Latin America: Successful liberal solutions would be the literal translation of the book Políticas Liberales Exitosas. Soluciones pensando en la gente but a more accurate title would be Successful free market policies: solutions with people in mind, which deals with the opening of free markets in developing economies. The book was published in Spanish by Red Liberal de América Latina, the Fundación Friedrich Naumann and the Fundación Atlas 1853, with a vision on improving Latin America through public policies that lead to growth and prosperity, as Carmelo Jordá Jordá of Hispalibertas accurately states. You can download Políticas Liberales Exitosas for free (pdf file) at the Red Liberal de América Latina site.
I am greatly encouraged by the number of books being published in Latin America on the subject of free markets. It is certainly an encouraging trend: Colombia has signed a free trade pact with the USA this week.
By contrast, in Venezuela, the Christian Science Monitor has an article on Venezuela’s unrealized revolution
“[Chávez] is transferring responsibility for Venezuela’s problems to Bush,” says Luis Petrosini, an economics professor at the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, who has voted for Chávez twice.
In November, cardiologist Juan Carlos De Gouveia resigned from Miguel Perez Carreño hospital, one of Venezuela’s largest public hospitals. Dr. De Gouveia was raised in a poor Caracas neighborhood and spent decades serving poor Venezuelans. In his resignation letter, he described interminable battles with hospital administrators to obtain basic supplies such as sterilization equipment.
At another Caracas hospital four patients died in one night last August after its oxygen supplies ran out. This month the Venezuelan Medical Society suspended all elective procedures there, saying conditions had still not improved.
Meanwhile, the government here announced recently that it will help over 50 African countries combat malaria, even though the number of malaria cases in Venezuela in 2004 was the second highest since 1937 and twice that of when Chávez took office.
. . .
Venezuela also faces a public housing shortage. According to figures from the Venezuela Chamber of Housing, less than 30,000 homes were built in 2005 out of the 120,000 promised by Chávez.
Many of Venezuela’s roads are also deteriorating. Last month the highway connecting the capital Caracas with its international airport and second largest port was closed indefinitely due to a collapsing bridge. The closure of this major artery impacts 35 percent of the country’s commerce according to Veneconomia, a leading business research publication.
Venezuela News and Views keeps track of Chavismo tricky numbers: unemployment, now you see it, now you don’t!:
from December 2005 to January 2006 unemployment has grown by a stupendous 4%
With all these problems, Hugo’s spending money like a drunken sailor: Venezuela and Iran agreed on Wednesday to set up a joint fund of 200 million U.S. dollars for social projects, businesses and trade, where each country will contribute at least 15.5 million dollars in their first deposit within 15 days and build up the fund gradually afterward. In their spare time, Iran and Venezuela Plan War on Israel, according to that article.
While the infrastructure crumbles and Hugo makes deals with Iran, there’s plenty of money for sponsoring a samba school at the Rio carnival.
As Alvaro Vargas Llosa was saying last week, the Left should cringe at the mention of Hugo Chavez.