Thursday, December 20, 2018

FAIR in Venezuela

An argument in Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) about Venezuela would be well served to provide more fairness and accuracy. The main argument is that there are a lot trumped up (pun not originally intended but I'll just leave it) criticisms of Venezuelan economic policy that ignore the driving force of U.S. sanctions. Venezuelan economic history is, as you might imagine, not included.

But this is the paragraph that really made me cringe:

The contradictions and absurdity of the opposition’s discourse, including the moderate faction, beggar belief. One shudders to think what would become of such opposition figures in Paris or Washington, but you will be shielded from such considerations reading Western media—and from understanding why Maduro easily prevailed in the 2018 election, despite an economic depression.
You cannot find any credible source to suggest the 2018 elections passed any basic tests of democratic electoral processes. He "easily prevailed" for authoritarian reasons. The author also does not believe Venezuela should be called a dictatorship, with this curious logic:
In fact, basic democratic freedoms in Venezuela remain at a level the US government would never tolerate were it faced with similar circumstances: a major economic crisis deliberately worsened by a foreign power that openly backs the most violent elements of the opposition. 
There is only counterfactual without actual facts and completely sidesteps what freedoms have been denied Venezuelans.

Let's debate the merits of sanctions (no need to debate invasion, which is a horrible idea) and their impact on the Venezuelan economy. But do not use those as a way to avoid both fairness and accuracy to whitewash political reality.


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