Thursday, 18 September 2008

Where is the opposition in Venezuela?

Here you have an interesting map about where the opposition won last December's referendum.
Although Chavez and his followers keep repeating the "big opposition machinery can reach everybody in Venezuela", in reality Chávez-critical press reaches the largest urban areas only.

How come?

- Venezuelans read in general very little, the opposition newspapers have a total volume of less than half a million exemplars per day (for a population of 28 million people)
- Globovisión has an open signal only in Caracas and via cable and dish to major cities like Valencia and Maracaibo. RCTV, which before could reach every corner of Venezuela, can now only be seen via cable or satellite. Unlike what Chavistas abroad say, most poor people in Venezuela do not have cable TV, Internet access or satellite dishes.

What options does the opposition have to increase its leverage outside the urban areas?
I will post on that later this month. Stay tuned.

Another thing you can see in the link above are the places for which the pro-Chavez National Electoral Council has not delivered last referendum's results, something that is against the law. 10% of the votes are still missing.


  1. "Venezuelans read in general very little"
    But a lot more now of course than before Chávez introduced Misión Robinson 1+2 reducing analphabetism drastically (see UNESCO).

    At least they now have the possibility of being able to read the newspapers, and the increase in living standards under Chávez has in addition given them the possibility of being able to buy the newspapers without having to give up something else, like a nutritious meal.

    Perhaps they just don't want to read the opposition newspapers with their banal anti-Chávez propaganda and their insulting and racist attitude to ordinary people.

    When we see who is behind the main opposition media in Venezuela we understand that there is not a problem of freedom of expression or freedom of the press but more a problem of the rich and wealthy's inalienable right to misinform the people!

  2. Dave, have you ever been to Venezuela before 1998?
    Literacy was around 93% and going up.
    Hugo Chavez claimed it was now 100%, something not the UK, not Germany and definitely not the US have achieved. It was a blatant lie.
    One of Chavez's achievements has been to take out Venezuela from the few open evaluation programmes it was taking part in within the framework of UNESCO.
    Venezuela is one of the few countries in South America that does not take part in the PISA programme. Do you know why?
    Because it is getting worse and worse and Chavez does not want any

    education ministry:
    People have reviewed the data presented by the Ministry of Education, which is full of contradictions, blatant contradictions. Apparently, the minister of Education does not even know how to sum things up.
    After a while Chavistas then declared "literacy is in the nineties".
    So it was in 1998, when Hugo Chavez came to power and we all know a big part of those who are illiterate are elderly people.

    Education during Chavez's regime has only gone down the drain even further. It was very bad before, it is going worse.
    Schools all around have been forced to downgrade their textbooks and the level was already very low.
    A lot of the guys who registered for the PSUV turned out to be illiterate. How can you explain that?
    There is an interesting article on literacy in Venezuela that appeared in The Economist some time ago. I have no time now, I posted a link to it earlier, I will put it on a permanent link now.

    Now, the racist person is you.
    The big majority of Venezuelans are mixed. I am mixed. I have black African ancestors, Indian ancestors and European ancestors.
    In Venezuela there has always been a lot of racism, even if much less than in Europe or in North America or even most of Latin America. The strong mixing has made it not as bad as elsewhere, even there is a lot of racism. There will always be a lot as long as there is racism at all.
    Now, racism was slowly dicreasing for many decades, but Chavez has done nothing but exacerbate the problem. Instead of discussing it on a decent way, he is growing more and more resentment and even producing very racist statements.

  3. I have seen the link at UNESCO that says that. They answer there is no base but Chavismo's word for it.
    If we are going to believe Chavismo, the murder rate has kept dropping since he is in power. In reality it has tripled since 1998 and it is very difficult to hide those figures (you cannot unless you take the corpses from the morgue before the counting)

  4. I do not like that Alex on a lot of issues, but this is interesting for you:

    It is funny...Marx said religion is the people's opium, but it seems politics is the cocaine of some...they would close their eyes up to the bitter end.

