During the last months, the bourgeois mainstream media- as well as various sources throughout the internet- have circulated numerous lies and inaccuracies about the situation in Venezuela. Within this framework of half truths and counteless inaccurcies, someone can read the most outrageous things about the Latin American country. After all, the imperialist centers and their collaborators in the mass media are experts in how to mislead and manipulate public opinion, by sowing misinformation and distorting reality.
Here, we will refer to five major lies (really blatant ones) about Venezuela and the turbulent political situation in the country and we will try to restore the truth.
MYTH #1: “Venezuela is a socialist country” / “The Maduro government is a socialist one”.
This is the most outrageous of the lies that various anticommunists use when refering to Venezuela. The political and economic system of Venezuela has nothing to do with Socialism (with the marxist-leninist meaning). The means of production are not in the hands of the working class, as it would happen if the country had undergone a socialist revolution. There is a “mixed economy”, which means there are both privately-owned and state-owned businesses.
The private sector controls the overwhelming majority of economic activity. It is characteristic that between 1999 and 2011, the private sector’s share of economic activity increased, from 65% to 71%. Therefore, the economy of Venezuela is a capitalist, not a socialist one.
The coalition government of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), under Nicolas Maduro, is a government of social democratic characteristics. Following the path of the late Hugo Chavez, the current government is based on the theory of the so-called “21stcentury Socialism” which in fact consists a management form of the capitalist economy with “left-wing” characteristics.
ΜΥΤΗ #2: “Venezuela is an example of Socialism's failure”.
Based on the above lie (of the supposed socialist system in Venezuela), the apologists of capitalism use the economic turnoil in Venezuela in order to vilify socialism and communism. The reality is totally different. The crisis is a result of the capitalist way of production.
Indeed, Venezuela is passing a severe economic crisis which has many dimensions (oil crisis, food crisis, shortages crisis, inflation). More specifically, by the first quarter of 2014, the Venezuelan economy was already in recession, even though international oil prices were more than US$100 a barrel. By January 2015, prices had fallen to US$48 a barrel, and are about the same today. This depleted the government's revenue by a similar percentage, and the government resorted to printing money to cover expenses. The money creation would not necessarily accelerate inflation but in the context of the inflation-depreciation spiral it certainly did. So inflation rose even faster.
The various mismanagements of Venezuela's government in economy consist the one side of the coin. The other side is the existence of an economic war that the Venezuelan right-wing opposition (with the open support of the U.S.) has unleashed against Maduro's administration. For example, food importing companies owned by the country’s wealthy right-wing elite are manipulating import figures to raise prices. Following the PSUV’s defeat in the December 2015 parliamentary elections, there were numerous reports on social media that products missing before the election had reappeared on grocery shelves.
On the above we must add the indirect effects that the diplomatic and political warfare of the U.S. (both by Obama and Trump administrations) has caused to Venezuela's economy. The recent U.S actions have had a significant and highly detrimental impact on Venezuela's economy at a time when the country is in a desperate need of dollars. Moreover, the diplomatic warfare of the U.S. and OAS against Venezuela has definitely discourages foreign financial institutions, inverstors and bankers from continuing business (swap for gold, loans, other economic agreements, etc) with the Venezuelan state.
Summarizing all the above, we say: Venezuela's example shows that a pro-people management of capitalism is impossible. Any experiments to “humanize” the savage capitalist system lead to failure and mess.
MYTH #3: “The opposition in Venezuela is comprised by well-intentioned, independent leaders”.
The right-wing, reactionary opposition in Venezuela has been rooted in violence since the beginning of the Bolivarian process that began with the election of Hugo Chavez in 1999, having amped up their violence since Nicolas Maduro beat their candidate in elections in 2013.
From the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez to the oil lockout in 2003, the Venezuelan opposition has done everything to destabilize the country at the expense of the Venezuelan people. The so-called “guarimbas”- the street blockades- are not comprised by “peaceful protesters” as bourgeois mainstream media say. There is a number of well-documented instances where opposition “protesters” have burned black people alive, just because they thought they were “Chavistas”.
