Stop the presses: yet another demagogue who claims to be acting in the best interest of his people
is in fact ensuring their continued deprivation and economic irrelevance in the global economy. This time, it's Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, whose efforts last week to torpedo a Free Trade Area of the Americas will go a long way toward guaranteeing that the technology diaspora that is slowly lifting country's like India and China will bypass Venezuela and other nations in Latin America.Chavez, accompanied for some reason by Diego Maradona, the world's second most famous cocaine addict next to Kate Moss, chastised President Bush for even thinking about giving Venezuelans access to American-style jobs and prosperity, calling the free trade plan a pretext to "invade." Chavez believes his people will be better off if he forges closer trade ties with economic dynamos like--Bolivia and Cuba.
Well, who are we to question, just because poverty has mushroomed in Venezuela during Chavez's tenure despite its having vast oil reserves at a time of sky high global energy prices.
This is all too bad for the people of Venezuela, because there are a number of large, U.S. technology giants that would love to "invade" South America with good computer jobs. Managing an offshore operation in the same hemisphere would be a lot easier than managing one that's half way around the world.
The problem is that trade restrictions, lack of investment in key sectors, educational shortfalls and poor infrastructure--all of which could be greatly alleviated by the FTAA plan--has left the region lagging behind other areas as a potential outsourcing destination. Mr. Chavez, the people of India and China thank you.