Venezuela: When Some of the Most Important News Comes in the Form of Corrections

That's the title of an article in Truth-Out. It is particularly critical of reporting on behalf of the New York Times.

It shows some of those corrections. For example,

Today the Times corrected an even more important false statement that appeared in an op-ed by jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López. López had written that “more than 30” protesters had been killed in Venezuela in the recent protests. In fact the “more than 30” number cited by López includes all protest-related deaths, a fraction of whom appear to be protesters. Although it has not been mentioned in major media coverage, a compilation of press reports indicates that the protesters themselves – not security forces – are responsible for about half of the deaths. These include six national guardsmen who were shot, five additional people apparently shot while trying to remove barriers erected by protesters, and seven people who were killed apparently from crashing into protesters’ barriers (including two motorcyclists beheaded by wire strung across the road).

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Bishops blast Venezuela

The Conference of Venezuelan Bishops "is accusing the government of seeking totalitarian-style rule" (from the AP.)

What's the current Sandinista slogan? "Cristiana, Socialista, Solidaria" Beware of removing one leg of a 3-legged stool.

Well, well, well - did FYL get his wish?

The NY Times has printed Maduro's opinion of what's hapening in Venezuela in today's paper, titled "Venezuela: A Call for Peace" by NICOLÁS MADURO. It's dated APRIL 1, 2014, but I assume it's not about April Fools. (True, it's not Truth-Out. I guess they got scooped.)

At this time there are 197 comments and they're very informative, and split pro-con.

Anyone Can Define

their own narrative. Obama does it constantly,, I do it: who do your believe? Maduro's half truths, or the reality that Venezuela has become? I saw the pics of the protests . . This wasn't the drug- addled, unemployable, smelly, Occupy Movement taking a crap on NYC streets. Way too many Venezuelans to just be students and the wealthy. I read the reports about the country's economy. Something is amiss . . .Maduro is NOT telling it the way it is.

How about believing in the facts and ensuing results?? I enjoyed the comments a lot more than the Op-Ed, which was riddled with half truths.

>>> " . . .I find Sr. Maduro's comments disingenuous, and forgetful regarding the forefather of the current 'Bolivarian Revolution' - Hugo Chavez. Ten years prior to the 2002 coup that briefly dethroned Chavez as President, he, along with other military leaders, attempted their own coup on against then democratically elected President Carlos Andres Perez. So the Bolivarian Revolution isn't necessarily founded on 'democratic' principles and as such uses its heavy hand to impose arbitrary justice on opposition leaders, not through any democratic process but stacked courts in favor of the Venezuelan administration. Sr. Maduro glosses over the facts making the Venezuelan government out to be a democratic utopia where by justice is served with equality to chavistas and the opposition. He employs the tactics of his mentor to divert his audience from the truth by laying blame at everyone else's feet and not addressing the real issues. Everything is a Yankee plot to destroy Venezuela. Move along, nothing to see here - highest homicide rate, staggering inflation, rampant corruption. These were all things Chavez vowed to fix when he came into office - and his revolution is failing.

One last thought - anyone question how humble Mr. Chavez amassed $1.8 Billion in wealth before he died? ..." >>> End of comment.

When the socialists steal the country's oil wealth nothing is produced with the money: it sits in a off shore bank account.

The results speak for themselves. East Germany vs West, Cuba, the Sandinistas immediately after the revolution; all failed economies. How is it possible to ignore the obvious? Still, many do, blinded by some vision of a Marxist Utopia.

I think the last line of the comment speaks most directly to Maduro's motivations. He's not interested in equality, crime reduction, or a workable country. He's interested in his own $1.8 Billion, and he needs a bit longer to steal it.

Highest homicide rate?

Free Leopoldo

Apparently quite a charismatic person, looks like a natural leader, no wonder Mi Burro wants to keep him locked up:


He is quite charismatic -- sorta like Malcom X. Most governments don't like an opposition who advocates violence. Venezuela just never had the resources to set up FEMA camps "just in case".

BTW: "Mi Burro" is a personal attack. This is exactly what it take to start a down-hill spiral of name-calling.

I Didn't Think

of Mi Burro as a personal attack on a fellow poster.

But I can see how it would offend someone who believed in what Chavez was trying to accomplish.


Define "immediately after the revolution"...

give me a date.

Most If Not

all of my Nicaragua books are in Nicaragua, so an exact date is not going to be immediately forthcoming. Sorry.

I refer to the time when Jaime Wheelock and friends went into the countryside, tried to collectivize the campesinos, and explained to them that they would now be selling their crops and animals TO the Sandinistas at prices determined by the Sandinistas, and purchasing their essentials (sugar, salt, cooking oil, kerosene) FROM the Sandinistas at prices established by the Sandinistas.

It didn't work. Didn't work in Cuba either, they can't feed themselves. If it wasn't for Venezuela Oil these countries would all be North Koreas.

Chavez nationalized many healthy industries in Venezuela, put his friends in charge (regardless of qualification or ability), and stuffed PDVSA with party cronies, again, totally without regard to qualification. Mi Burro is a bus driver who probably said: "Yes Sir!" a little louder than the others around Chavez.

Some stole, many more just took up space. Is it any wonder Venezuelan oil production is continues to fall -despite having 20% of the world's proven oil reserves?

Good to see

(Link here.)

It's a good op-ed. One of the comments made me laugh when the writer said "Maduro is only telling half the story". Well, yeah, he's right but that seems like the way it should be. The other half has been told already.

At the moment Truth-Out needs to exist because all too often the MSM does ignore the other side. I think it would be great if the NYT offered all sides and maybe pressure from The Intercept, Truth-Out, AlJajeera, The Real News Network and such are the coverage needed for the NYT and others MSM to get back to independent journalism.

