Oil for Pollo

29 January 2006
At his summit in the Poliedro de Caracas, on friday the 27th,  President Hugo Chavez confirmed that Venezuela will export oil to Bolivia in exchange for soy beans and 20.000 tons of chicken meat. Does this program sound familiar? The statement prompted a quick reaction from a local opposition newspaper, which ran a cover story claiming that Venezuelan chicken producers would get the short end of the stick.  Domestic producers won't be able to compete with US$0.90 (2.150 Bolivares) per kilo of poultry from Bolivia - compared to the regulated Bs$3.150 established by the government two years ago. It's good for Bolivia, but can you say "dumping" in Spanish?

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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