    My parents were teachers, exactly like Hugo Chavez's. We were as many children. We lived in a big city. My parents must have got the same salary as Chavez' parents in a state that is more expensive. Now, Chavez claimed he was so poor he did not have shoes many times. That is a shameless lie. Definitely when he grew up his parents could buy that and much much much more. Teachers had low salaries (not as low as now, but they had slow salaries), and yet their standard was much better than what Chavez was telling the foreign media (when it cared to listen to him about those lies).
    Chavez's parents, as I said, were teachers. Chavez did, as I did, bachillerato. If you do bachillerato, you know from a lot of subjects that mankind is not 2000 years old. And yet Chavez claimed that in one of his Alo Presidente. A guy like you, a guy from the North who is somehow linked to that regime, was present. Chavez asked him: mankind is 20 centuries old, isn't it, Francois? And Francois said: "no, a little bit more!"
    Like 25? Yes, more like that.
    The guy did not have the balls to tell Chavez how wrong he was.
    Why? Because he hangs to Chavez as you do.

    Daves, my grandparents were illiterate and very poor. My parents got scholarships many decades ago and so did I and so did many people I know.
    Chavez's 'scholarship programme' is nothing new, it was just more money than what Venezuelans had during the late 80s and 90s.
    Do you know why? Because of oil prices. When Chavez came to power oil prices were around 11-14 dollars per barrel.
    They went up to 140 until recently. Now OPEC's barrel is at 89 and Chavez is already nervous, very nervous.
    He has given crumbles to the poor and that is all.
    The popularity of Venezuela's presidents has always depended on oil prices.

  5. I apologize for posting your comments. I had left a comment on my Saturday post saying I would be doing that as I am so busy right now. Since you never said otherwise I took it to mean you would not mind.
    I had assumed you were interested in hearing the view point shared by so many people, but it seems you only wish to hear what you want.
    Would you prefer to exchange e mails?

  6. “Dave, have you ever been to Venezuela before 1998?”

    Yes, I first visited Venezuela in March 1989, a few weeks after the “Caracazo”. I stayed in a poor district of Caracas, and experienced the fear and trauma of the people trying to come to terms with that terrible event. I was last there as an electoral observer in the presidential elections of December 2006 and shared the joy of a victorious population that had put the neoliberal nightmare of 1989 and the following decade far behind them.

    You people are truly unbelievable. Nothing good has happened in Venezuela since January 1999. Every achievement, you turn into an utter failure. The health, education and other programs aimed at lifting the poor out of their dire condition are all absolute disasters! The redistribution of the nations wealth from a small rich elite to a vast majority of the population is non-existent, and obviously, as over 60% of the population (a significant deal more had the scandalous and fraudulent “Mi Negra” not been launched upon the people) voted for Chávez, they must be miserably deluded.

    Who are you kidding? Just look at the figures that even the World Bank operate with on poverty alleviation and income distribution.
    That illiteracy has been effectively tackled and many hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity (which none of the previous governments had allowed them) to learn to read and write, you also deny. Yes I’m not stupid, everybody knows that 100% literacy is unachievable, even in the most advanced societies. And the Venezuelan government has never claimed this either. It is just another example of the way the opposition makes constructed and blatantly false claims of what the Venezuelan government says to be able afterwards to ridicule them. Venezuela uses the UNESCO guidelines of 4% illiteracy when it assesses a country to be free from illiteracy.

    Had the opposition’s criminal sabotage and coup attempt not paralysed the country’s economy for several years, these figures would be even better. But then the opposition has absolutely no moral compunction about destroying its own national economy, and no concern about dragging it’s own country into the dirt to protect its own narrow and selfish interests, and indirectly those of the United states.


  7. "The health, education and other programs aimed at lifting the poor out of their dire condition are all absolute disasters! "

    Because whatever the government has done is not directly proportional to the increased income the government has had.
    How good were you at maths in Norway? Don't you get it?
    The government has had several times more money than in 1998.
    Redistribution my foot.
    If there were real redistribution, crime would not have tripled. Chavez has being ruling since 1999 and yet you pretend to set the clock to 0 time after time because "the opposition does not let him rule".
    Small rich elite?
    Which one are you talking about?
    I am aware of the Old Ancien Regime, a group of rich people I protested against before Chavez came to power. What did military Chavez do? He just let the most powerful of them prosper still and he replaced the AD+COPEI elite by the boliburguesia.
    Do you know how much land the Chavez clan have in Barinas?
    And Chacin? And Diosdado?

    "That illiteracy has been effectively tackled and many hundreds of thousands of people have had the opportunity (which none of the previous governments had allowed them) to learn to read and write, you also deny.

    "Yes I’m not stupid, everybody knows that 100% literacy is unachievable, even in the most advanced societies. "
    Not CHavismo.
    And the Venezuelan government has never claimed this either.
    Yes, it has.
    Could you please tell me what is the literacy rate right now?
    Then please try to look for The Economist article on literacy, I have no time right now.

