Debunking Myths about the Crisis in Venezuela: An Insider’s Perspective

Via Venezuelanalysis. This is one of many posts that I will post laying out the continuous lies going on in the Western press all out war against Venezuela. One wonders what this war is even all about. Supposedly the Bolivarian government is a Communist, socialist or Marxist government.

Debunking Myths about the Crisis In Venezuela: an Insider’s Perspective

By Javier Hasse – Benzinga, July 26th 2016

Venezuelanalysis

After three years as a correspondent in Venezuela, BBC’s Daniel Pardo decided to share a look into five myths he’s identified in relation to the country’s situation, as perceived by people abroad. Those up-to-date with the news know that almost every mainstream media outlet paints a gloomy picture of famine, insecurity and censorship. But, how bad is the situation really?

1. There’s Famine

While it is true that some areas in Venezuela are experiencing food shortages, and most people (90 percent according to an Encovi poll) have declared they now eat less and worse, there is no such thing as a widespread famine.

According to U.N. criteria, a famine is defined by severe food scarcity in more than 20 percent of households, a global acute malnutrition rate above 30 percent and death rates above 0.02 percent — two deaths per 10,000 people per day. In comparison, the most pessimistic figures for Venezuela point toward 20 to 25 percent malnutrition rate and a death rate that does not even reach one person per 1 million people per day.

2. Venezuela and Cuba Are the Same

Pardo cited three main arguments people are using to argue that Venezuela has “Cubanized”: long lines to purchase rationed products, a dual economy and a militarized government. And, while there is some truth in these statements, Venezuela remains a capitalist economy with a still large private sector — and presence of international brands like McDonald’s Corporation MCD 0.67% and a large list of U.S. and Spanish banks.

Moreover, Venezuelans have free access to the Internet and the media; Facebook Inc FB 0.52%Netflix, Inc. NFLX 2.06%Twitter Inc TWTR 1.52% and Alphabet Inc GOOG 0.4% GOOGL 0.23%’s YouTube are available for everyone, opposite to Cuba. And, of course, Venezuelans can leave the country freely, which Cubans — arguably — cannot do.

It should be noted that none of the statements above imply contempt for the Cuban way, but are just a mere differentiation between two countries.

3. A Dictatorship Is Installed in Venezuela

While there is much debate among scholars regarding how to categorize Venezuela, one thing is pretty undisputed: It is not a traditional dictatorship — living in Latin America, I can assure you a dictatorship looks nothing like that!

 First off, Pardo explained, opposition exists (even though limited in its expressions, it’s there) and elections are conducted periodically — although results can be questioned. Now, agreeing on the fact that Venezuela is not a dictatorship is not the same as talking about a full-blown democracy — although the minimum criteria are met.

4. Everyone and Their Grandma Hates President Nicolás Maduro

Again, this is a straight-out lie. Maduro, like many Latin American (and world) leaders, is a polarizing figure. People tend to either love him or hate him; no grays. In this line, 20 to 30 percent of the country’s population supports the acting president, diverse polls have shown. However, analysts have argued these numbers are rigged, in the sense that many don’t dare to criticize the government, for fear of losing of housing, food and other benefits.

One way or another, “30 percent support is more than what the presidents of Brazil, Chile or Colombia boast nowadays,” Pardo added.

5. People Cannot Feel Safe In The Streets

While it is true that crime rates are quite high in Venezuela, people still go out, even at night, and most return home safely. However, one must keep a low profile, Pardo expounded. Showing riches or opulence are bad ideas, but this applies to almost every country in the world.

8 Comments

Filed under Bolivarianism, Capitalism, Caribbean, Crime, Cuba, Economics, Health, Journalism, Latin America, Left, Marxism, Nutrition, Politics, Socialism, South America, Venezuela

8 responses to “Debunking Myths about the Crisis in Venezuela: An Insider’s Perspective

  1. Jason Y

    OK, I haven’t kept up with the news, so I’m assuming the left still controls Venzeuela.

    • Jason Y

      However, it’s not far fetched to think they purposely gave Chavez cancer to get rid of him. There was some scheme going on.

      • Yep. Several of his top aides resigned and headed to the US after he died, including his closest aide. Apparently they had been CIA assets, spies for the US.

        It is so hard to prove that someone’s cancer was given to them by some other humans though. How do you prove it?

        • Maurice

          Proof? Hmmmm, besides the countless illegal, morally repugnant, yea, even murderous regime changes, assassinations, and economic chaos Washington has routinely engaged in vis-a-vis Mexico and points south (and east if we include the Caribb.) for the past 150 years — the all cheered on by our national lap dog media if they even bother to report on it at all — I can’t summon up a single shred of ‘evidence’. Oh, wait, what’s that saying, “Where there’s smoke . . .” Cheers!

