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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

Disinformation still clouds the US debate on Chávez's legacy in Venezuela

Disinformation still clouds the US debate on Chávez's legacy in Venezuela

Despite 14 years of catastrophist predictions for Venezuela, oil wealth has been successfully turned to social purposes

Mark Weisbrot
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 9 January 2013 10.30 EST

Imagine that you went to see the Steven Spielberg movie Lincoln, and all you got was the viewpoint of Southern white slaveholders during the civil war. That is analogous to what you are getting from almost all of the major media coverage on Venezuela.

Last week, the New York Times did something it has never done before: in its "Room for Debate" section, it offered differing views on Venezuela. In the 14 years since Hugo Chávez was elected president of Venezuela, the Times has offered many op-eds and editorials against Venezuela – including its own editorial board piece supporting the 2002 military coup (from which it later backpedaled without acknowledgment or apology). But the Times has never seen fit to publish even a single op-ed that contrasted with their editorial line (or reporting, for that matter) on this oil-rich country.

This contrasts with almost every medium-sized to large newspaper in the United States – from the LA Times, Boston Globe, or Miami Herald, to even the neoconservative Washington Post, and scores of other mainstream city newspapers, which have all published at least one op-ed offering another side of the story. It's worth revisiting this debate that lately appeared in the Times' online edition because it sheds light on some of the problems with what we read and hear about Venezuela.

Moisés Naím argues that Venezuela, whose economy grew about 5.5% in 2012, is headed for "an economic crisis of historic proportions". (Well, at least he said "headed for a crisis". Anita Issacs, a political scientist included in this debate, bizarrely refers to "Venezuela's tanking economy" – possibly like the "United States' tanking economy" in 2004).

More:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/09/us-debate-chavez-venezuela-legacy

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Reply Disinformation still clouds the US debate on Chávez's legacy in Venezuela (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
The Magistrate Jan 2013 #1
bananas Jan 2013 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:53 PM

1. An Excellent Piece, Ma'am

Col. Chavez has a rare ability to drive his opponents crazy, and it shows in their commentary and predictions....

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:03 PM

2. k&r - good article.

Of course, the most important source of Chávez's continued electoral success has been the improvements in living standards that the majority of Venezuelans have experienced over the past decade: poverty reduced by half, extreme poverty by more than 70%, unemployment cut by half, a tripling of people eligible for public pensions and vastly increased access to healthcare and education.

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