Many “Liberals” Getting Facts Wrong on Venezuela

there’s been so much misinformation
regarding the situation currently in Venezuela that I think it’s important to
review some in the media coverage and news articles about what’s going on
I want sum up the specifics in full history above the current tension in protest
there’s been a lot of that and as a progressive I am particularly
concerned with the knee-jerk criticism have anyone
who is critical love the shot as are now Maduro
administrations as a right-wing fascist whose in bed with
american imperialism right-wing interests let me be
completely clear the context for my criticisms have been
israeli President Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro are not based in trying to foment anti socialist revolution in fact it
would be a huge double standard for years on the David Pakman show I’ve
been supportive you have strong social welfare countries
many of them in Europe more recently in why under the leadership of President
assemble Higa so I am or bro Social Welfare Government
I am more liberal governments however that
doesn’t mean that I have to be for everything that
goes on in Venezuela and and much further from that is the idea that in my
criticism a Venezuela I am in any way inspired by the
imperialist right-wing movement seeking revolution in Venezuela the context through which my views and
Venezuela are informed are is a native Argentina with extensive
familiarity of South American liberal at face value but actually
strong-arm regimes as a as progressives we shouldn’t criticize
criticism over so-called left-wing government like Venezuela’s
simply because there are right-wing forces that would also like to see the administration bail the difference is simple when
progressives criticize Venezuela the goal isn’t to overthrow the
left-wing government with the right-wing puppet government handpick by american interests let’s not
forget that I’ve been focusing on my program mostly
on the big picture but a lot of people from the emails I
get clearly are getting bogged down in the minutiae so it’s become important to
address the details let’s get to the arguments truth out
recently published a piece that while certainly well-intentioned
distorts the reality of the Venezuelan situation since the peace hits a lot of the primary talking points
around Venezuela it will make a good outline for exploring some the Mets and
realities counter-punch also published another
article titled Washington seeks regime change in
Venezuela which while not inaccurate broadly
speaking in some sense it is based on numerous false premise ease and it also fails to provide proper
evidence for some in the assumptions we have to be open to shades of gray
when discussing Venezuela the with us or against us liberal or conservative dichotomy is not
constructive and it also won’t lead to a better understanding of the situation let’s look at issue number one the
writers above the truth that article say that the violent actions if the opposition
and intentional undermining the economy are signs over now oligarch class that
has lost power and is desperate must work outside of democracy to try to retake control up the
government no one can deny that the shop as a mature oak.
governments have focused publicly on the lower classes a society that is
broadly speaking a good thing as progressives were in
favor of that however the assumption that previous governments were pro oligarch and that the displaced
oligarchs are forming the basis for the current protests is wrong the Venezuelan opposition among
Venezuelans is widely spread among social classes in
areas have life one specific example is the city of Big
Daddy part of the urban area of the capital
city Cuttack ass the a its colloquially considered a slum
it’s made up mostly of members have lower social classes and as a Venezuelan contacted mine told
me bad idea is one of the more dangerous places in Venezuela and there is true poverty there and it
is filled with opposition members protest Inc not oligarchs not
right-wingers the truth out article also says that the
people %uh Venezuela are not fooled by the oligarch protests also citing a study from the ICS saying
that 85.3 percent %uh venezuelans disagree with protests mounted by
sectors above the ultra Venezuelan right however if you actually click the poll that is
linked to that 85.3 percent number wasn’t in
reference to so-called oligarch protests they were responding specifically to gliding bus why team bus are not protests broadly
speaking gaudy numbers are a very specific protest tactic which involves cutting traffic on the
street run thoroughfares to prevent vehicles from passing many people are as the poll indicates
opposed to this tactic because they think there are
other more effective ways protesting but to say that 85.3 percent %uh venezuelans oppose the
protests is not contained anywhere in the linked poll now whether
this was a translation issuer deliberate misstatement I don’t know but the number is false to
make an analogy this would be like a poll we’re
