What is really happening in Venezuela?
The way events in Venezuela are being reported seems to be highly biased. 90% of reporting, and all the large media outlets are saying that Maduro is a mad socialist dictator, who has mismanaged his rich country into disaster. To try to get a fuller picture we should make some effort to see what the other side of it may be.
It seems highly likely that the US is not getting involved so much because it wants to protect democracy or help people in a bad situation, but because powerful groups there did not like having a successful left leaning government in ‘its backyard’. So its now taking the chance to disrupt that left wing government and get rid of it completely, if it can. We have to ask: even if it is doing it for humanitarians reasons by what right does the US interfere in whats happening in another country? Shouldn’t the people of Venezuela decide it for themselves, without any outside meddling?
Key points which seem to be quite the opposite of what we are normally told:
1. Chavez was elected - several times - in elections considered fair and legitimate by international observers and by a larger percentage of the vote than any UK government has got since WW11. Is that how 'tyrants' get ahead nowadays? By continuing to win fair elections?
2. Far from socialism ruining the country, as is often said, the Venezuela economy and welfare and health and education situations got very much better under Chavez, according to various research reports by the World Bank, the OECD, etc. Yet that is rarely mentioned in the media: "Researchers at the University of the West of England studied the BBC's reporting of Venezuela over a ten-year period. They looked at 304 reports and found that only three of these referred to any of the positive policies of the government. For the BBC, Venezuela's democratic record, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen. The greatest literacy programme in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist." - John Pilger http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-war-on-venezuela-is-built-on-lies?fbclid=IwAR1iw7zfqbmHWe03zfebQKO-ABRAIH0qyyjXjCw6hF1iFONOgVDAp13c6Sc
3. It’s often claimed that the elections which re-elected Maduro in 2018 were irregular, illegitimate, etc. Looking at what happened it seems as if these claims may have some validity, and several international bodies criticised the process. Turnout was also very much down on the 2013 election. However, the opposition party (The Democratic Unity Roundtable , called MUD) was not denied the chance to take part, it boycotted the election. That is a big difference. Some have suggested that they decided not to take part because of US govt pressure. Or possibly it was part of a general plan to destabilise the Maduro government completely, to allow a coup to replace it. John Pilger adds here that other think the election was not illegitimate : "On election day, I spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers. "It was entirely fair," he said. "There was no fraud; none of the lurid media claims stood up. Zero. Amazing really."
4. The 'stopping food at the border' problem certainly seems like a terrible thing to do. However, even here it looks like there is another side to it. Both the Red Cross and the UN have criticised the US for deliberately politicising the issue of Aid: "Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York last Wednesday." Venezuelanalysis.com
It seems likely that this is being done to further make the Maduro govt look bad and to increase the case for international action against Maduro, by setting up something that is easy to visualise and easy to imagine as a 'terrible tyrant' thing.
"We can surely debate the cruelty of Maduro’s domestic policies and his inability and unwillingness to seriously combat the economic crisis, perhaps in an effort to benefit his cronies. Yet, Maduro is not incorrect about the U.S.’s disingenuous behavior." -Timothy M. Gill www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/22/why-is-the-venezuelan-government-rejecting-u-s-food-supplies/
Lastly, I'm disappointed that the Guardian newspaper seems to be reporting the issue from an 80% anti Maduro point of view. Why are they doing that?
This carefully researched video seems to indicate that a lot of what is being said is factually inaccurate or even outright lies. The two main causes of the problem are a fall in oil prices and US sanctions (though Maduro government mistakes seem to be the 3rd largest reason).