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Friday, June 18, 2004

Chavez Buying Votes

From the Washington Post:

Chavez's government plans to spend at least $1.7 billion -- and perhaps twice that -- in oil revenue this year on social programs ranging from subsidized food to classes on literacy, farming, hair-styling and auto mechanics. Chavez has said his goal is a "social transformation" that will "redistribute national income" into the hands of the millions of poor people who have long been denied access to this country's vast oil riches.

But critics say Chavez is pandering to the poor to save his political career and gambling irresponsibly with the long-term fiscal health of a state company that provides half the country's revenue.

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