Friday, October 31, 2008

Treating human beings like human beings. 

As most know, I've sort of become disappointed in - no, better said, infuriated with - Chavez of late.

But if I am going to beat him up over all the bad and self-centered things I think he has been doing I should still at least recognize some of the very good things he does.

The social mission Jose Gregoria Hernandez certainly falls into that category as it is a Mission to census and help all Venezuelans with disabilities. It certainly deserves to be commended.

Venezuela, like most Latin Americans societies, has a heavy emphasis on youth and beauty. This had led to people with disabilities being shunned and thought of as people who should stay in their homes or shelters and not be seen. Travelling throughout Latin America it is impossible not to notice that virtually nothing is done to accommodate their special needs. And it makes sense; why accommodate what you want to pretend doesn't exist?

That makes this Mission unique in the sense of even though I don't know much about what its actual accomplishments are in a certain sense it doesn't matter (though I have noticed Venezuela has done stuff like give greater access to mass transit to disabled people). That these people are finally recognized, acknowledged to exist, and seen as full human beings to be helped rather than an embarrassment to be hidden is a HUGE step forward for Venezuela and Latin American.

So for those who are wondering how a large majority of Venezuelans can still view Chavez as a good guy, well here is part of the answer. Just treat human beings like human beings. It really does go a long way. Just read the comments section on the link and you'll see.

PS, now that Chavez has seen fit to do this good deed now maybe we can get him to work on fining or suing out of business all of the Venezuelan employers who blatantly and openly discriminate based on age. People over 30 are people too!!


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