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Published:December 22nd, 2008 19:56 EST
Hugo Chavez Symbolic Christmas Action: Turns Mall Into Hospital

Hugo Chavez Symbolic Christmas Action: Turns Mall Into Hospital

By Robert Paul Reyes

"President Hugo Chavez ordered construction halted on a major shopping mall in Caracas on Sunday, saying the government will expropriate the unfinished building.

The Venezuelan leader said it would be out of line with his government`s socialist vision to allow the new Sambil mall to take up precious urban real estate -- and that unbridled consumerism isn`t his idea of progress either."

Ian James, Associated Press Writer

Shopping malls, with shoppers scurrying like ants to buy things they don`t need and can`t afford, are the perfect symbol of consumerism run amok. The president`s timely action is more powerful than any Christmas sermon delivered by Rick Warren or Pat Robertson. At this time of the year our heads shouldn`t be filled with visions of Victoria`s Secret, Macys and Best Buy, but with images of the poor and needy who need our help.

"The president also has urged Venezuelans to shed their materialism and their taste for designer clothes, sport utility vehicles, Scotch whisky and plastic surgery"

AP

A statesman speaks the truth in love to his constituents, Chavez rightfully rebuked the Venezuelans for embracing American-style rampant consumerism. It`s instructive to contrast the Venezuelan president`s rebuke of his people with Bush`s advice to Americans in the aftermath of 9/11. Instead of calling upon Americans to make sacrifices in a time of war, he advised us to shop till we drop.

American critics of Chavez quickly labeled his action "socialist", some of these same folks uttered not a word of protest when Bush was nationalizing banks, insurance companies and now automobile manufacturers. Bush and Chavez are both enamored with socialism, but there`s one big difference: Dubya takes over companies to bail out the wealthy; Chavez expropriates private buildings to help the poor. Chavez didn`t take over the mall to hand it over to an insurance company, he`s going to convert it into a facility that will serve the people of Venezuela.

If a politician with the integrity of Chavez had been president of the United States for the last eight years, our economy would not be in shambles and we would not be entangled in two unnecessary and pointless wars.

Viva Hugo Chavez!

Bush, don`t let the door hit you on your way out!