Upside down

One hundred and thirty years ago, after visiting wonderland, Alicia went in a mirror to discover the world in reverse. If Alicia were to be reborn in our days [and in Venezuela], she would not need to go through any mirrors; it would enough to look out the window. Eduardo Galeano

1. Venezuela is one of the few countries, if not the only, with a dictatorial regime whose dictator exercises tyranny after leaving office. But in addition, as a dictator, commit a self-coup. In January 2017, the National Assembly, with the vote of the majority opposition representation, decided that President Nicolás Maduro had left office. A month later, the same representatives, incorporated in their speech that we were before the presence of a dictatorship headed by the President of the Republic (the same one that left office a month before). And a month later, already being dictator, and according to the same representatives, this president launched a coup d’état.

 2. Between 1958 and 1998, in 40 years, 24 electoral processes were carried out, an average of 1 election every 2 years. After 1999, in 18 years, there have been 25 elections, including recall and constitutional referendums, on average, almost two annual elections. There have been 3 elections the last 4 years, since 2013. According to the opposition, since 1999, Venezuelans have been subjected to a dictatorial regime, increasingly tyrannical, especially after 2013.

 3. Out of more than 1,000 radio and television stations to which the government has granted them licenses to operate, 67% are private, 28% are in the hands of communities and 5% are state-owned. Out of the 108 newspapers, 97 are private and 11 public. 67% of the Venezuelan population has access to the internet. According to the opposition, there is no freedom of expression in Venezuela.

 4. The President of the Republic, in the exercise of his functions, during the 6-year presidential term, in the face of acts of violence by local factors, which seek economic, social and political destabilization, has called the opposition for a dialogue for peace. The opposition does not attend the call; it rather promotes acts of violence in the streets. The president is a tyrant and a dictator; the Democrats are those of the opposition.

5. All political organizations (parties) are in a renewal process announced by one of the five public powers, the National Electoral Council. All of them have answered the call for renewal. Regional and municipal elections are at the door. Meanwhile, leaders and followers of the opposition shout: We are in a dictatorship!

6. “In Venezuela, all human rights are being violated, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter must be applied”, affirmed in Washington, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States. Simultaneously, in Geneva, the United Nations Organization, overwhelmingly approved the Universal Periodic Review submitted by Venezuela, an examination to monitor the human rights situation in each of the 193 member countries of this organization.

 7. The extreme-right, which opposes the government, finances and promotes acts of violence and terrorism. It blocks streets, avenues and main arterial roads; attack schools and health facilities. In a fascist, terrorist and insane act, they use mercenaries to siege and set fire to the “Hugo Chávez Frías” Maternal and Child Hospital in El Valle, where 58 neonates and parturients were suffocated by the smoke. According to the opposition, it is the responsibility of the national government to control the situation, disperse the mercenaries and evacuate children and women.

8. There is a shortage of certain foods, medicines and hygiene products. The companies in charge of their production, importation and distribution, the large transnational companies, have received, on the part of the national government, foreign currencies at preferential rate. They have received the raw material at a subsidized price. They have increased the price of products by almost 4,000% in less than a year (2016). The Venezuelan people make long lines to acquire these products. Goods remain absent from the shelves. In Venezuela this situation is not because of the inefficiency of the private enterprise, it is a failure of the socialist model.

9. Although the price was increased by 3,700% (from 19.00 bolivars in March 2016 to 700.00 bolivars in December), a figure well above the annual inflation, hundreds of customers make long lines to acquire the corn precooked flour for the “arepa” (Bread of the Venezuelans). The owners of the companies, watching all their clients making long lines to acquire their brand, responded by reducing the production of this flour by 80%.

10. It is heard in radio opinion programs, especially in those with an editorial line manifestly contrary to the government: “We are in the worst economic crisis; we require humanitarian aid; we are dying of hunger; there is no food; we demand the government to open the international humanitarian channel”. Then we hear from the same stations: “And now we advertise … we invite you to visit Restaurant ‘X’ where you can taste varieties in meat and fish and exquisite desserts, located in such street; bring the whole family this weekend” …

“Dear Friend, ¿are you going on holiday this Easter? Do not stop from coming to Supermarket ‘Y’ where you will find everything you are looking for: variety and freshness at good prices to enjoy an excellent holiday and rest as you deserve.” End of commercials: “Now we return with our guest for today, expert in economy, and we continue talking about the urgent need to open the humanitarian channel for Venezuela due to the lack of food.”

