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Revolution In The Air - No Respite For The Poor

(March 12, 2008) There's an oft quoted phrase that you can't win for losing, but how can you lose by winning? Ask Venezuela where the revolution of the little guy is in its ninth year. President Hugo Chavez is the undisputed leader of a social movement that was to have refocused his country's priorities and oil profits to help alleviate the gross poverty of more than half the population.

In a new report by Francisco Rodriguez, former Chief Economist for the Venezuelan National Assembly between 2000 and 2004, published in this month's edition of Foreign Affairs, the author analyzes various socioeconomic indicators to test the popular belief that the Bolivarian revolution has changed life for the poor. Surprisingly, he concludes that the revolution has not only failed to live up to expectations, but has actually increased poverty, inequality, and decreased living standards in the poorest homes.

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