eighty-five percent of Americans don’t like the tactic have intentionally
walking batters in baseball and someone reports it as eighty-five
percent of Americans don’t like baseball doesn’t make any
sense the article also indicates that the poll
found 81.6 percent %uh venezuelans say that it is the opposition protests
that have been violent remember that this is only significant
if its part in building the narrative that protesters are just right-wing
however we’ve already corrected that falsehood
and arguing that these are all violent protests loses its
power once you realize you are accusing both
left and right-wingers being by I’ll lastly the truth out
article also asserts that the people %uh Venezuela do not want
their democracy undermined by a mob demanding regime
change this is a deceptive claim because very
few have the protester actually calling for regime change most
people in particular the more liberal
student-led protests which are far from right-wing are focused on lack of safety high
inflation and scarcity of goods so that with the truth out article does
tell you about the ICS Paul there is also a whole bunch of stuff
they don’t tell you and it’s just as important if you look
at the Paul you’ll see that 54.8 percent have those surveyed said
that they believe that democracy is guaranteed in Venezuela that leaves over 45 percent who do not
believe there is democracy in Venezuela this is close to 50-50 almost half venezuelans do not believe there is
democracy there that’s huge and it’s missing from the
truth out article and many others summarizing Venezuelan
opinion it also says that fifty 2.3 percent say
there is freedom of expression in Venezuela doing simple math that leaves almost 48
percent who don’t agree there is freedom of
expression this is huge lastly 50 4.2 percent according to the
same ICS Paul say the human rights are upheld
in Venezuela this means almost half the country does
not think human rights are upheld the
counter-punch article is guilty of the same thing
saying with only limited support among Venezuelans without citing any
sources is it the same flawed source based on a mistake inner deliberately misleading translation up
the gliding bus poll the counter-punch article isn’t wrong
when it says that Washington has been waging eighty step
destabilization campaign against Venezuela for more than a decade
initially to overthrow former President Hugo Chavez and now to
out his successor Maduro suggesting that there is limited and
only right-wing opposition to the mid euro administration is wrong with even more wrong an
offensive is the marginalization both the problems in the country as well
as in the protesters aside from the realities right-wing
interest in the US wanting revolution their are in the rural protesters who
want change in to pretend that this is all a right-wing why and baseless protests actually d values the concerns are the real
protesters how can the narrative that there is only
right wing opposition to the mid euro government be supported by planes that people in Venezuela are mostly
happy other then oligarch right-wingers who are just
displaced when almost half the country doesn’t
even feel that there is real democracy that there’s freedom of expression and
that human rights are upheld third I wanna talk about re and open elections n Nicolas Maduro
being elected fair and square from the truth out
article regarding the suppose a democratic
deficit the Venezuelan regime the facts speak for themselves since
1998 there have been four national
plebiscites for presidential elections and 11 parliamentary regional and
municipal elections Venezuela is the Latin American country
with the highest number of elections and it also has an automatic Alatorre
system much more modern than chile’s described
by jimmy carter who is observed ninety-two elections in
all continents as the best system in the world there is
no mention of the fact that the see any the Consejo Nacional edit electrode translated loosely as the National
Electoral Council has five directors four of whom are open
shoppers supporters in the US when Republicans control
elections in this same way progressives know how everything can be
just fine on the surface and not fine in reality why can’t we as
progressives see it in Venezuela Nicolas the article
also doesn’t mention that when it comes to the Venezuelan election there were over a thousand
irregularities which the MU de Partie turned into the Supreme Court which were
subsequently ignored Nicolas Maduro said there would be a
recount because the opposition wanted one and then denied it all widely reported
irregularities included people with multiple ID’s people easily
removing the Inc meant to show they had voted in reportedly boating again pro shop as propaganda allowed at voting
booths within a hundred meters in violation of the law and some voting precincts were Nicolas
Maduro supposedly received one hundred percent the boat I’ve lived in very very liberal
part to the United States even the most liberal in some cases and the most that the Democratic
candidate ever received was around eighty five percent am I
