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email to Guardian re Venezuela presidential election

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joe emersberger

Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: email to Guardian re Venezuela presidential election Reply with quote

email to Guardian re Venezuela presidential election campaign
Posted by emersberger on June 12, 2012, 3:10 am

RE: Hugo Chavez launches re-election campaign

This article cites Eva Golinger as a "staunch Chavez supporter" while Javier Corrales is cited merely as a "professor of Political Science at Amherst University".

In the past, I've written to you explaining that Corrales is a fierce, and not very rational, Chavez critic (see below).

Miguel Tinker-Salas, whom you also cite in the article, has been supportive enough of Chavez to have received a "visit" from the FBI in his office.

He could fairly be described a "critical but supportive" of the Chavez government.

John Magdaleno worked for years for the opposition aligned polling firm Datanalysis.

You'd be very hard pressed to find any neutral "expert" or "analyst" to talk about Venezuela under the Chavez government. Your readers would be well served if you indicated where ALL the people you cite in your articles stand.

You said

"The firebrand leader - who changed the constitution in 2003 to abolish term limits ..."

Term limits were abolished by a referendum. That is huge difference from a "firebrand leader" personally rewriting the constitution. Given how often Chavez is slandered as a "dictator" (for example in the Dan Rather report you referred to though you did not point out that slander) this is hardly a minor point.

Joe Emersberger

On 12/20/2011 12:10 PM, [email protected] wrote:
Mr. Phillips:
You cited one of your main sources in this article as follows:

“Javier Corrales, an expert on Venezuela from Amherst College in Massachusetts”

Actually, you should know that Javier Corrales is a vehement, and not very rational, critic of the Chavez government. You should - at the very least - have cited him as a fierce Chavez critic and not a neutral “expert”.

In 2009, in an article entitled “Chavez Regime Has Launched Autocratic Blitzkrieg “, Corrales wrote

“Whereas many authoritarian regimes-such as those in China, Saudi Arabia or Singapore-seek political legitimacy by attempting to deliver at least the appearance of order, Chavismo advances its objectives by enabling chaos….

The government does nothing to stop rising crime rates or arbitrary decisions of the bureaucracy. Consequently, ordinary citizens live in fear of random violence, regime opponents live in fear of targeted assaults by state-sanctioned thugs, and business leaders live in fear of attacks by government-sponsored labor groups.”[1]
Corrales is, of course, perfectly entitled to believe this theory that the Chavez government deliberately does nothing to stop violent crime. However it does not take much of an expert to notice a few relevant facts and the questions they raise:

1) The Venezuelan opposition, its media and its allies in the international press, have done everything they can to hype the threat of violent crime in Venezuela. Are they too – part of the Chavez government conspiracy to spread panic according to Corrales?

2) Venezuela state governments, local governments and police forces are controlled by Chavez opponents. Are they too part of the conspiracy to allow violent crime to benefit the Chavez government (putting aside the obvious question of how this would actually occur)?

3) Hundreds of Chavista peasants have been assassinated since 2001 by hired gunmen in crimes that strongly implicate wealthy landowners. Are the landowners and their hired gunmen also part of the conspiracy to help Chavez in some mysterious way by murdering his supporters?

I’ll leave you to ponder these questions, but in future please consider using more diverse sources – or at least not withholding from your readers the kinds of sources you are using.
Joe Emersberger



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