The fact that the comments are all over the political spectrum shows that there are NYT readers who know there is more to the news than anti-government propaganda. Being able to respond to what a democratically-elected president has to say seems very positive.

So we can say..

"I stand Corrected...and Informed"

The correction was inconsequential.

But the article Phil's post was based on blew the nit into a fester carbuncle - a case of trying to make 'news' out of squat.

Flashy headline

True enough, many don't read past the headlines.

López probably wrote in Spanish 'manifestantes' that got translated 'protesters' instead of 'demonstrators' pro & con during the street rallies. Venezuela is divided and both sides show up at these things. I expect López was referring to all who died demonstrating; all were Venezuelans.

The body count scoreboard is disputable. And pointless. It reminds me of the daily news during the Vietnam War. (Let's compare the body counts and see who's winning!)

As for unbalanced op-eds at the NY Times, what about your or Weisbrot's Name me a balanced source of news &/or opinions, please.

Issues, sources

Reporting on Venezuela right now is particularly complicated as you really have three sides (ignoring where the US government is putting it's democracy dollars for a minute).

  1. The Maduro government who was elected a year ago to carry on chavismo.
  2. The political opposition in the form of Henrique Capriles.
  3. The action-oriented opposition in the form of López.

Capriles (barely) lost to Maduro. I am sure there was some external help of Carliles but, more important, his platform was pretty much the same as Maduro. That is, at least what he claimed he wanted to do. No matter what his intent, that was the message that resulted in a very close vote.

Capriles didn't want to start a revolution. Enter López. Pretty much he does. If this was explained to the NYT readers then it would be easier for them to put the López editorial in its correct context. It's a lot like having a Democan, a Republicrat and a neo-Nazi spouting their position in the US but the reader being unaware that a neo-Nazi was not mainstream. That is, not particularly popular.

Balanced sources? First, let's talk about Truth-Out. Here is their mission statement:

Truthout works to spark action by revealing systemic injustice and providing a platform for transformative ideas, through in-depth investigative reporting and critical analysis. With a powerful, independent voice, we will spur the revolution in consciousness and inspire the direct action that is necessary to save the planet and humanity.

To me, that says they are biased and they tell you their bias. In other places they say more about being independent of government and corporate influence. I don't always agree with their articles but I know where they are coming from. On the other hand, the NYT doesn't have a mission statement that says something like "we are a for-profit company and depend on not saying bad things about our advertisers and need to humor the US government".

Of the fairly big but not thought of mainstream media, I think AlJazeera does a good job, particularly on issues that are far away from Doha. For example, their investigative work into Arafat's murder was excellent. Many of the AlJazeera staff come from the BBC.

I think the best hope is First Look. Pierre Omidyar is paying the bills but seems to be letting it evolve without his political influence. While The Intercept is the only publication they have so far, it's articles have been well-written and full of good references.

As FirstLook gains visibility I think they are going to significantly alter what mainstream media will cover. That is, instead of pretending a US government press release is investigate journalism they are going to either start doing real journalism or die. I also think this will happen soon.

There are more than 3 sides to this story

Separate from the US gov't, many Cuban-Americans see this as a final test of Castro-ism. They have joined hands with Venezuelan-Americans - who see the Castro brothers as the true architects of Chavismo, from the confiscations of lands & companies, to the mismanagement of the economy (or joint economies) - to lobby heavily for intervention. They orchestrate a regular choir of media bias.

There is also the perspective of common Venezuelans - blogs - who don't understand what is happening to their homeland, who think - one political boss or another, why should it make such a difference in day-to-day lives? It must be outside forces. Is this the beginnings of civil war?

Your sarcasm about NYT is understandable - they are powerful & influential. Their mission: "The New York Times's core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment." They all sound schmoozy nice. I noticed that Truth-Out includes NYT opinion articles too. But I had to chuckle at their goal to "inspire the direct action that is necessary to save the planet ..." I know what they mean, bless 'em. But realize that the planet will continue even if humans make it a lifeless, radioactive trash dump.

That Glen Greenwald went to FirstLook/Intercept makes it interesting enough to follow-up. Snowden had to have picked him for a reason.


By "three sides" I was referring to that which has gotten mainstream coverage. The whole picture is much more complicated. The involvement of UNASUR members, for example, is very important but is getting about zero press.

Day to day lives? Pre-Chávez, Venezuela was a corporate state exporting resources with little benefit to the majority of the population. Those who are wealthy would like to return to that state. Chavismo is far from finished with the conversion. While Venezuela and Bolivia are very different countries, in both cases there is the privileged minority who thought everyone was fine.

CUNY has done a series called Sources+Secrets. One includes Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitres and Bart Gelman. I have downloaded but not watched most of it yet. I mention this because you get to see Glenn explain who is really is -- something most people don't really know.

" ...Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitres and Bart Gelman . ."

AKA: The Usual Suspects.

Things must be slow with Snowden, or maybe the FSB handles all his PR these days.

Some Interesting Venezuelan


This is a good news, bad news thing:

The XXXX news is, they are all re-locating to Jinotega.

Mormons aren't stupid

I can picture them, dressed in white shirts, ties & pressed pants, marching two-by-two, in an orderly line, into an ark docked in Lago Maracaibo.

The reverse-glamour photos of Venezuelan Miss Universe are silly.

Some Views Of Opposition

marchers shot from a drone. Numbers are impressive.

These pictures are not available on Venezuelan television . . .

I imagine the Mormons >>bicycling<< two by two to the ark :) .

Thanks. Interesting.

"God is watching us" - how's that song go?

Hovering & rotating - a helio-drone, I presume. It definitely puts things in perspective.

Or is this film clip some sort of clever fabrication by those fascist imperialists?