saying it was a bogus election no I’m saying that with much less a the same types have evidence
progressives have called now on the United States but when it
comes to Venezuela questioning the election is a sin being
a right-winger fourth let’s talk about media coverage
media coverage has been a huge issue some allege that media is
government-controlled in Venezuela while this truth out article says the
opposite above the four television channels with national coverage three of them been ABC on global BC on and deli then are opposition and
likewise bring together ninety percent of the audience according to information provided by the
company 8gb what is being said here first the ball
it’s false to say that there are four TV channels with national coverage there
are more and many our government channels for
example be there and TV s it is not true that there are four secondly to love the
so-called opposition channels listed been ABC on
and 11 are mostly entertainment channels while
it can be true that the owners are opposition members or supporters at the
opposition the programming is mostly soap operas
sitcoms game shows and Drama Series look at the
schedule yourself let’s now talk about that third
channel they mention global BC on it’s a 24 hour news network it’s true
that it was 100 percent opposition at one point but happen the
shares were purchased by a pro shop has businessman and now the channel is not a pure
opposition channel much of the government criticism was taken off the
air journalists were fired others resigned
because they were being censored by pro-government views also not
mentioned in the article is be TV which is a state channel
practically 24 hours a pro-government content with no criticism in one case a
journalist criticize the pension system up the government on Twitter and got
fired the article also doesn’t mention the creation SIPC I which is a national
communication platform which includes TV and radio channels for free national
broadcast every channel included is pro-government
and channels like BBC on were excluded there’s also no mention at all love gone
I dead an organization created by Hugo
Chavez to quote regulate media gonna tell has sanction blow EC on many
times but has never sanctioned BTV 50 let’s
talk about the allegation that the mature oak government isn’t reacting with violence 10
nonviolent protest but rather only two violent protesters
the idea is to frame the Maturo government as
exclusively benevolent except when they’re stopping violence
coming from the opposition the article says Maturo ordered the
arrest the retired general who tweeted how to use wire to
decapitate people in fact people have been killed and
injured injured by these tactics on motorcycles and how to attack armored
vehicles with Molotov cocktails these motorcycle decapitations are
actually called Dubai mottos and it’s a paramilitary
group that is pro government you can easily find videos
have them wreaking all kinds of havoc on YouTube while it is true that Nicolas
Maduro ordered the arrest those are row
government forces not opposition the article goes on to
say Enrique capital S refused to accept the
results and called his supporters to take to the
streets in protest to get all their rage out during the two
days after the elections 11 government supporters were killed by Capri less is followers this isn’t true Enrique Capri less did
call for a protest tactic called casserole asa which is banging on a big
kitchen pot it’s true that the events that followed
from the casserole ASO cooking pan protest were tragic active
violence and all involved should be held
accountable to say it is the doing event recap release that the opposition
is right wing and that may do is greyed as a result of
that is absurd to sum up I am in favor have
social democratic states I am or South American liberalism however
chalking up criticism at the shop has Maturo government to right-wing imperialist talking point
is bogus and as progressives we should want more
nuanced debate the left criticism over the ostensible
left is something that we should desire that
doesn’t mean we want the right to take over it
doesn’t mean we support imperialist American hand-picked puppet regimes we
want a better more forward thinking lapd do not call
from the propaganda from both sides it is important to look at both sides
here and so leave extreme views out since they’re rarely accurate the
shop has mature oh government is certainly not all bad and may even be
well-intentioned in many cases but there are serious criticisms to be made liberal glorification and the
administration and conservative bill if the cation based simply on the label a
socialist which is not even a correct label are both unproductive of
course I don’t agree with right-wing
characterization the entire Venezuelan post two thousand era but because my disagreement with the
liberal characterizations are far more new ones and because our show is viewed by so
many progressives I find it more relevant and productive
to critique what are becoming standard liberal views and Venezuela often not based in reality

