5 Comments Constantly Made About Venezuela: Quick Responses

BY ALBA MOVIMIENTOS

1. “There is no democracy.”

In Venezuela, 23 elections have been held since 1998, the year in which Hugo Chávez was elected President and began democratizing state powers. This was done with high levels of participation from the people, who set out a new political, economic and cultural path for themselves.

Voting is not mandatory in the South American country — despite this, the percentage of participation over the last two decades topped 70 percent, higher than in the United States, Spain, Colombia, Peru and Chile.

For 11 years, Venezuela has used automated voting, which makes it possible to streamline the voting process and receive accurate results.

2. “The elections are predetermined by President Nicolás Maduro.”

Constitutional power in Venezuela is divided into legislative, executive, judicial, citizen and electoral branches. Unlike in Argentina, where electoral processes are organized by the Ministry of the Interior (which is controlled by the President), the executive branch in Venezuela is subject to oversight from others.

The Venezuelan electoral system has been recognized by international observers, such as the Union of South American Nations and the Carter Center (belonging to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter), in various electoral processes as one of the most reliable and modern in the world.

3. “There is an economic crisis.”

Yes, there is an economic crisis. However, we must differentiate between crises generated by the governments themselves (such as that of Argentine President Mauricio Macri and his neoliberal policies that only benefit the financial system) from the crises induced by national and international financial sectors led by the government of the United States against Venezuela. The latter is done through freezing of bank accounts, sabotage of the exchange rates, extraction of paper money, hoarding, planned shortages and media disinformation.

Despite the effects of five years of economic warfare, the Bolivarian Revolution implements actions to guarantee stability and peace in the country. This includes increasing the minimum wage every two months, funding social programs and building millions of homes for poor families. Let’s not forget the direct delivery of food to more than six million families through the Local Supply and Production Committees program.

The revolutionary government has also curbed economic crisis by launching the Petro cryptocurrency system backed by oil reserve assets.

4. “Migration and political exiles.”

As a result of the bad conditions that the economic wars subjected the Venezuelan people to, many have decided to try their luck finding temporary work outside of their country, as has happened with millions of Central American and Andean compatriots who have migrated for decades.

However, a discourse has been constructed by anti-Chávez sectors that Venezuela is a “catastrophe” because of “populism” and “communism.”

Now, what can we say about Mexico, with its 41 million Mexicans living in the United States? What can we say about Colombia? It is estimated that over one million Colombians live in Venezuela, 900,000 live in the United States and 135,00 live in Spain.

It is estimated that 38,000 Venezuelans live in Argentina while there are 87,574 requests by Colombian citizens for temporary and permanent residence.

5. “Many countries denounce Venezuela.”

The governments of Latin America whose international policies are based on denouncing Venezuela include the following:

Mexico

Being the second-deadliest country in the world for journalists, with more than 50 murders alone in 2017, it is a place where investigators are constantly being silenced.

The so-called “War on Drugs” has not been effective — the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime warned that Mexico leads the export market for methamphetamines and opium in America. In addition, the cultivation of poppy grew 60 percent in the last six years.

In terms of human lives, there are about 23,000 deaths per year due to causes associated only with this “war.” This counts for more than 200,000 since it began 12 years ago with the conservative government of President Felipe Calderón.

Colombia

In addition to exiles abroad, it is necessary to count internal displacements caused by right-wing paramilitary terror and repression by the Colombian Army. An estimated seven million people are displaced because of this.

The Colombian government, so preoccupied with Venezuela, can not avoid killing, for example, more than 80 social activists and trade unionists so far in 2018. The peace agreements signed in 2016 have only been fulfilled by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia while the state has breached the agreement.

Brazil

The right-wing government of Michel Temer arose from the coup that removed President Dilma Rousseff, a political trial based on unsubstantiated evidence. The supposed corruption that served to remove Rousseff doesn’t compare to Temer’s extremely low approval ratings and hundreds of judicial processes for his administration’s corruption (including a video of him receiving a bribe).

It is in Brazil where labor reforms are destroying worker rights and treating them as slaves, where opposition councilors like Marielle Franco are assassinated and where presidential candidates with popular support (Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva) are illegally arrested.

Argentina

Macri’s government opposed Maduro and the Bolivarian Revolution since its electoral campaign in 2015. This is the same government that raised tariffs, has not increased salaries, has dismissed thousands of workers and has surrendered economic and political sovereignty to the International Monetary Fund.

This is also the same government that does not listen to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights about the seriousness of having political prisoners without a due process. Moreover, Argentina’s government represses all protests against right-wing austerity reforms and is suspected of being responsible for the deaths of activists Santiago Maldonado and Rafael Nahuel.

This is an administration that has the audacity to justify the rape and assassination of an 11-year-old child (Camila Borda) while judging others for not respecting human rights and international law.


Note: This article was originally published in Spanish by ALBA Movimientos on May 14, 2018 and translated into English by ANTICONQUISTA on May 18, 2018.

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