Poor little neo-cons, my heart bleeds for them. Case in point: PNAC member Robert Zoellick, a leading warhawk who in 1998 was urging Bill Clinton to bomb the living tar out from under Iraq. Clinton declined, but PNAC found a happy taker for its brilliant ideas in one failed Texas oilman, who got his own bailout from one of the many relatives of Osama bin Laden. Since that grandiose scheme proved so (cough, choke, wheeze) successful, Zoellick has now gone on to even greater grandiosity: taking his PNAC colleague Paul Wolfowitz’s place at the helm of the World Bank. There, just imagine what havoc he can wreak on other oil-rich countries…like, oh, say, VENEZUELA.
“It’s a country where economic problems are mounting and we are seeing (that) on the political and press side it’s not moving in a healthy direction,” Zoellick told a news conference in Mexico City.
He also suggested that the World Bank’s influence would not suffer if Chavez goes through with his plan to pull Venezuela out of the lending institution.
“If a country feels it doesn’t need or want the services of the international financial institutions then that’s their choice. Venezuelans have a great amount of oil money,” Zoellick said. “I’ve found no shortage of countries interested in trying to work with the World Bank.”
Really? Golly whiz, Bob, WHO ARE THEY? Probably they’re still in the Coalition of the Killing…all those countries which contributed no troops, that is, because they had no warm bodies to spare. They can’t afford to send armies to kill Iraqis for oil, but hey, their scummy leaders are more than willing to rack up vast odious debts from the World Bank. Bully for them!
So nice to see that predatory capitalism hasn’t given up the ghost yet. After all, it’s gotta have considerable wind to belch out such bald-faced lies about Venezuela, whose economy has gone nowhere but up with Chavecito in charge.
Chavez has said the World Bank is a tool of the United States that keeps poor nations in debt. He has set up a commission to examine leaving the institution.
Chavez, who has been blessed with high oil prices for most of his eight years in power, insists his socialist policies have improved the lives of poor Venezuelans. The country’s economy grew by 10.3 percent last year, the fastest in the region, and government statistics show poverty has declined.
Chavecito is right. The World Bank is the ultimate corporate welfare bum, and it mooches off the poor. All taxes collected go not toward public services; according to World Bank terms, those must be privatized, preferably at fire-sale prices so that “foreign investors” can snap them up cheap and then hike the rates to unaffordable levels. That very thing happened in Venezuela in 1989. It led to riots when the government of Carlos Andres Perez complied with every demand the Washington-based IMF and World Bank made, and suddenly the entire economy collapsed.
Two decades of Venezuelan compliance with the neo-con policies made the country poor, miserable and heavily dependent on expensive imports. A country that could have grown virtually all its own food, instead had to import about 80% of what it consumed. Meanwhile, all the oil was practically being given away, and its profits were pocketed illegally and invested outside of Venezuela by PDVSA executives, who were stealthily working to privatize a company that was nationalized in 1976.
As for economic growth? That was laughable. Foreign investment didn’t do a thing for Venezuela; it only sucked the country dry.
And all this kleptocracy came courtesy of the World Bank and the IMF. That’s why statements like this…
Critics say Chavez’s policies are hindering job creation and scaring businesses with threats of expropriation. He has also come under criticism for failing to renew the broadcast license of an opposition-aligned television station, accusing the network of backing a failed 2002 coup.
…are such a joke.
Nothing has been expropriated without necessity and fair compensation. And the RCTV broadcast licence, a privilege long abused, is now in better hands. The only thing Chavez is doing “wrong”, is holding private industry accountable. Oh, and expanding the number of public services the people can receive again.
And that’s why I also suspect that Zoellick is engaging in sour grapes when he lyingly criticizes Chavecito’s policies (including the now under-construction Bank of the South), which have worked well to undo the damage the Zoellicks of the world have done. The World Bank’s credibility is gone, and nothing anyone says or does can restore it.