Periodically the economist appears in my college common room and I will get the chance to laugh at their somewhat ridiculous coverage of Venezuela. For a publication that has the reputation of being a kind of weighty journal, their coverage of Chavez is surprisingly bad. This week they asserted that Venezuelans were looking on unimpressed by Chavez's programme of 21st century socialism while their countries infrastructure crumbled around them. A neat point - but not one based in fact. If they had looked at any independent research as to how Venezuelans felt they would have found it hard - in the last year at least - to find a poll demonstrating less than around 70 per cent support for Chavez. In fact in october 2005 a poll found that 77 per cent of people approved of Chavez's handling of the presidency. The reason? quite simple, while the wankers at the economist assert that venezuela's infrastructure is crumbling, doctors are being sent to neighbourhoods in which a doctor has never been seen and hundreds of thousands of people are being taught to read and write; and land poor and landless peasants are being given the support they need to form co operatives and collectives.
The economist did for once say one thing i agree with. A page near front carried the headline 'Free Speech Must Override Religious Sensitivities', but thats a whole other debate....