Thinking about VENEZUELA:

From FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting):
Across media, coverage was eerily similar. Indeed, most media outlets even used the same word choice and structure in their headlines, declaring Maduro the winner while undermining the system’s legitimacy with the helpful preposition “amid”:
“Venezuela’s Maduro Re-elected Amid Outcry Over Vote” (Reuters, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela Election Won by Maduro Amid Widespread Disillusionment” (New York Times, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela Election: Maduro Wins Second Term Amid Claims of Vote Rigging” (BBC (5/21/18)
“Venezuela’s Maduro Wins Re-election Amid Opposition Boycott” (Wall Street Journal, 5/21/18)
“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Wins Re-election Amid Charges of Irregularities” (Chicago Tribune, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela Election: Maduro on Course for Re-election Amid Low Turnout: US Mulling Oil Sanctions After ‘Sham Election’” (London Independent, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela’s Maduro Wins Boycotted Elections Amid Charges of Fraud” (NPR, 5/21/18)
“Vote Under Way in Venezuela Election Amid Opposition Boycott” (Al Jazeera, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela Keeps Voting Stations Open Amid Light Turnout” (Washington Post, 5/20/18)
“Venezuela’s Socialist Leader Nicolas Maduro Elected Amid Allegations of Irregularities” (Huffington Post, 5/21/18)
In their crusade against Maduro, they are not above publishing fake news or deliberately misleading content, such as the infamous “condoms costs $755 in Venezuela,” which was picked up across the world (Time, 2/5/15; CNN, 2/6/15; Newsweek, 2/5/15). The originator of this story was unrepentant, claiming he would continue to use “sexy tricks” to get his point across.
The typical tricks used to discredit the Venezuelan are less sexy—such as Bloomberg’s Andrew Rosati (5/21/18) declaring that victory in the “widely derided election” gives Maduro “sole ownership of the nation’s crushing economic crisis”—then in the very next sentence gloating that “US and regional leaders” will punish Venezuela for holding the vote by imposing “further isolation and sanctions on the crisis-stricken nation’s all-important oil industry.” You have only yourself to blame, apparently, for defying the will of Washington.
From Alba Movements:
5 Answers to 5 Statements Made About Venezuela
By Alba Movements on May 14, 2018
1. “There is no democracy”: In Venezuela there have been 23 elections since 1998, the year in which Hugo Chavez was elected as President and began a process of democratization of the State’s powers with high level of public participation in the decisions they make in their political, economical, cultural and organizational life. This is known as Participative Democracy with Protagonism from the people. Furthermore in Venezuela, voting is not obligatory, and still the participation levels in the last decades has been more than 70%, higher than what is there in United States, Spain, Colombia, Peru and Chile. For 11 years, Venezuela has used electronic or automatic voting system, which allows accelerating the voting process and protecting the results.
2. “The elections are fixed by Maduro”: The National Public Power (Government of Venezuela) is divided into 5 powers: Legislative, Executive, Judicial, Civic and Electoral, in other words, it is different from Argentina (where there are only 3 powers), where the electoral processes are organized by the Ministry of the Interior (a power in the hands of President). Whereas in Venezuela, a power other than Executive exists that takes on the election processes. The Venezuelan electoral system has been recognized as one of the most reliable and modern voting processes in the world by international observers, like the Union of South-American Nations (UNASUR) and the Carter Centre (not-for-profit organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter).
3. “There is economic crisis”: Yes there is, but it is important to differentiate the crisis generated by one’s own government (like that of Macri and his neoliberal policy that only benefits the financial system) from the crisis induced by national and international financial sectors managed by United States government against Venezuela through: freezing of accounts, sabotage on exchange rate, extraction of paper currency, monopolization, scarcity and media war. Despite the effects of 5 years of economic war, the Bolivarian government is implementing actions to guarantee stability and peace in the country: increase in minimum salary every 2 months, permanent growth of social investment, construction of 2 million houses and their entrustment to the families belonging to the most vulnerable sectors, direct delivery of foodstuff to more than 6 million families through Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP) and launching of Petro, a crypto-currency system supported by real estate in oil reserves.
4. “Migrations and political exiles”: As a result of the conditions in which the economic war suppresses the Venezuelan people, many Venezuelans have decided to try luck in finding temporary jobs outside their country, just like millions of Central-American and the Andean region people who for decades have been migrating from their countries. But a discourse has been constructed by the anti-Chavista sectors that Venezuela is a catastrophe because it governs populism, communism, etc. Well, what should we say about Mexico? 41 million Mexicans are living in U.S. What should we say about Colombia? Around 5 million Colombians are living in Venezuela, 900 thousand in U.S. and 135 thousands in Spain. Some 32 thousand Venezuelans live in Argentina, while there are 87,574 temporary and permanent residential applications of Colombian citizens.
5. “Many countries denounce Venezuela”: The Latin American governments [close allies with the U.S. government– Neal] whose international policies are based on denouncing exclusively Venezuela are:
Mexico: With 1,035 journalists murdered in last 15 years, more than 50 in only 2017, Mexico is the country with highest number of intended deaths to silence the investigations. The campaign “War on Drugs” was unsuccessful as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned that Mexico leads the market of exportation of methamphetamine and opium in America. Moreover the cultivation of opium poppy in Mexico has increased to 60% in last 6 years. In terms of human lives, we have some 23,000 people dying every year because of reasons associated this “war” and that counts more than 200,000 since it began 12 years ago with the government of Felipe Calderón.
Colombia: Besides those exiled in the exterior, it is important to count the internal displacements caused by paramilitary terror and Colombian army’s repression. There have been some 7 million displaced because of this reason. Colombian government who is so worried about Venezuela is unable to prevent assassinations in its own territory, for example, more than 80 social activists and trade unionists have been murdered in 2018 and the peace agreements signed in 2016 have only been respected by FARC while the state has breached 85% of them.
Brasil: Michel Temer’s government emerged after the coup d’état against President Dilma Roussef that was disguised as a political verdict against a lawsuit with evidences. The alleged corruption that served to throw off Dilma doesn’t seem to be serious enough to address Temer and his allies. He is the president with zero percent votes to become the president but with hundreds of judicial proceedings for corruption (including the recent video with coima). It is Brazil who started the labor reform, which destroys all labor rights; where the city councilperson from the opposition is killed like Marielle Franco and the candidate with the greatest possibility of votes is illegally detained in face of the next presidential elections.
Argentina: Macri’s government took on the flag of anti-Maduro since its electoral campaign in 2015. The fair government of price hike, not of salary increase, the government of dismissals, of adjustment after adjustment, of handing over political sovereignty to the IMF. The same government that doesn’t listen to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the seriousness to hold political prisoners without a due process, the same that suppresses the protests against the economic policies and that is responsible for the deaths of Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel. A government that justifies the shooting in the back of an 11 years old child brags to tell others how to “respect” international law that itself doesn’t respect.
Spain: With the exception of not being a Latin American country and a republic, Spain uses Venezuela to cover-up its own internal political crisis. Let us not forget that it remains a monarchy and the People’s Party is involved in hundreds of corruption cases the same or more as the royal family itself.
Source: Alba Movements, translation Dawn News

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