Friday, June 24, 2016

According to The Nation magazine Venezuela is "fucked" but not in the grip of a humanitarian crisis.

I'm glad that yesterday the Organization of American States rejected Venezuelan opposition lobbying for expulsion and sanctions against their own country. I felt that a vote against Venezuela under the rubric of the "Democratic Charter" could lead to actual military intervention, something that would not help Venezuela or its people.

Jeff Bezos, billionaire owner of The Washington Post and Hillary Clinton inner circle member and Alvaro Uribe recently hardliner right-wing president of Colombia have pushed for just this and oppositionist money grubber president of Venezuela's National Assembly Henry Ramos Allup has lobbied the United States Senate's Cuban Caucus as well.

Everyone who follows the news knows that Venezuela is in a serious crisis of shortages of food, medicine, medical equipment and thing necessary to keep the economy going like truck and bus tires, batteries and spare parts. It's easy to sympathize with calls for international humanitarian aid. Looking at history, for example recent events in Haiti which has been under foreign "humanitarian" occupation it's not difficult to understand the government’s reluctance to allow a humanitarian airlift of necessities into Venezuela.  The question of who would control the distribution of this aid isn't usually mentioned but today I saw

Bernardo Álvarez Herrera, a
mbassador, Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the OAS state on  television that Venezuela would accept "unconditional aid and is negotiating receiving aid front Trinidad and Jamaica.

Venezuelan's family and friends say that packages going to specific Venezuelans are being blocked by Venezuela’s Customs officials.

Churches and the Venezuelan community in Florida, which is predominantly anti government, are trying to get aid packages to Venezuelans.


It's understandable then, that opponents of intervention wish to combat what they see as exaggeration of the crisis. 

They (myself included) don't want to hear "we destroyed Venezuela in order to save it." A large section of the American people would enjoy a TV show featuring bombs destroying neighborhoods in order to assure the people there are getting enough to eat. This would be offset by images of US Marines giving out chewing gum and lollipops. Also, they (and myself) don't want to see the government’s credibility and authority undermined in favor of Venezuela's old regime opposition which offers no solutions of its own to the crisis and already lied to Venezuela’s increasingly desperate people last December, when they promised that if they win majority control of the National Assembly the crisis would be eased in six months. The opposition is fragmented and distrusted, while the government is widely disliked probably riven with hidden factions  and distrusted.


And so US progressive and anti interventionist Gabriel Hetland took to the pages of The Nation magazine


Hetland sings a simple (and merry) song about a government official who's getting excellent care of a sprained hand in a government clinic. He claims that the clinics are working normally. I was in Venezuela from November 2014 until February 2015.
Let me tell you a story about something that is happening now in a government hospital on a city I won't name in Venezuela.  Theres a father to be running around from one place to another getting a supper together for a mother to be who's been hospitalized. For months she's not been gaining weight though pregnant. She even started to lose weight.  She got a check up and was found to be anemic.  Her aunt who lives in New York City came to bring vitamin and mineral supplements for her, a pregnant neighbor and several relatives, children, who were not thriving.

Yesterday she started bleeding badly. Her spouse got her to the nearest free public hospital, as they have not much money or insurance.

The hospital doesn't feed the patients. The future father had to buy hypodermic needles and other equipment at a nearby pharmacy. He brought her a scant meal of coffee and an arepa with black beans. The nurses demanded he go back out to fetch something for them, they being hungry. So far it looks like mother and six month fetus are going to make it. He'll be coming three times a day to bring what food he finds to share with the mother to be and the nurses.