'Why the US Demonizes Venezuala's Democracy'
Hoping you'll help me sort out the truth about Venezuela. Is this correct?:
Why the US demonises Venezuala's democracy, by Mark Weisbrot, CIF: ...On 30 May, Dan Rather, one of America's best-known journalists, announced that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez would die "in a couple of months at most." Four months later Chávez is not only alive and campaigning but widely expected to win re-election on Sunday.
Such is the state of misrepresentation of Venezuela,... a journalist can say almost anything about Chávez or his government and it is unlikely to be challenged, so long as it is negative. Even worse, Rather referred to Chávez as "the dictator" – a term that few, if any, political scientists familiar with the country would countenance.
Here is what Jimmy Carter said about Venezuela's "dictatorship" a few weeks ago: "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world." ... But because Washington has sought for more than a decade to delegitimize Venezuela's government, his ... comments went unreported in almost all of the US media. ...
The opposition will probably lose this election not because of the government's advantages of incumbency..., but because the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans have dramatically improved under Chávez..., poverty has been cut in half and extreme poverty by 70%. And this measures only cash income. Millions have access to healthcare for the first time, and college enrolment has doubled, with free tuition for many students. Inequality has also been considerably reduced. By contrast, the two decades that preceded Chávez amount to one of the worst economic failures in Latin America...
In Washington, democracy has a simple definition: does a government do what the state department wants it to do? ... So it is not just Venezuela that regularly comes under fire from the Washington establishment: all of the left and newly independent governments of South America, including Argentina, Ecuador, and Bolivia are in the crosshairs (although Brazil is considered too big to get the same treatment except from the right). ...
But Venezuela is part of a "Latin American spring" that has produced the most democratic, progressive, and independent group of governments that the region has ever had. They work together, and Venezuela has solid support among its neighbors. This is the former president of Brazil, Lula da Silva, last month: "A victory for Chávez is not just a victory for the people of Venezuela but also a victory for all the people of Latin America … this victory will strike another blow against imperialism."
South America's support is Venezuela's best guarantee against continuing attempts by Washington – which is still spending millions of dollars within the country in addition to unknown covert funds – to undermine, delegitimize, and destabilize democracy in Venezuela.
Posted by Mark Thoma on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 11:03 AM in Development, Economics, Politics |
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