    "Venezuela uses the UNESCO guidelines of 4% illiteracy when it assesses a country to be free from illiteracy."
    Who measured it? The Venezuelan government. Please, document yourself.

    "Had the opposition’s criminal sabotage"
    Yeah, it paralied the economy for 200 years, so Chavez needs to rule for more.

    You talked about coup?
    The 2002 coup was bad, but so was the 1992. And Chavez was a liar. He never prosecuted people who shot the poor in 1989. Do you know why? Because apart from CAP all the ones responsible were Chavez' mates, they were military.
    Or are you going to tell me only CAP was responsible? Like only Hitler was responsible for WWII?

    "narrow and selfish interests, and indirectly those of the United states." bad did you do at Norway's school? Even the minister of Development, Erik, who is a real socialist, knows what kind of regime Chavismo is:
    talking about helping the poor (as CAP also did), but stealing and stealing and stealing as the worst adeco or copeyano.

  8. I really little time now, but
    this article is worth reading:

    There is also interesting stuff by the ministers of education proper. It is funny to see how they contradict each other time after time.

  9. Well actually Erik Solheim the minister of development is not a "real socialist" he happens to be an aspiring social democrat.

    He also knows nothing about what kind of regime the Chávez goverment is, but was unfortunate enough to have a rabidly anti-Chávez adviser, Petter Eiede, who supplied him with blatantly untrue (documented in Norwegian Newspapers) information.


  10. Well, I don't speak Norwegian but I understand it well and I have heard and read what Solheim has said and it seemed to me a very nuanced talk.

    And I see where you come from: you are a "real socialist" from Norway. For you the "democrat" thing is some kind of insult, a sissy attitude, I gather.

    Blatant untrue? Could you pass me the links from Norwegian newspapers? I would like to see what newspapers those are.

  11. Well as the "real socialist" that you seem convinced that I am, I read it in Klassekampen, the Norwegian leftwing daily. It was an interview with Petter Eide in the paper edition, but was widely cited in a lot of debate forums.

    The interview was a part of a larger article about the non-renewal of the RCTV licence. Besides repeating the false opposition accusation that Chávez was closing down the TV channel he also stated that Chávez had previously closed down newspapers, without of course presenting any evidence.

    As for your snide comment "For you the "democrat" thing is some kind of insult, a sissy attitude, I gather." I think it reflects more on yourself and the typical opposition technique of vilifying your opponents. You know nothing about me, my political affiliations or ideological leanings, and least of all my opinions on democracy.

    I think you ought to read your own guidelines from your blogsite once more!


  12. Oh, I see what kind of daily, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist background...gees!

    It must be cool to talk about "klassekampen" with kroner in the pocket, it is like making the revolution and being a new Che Guevara by discussing from Starbuck's and doing the occasional rucksack trip to South America for a jiffy, with European passport as a security.

    The thing about the non-renewal is
    true and at the same time very misleading:
    As I said, most Venezuelans do not have, like in Norway or Germany, access to cable or satellite TV. It is a minority. The odd shanty town house with the satellite dish in Caracas is NOT the norm.
    Basically, the "non-renewal of open air broadcasting" meant the only channel with a national reach that was opposing "the Leader" disappeared. Only a minority and one that is already very anti-Chavez mostly (unless it is the Boliburguesia, the new elite that is living together with the Ancien Regime of always)
    have access to cable or satellite.
    Now only Chavez's channel VTV reaches every corner of the country. Globovision does not reach through open air but a tiny part: Caracas. Elsewhere, it gets by cable.
    Dave,unlike your pals in Norway, most poor people in Venezuela do not have cable or satellite and thus since Chavez determined the "non-renewal of RCTV open air broadcast" they have no way of watching a regime-critical channel.

    Meanwhile, Chavez goes on squandering the last part of the oil boom. The big Chavista leaders are behaving exactly the same or worse than the worst adecos or copeyanos...and all in the name of the revolution.
    Meanwhile also I am hearing from several friends who are teachers how Chavismo is downgrading a nation with an already low standard of education.

    Please, try to find out about the price of oil since 1970.
    Also: try to to read something about Venezuela's murder rates and about Chavismo's unwillingness to take part in open testing like PISA or submitting the statistics on murder rate to United Nations since 2002...Chavismo fears like hell when it is time not to talk and show some Potemkin villages, but to prove transparency.

    As I said: according to Marx, some people get high through religion, but some people get completely in heaven by blindly believing in anybody wearing their same political badge.


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