The New Democrat Online

Friday, March 8, 2013

Foreign Affairs: Latin America: Michael Shifter: So Long, Hugo Chávez: The Potential of Social-Democracy in Venezuela

So Long, Chávez: After a reign of 14 years, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez died on March 5, 2013. Regardless of what follows, Chávez’s legacy, and the damage he left behind, will not be easily undone.

Now that Hugo Chavez is dead and of course no longer President of the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela. The Venezuelan people have a big mess to clean up because the only positive mark that President Chavez had on Venezuela. Was establishing some type of safety net in this country and building things like schools and hospitals, assistance for the poor and so fourth. But did very little despite Venezuela's wealth in energy resources to develop the Venezuelan economy and infrastructure to create a larger. Middle class in Venezuela so fewer Venezuelans would need public assistance in order to survive. Hugo Chavez was not the Franklin Roosevelt of Venezuela. But more like the Fidel Castro of Venezuela but at least under President Castro Cuba now has a education and healthcare system that even looks first world. Where Venezuela still doesn't have that despite Chavez being President of Venezuela for fourteen years. He did very little to advance the economy there or build much of a Democracy there.

The future of Latin America is not in Venezuela but in Brazil and Mexico two countries that are poised to becoming developed countries. And in Brazil's case a world power thats shown that Socialism can work as long as its combined with Democracy. Which is  what Social-Democracy is about, freedom to go along with a generous welfare state but also combine with economic freedom, to go along with. Social and political freedom so you don't have such a large class of people in one country dependent on the state in order to survive. But you use the resources that you have to build your economy so as many people as possible have a good opportunity to be successful in life. With things like healthcare and health insurance for everyone, a quality education for everyone, a modern infrastructure system and using. Your natural resources to develop your country and also so you have things you can export.

This is the model that Venezuela should be looking at if they want to be a Socialist State. Moving away from Castro/Chavez Communism or state ownership but looking to build a Social-Democracy where. The Venezuelan people have freedom to not only vote but able to live their own lives and not be dependent on the state. Where their infrastructure system is developed that benefits the entire Venezuela people and all they have to look at for a model is their neighbor Brazil.