Moral Outrage
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Hugo Chavez walking the walk as a Christian leader

His enemies call him a tyrant and a dictator, but he is neither. Hugo Chavez is a tireless champion of the poor and a committed Christian socialist. The only difference between Chavez’s type of Christianity and Barack Obama’s, is that Chavez walks the walk.

For example, on Tuesday, Chavez used his powers under the new “enabling laws” to enact the “Law for Dignified Refuge” a presidential decree that mandates “dignified and humane” housing for all Venezuelans. The Venezuelan parliament approved the controversial (and temporary) enabling laws because the country faced an unprecedented housing crisis due to the massive floods in December.

More than 125,000 people lost their homes in the disaster requiring a speedy response from the government. Chavez swung into action immediately turning the presidential palace into a homeless shelter and initiating a campaign to construct permanent housing for the victims. Now he has pushed through landmark legislation that will legally require the government to help the homeless.

Venezuela’s new law stipulates that these people be provided with food and medical assistance (Venezuela has universal health care) as well as “scholarships, pensions and special allotments of resources” depending on their needs. The new state facilities that are being set up by Chavez will focus primarily on “the most vulnerable population; the children, adolescents, seniors, people with disabilities, and pregnant women.”

“It’s not a question of the government wanting to do this or not,” said Chavez. “It is now a legal obligation.”

And contrast Chavez’s response to Obama’s during the BP oil spill. BP was allowed to wreak havoc on the environment and destroy people’s livelihood without any consequences. And, worst of all, BP has gotten off Scot-free. Imagine what would have happened if Chavez had been in charge. BP’s stateside operations would have been shut down, their assets would have been seized, and Tony Hayward and his buddies would have been thrown in the hoosegow. Got a problem with that?

[Excerpts of an article by Mike Whitney]

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