https://sarantiscollier.typepad.com > Venezuela

July 7-27 - The last country we visited on this whirlwind tour of Latin America, Venezuela is a beautiful and complex society. Los Roques and Angel Falls are both exquisite places. Caracas is a dirty, over-populated, crime-riddled, sweaty city. And the Chavez adminstration is a big, complex beast. On the one hand, he has dramatically improved medical care (with the help of thousands of Cuban doctors) and is sponsoring many initiatives that empower people to earn money, get basic services, and lead community-based initiatives. There are many millions of poor Venezuelans in need of these better opportunities, and most of them support Chavez passionately. At the same time, his style of leadership is erratic and incendiary. Regardless of how one views Chavez, you cannot accuse him of being unimaginative or dull.

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