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MLive story on Venezuelan election misleads, provides no political context

October 12, 2012

Yesterday, MLive ran a brief article with comments from some local Venezuelans on the recent election in their country.

In the MLive article we hear from three Venezuelans, all of which reflect disappoint in the re-election of Hugo Chavez. One of those interviewed for the story, Maria Morin, said the following about the Chavez government:

Society is getting used to depending on the state. That promotes paternalism and nepotism, and people are not becoming financially independent, which I think is what should happen.

Morin also believes that the “educated” people in the country will grow tired of the paternalism and leave Venezuela.

The only contextual information provided by the MLive reporter spoke about how long Chavez has been President and that he, “has remained popular over the years because of his vast social programs funded by Venezuela’s oil wealth.”

While there is some truth to this comment, it comes nowhere near to reflecting what is happening on the ground in Venezuela. One thing the Chavez government has done since 1999, has been to give more autonomy to local communities. The giving of power to local communities is described in detail in a recent book entitled, Venezuela Speaks: Voices from the Grassroots.

Another major omission from the MLive story was the failure to even mention what the US government has been doing to undermine the Chavez government since, beginning with the attempted coup in 2002 that is well documented in the film, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Since the 2002 attempted coup by the US, there have been other means by which the Bush and Obama administrations have sought to undermine the Venezuelan government. This campaign is best described in Eva Golinger’s book, Bush vs Chavez: Washington’s War on Venezuela.

Golinger reveals that Venezuela’s revolutionary process has drawn more than simply the ire of Washington. It has precipitated an ongoing campaign to contain and cripple the democratically elected government of Latin America’s leading oil power. Bush Versus Chávez details how millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are used to fund groups such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Office for Transition with the express purpose to support counter-revolutionary groups in Venezuela. It describes how Washington is attempting to impose endless sanctions, justified by fabricated evidence, to cause economic distress. And it illuminates the build-up of U.S. military troops, operations, and exercises in the Caribbean, that specifically threaten the Venezuelan people and government.

The MLive article potentially leaves readers with the impression that the Chavez government is bad for Venezuelans and that the only hope for the country will be the next election that could deposed the current President. It’s not only lazy journalism, it misleads people on a critical point of US foreign policy.

For those wanting solid ongoing analysis of what is taking place in Venezuela, we recommend the site There is also this informative interview with Venezuelan Analysis founder Gregory Wilpert on the Real News Network.

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