A post by Gustavo Coronel in www.infodio.com
The social programs of Hugo Chavez were based on direct transfers of cash and strong subsidies to the Venezuelan poor, in exchange for their political loyalty. As such they were exclusive and designed to obtain maximum political benefits. Poverty, however, is a structural condition that calls for structural solutions. Cash transfers and subsidies represent a fish a day, as compared to the need for empowering the poor to learn how to fish. When the transfers diminish or, even, disappear, the poor revert rapidly to their original condition, this time more despondent than ever. I have also used the metaphor of the diabetes and insulin in trying to explain the difference. As long as a person receives insulin diabetes is “cured”. When insulin is not accessible diabetes reappear. Insulin is the money given to the poor on a daily basis.