Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Bad Takes on Venezuela

People are opining non-stop about Venezuela. Including me, of course. I have collected examples of what I consider bad takes or erroneous arguments. I am not linking because I am not trying to start fights with anyone in particular.

1. Just because people with hard currency can shop does not mean there are not widespread shortages, especially for people without hard currency.

2. Opposing Maduro is not the same as supporting Trump.

3. The converse is also true--just being a Trump opponent should not make you a knee-jerk supporter of Maduro.

4. If you call for dialogue without preconditions, it means you prefer the status quo and hope it remains.

5. Just because Venezuela has oil is not automatically a reason for the U.S. to intervene. (We already have good access to it.)

6. The group of Venezuelans you spoke to is not a representative sample. So don't claim it as such.

7. You cannot call the 2018 presidential election free and fair, unless you consider those words to include imprisonment of political opponents, intimidation, media harassment, etc.

8. Don't argue that the U.S. is not infringing any more on Venezuelan sovereignty than Cuba is. (One is invited, one is not, even if you do not like it).

9. Stop comparing this to Chile in 1973. Even Ariel Dorfman calls BS on that.

10. Whether or not you label Maduro a "dictator" is meaningless and nit-picky.

11. The Venezuelan economy has nothing to do with any policy being proposed in the United States.

12. U.S. sanctions (which were quite limited) did not cause the Venezuelan economy to collapse, though the PDVSA sanctions are exacerbating it.

There, got those off my chest.

Update (2/28/19): I've been told there is some confusion about whether these are bad takes or good takes. Or perhaps bad takes made good. The answer: read them however you want.


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