Friday, 14 August 2009

Chavismo at work

This picture was taken on Thursday when Chávez fans attacked and wounded 12 journalists. The journalists were not even from the regime-critical El Nacional, but from Últimas Noticias, which has a rather sympathetic position towards the least until now.

Meanwhile, there are still some people who work as journalists and who write things like what Mr Rodrigo Orihuela wrote in this article in The Guardian.

Mr Orihuela says there that the Western and mostly English speaking press "does not get it" at all in Latin America. I must own up I am very cautious about a lot of topics in the press in general and more specifically in the US media. I think it helps to speak other languages and get the versions - left, right, centre - in German, in Dutch, in Russian. Now, Mr Orihuela says the Western (English, I suppose) media uses the term "populist" as an umbrella for everything without addressing "the fact that those "populist" leaders have tapped into a dormant feeling ignored until now by previous leaders. Even certain critics of Hugo Chávez and other "populists" are willing to admit this this." Indeed Chávez has known how to tap on the people's sentiments, but the questions that are raised are:

Does it mean that is not populism? Aren't populists always tapping into those feelings? Has the military of Barinas really satisfied those feelings? How? How did he finance his projects? Did the governments that preceeded him from 1985 to 1998 have the same income he could get from oil revenues? (which are the only meaningful export in a country that imports almost all the rest)
Is Mr Chávez respecting the rule of law? Those are questions that should not be put aside either, less you want to be as superficial and biased as, say, FOW NEWS.

Mr Orihuela says the West is being paternalistic by implying those who vote for the comandante don't know better. Mr Orihuela says they are voting intelligently. I wonder if he would say the same thing about those people when they voted twice for Carlos Andrés Pérez and twice for Rarael Caldera. Were they then intelligent? Even Mr chavez family were rapid pro-Copei supporters (Copei was the party of caldera). Would Mr Orihuela say the same thing about people voting for Bush Junior for a second time?

And: are there really so many Venezuelans who support Chavez now?

Fortunatelly, Mr Orihuela is not a regular journalist of that newspaper, but one of the free contributors, like Mr Gott, another Chávez apologist. The regular journalist of The Guardian is Rory Carrol, who can see beyond the simplistic Middle Earth attitude of extremists on either side of the political zoo.

PS. If you are Venezuelan and haven't answer to the poll on the right, please, take a look at it and answer if possible. I am preparing a post on education in Venezuela.

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