Read through archived FRONTLINE/World
conversations around this story, including responses from
Maria Cepeda - New York, New
I strongly believe that Chavez is not only a "Symptom of
the Sickness" that has been suffering Venezuela over the
past years, but he himself is at the same time, the personification
of a new kind of sickness never seen before among Venezuelans.
That is, the social crisis that he has generated as a consequence
of his lefty populist politics which had divided our nation
in two, those who believe or want to believe in his lies
and therefore, blindly love him. And then there are those
who never believed or trusted him in the first place, or
those who took their time to realize the truth about Chavez's
regime of lies and corruption that continues to oppress
the Venezuelan people under a disguise of "democracy".
I would like to take this opportunity
to thank you for giving a space in your programming to this
important issue. Venezuela should be more often in the news.
The world does not yet realize the potential danger that
lies beneath the so called democratic government of the
"Revolutionary Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" as Chavez
now calls it. The country I learned to love simply as: "Venezuela".
Eduardo Aruajo - New York, New York
The real reason why Chavez is in power is because poor people
believe that he is their only hope. Venezuelan politicians
have always been corrupt and have never cared for the country
or its citizens. Chavez does care for the poor. The problem
is that althouhg he cares, he does not seem to be prepared
to help them.
Jaime Urribarri - Boston, Massachusetts
Chavez is not just the symptom but rather the medicine and
cure to his ailing nation. Venezuelans are very lucky that
he as a human being is risking his live for that nation.
He's tackling a lot of issues that previous governments
had ignored because they were too afraid to confront an
Kevin Frater - Tampa, Florida
I really enjoyed the recent report on Venezuela's political
well-being under President Chavez. If I understand correctly,
Venezuela is a democratic government.
I found/heard something in a segment to be very ironic.
The reporter(unfortunately I don't know his name) was interviewing,
who seemed to be, a very successful local newspaper reporter.
This gentleman(who was being interviewed) made a very interesting
point. In opposition to Chavez, he claimed that Chavez may
have changed the way or future of any other president that
followed. He said (not in his exact words, but what I understood)
that the next leaders of the country would be pressured
or possibly be influenced by the people's requests or demands.
Now maybe I'm wrong, but I believe that in order to have
a successful democratic government the people of the country
are suppose to "Demand/Influence" any policy within their
government. I just found this to be very interesting and
ironic. The person who is opposing improper democratic policy,
just defined in my eyes a properly implemented democracy.
There are many other issues, regarding Chavez, in which
I'm not particularly compliant. I guess I'm just possibly
lost when it comes to defining a democratic government?
Or maybe it's just because I'm an American??????
Katherine Castro - Albany, California
I was a bit dismayed to see tonight's (6/12) leading Frontline
story by Juan Forero, who described himself as a "New York
Times and PBS reporter." Be that as it may, his reputation
as an impartial journalist is a lot muddier than those august
credentials would imply (search Google for "Juan Forero,
New York Times reporter"). I was disappointed that KQED
chose to overlook his dubious journalistic ethics in reporting
on Latin American issues. I urge viewers to read more about
him on the Web, and why organizations like FAIR have been
so sharply critical.
Although Forero ostensibly gave
air time to both sides of the Venezuelan political divide,
I found the piece to be very shallow and lacking in-depth
analysis about why a country so rich in natural and human
resources should have had such a stunning turnaround over
the past 20 years from (using his figures) 75 percent middle
class/25 percent poverty level to the current 25 percent
middle and upper class/75 percent poverty level. I was also
left wondering why the United States was so quick to recognize
the short-lived coup against Chavez (and why it was so alone
in doing so), and what role, if any, the United States might
have had in instigating it. But that would have involved
real investigative reporting. Instead, Forero preferred
to include irrelevant but politically loaded shots of Chavez
hugging Castro and shaking hands with Saddam Hussein (this
last, by the way, something that our own Secretary Defense
has been caught on film doing). Shame on PBS and KQED for
airing such a superficial, or worse, program by this discredited
Anonymous - Los Angeles, California
What has happened to the most fantastic programme in all
If you insist on producing a 'Hard Copy' type expose show
such as 'FRONTLINE/World', at least find it another name
to disassociate this drivel from the quality yardstick of
all broadcast programming.
I watched the 'Hugo Chavez' element of tonight's program.
Are you people now representing the Bush Whitehouse, the
Oil Companies and the NeoCons?
Shades of Allende and Chile on a different 9/11.
The REAL Frontline will have fertile ground in the (hopefully)
near future, doing a proper expose of what has been happening
in Venezuela since Bush became President.
Your reporter, with only vague qualification, told of
how the standard of living has fallen 10% since Chavez took
power. With a coup attempt and 5 right wing orchestrated
general strikes later, is that all? Bravo Chavez!
Look what has happened in America in the last couple of
Your show is not on FOX, it is on PBS. AND to paraphrase
Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle " ......YOU ARE NO FRONTLINE........"
Darren Norris - San Francisco,
FRONTLINE/World obviously has contempt for democratically
elected leaders. Why else would it employ propagandist (a
more apt term than journalist, i'm afraid) Juan Forero,
who has been a tool of the U.S. backed opposition since
before the coup; whose first reaction to the coup was to
say that "Chavez Resigned". The phony "opposition" that
your story empathizes so well is as phony a "freedom" movement
as the Contras were. I'm astonished and biased by your biased
reporting (although to call this swill reporting is quite
a stretch). Why don't you just hire Jayson Blair next time?
Chavez is probably a symptom of Venezuela's increasing inequality,
the gap between the haves and have-nots. As indicated in
the PBS program, the wealth brought in by Venezuela's oil
has been largely squandered, probably distributed among
Venezuela's corrupt elite instead of for the general social
There are only two reason why somebody like Chavez leads
1. People's lack of determination: Unfortunately people
do not want to get out of their rut. They seem to know what
it is but can not figure out what to do about it. The majority
of Venezuelans were persuaded to elect someone who is as
ignorant as they are. There's plenty of history out there
to learn from so that you do not repeat your mistakes but
Venezuelans seem to support their own misery.
2. Abuse of power: Always the way
out in Venezuela; anybody who can abuse authority to have
it their way, will. Just what Chavez does. He has the artillery,
the monkeys with the guns, he wins. This is a bad habit
that has been role-modeled in Venezuela for decades.
People are not determined to get
out of the rut.
Pablo Garcia - New York, NY
I think Chavez is the only absolutely responsible for the
crisis. He is the one who armed groups around the country
to intimidate Venezuelan's opposition.
I agree with Borges. Chavez election was just a sympton.
But now he's the one with the opportunity to find a cure,
and so far, the patient is just getting a lot worst, fast.
He's at the bat and keeps striking out.