Sunday, June 12, 2005

By way of contrast 

From the previous post it is evident what the U.S. is NOT spending its hundreds of billions of dollars on in Iraq. But today in Venezuela President Chavez inaugurated another one of the social programs which Venezuela has chosen to spend its money on. The program is called Barrio Adentro II. The original Barrio Adentro (inside the neighborhood) program was the second of Chavez's "Missiones" to be initiated. It involved putting thousands of Cuban doctors in poor neighborhoods throughout Venezuela to give millions of Venezuelans access to primary health care for the first time. Barrio Adentro had undoubtadly been the most popular of Chavez's social programs. The opposition, which fought against this program tenaciously at its inception but now sees how popular it is, claims that it would keep this program even if they came to power.

The Barrio Adentro II program just inaugurated is different in that it consists of opening hundreds of ambulatory care centers thoughout the country where patients can recieve more sophisticated care. Such services as full dental care, ambulatory surgery, and ob-gyn care will be given in these centers. Of course, these services will be free of charge and aimed at those who otherwise do not have access to health care.

If the people in Washington D.C. were smart, instead of fighting needless battles with Chavez all the time they would send some observers to Venezuela so they could get some ideas on how to improve Iraqi's lives and maybe, just maybe, win some desperately needed support in that country. Now, how do you write "Barrio Adentro" in Arabic.

Here are some pictures from todays inauguration:


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