Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Study of Mine Titled “Social Programs in Venezuela under the Chavista Governments”

The following study of mine titled “Social Programs in Venezuela under the Chavista Governments” is on the challenges, breakthroughs and downsides of Venezuela’s social programs that I did for the Washington-based Next System Project. The overall study is titled “Latin America’s ‘Pink Tide’ and the Challenge of Systemic Change” and contains two other excellent studies on Ecuador by Dana Brown and Bolivia by Linda Farthing. The following link is to my paper but there is a link at the top that enables you to access the Brown and Farthing papers as well.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Corporate Media: Hard at Work to Discredit the Venezuelan Government

I am amazed at how hard the media works to discredit the Venezuelan government. In the last 24 hours I have been contacted (in two cases by phone) by three BBC-London stations interested in interviewing me. It turns out that they saw an article of mine in which I define myself as a “critical Chavista.” I used that term not thinking much about the implications because I originally posted the piece on this blog and then it was picked up by Telesur and then posted elsewhere. When they asked me about my being a critical Chavista and I explained to them that that didn't mean I was anti-Maduro, strangely (only kidding) they lost interest in the interview. Obviously, they thought I was a Giordani or Hector Navarro (ex-ministers under Chávez who have gone from pro to anti-government). All three of those who contacted me dropped out. If I had indicated that I had followed in Giordani’s footsteps, they undoubtedly would have interviewed me (and perhaps played up my case).

The media’s reaction is even more curious when you consider that I used the term “critical Chavista” just passing, in an article that hardly went viral. The fact that they picked it up speaks volumes for how the media functions. The media goes way out of their way to interview people who switch sides or at least move away from Chavismo. Isn’t this part of a strategy? Doesn’t this show that the media is more than about just transmitting news? They decide upon and promote lines of thinking, arguments, etc. In a sense they are organizers of ideas.