Monday, April 07, 2014

Respect Venezuela

The Venezuelan government published a report called "Respect Venezuela," which lays out its interpretation of the crisis. As you might guess, the government is blameless.

It's essentially a mishmash of facts, allegations, evasion, and a lot of pictures. Yes, it's true that a CNN Español reporter was detained but it was because...she reporting the facts in a confusing way. No, it is not true that students are key to these protests because....we're arresting non-students more. Leopoldo López is a criminal because..well, I will let the report speak for itself:

The call made by López is the expression of a criminal plan against Venezuela: documents filtered by the web site Wikileaks revealed that Leopoldo López, related to the extreme right wing in Latin America and sponsored by Álvaro Uribe Vélez, is mentioned at least 77 times in the diplomatic cables of the United States on Venezuela (p. 15).

If a longtime political leader is mentioned in cables, it must be dangerous. And (of course!) somehow related to Alvaro Uribe.

It also has sinister references to Gene Sharp, a political scientist who actually advocates nonviolent protest--like praying and singing--against dictatorships. He has the public support of people like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. If you say he's part of the problem, then you're putting yourself in a pretty awkward position. A quick Google search, though, shows that Hugo Chávez already feared him and accused him of working with the CIA.

Is this the best the government could do?

h/t Hugo Pérez Hernáiz


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