venezuela). Capitalism would privatize health and education, the mining and natural resources industries and PDVSA (Venezuela’s state-run oil company, the government’s main source of operating revenue) – and the wealth of the country would fall into the hands of the 20% world-elite.   

This is not democracy. 

Capitalism is a dictatorship which is shoved down the throats of innocent people under the guise of “democracy.” True “education” is all about knowing and understanding these things. True “education” is to know and to understand reality. 

Oscar Heck More commentaries by Oscar Heck

Addendum: Capitalism – A police-state stranglehold. 

Here is another very real example of how a capitalist society (which calls itself “democratic”) has its own innocent citizenry in a police-state stranglehold. 

Newsweek is presently in deep trouble because a story it published as to how the US military in Guantanamo Bay desecrated the Koran by putting the Koran on toilets and inside toilets.  (In Islamic societies, such action is considered extremely offensive.)

Newsweek’s article has created uproar throughout the Muslim world and has sparked massive anti-USA demonstrations, some of which have turned violent, causing injuries and deaths. 

Now, suddenly, the US government blames Newsweek for further “tarnishing” the image of the USA abroad (an image which is already well on its way to the garbage dump) – and it unabashedly blames Newsweek for the deaths caused by the demonstrations which were caused by the article (!). Does the US government really think that people are going to swallow this rot without gagging? 

Do they think that everybody is stupid?

The dictatorial police-state US government has further “asked” (ordered) Newsweek to retract the story and to say the Newsweek’s version of events is false, that is, no soldiers in Guantanamo Bay ever desecrated the Koran. 

Yeah, sure, my foot!  

I am quite sure that soldiers in Guantanamo Bay did desecrate the Koran and that they did so intentionally. I will explain. 

First, Newsweek reported the story, which could be true or false, but is probably true. 

Second, according to my experiences in Islamic countries, I have witnessed situations where some “americans” who live and work in countries such as Saudi Arabia, overtly (but in private) slandered and made fun of Islamic practices (and Muslims) on a regular basis. 

Third, when I was in the Gulf war in 1991, US women-soldiers wore shorts, exposing their legs – something that is highly offensive and illegal in countries such as Saudi Arabia. The US military did not care, did not bother to find out (before going to war) – and did little to modify its behavior (during the war), regardless if its behavior was insulting to local Islamic practices, laws or traditions. The wearing of shorts by women was additionally offensive because the women-soldiers also had their hair (on their heads) exposed – which is illegal and considered immoral by Saudi Arabian Islamic standards.  (Note that in Saudi Arabia at the time, even men were not allowed in public wearing shorts!)

My conclusion is, that in addition to the above notes, since the US military did strip-search people in Iraq (an Islamic society) – and since they US military did take Iraqis’ clothes off and pile them up naked in US-operated jails in Iraq – and since the US military in Iraq did break into people’s homes without warning (another serious offense, according Islamic and Bedouin tradition) – and since the US military and the US government do have a solid reputation of arrogance and of lack of respect for other cultures and other customs, it is almost 100% sure that the US military did desecrate the Koran in Guantanamo. 

If such is the case, which it certainly appears to be, then one can evidently conclude that the US government is not a democracy. 

The US government is a dictatorship which has brought the once-upon-a-time proud-and-grand USA to its knees and turned its own people into fearful and obedient servants and slaves through the use of dictates, threats, coercion, incarceration and ongoing, unwarranted military and police force … and forced media censorship – or else!

It’s about time that the people of the USA (El Pueblo) began to learn about reality … listen to Alo Presidente!

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