Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lies vs. rumors in Venezuela

After the government rejected rumors that Hugo Chávez had gone to Cuba over the weekend, he announced he went to Cuba over the weekend. He still refuses to say what exactly is wrong with him, but only that there is a small lesion in the same place that will need to removed. And, of course, he will have it done in Cuba where control over information is complete and no one will know what is going on.

This would be laughable if it weren't referring to the president of a polarized country in an election year. The government has consistently lied about Chávez's condition and still will not tell the people of Venezuela what is wrong with their elected leader. Yet that same government (through the Minister of Communication) says the opposition is conducting a "dirty war" by spreading rumors that in fact we find out are true. In other words, the rumors are far more credible than the government itself.

It is hard to see how this strategy of constantly lying and then having the world discover your lies is working to Chávez's benefit. That leads logically to the following question: if you really believe your health condition is not dire, then why lie so much about it?

Update: even the Venezuelan Embassy keeps up the idea that the rumors are somehow false, when in fact they were true.


boz 3:52 PM  

As they deny he has cancer this time, the media would be justified in replaying the clips of them denying he had cancer last year. You're absolutely correct that the government loses credibility by continuing to state things that turn out to be lies just days later.

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