CARACAS, Wednesday April 01, 2009 | Update
The year when the Indian mainland split into two marked the beginning of the Cold War; the first universal, direct and secret voting in Venezuela and the cure for the first time of an event of acute leukemia. Most importantly, the world learned the lessons of World War I and did not repeat the mistakes in World War II. Revenge turned into generous aid, ensuring freedom and three generations in peace in Europe
For some weird reason, Venezuela's lost opportunities are usually measured in "Marshall Plans." According to the earnings or losses on account of oil revenues, it is said that such and such "Marshall Plans" were spent.
This is because thus far the original Marshall Plan, formally the European Recovery Program (ERP), is the paradigm for the cost-effective use of public monies to yield prosperity anywhere in the world. However, some consider that its useful role in rebuilding Europe has been overestimated.
In the summer of 1947, a devastated Western Europe in the aftermath of the war ran the risk of moving to the other side of the Iron Curtain. Upon the initiative of US President Harry Truman, US Secretary of State George Marshall called all the European nations to a conference that would be held in Paris and where the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC) was organized. Sixteen nations attended the event. The Soviet Union initially expressed interest but it soon gave up and actively discouraged Poland and Czechoslovakia, which did want to take part.
The Marshall Plan also sped up the Cold War, which continued until the late 1980's. The plan method was simple -lending money to European countries, virtually for nothing, except for the Federal Republic of Germany, which had to repay USD 1 billion in 1963- to rebuild their facilities and industries, destroyed by World War II, and buy US commodities.
Marshall outlined the plan during a conference at Harvard University. However, General Lucius D. Clay, and William Clayton and George Kennan, of the US Department of State, were the masterminds behind the project. The plan also included matching the industries with the OEEC funds. It was the forerunner of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community, which 60 years later became a social and political commonwealth.
For four years, near USD 13 billion, or USD 100 billion at nowadays' rate, was disbursed. As a result, Europe got free from famine, it went wealthy again and western democracy was safeguarded. While the liberals say that the plan was just a market tool, leftists talk about economic imperialism. Until now, reference is still made to a Marshall Plan for Africa, Latin America or any region where economic crisis endangers world stability.
Also in 1947, Pakistan was founded; the first successful remission of leukemia was recorded in Boston, USA, and Rómulo Gallegos won in November the first universal election in Venezuela.
5.- Renewed status
6.- Radio Capital
9.- Cyber Radio
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