misión improbable

December 8, 2006

Having been in Venezuela last summer, I was dismayed by the bias in your feature on the country's "socialist climber", Hugo Chávez (Features, December 1), who was re-elected President by a wide margin this week.

Two points are indicative. First, money was not "poured in" to the misiónes - the term presumes passive receipt. The misiónes of working-class people, guided by popular education principles, actively used the money to improve the lives of the poor.

And second, why was there no comment on Julia Buxton's failure to mention that the one third of the Venezuelan population opposed to Chávez happened to be from the middle and upper classes?

Joyce Canaan
Reader in sociology
University of Central England

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