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Colleagues challenge Latin American writer’s article Printer friendly page Print This
By Paul Richard Harris, Arturo Rosales, Les Blough
Axis of Logic
Sunday, Jan 1, 2017

On December 27, I published an article entitled ‘In Venezuela’s Difficult Times The Grassroots Are Stronger’ by long time Latin America-based writer Tamara Pearson. Although her article is based in part on direct on-the-ground interviews in Venezuela, there is another side to this story.

Axis of Logic columnist Arturo Rosales, who lives in Caracas, and my co-editor, Les Blough, who lives near Caracas, both challenge some of the views expressed by Ms Pearson. From my perch here in Canada, I am left to consider the views and insights of local people. Although Ms Pearson’s piece appears fair and reasonable on the surface, here’s how my colleagues see this story. I trust their judgment.
- prh, ed. Axis of Logic

Arturo first:
Tamara Pearson is great at story telling and narrating what the grass roots movements are doing in these "difficult times". Her article would be much stronger if she were to analyze and identify the traitors behind four (not three) years of shortages, inflation and speculation.

Unless these people are rooted out and their hold over certain sectors (mainly food distribution) is broken, the fraught situation will continue.

The national Assembly mentioned in the final part of this piece is in triple contempt of the Supreme Court and is therefore inoperative in any legislative sense. In fact, it cannot even legally appoint new a president and vice president on 5 January so there’s not much to worry about in the medium term as opposition attitudes and illegal actions have emasculated the only point of constitutional power the opposition has.

Les replies to Arturo:
Spot on, Arturo. Based only on this article, Tamara seems to be unaware that we are and have been in the midst of a war. Washington and their foot soldiers in the opposition are hoping the weapon of hunger will eventually bring about a general rebellion but so far, just as they've miscalculated the intelligence of the people in Syria, they've underestimated the Venezuelan majority who know the roots of the food shortages, crime and violence. Former President Chávez taught them well.

Even the least read and poorest have superior geopolitical knowledge than the well educated middle class in the US. It is at best spurious for the author to speak for the "grassroots" across the country from a perch in the relative isolation in Merida in the High Andes. She would do well to live among the barrios of Caracas or even among my friends in Maracay and La Victoria for a spell to gain a broader perspective. Her report borders on blaming the victims rather than the perpetrators.

Finally, her statement that, "The government appears to be losing complete control over its security forces, as they sense that the political forces have changed, with a right-wing parliament" is dangerous and completely unfounded from everything I see around me and in credible media reports regarding the National Police and military.

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