Monday, November 9, 2015

Chomsky is a bit disingenuous when he slams Venezuela.


Chomsky compares Venezuela to South Korea and Venezuela's president Nicholas Maduro wants to talk with Chomsky. They ought to share watching this ten minute video. Did Chomsky know that renting 300,000 mercenaries to the United States to rape and murder Vietnamese was a big factor in South Korea's "miracle"?

A couple of weeks ago Noam Chomsky gave an interview to that has, I think, cut many Venezuelans to the quick.

Now, personally this is one of the toughest writing assignments I've ever given myself. Chomsky is an icon of the left. I count myself on the left too.  So many ill willed rightists attack him that anyone who draws a line between Chomsky and himself can be accused of being a rightist who is really attacking the left. On top of that much of the left adores the memory of Hugo Chavez and idealizes  Venezuela that I want to choke rather than agree with any of Chomsky ' s attack on the status quo of Venezuela. Yet, through personal connection I've fallen in love with Venezuela and care too personally and deeply to not tell the truth.

Venezuela's situation is a mess. I've written about it here. Chomsky says the problem is corruption. Well, true- the corruption in Venezuela is monumental.

Having the world's largest oil reserves and having had year after year of high oil prices just like Chomsky says, the country has made no progress towards the goals of food sovereignty and industrial development.
Chomsky says that the legacy of Chavez is disaster. Hugo Chavez, the same man who waived Chomsky ' s book during a speech to the General Assembly and urged one and all to read this man's writing. That same Chomsky now calls the legacy of the same now dead President a disaster.

Chavez's hand picked successor Nicholas Maduro, clearly hurt, invited Chomsky to Venezuela to talk, look around and find out that he's wrong.

I wish I could advise President Maduro to shave his mustache, disguise himself as a cross country trucker and travel from Caracas to the Colombian border like I did a year ago. But he should take Chomsky with him, maybe disguised as his helper. They should take three weeks, not three days like I did, and they should park the truck in a score of town and village squares,  strike up conversations, accept invitations to dinners and knock on the locked doors of Venezuela's free medical clinics.  They should visit some hospitals and chat with patients and staff.. Of course this is a fantasy. It could never happen.  Too bad

And Chomsky should shut up about comparing Venezuela to South Korea. You see its true South Korea was once dirt poor and now it's a prosperous industrial powerhouse while Venezuela was once never an industrial powerhouse but was rich in a distorted  lopsided sort of way and is now poor in a lopsided and distorted way.

South Korea is rich due to decades of brutal forced march Stalinesque primitive accumulation. Renting out 300,000 mercenaries to fight America's war in Vietnam helped too. Also having a nationalized banking system. It's also due to following policies opposite of the IMF and World Bank. Protectionism, not Free Trade. FIVE YEAR PLANS, not deregulation.  Magnates threatened with jail, not overseas shopping sprees.

President Maduro should probably sit down with Colonel Jose Martin Raga, Nicmer Evans, and Chavista former leaders who never rode the gravy train. Maybe also invite losing Presidential candidate Capriles and some reasonable oppositionists. After December 6 elections, of course.

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