BY TANIA APAZA
Recently, there have been more videos shared about Venezuela on social media — not only by the BBC, the Guardian and other mainstream media, but also by outlets that portray themselves as alternative sources of information. In reality, however, they are sources of misinformation.
This misinformation is usually spread by providing purely emotional and de-contextualized testimony, usually accompanied by dramatic and sad music, evoking the emotions of viewers. Or in some cases, it’s a nonsensical rant, listing the horrible things that the country’s people are going through without any context whatsoever.
They fail to mention the fact that ongoing protests are being funded by imperialist powers and are led by the country’s elite, who are responsible for centuries of poverty, which the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, PSUV, has been trying to alleviate since coming to power. The only reason people tend to take these videos seriously is because the presenter is Venezuelan.
But guess what? Someone having a Venezuelan background doesn’t automatically mean that anything they say on the topic is legitimate or correct.
A perfect example of this kind of imperialist propaganda is Pero Like’s recent video of opposition-supporter Joanna Hausmann shouting about how “terrible” the government is and how she doesn’t know why Venezuela is going through troubling times, because “it was given just, like, everything possible for it to be an awesome country.”
It seems like she should stick to comedy or whatever it is she does because when it comes to political analysis, she sucks.
Or maybe her ignorance is one of convenience and she’s deliberately trying to misinform the public. After all, she is the daughter of Ricardo Hausmann, the former chief economist of the Inter-American Bank, former minister of planning in Venezuela and the current director of the Center for International Development. It’s probably not the best idea to trust the view of someone whose father is directly responsible for the excruciating poverty that Venezuelans faced prior to former President Hugo Chavez ushering in the Bolivarian Revolution in 1999.
Of course, this isn’t worth mentioning in her video since, at least at that time, the government was abiding by the neoliberal economic packages being handed to them by the International Monetary Fund, allowing the elites of Venezuela to have the freedom to live off the backs of the poor masses.
She rants about food and medicine shortages, conveniently omitting the fact that warehouses of hoarded food and medicine, owned by Venezuela’s elites, have been found by the government. She shouts about the problem of inflation without mentioning that Venezuela is facing an economic war — elites are making products scarce, thereby increasing the price of these products and making the currency less valuable.
She repeats an outright lie, claiming that the government is a “violent dictatorship,” sidestepping the glaring truth that President Nicolas Maduro is a democratically-elected president and that the majority of the deaths that occurred throughout opposition protests were instigated by violent anti-government protesters.
Another disgusting lie she regurgitates is that Chavez made poverty and corruption worse after coming into power. The fact that the percentage of households living in poverty went from 55 percent in 1995 to 26.4 percent in 2009 undermines her argument completely.
Furthermore, while corruption is still a problem in Venezuela, it is not something that can be ascribed to socialism or the PSUV. It is a symptom of the innately unjust capitalist system, something which Chavez challenged. The current president frequently fires government officials upon discovering that they have broken the law.
It’s not hard to find out the truth about what is happening in Venezuela — all it takes is a brief look at genuinely alternative media outlets, such as teleSUR and VenezuelaAnalysis. Media outlets that are not toeing the imperialist line and supporting the overthrow of a democratically-elected leader.
A leader who, like his predecessor, has only sought to free his country from unfair economic packages imposed by First World outsiders and domestic greedy elites while attempting to overturn the ongoing colonial dynamic by alleviating the conditions of the Brown and Black masses.
After doing some research into what is really going on in Venezuela, it’s pretty hard to think of either Chavez or Maduro as “fucking assholes,” as Hausmann claims. In fact, it kind of makes Hausmann and her father look like the parasitic colonial-settler “fucking assholes” they really are.