This Week on Between The Lines

Posted March 13, 2013 for week ending March 22, 2013


"Hugo Chavez created a more democratic and more egalitarian Venezuela in his 14 years in office. .... There's many political parties all vying for office and participation is way up and politicization is way up. There's very little political apathy anymore. People feel like they have a real stake in their communities and in their local government through communal councils and through workplace self-management."

– Gregory Wilpert, cofounder and author of “Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government”

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Assessing the Legacy of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

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Interview with Gregory Wilpert, sociologist and cofounder, conducted by Scott Harris


One of Latin America’s most flamboyant and popular politicians – Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela – died on March 5 while recovering from cancer surgery in a military hospital in Caracas. Chavez, who lost his two-year battle with cancer, had just won a hard-fought re-election campaign in October, but was never sworn in to serve his fourth term. Chavez was remembered at a lavish funeral ceremony that attracted more than 30 leaders from around the world and over two million Venezuelans who waited in long lines to view his body lying in state.  Story continues

Austerity Budget Cuts Disproportionately Affect Women

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Interview with Terry O'Neill, National Organization for Women President, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On March 8, International Women's Day, National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill released a statement criticizing governments around the world for balancing their budgets on the backs of women. She called upon leaders in the United States to firmly reject austerity policies that have been economically devastating to women in Europe. She wrote, "Call it what you like – austerity, sequester, deficit reduction. I call it a stealth attack on women."  Story continues

New Documentary Film Investigates the Influence of Big Oil on U.S. Climate Policy

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Interview with Craig Scott Rosebraugh, "Greedy Lying Bastards" documentary film director, conducted by Scott Harris


In the current environment of the fiscal cliff and sequester program cuts, the $10 billion to $52 billion of taxpayer-funded subsidies received annually by the nation’s largest oil and gas companies remains off the table and immune to cuts in congressional budget negotiations. With so many politicians’ election campaigns being bankrolled by Big Oil, it’s not hard to explain why the most profitable industry in the history of the planet still receives a fortune in government handouts. A similar display of the raw power of the fossil fuel industry can be seen in the decades-long deadlock on U.S. policy to address climate change. Apart from occasional political rhetoric about the threat of climate change, Washington has not initiated any credible initiatives to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions linked to global warming.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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