because Venezuelains couldn't oust corruption they turned to socialism
understandable but still plainolwrong

On Mar 5, 11:32 am, Keith In Tampa <> wrote:
> VENEZUELA Cuban influence in Venezuela spreading The 40,000 Cubans now
> working in Venezuela have a hand in all kinds of sectors -- including
> security for President Hugo Chávez. BY CASTO OCANDO El Nuevo 
> Herald
> Cuban influence in Venezuela is growing beyond politics in a broad range of
> areas, from agriculture and commerce to energy and education -- and even
> presidential security.
> Some 40,000 Cubans are now working in Venezuela, and the island has received
> millions of dollars in petroleum subsidies that sway between 90,000 and
> 130,000 barrels a day, according to some estimates.
> Héctor Navarro, Venezuela's minister of education, revealed last month that
> a group of Cuban experts are giving his government lessons in public
> education.
> ''Cubans are advising on how to measure the educational impact in
> mathematics and language arts,'' Navarro told the Caracas daily El
> Universal. ``It is about creating [ways to gauge] the competency that our
> students must handle.''
> Until now, the most notable Cuban activity had centered on the *Barrio
> Adentro* program, which places Cuban healthcare, education and social
> service workers in low-income neighborhoods throughout Venezuela.
> Cuban influence has quietly broadened to include less visible sectors,
> though critically more strategic and political in scope.
> Sources within the Venezuelan military say Cuban military experts control
> several security circles that protect President Hugo Chávez and have
> penetrated strategic areas of the armed forces and the central government,
> including the situation room in Miraflores, Venezuela's presidential palace.
> The Venezuelan government recently announced a program that will supervise
> police forces throughout the country, and Cuban advisors will play a
> critical role.
> Bilateral projects include geology and mining, with a short-term goal of
> using Cuban technical assistance to exploit mining reserves.
> Dozens of projects are under way to ''identify, quantify and explore gold,
> diamonds, nickel, salt and calcium deposits,'' said Avilo Lavarca, president
> of the Venezuelan National Institute of Geology and Mining.
> Sixty Cuban experts are participating in 11 programs to explore and exploit
> mineral deposits, including nickel. Cuba is the world's sixth leading
> producer of nickel, and Venezuela holds sizeable reserves and is developing
> a processing plant plan.
> The Cuban influence reaches nearly every sector of economic activity and
> daily life. At a recent news conference, Ramiro Valdes, Cuban Minister of
> Information Technology and Communications, detailed a plan to ''liberate''
> technology that will allow Cuba to broaden Internet access through a fiber
> optic line from Venezuela.
> The 1,500 kilometer connection could be in operation by 2010, Valdes said.
> The network would be capable of transmitting 160 gigabytes per second, 1,000
> times faster than the island's current satellite connection, he said.
> Even lions, giraffes and hippopotamuses at the Caricuao Zoo in Caracas are
> being acquired through the Havana Zoo.
> During the recent referendum in which the indefinite reelection of Chávez
> was approved, Cuban television preempted regularly scheduled programs for
> live coverage of Chávez's victory speech.
> Experts say Chávez's victory brings stability to the relationship. It
> ''dissipates doubts about the political durability of Cuba's most important
> ally, and will postpone the date that the island will be forced to live
> without the shipments of Venezuelan petroleum subsidies,'' wrote Dan
> Erikson, a Cuba expert from the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.
> Three days after the referendum, Cuban authorities began working on a plan
> to export thousands of farm workers to Venezuela to seek to develop the
> fertile plains of the Orinoco river basin, site of the largest oil reserves.
> The plan generated an immediate and negative reaction in Venezuela. ''There
> are enough men and women [here], with enough capacity to increase the
> nation's agricultural production,'' said Gustavo Moreno, president of the
> Venezuelan Federation of Agricultural Producers.
> Beyond agriculture, the two nations have created more than 30 joint ventures
> and more than 300 projects that include millions of dollars in investments
> since Chávez came to power in 1999.
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