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Alaska Is Like Venezuela, But Cold

La Opinin, Blog, Pilar Marrero, Translated by Elena Shore Posted: Sep 11, 2008

Editor's Note: Oil-rich Alaska is a lot like Venezuela, but Sarah Palin is no Hugo Chavez, writes La Opinin political editor Pilar Marrero. Marrero's Spanish-language election blog is online at blogs.impre.com/diarioelectoral.

In trying to find out more about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and what life is like in Alaska, some interesting and curious things have emerged.

A resident of Alaska explained to me that in the state, which lives exclusively off its oil revenue, people dont pay state taxes. Rather, the state pays the people: residents receive a slice of what is known as the permanent fund dividend, a special fund through which the government of Alaska shares its oil wealth, which provides an income of several billions of dollars a year.

This year, the amount given to residents is $2,069, plus another $1,200 ordered by the government to compensate residents for the high cost of fuel, which is essential in Alaska, not just for transportation needs, but also because of the climate.

One of the reasons Governor Palin is so popular in Alaska is that during her term, she has not had to deal with budgetary problems. She took office in December 2006 in the midst of a huge oil boom, which reminded me of my home country, Venezuela, where the government is swimming in money and mass spending for political purposes.

In the end, Alaska if it were tropical, warm and the people danced salsa would be Venezuela. But Sarah Palin is no Hugo Chavez. She is prettier and more well-spoken.

And although in Venezuela, they say that all children are born with a barrel of oil instead of a loaf of bread under their arm, I still havent found mine.

Related Articles:

Alaska Sounds like Aztlan -- Secessionists Go Mainstream

Palin Has No Record on Diversity or Civil Rights

Palin Considered through a Small Town Media Lens

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