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By Arturo Rosales writes from Caracas
Axis of Logic
Sunday, Aug 2, 2015

Arturo Rosales responds to reader Jackblob in regard to Arturo's article A lesson in democracy and political consciousness (click link for original article and the comment exchange).

Judging by Jackblob's pattern of Disqus commentary around the Internet, I'd have to guess he is Canadian, or at least lives here (as do I). I'd like to hope that he is an immigrant to Canada so that our educational system can't be held up as the cause of his inability to have cogent critical thoughts.

- prh, ed.

To sit down and write such comments means that you have much time on your hands. I address your points one by one but if you think that I am going to waste my time doing this over and over again leading to a “circular argument” then you are gravely mistaken. People like you who can only write on negatives have a “chip” in their head inserted by exposure to negative propaganda over a long period. But that is your problem.

2013 election
– I have not read the Carter Center document but the elections were not declared fraudulent by anyone. In addition, over several months all the results were revised, recounted as confirmed by the Electoral Council in the presence of independent, government and opposition observers in Filas de Mariche where all the voting machines are housed. NO EVIDENCE OF FRAUD OR IRREGULARITIES WERE EVER FOUND despite ongoing rumblings by the Capriles camp.

You see, Jack, you right wingers do not accept democratic results unless you win. The 2013 presidential election was a case in point and caused the deaths of 11 Venezuelans since Capriles refused to sign PERSONALLY the document proposed to respect the results, as Maduro did. The same thing will happen for the December 6 parliamentary elections.

Lopez and Ledezma in jail
- You know that inciting violence carries a
jail term in Venezuela and Lopez provoked the deaths of 43 people by calling for an illegal overthrow of the government called La Salida that started on February 12 2014. This led to street violence and the resulting deaths. He has to be locked away.

Ledezma is in jail as the airforce officers who have been convicted of plotting air attacks on Caracas testified that he was involved in this plot. The same goes for Julio Borges who will be stripped of his parliamentary immunity and arrested at some point as these officers also testified that he chose the targets to be bombed. If you do not believe this then that is also your problem. The public has to be protected from these maniacs. Little do we care what people, including Desmond Tutu, say. Our job is to impose justice on these criminals. If you want to know exactly what the charges are, then Google it and find out. I am not doing your research for you.

Problems finding staples - This can be a problem but they always turn up. It takes time and effort and we have to thank the speculators, hoarders and smugglers for this. Whether you accept it or not there is an ongoing campaign to discredit the government that has been going on for over two years by hiding staples such as milk, corn flour etc and price gouging. There is an attack on the currency (as there has been on the currencies of Iran, Russia and Argentina – not in the good books of the US either – what a coincidence!!) The aim of this “economic war” was to gain votes for the opposition and win control of congress. But the numbers are not adding up for the opposition as the record turnout for internal PSUV elections proved on June 28th. Even Julio Borges has stated that the opposition cannot win the elections using the economic war. The result has been that life has been made miserable for millions and the strategy imposed by the opposition and the business class is going to be yet another boomerang. Hinterlaces polls illustrate this quite clearly. With this economic attack being sustained for so long it would not be surprising if poverty has risen but saying that it is at pre-Chavez levels is a wild affirmation on your part.

There are few power outages these days. Public transport runs and thousands of new buses are being introduced by the government. Your friends only destroyed about 100 or so buses during the street violence you no doubt support and hence validate the deaths caused by it. Correct, Jackblob?

According to government figures extreme poverty is around 5% and unemployment around 6.7%. Venezuela’s external debt is only about 28% of GDP. That in the US is 106%. Go figure.

Crime - The main problem is crime here. And in recent weeks the Operation to Protect the People has been in full swing. And guess what Jackblob – hundreds of Colombian paramilitary sleepers have been detained operating in popular areas, Paramilitaries sowed by the opposition and their terrorist friends in Colombia.

This is why crime has ballooned over the last decade. I recall people talking about young Colombians appearing in the barrios back in 2006. The other thing is that the guns in the barrios – where did they come from? Smuggled by gun runners years ago. Chavez closed down all the gun shops here.

The episode in San Felix was provoked. It was not spontaneous r a worker of Lotto supermarkets would not have been shot dead by one of the motorcycle gang that provoked the incident. If you think that there will be a repeat of the Caracazo then you are gravely mistaken.

Let’s get some facts straight here – Maduro never ordered any air raid drills. Anyone who told you that – as you do not live in Venezuela – is either a liar or is hallucinating. The electrical appliance store, Daka was not looted and Chavez had nothing to do with this as he died eight months earlier. Daka was importing electrical goods using preferential dollars bought from the Central Bank at 6.3 bolivares. This store imported and then posted retail prices ten times higher than was normal and then tripled the prices again in November 2013. Maduro forced this store to drop prices to reasonable levels and all the good sold out. There was no looting and Daka was prevented from exploiting the wages of the people. Good riddance to them as they were just a bunch of businessmen living off state dollars and selling at inflated prices.

Of course there is less activity in the ports as oil income has fallen. Is that also the fault of Maduro or the 8.5 million barrels /day of fracked crude oil and Saudi refusing to limit production plus the recession?

No one denies that there are problems in Venezuela as there are in most countries. But at least there are not mass foreclosures here. People are given new homes – more than 700,000 so far. There are 2.7 million university students compared to 863,000 in 1998. Almost 3 million people with pensions based on the legal minimum wage compared to just 300,000 in 1997. More schools. 32 new universities higher education free of charge.

Die of envy if you are s US student owing US$100,000 before you even get a job after graduating.. Over 1000 new health clinics built. Illiteracy defeated. New weapons for the military. New allies such as China, Russia and Iran. CELAC realizing Bolivar’s dream. And to cap it all we have a real Homeland and are not just a gas station on the northern tip of South America for the convenience of US consumers driving their kids to poison them at McDonalds. We have the most transparent voting system in the world and complete freedom of expression as well as the most advanced constitution.

If you think that Venezuelans will vote in the right wing here because they can't find a packet of laundry detergent when they want it, you have no idea about what supposedly WAS once your country.

So you sit there, probably in the US or UK complaining. You see Jackblob, Venezuela’s problem is people like you who are alienated from our culture and want to be like a citizen of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave and who only believe in democracy if you win. You are welcome to it and can enjoy choosing from your 50 brands of deodorant and bath soap which lend you total “capitalist dignity” which is a complete oxymoron in itself.

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