Saturday, December 02, 2006

Crime Wave in Venezuela

It was disheartening to read the article in today's New York Times about the current crime wave in Venezuela. I'm sure you're delighted to have a bludgeon with which to belabor your friend Hugo Chavez, Bush, but I'd like to believe that this it not what socialism is all about. When I read that "homicides are up 67 percent since 1999," I'm horrified for the people who must live with the insecurity and the daily danger such a statistic suggests--and I read further to discover (surprise!) that these are mostly the poor.

It seems that the Chavez policy is to have the police go easy on the criminals, perhaps in part to give the appearance of social concern. But it seems also--if the same report is to be believed--that the police themselves are the source of some of the murderous violence. That age-old disparity between the rich and the poor is evidently not the outcome of one particular political ideology if, in oil-rich, socialist Venezuela, the poor are still victimized by both social discrimination and virtually unchecked crime.

It would be nice to believe that the purported values and the good intentions of socialism--the political philosophy in which I, Bush, as I have mentioned in the past, was brought up believing--would lead to something approaching social justice. It would be nice to believe that those you personally despise and distrust could create a better situation for the poor than the more conservative-minded. I would be nice to see satisfying results from the Chavezes and the Castros of this world. Alas, no. Poverty, social injustice, neglect of the needy persist. Who was it said, The poor will always be among us?

It's not about what we preach, as human beings or as political idealists. It's about what we practice. And it seems, sadly, that that discrepancy, too, will always be among us.


GringoWithoutBorders said...

Peter you lead me to so much additional knowledge!

Murder rates in 2005 (per 100,000 humans):

44 Birmingham
43 Richmond
42 Baltimore
39 Detroit
38 St. Louis

36 Venezuela**

35 Washington DC
29 San Bernardino
28 Kansas City

Remember!!! I don't think Chavez has direct control over local police departments or criminal gangs. Hopefully he can increase their budgets for training to fight crime. Chavez is responsible for updating the National Venezuelan Army to repel the USA if needed, NOT local police departments. Just like you cannot blame Bush for Washington DC murders.

As far as state murder by death penalty, in 2005, 94 per cent of all known World executions took place in USA, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia. The death penalty in Venezuela was abolished in 1893.

Eight countries since 1990 are known to have executed 47 prisoners who were under 18 years old at the time of the crime – China, Congo (Democratic Republic), Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA and Yemen. The USA and Iran have each executed more child offenders than the other six countries combined.

PK said...

I was raised there, in and around Caracas. Yes, it's still the way it was when I was there. You wrote, "the police themselves are the source of some of the murderous violence." And, "the poor are still victimized by both social discrimination and virtually unchecked crime." So all three have them in daily danger. I haven't been there since 1956, and yet the people are still the same. I have talked to a few who say so, I believe them. Chavez could be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if the military wants him out of there, I can guarantee you, he'd be gone in a heartbeat. The military is the heart of the country, as long as Chavez holds his ground, he'll be okay, if he falters... by by. Good post Peter:).

anonymous said...

"The screen-name is not meant to be fake but rather allude to a humane way of looking at fellow humans on Earth".
!!!! If you say so. Doesn't mean anything to me. Just more nonsense like the rest of your blog-blab.

You are one-half statistics, and the other half surfacey opinion. Reign it in dude.

Won't be reading your comments, so save your insipid answers.