        • Maurice

          Too Robert several government and public health agencies have conducted epidemiologic research on cancer causing agents, the results, conclusions, etc . . . are easily accessible to interested parties. Remember that these are the same tiny twats who once connived to sneak some carcinogen or other into Fidel Castro’s cigars that they were convinced would make his beard fall off, thus causing him to lose (no pun intended) face in the eyes of the Cuban populace. So, yes, give Chavez cancer, hardly beyond the pale . . . Cheers!

  2. Sam

    From,

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-brazil-idUKKCN10L1KE

    They’re going to the border to pick up supplies from Brazil after a supply route was closed to Columbia.

    “…Venezuelan regulations require that staple products be sold for a pittance – a kilo of rice is set at the equivalent of $0.12. But obtaining goods at those prices requires waiting in long lines that are increasingly the site of robberies or lootings. That leaves Venezuelans reliant on the black market, where the same bag of rice fetches the equivalent of $2.20.

    In Pacaraima, sugar and rice sell for about 40 percent to 45 percent less than what they would cost on Venezuela’s black market. The discount is worth it despite the cost of the trip…”

    I don’t understand why they close the border to people buying food even if it doesn’t meet their price quota. If people wish to go over the border to purchase food at a higher price why not let them. I can immediately see a problem with these price controls. If you buy rice in Venezuela the smartest thing to do, not necessarily the most honest, is to immediately move it over the border and resell it for a huge profit. Then smuggle it back for another huge profit. Why don’t they try just subsidizing just the poor with enough money to buy basic rice and oil? Leave out all the price controls that obviously aren’t working. Blaming the US for this not working is just stupid as I can easily see a way to game the system in seconds. Surely the people in Venezuela are not so stupid that they can’t see a way to game it also. It also makes everyone into a criminal. If the only way you can get food is to game the system or deal with black marketeers then everyone will become complicit making everyone a criminal.

    • If you buy rice in Venezuela the smartest thing to do, not necessarily the most honest, is to immediately move it over the border and resell it for a huge profit. Then smuggle it back for another huge profit.

      Of course that is exactly what is going on. Also an unbelievable amount of hoarding. The stores in the middle and upper class areas are full, stocked to the rafters, so the business community is supplying them just fine. It’s just the poor areas that they are not supplying.

      The price controls were put in after the first time the Opposition tried to blow up the economy. They had a lockout strike where businesses all over the country simply closed their doors. Factories too. A lot of employees tried to invade businesses and factories to run them themselves, but it was hard. This so ruined the economy and caused such horrendous inflation that price controls were put in as a necessity to stop the inflation. So it’s the Opposition that created the conditions for the price controls.

      The price controls worked just fine for many years. They were put in in 1993. It’s only when the oil price crashed that they became a problem.

      Why don’t they try just subsidizing just the poor with enough money to buy basic rice and oil?

      There are Bolivarians who are saying to get rid of the price controls. I agree with them.

      Blaming the US for this not working is just stupid as I can easily see a way to game the system in seconds.

      There is also a plot to blow up the economy. This would be the third such plot. The first two were defeated – lockout strike and oil strike – but this one is working very well. There is a ton of hoarding going on. The US has been behind all of these plots to blow up the economy.

      Blaming the US for this not working is just stupid as I can easily see a way to game the system in seconds. Surely the people in Venezuela are not so stupid that they can’t see a way to game it also.

      Yes, the business sector is just gaming the system. I cannot really blame them. Capital will just go wherever the profits are highest.

      It also makes everyone into a criminal. If the only way you can get food is to game the system or deal with black marketeers then everyone will become complicit making everyone a criminal.

      It’s not the only way to get food. The stores in the middle and upper class areas are full. And the stores in the poor areas are full too. Non price controlled stuff is often quite available. Perhaps it is expensive though. It is the cheap staples that are hard to get.

      But obtaining goods at those prices requires waiting in long lines that are increasingly the site of robberies or lootings.

      The looting is exaggerated, and there are police guarding most of the lines.

      You realize that every piece on Venezuela in the Western press is part of a propaganda war, right?

  3. Actually Pretty Funny

    Robert, what do you think about Venezuela’s debt of 60 billion USD to China. Is that legit?
    Let me put it this way: China gave Venezuela loans amounted to 60 billiion USD, and Venezuela paid it by
    1/ Nationalizing the whole oil industry and then claimed it “people’s property”
    2/ China secretly monopolized Venezuela oil export sector. In other words, China became both the sole oil extractor(Sinopec) and the middleman selling Venezuela’s oil
    The number of oil barrels exported by Venezuela, on paper, was significantly higher than the oil imported by China from Venezuela.
    Put it another way, China became an oil exporter to the USA with Chavista oil, while oil was at its peak some years ago. Of course they made huge money by doing that.
    So what about the debt? Is that debt odious?

    “In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal doctrine that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state.”

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