Not all is perfect in Venezuela either

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Not all is perfect in Venezuela either

Post by Barb » Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:54 pm

I post this in response to the claim that Venezuela is the shining light that points the way to the end of the kind of abuse against children described in Buying a Child in Ten Hours.

By James Ingham
BBC News, Caracas

Amnesty International has urged Venezuela to do more to protect women from domestic violence.
The rights group says a law passed last year which classifies domestic violence as a violation of human rights was a step in the right direction.
But Amnesty says the authorities have done little to implement it. Amnesty estimates that one woman in Venezuela is attacked every 15 minutes.
Latin America has some of the world's worst levels of domestic violence.
As in the rest of the world, women in Venezuela are still suffering violence at the hands of their partners or other family members.
In a report focusing on this often hidden problem, Amnesty has both praised and criticised the Venezuelan government.
It says a law classifying domestic violence as a violation of human rights goes some way to improving the situation. But it says little is being done to implement it.
There are still only three women's shelters in the whole country, far fewer than the number promised a decade ago. And the police and other authorities have not been properly trained to handle this kind of crime. A helpline, however, has been more successful.
Last year, 4,500 women called for advice. But local organisations estimate that only one in nine women reports abuse.
Women here are taking more control of their own lives and form an instrumental part in running community affairs.
Housewives and mothers have also been given more rights and benefits. But the report warns that the good example set by Venezuela is in danger unless more resources are allocated to this problem.

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Post by Guysanto » Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:17 am


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Post by Serge » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:33 pm

Unfortunately sometimes, it is difficult for some to see the big pictures, or as Aragorn says, to recognize the "clear efforts "of a government to try to change things, , in this case the Venezuelan Gvt. It is not easy to change centuries of abuse caused by gvt. policies, or social prejudices supported by such gvts. I do believe that the Chavez Gvt. has been trying, he makes mistakes sometimes, he may err in the strategies, but he is trying to change centuries of abuse against the downtrodden.

Another area in which he has been trying very hard and the results are visible not only insde Venezuela, but throughout the world.
Some of you may have seen a replay last night (July 20) on CBS' 60 minutes, of the story of what the Venezuelan Gvt calls teh "Sistema nacional de las orquestas juveniles e infantiles de Venezuela " (Sistema for short). It is an absolutely incredible cultural initiative of the Chavez Gvt. to promote music, both classical and native Venezuelan music specifically among youth. Many, many youth, who otherwise might have ended up in gangs, are now violonists, drummers, pianist, maestros etc. In fact, one of them has been touring the world, getting rave reviews among classical maestros.

Nearly 300 000 , yes 300 000 youth have gone through this program and they work 6 days a week, only having the Sundays off. In other words, they do not have time to get involved in chady activities. They go to school during the day and at the end of the schoolsay, go right to music class. I find this program absolutely astonishing! The 60 minutes piece was showing a young girl, maybe no more than 13 or 14, walking through corridors in the slums of Venezuela, much like you would see in Cite Soleil,, violin in hand and playing while walking. That is dedication!

In fact, this year, the Organisation of American States adopted a resolution paying tribute to the Sistema which has also received the UNESCO International Prize for Music 1993-1994 and the "Prix Prince des Asturies" for 2008. His founder of this program, José Antonio Abreu, and the Chavez Gvt, should be commended for such an initiative which has literally saved thousands of youth from sinking in a life of crime.

That is , I guess, some of the things happening in Venezuela that not too many will ever read about around here.


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Post by Leoneljb » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:46 am

Aragorn and Serge, great one!

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Post by Barb » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:09 pm

One of the things I particularly like about this board is the opportunity to see things from a variety of viewpoints. By reading and listening to another person's point of view, I learn to reexamine my own. This may sound sappy, but I truly believe that one grows only insofar as one learns that the division between "us" and "them" is largely an illusion and ultimately there is only "us" trying to figure out how to muddle through.

I know that news is biased and that you can pick the flavors of news reporting that match your taste, if you aren't too concerned about truth. I try to read a variety of news sources and try to make out a vague sketch of reality from the different points of view that I find.

Sometime in the last decade, American news gave up any last pretext of being unbiased and became a marketable commodity looking for the biggest audience. Thats why we hear more about Brittany Spears' personal excesses than about the effects of rising food and energy prices around the globe. Even so, the Religious Right put on convenient blinders when told that the "news" was all left wing biased lies and could be safely ignored. Then we went ahead and attacked Iraq because what we were being told on the news was all lies anyway and only the Bush adminstration knew the "truth".

I remember learning in school that Hayakawa said that when your map no longer resembles the territory, you are in deep doo doo and I think we have seen that happen to the United States.

My reaction to the news about Venezuela is that I want to know that the walk matches the talk. The talk is great, but if you compare the talk of one country with the walk of another, the talk is always going to come out looking better. Do I think everything is rosy in the USA? Certainly not. Do I think that the Commies are still lurking under the bed? Certainly not.

I don't want kids to suffer. I want everyone to have enough to eat and a chance at a good education and a hope of a comfortable life. If I can help in achieve that, I want to try and I don't like being told that my personal desire to reach out and help is merely an imperialist plot to subjugate and destroy. And, yes, I can see how US foreign aid has made countries dependant on US products and destroyed their own ability to be food sufficient.

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Post by Serge » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:22 pm

Well said Barb. My experience in this country as a foreigner trying to separate facts from truth has proven to be an arduous task. If one does not make a conscious effort to remain above the fray, to go seek alternative sources of news, one can be doomed and easily be brainwashed. Now more than ever!.

I am sure I am not the only one who has felt that way. The problem then is to be able to access the news, and be able to form an informed opinion that is balanced and fair. That is no small task.


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