68 thoughts on “Many “Liberals” Getting Facts Wrong on Venezuela

  • This is a great piece of journalism.  One that mainstain media should try to emulate instead of feeding viewers Biebers escapades.

  • Thanks, David. I have had a number of friends from Central and South America over the years and have come to believe that U.S. citizens know more about Europe than our close neighbors to the South. I think it would benefit more of us to learn Spanish and Portuguese because when you read newspapers and watch videos in the original language you see a very different picture than what is portrayed by U.S. media. Gracias para el analisis superior.

  • The USA is an oppressive and violent nation because Americans are oppressive and violent people, for the most part.
    USA = oppression + exploitation + suffering + death (times profit).

  • are these becoming "standard liberal views on venezuela"? the Young Turks are definitely anti-maduro, (so am I) but is this becoming a problem among liberals? (not saying that if the problem is small, that it isn't worth rooting out and attacking btw)

  • Its funny that the original article is from AVN , a Government propaganda machine , Agencia Venezolana de Noticias is  own by the Government , of course the number are gonna reflect what they want to reflect. You cant trust anything they say , all you are gonna  find in the AVN is  NAZI style propaganda.Goebbels will be proud.

  • "with us or against us" is completely correct in this situation. You can't support the right-wing protests and act like its somehow not seeking counter-revolution in Venezuela even if you have different slightly less right-wing motivations for it.

  • You can maybe find one or two examples of poor neighborhoods protesting but its false to claim that its the norm. 

    According to people who're in Venezuela right now the protests mainly consist of rich people barricading their own streets in many cities like Caracas. In some cities particularly near the Colombian border its much more split but even then its mostly wealthy areas that protest.

    Venezuela Anti-Government Protests Lack Support from the Barrios

  • what you said about the 85% poll is nitpicking. If most of the protests are violent and the people disagree with the violence, then its not much of a stretch to say that most people disagree with the protests in general as they are mostly violent

  • Nice report, but one has to be careful about "flipping" stats. 46% don't doesn't necessarily mean 54% do. There is often some % of no answer, no opinion, etc.

    This possible error can be much greater if it's a graduated scale (strongly believe, believe, don't believe, strongly disbelieve)

    There's also a question about how the question itself was worded. It might be strong, "Do you believe there is complete freedom of speech?" vs weak "Do you believe your freedom of speech isn't unnecessarily limited." Again, assuming the remainder feel the exact opposite might not be accurate.

  • simply because some of the protesters aren't demonstrably rich does not in any way suggest that they're not right wing…

    why is it that the cities near the colombian border have the most protests? Probably because they bribe people.

  • While this is well researched and cut's through a lot of the noise, I still don't trust America to get involved in Venezuela in any way.

  • David you completely failed to demonstrate how these protests are not right-wing. They have some limited support among the working class in some cities whether its genuine or not but that doesn't say they're not right-wing or controlled by the rich.

    You dismiss the 85% number entirely by pointing out that some limited protests are not as violent. In reality the protest movement as a whole generally employs these violent tactics and there is no substantial peaceful democratic movement. You cannot just dismiss the poll without proving that a good chunk of the protests are non violent which you didn't do.

    As Mephistahpheles pointed out you do some rather funny reading of statics yourself. If 55% say something then you just assume the 45% say something that you want them to say. 

    I don't know why this program has decided to back these right-wing thugs despite what other progressives do. Even Mujica who you seem to admire supports Maduro but of course you don't mention that. Bias by omission is a strong tool and you employ it skillfully while falsely accusing others of doing it by nitpicking and distractions.

    The only valid point I found in this video was that a lot of people seem to somewhat under play the economic problems in Venezuela. Only somewhat. And even so the right-wing exaggerates them beyond belief, even in this program you outright denied the massive decreases in poverty in Venezuela while whining about inflation. Of course you again completely ignored that the inflation was much higher before Chavez.

  • I was always under the influence that the "tupamaro decapitations" were targeted at the tupamaros. They drive motorcycles. Why would they set up anti motor cycle traps? Why would they use molotovs against armored vehicles? Does the opposition have such vehicles? Obviously they dont.

