The Oakland, California based think-tank describes its mission to “transcend the all-too-common politicization and superficiality of public policy research and debate,” and “adhere to the highest standards of independent scholarly inquiry.” Ok.
A couple weeks ago the Institute published a commentary on Latin America, with the non-politicized and super-rigorous title “Chavez and the Fascist Left in Latin America.” In it, “adjunct fellow” William Radcliffe argues that the so called left in Latin America actually adhere to Freidman-esque economics and only seem leftist because they hate Americans. He goes on to describe Chavez as a throwback to past Latin strongmen and demagogues who only care about their own power rather than the needs of the people.
As evidence, Mr. Radcliffe cites the latest round of polling by Latinobarometro, a Chilean polling firm that just released its annual survey of country-by-country perceptions in Latin America. Specifically, he cites a survey question that reveals that “some 69% of Latins said their countries are mainly governed by powerful groups in their own interests.” “That,” he argues, “is Latin history in a nutshell.”
Problem is, that when you look at the actual report, Venezuela is the one country that actually bucks this trend, with more Venezuelans reporting that their country governs “for the good of all the people,” rather than “for the benefit of powerful interests.”