11. During the last 4 years, peasants have supplied fruits, vegetables and vegetables to the Venezuelan people. They are small producers of the field, without much financial capacity to withstand difficult economic and financial situations. The large national and transnational agribusiness companies, large monopolies and oligopolies with the capacity to cartelize, and undoubtedly with great financial muscle, have not supplied the people despite receiving subsidized raw materials and foreign currency at a preferential exchange rate.

12. Between 1980 and 1998, within the framework of the neoliberal capitalist system, poverty increased along with economic growth. In 1999, with the popular approval of a new Constitution, the economic and social model changed to one of social justice. Since that year, the increases in production imply a decrease in poverty. For some Venezuelans, the socialist model, which was approved in 1999, failed.

 13. The main Venezuelan state company, Petróleos de Venezuela, supplies 95% of the country’s foreign currency. The other 4% comes from other state enterprises. Private companies generate the remaining 1%. In Venezuela, private companies are “efficient and successful”; those of the state are “inefficient”.

14. In Venezuela, the value of the currency in the illegal market is the marker of domestic prices of the economy. When intentionally and disproportionately manipulated, those values in illegal markets induce inflation. The government, in the face of the induced inflation, in order to protect the purchasing power of the working class, decrees salary increases. The head of the inflation is the government for having increased wages and not the terrorists of the economy who have manipulated 38.732% the illegal exchange rate from 2013 to date.

15. Domestic production per capita in Venezuela in the last 4 years is, on average, 9% higher than in the last 30 years. The unemployment rate is historically the lowest in 30 years, 6.6%. Venezuela is in the “worst” crisis and economic “chaos”.

16. The main industries in the pharmaceutical sector, which import, produce and distribute more than 90% of medicines and medical surgical materials in Venezuela, received from the government US $ 1,660 million to import at a preferential rate in 2008. In 2015 they received US $ 1,789 million (more than in 2008). In 2008 there was no shortage of medicines; there is one in 2015. The government is responsible for the lack of medicines.

17. Venezuela paid more than US $ 60 billion in foreign debt commitments during the last 4 years. It did it completely and punctually. Venezuela is rated as the country with the highest financial risk index in the world.

18. Citibank abruptly decided to close the national government bank accounts through which payments and transfers were made to comply with financial and commercial commitments abroad. The reason was that the Venezuelan state is very risky. Citibank did not close the accounts of private individuals. Perhaps the Venezuelan state is very risky because it has the main oil reserve in the world, the second of gas, freshwater, coltan, diamonds, gold, and other resources. Such a condition must involve a lot of risk for Citibank.

19. In the Ayacucho Hall of the Miraflores Palace, seat of the Executive Power, on April 12, 2002, Pedro Carmona Estanga was proclaimed President of the Republic, after giving a coup to President Hugo Chavez. In the self-proclamation event, the following decree was read: “All representatives from the National Assembly, the president and other judges of the Supreme Court of Justice, as well as the General Attorney, to the General Comptroller, the National Ombudsman, and members of the National Electoral Council, are suspended.” Those present at the act in which all public powers were dissolved by a decree that constituted the greatest offense to the National Constitution, shouted excitedly: “freedom and democracy!”

20. Those who shouted “freedom and democracy!” on April 12, 2002 in the Ayacucho Hall, today approved the supposed abandonment of office of the President. They are the ones who today shout “down the dictator!” referring to the constitutionally elected president with the majority of the votes of the Venezuelan people. In the eyes of some, they are the Democrats.

21. Some Venezuelans are listened, perhaps confused or misinformed, saying: “I hope the United States Southern Command has decided to invade us, thus ending this failed model, and the country would prosper.” Iraq, Libya and Syria, to mention some countries bombed and invaded by the United States, are at war, have not prospered, are destroyed. Will you have an example of a country invaded by the United States that has prospered?

22. Venezuela is an extraordinary and unusual threat to the interests of the United States. That was decreed by Barack Obama, president of the greatest empire and world military power, responsible for invasions and wars.

Venezuelan patriots, people of peace, insist that it is the other way around.


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