But, what about the leaders of the opposition? The truth is that the four prominent members of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition (Henrique Capriles, Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Maria Corina Machado) are related to a number of U.S. governmental “institutions” which aim in overthrowing the legally elected Venezuelan government. There is solid proof (e.g. leaked telegrams and documents which have never been disputed) that the leadership of the Venezuelan opposition works closely with the U.S. governments. Since at least 2009 the U.S. Department of State has budgeted up to US$49 million in total to support right-wing opposition forces in Venezuela.
“Independency” is therefore something that cannot be attributed to Venezuela's right-wing opposition. Henrique Capriles Radonski, the opposition presidential candidate who lost two electoral battles against Chavez and Maduro, is known for his role in the 2002 failed coup against the Chavez government, while his party (Justice First) was created through USAID funds. Leopoldo López, a dark political figure and leader of the far-right “Popular Will” party, whose historical background includes corruption, promotion of violence and participation in coup attempts.
The political efforts of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition have been actively supported by U.S. institutions such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute.
MYTH #4: “The majority of the Venezuelan people are against the government of Maduro”.
While the bourgeois mainstream media shows images of large crowds demonstrating against the government in Caracas, the vast majority of the Venezuelans seem to disapprove the violent tactics of the right-wing opposition and the “guarimbas”. More specifically, according to a nationwide survey conducted by polling organisation “Hinterlaces” last April, 76% of those surveyed disapprove of a possible international intervention which would overthrow Maduro from the presidency, and 87% rejected any military intervention in the country.
Even if President Maduro and his social democratic government has lost a significant portion of his popularity, Chavismo remains the most popular political platform within the population. It is characteristic that according to a survey conducted by the polling organisation Datanalisis (which has an anti-governmental orientation) last March, Maduro's popularity was at 24.1%, which is higher compared to other Latin American leaders (e.g. Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, Brazil's Michel Temer or Chile's Michelle Bachelet).
Furthermore, according to the survey conducted by Hinterlaces, 35% of the people expressed support to political parties allied with Chavismo, 29% to those with the opposition, and 36% declined to support any political force.
Therefore, is there any solid evidence that the majority of the Venezuelan people want a political overthrow? The answer is “No”.
MYTH #5: “The Venezuelan dictatorial government controls the media and brainwashes the people”.
This is a tremendous lie. As a capitalist country, where the private sector is dominant, Venezuela has mostly privately-owned media. Most Venezuelans are getting informed from TV channels, the vast majority of which belong to anti-governmental private business groups. The largest TV network is Venevisión, owned by the Cisneros group, while there are 9 other privately-owned TV channels (5 regional ones) as well as a TV network owned by the Catholic Church. There are 3 state-owned TV channels (Venezolana de Television, Vision Venezuela, Televisora Venezolana Social).
According to the U.S. think-tank COHA (Council of Hemispheric Affairs), 9 in 10 of the largest newspapers in the country belong to the “anti-chavista” camp. Only in Caracas, someone can find 21 newspapers!
Taking the above into account, it becomes obvious who has the “upper hand” in the media sector and that is the Capital and the monopolies.
BONUS: SPOT THE DIFFERENCE.
Venezuela 2017, Ukraine 2014. Spot the difference. pic.twitter.com/ev54DBUNfV— FCN (@fcnuns) 29 Μαΐου 2017
Venezuela vs Ukraine. Spot the difference: pic.twitter.com/4hqoiAZTsh— FCN (@fcnuns) 29 Ιουλίου 2017
Venezuela vs Ukraine. Spot the difference: pic.twitter.com/jS6WMvXxsk— FCN (@fcnuns) 30 Ιουλίου 2017
Spot the difference:"My name is Yulia and I'm speaking from Ukraine""My name is Mariel and I'm speaking from Venezuela" pic.twitter.com/z1h4ZfhMfh
— FCN (@fcnuns) 30 Ιουλίου 2017