    I think you are just outright lying or you misunderstood the story.

  • you lied about the recount or at least only told half the story. There was a recount it just wasn't what the opposition wanted. It wasn't a manual re-counting of paper votes because they've largely moved to electronic voting methods ages ago and the opposition used this semantic argument as a basis for claiming the recount was cancelled.

    you constantly criticize other people for omitting facts about issues yet YOU DO IT CONSTANTLY. Try harder next time.

  • David, your argument would make sense if there isn't a large history of Western involvement and political sabotage in Venezuela.  However given the history here I am very suspicious of these so-called "opposition" forces.  I agree there are shades of grey, but we should also take historical evidence into account which rightly or wrongly tarnishes these types of protests going forward.  Personally I'd err on the side of the leftwing government over that of the rightwing opposition given the history of the region.

  • Thank you for stating and correcting these facts. It seems like so many people nowadays are simply afraid of the facts.

  • I found this insightful and pretty well researched, but I will take issue with your casual dismissal of Venevision and Televen  as being entertainment channels so they don't seem to matter (at least that's my take). Here in South Korea we have KBS, MBC and SBS. All 3 are primarily entertainment networks, but their news (especially KBS) was very pro- E Myung Bak when he was president and is pro President Park. Being primarily an entertainment network does not mean they don't poison the well in terms of politics.
    Maybe I'm reading more into it than I should. But, having lived in South Korea for over a decade and done work with Japan and been there many times, I've seen how 'entertainment networks' can be as caustic as news networks

  • As to the US government "waging a campaign of destabilisation" that goes beyond mere rhetorical jibes, little evidence, if any, exists for such a claim.

    It was never proven the Bush Administration orchestrated, assisted or even knew anything about the 2002 coup attempt; even a book published by The Nation about the coup said it was "extremely unlikely" there was any US involvement.

    The Obama Administration has been nothing but passive towards Bolivarian aspirations and ramblings, aside from the odd verbal reprimand.

    Tell me: where is the evidence?

  • Eva Golinger was formerly a sub-minister in what was essentially Chavez's ministry of propaganda in the early '00s.

  • Yes many liberals are getting the facts wrong on Venezuela, Bolivia, Ukraine, Greece, Ireland, and in their own countries. That's because "liberals" are also capitalists.

    Pointing to a poor area that is in opposition to a socially progressive government proves absolutely nothing, Pakman. Are you that naive? Have you read no history among the many thousands of accounts, studies, analyses, which show that the oligarchs and plutocrats manipulate the poor, the lumpenproletariat in Marxist terms, in order to advance the right wing agenda? This is how Hitler, Mussolini, and many other fascist and oligarchic capitalist dictatorships came to power. In the case of Hitler, the working class was split by fascist/capitalist political activity which focussed on "the other" and the need for "order".

    This manipulation of the poor and under-educated classes against their own interest is a well-documented phenomenon in the United States. You yourself have reported on this kind of activity, how the upper classes distract the masses from real issues by using so-called "wedge" issues like abortion, crime, immigration, etc. How do you not see the equivalency here?

    Finally, socialism involves dictatorship of the proletariat. Until the world is 9/10ths socialist, and not 9/10ths capitalist, the workers have the right to determine the nature and content of media using the public space.

  • The problem with Venezuela is that Chavez had two years to organize his succession, knowing he was going to die, but he did not. Maduro is not intelligent enough to be president, you could see that from the beginning. 

  • David, the street crime in Venezuela is inexcusable, and I remember hearing many of Chavez' confrontational speeches which stirred up hatred among his own people. A real leader to the best of their abilities looks after all of the citizens of their country, and doesn't deliberately divide them.

    Chavez passed on leaving behind an inexperienced moron who can't hold the country together.

  • Thank you for using your particular local inside knowledge to let all of us know what's going on here, especially when it seems to hurt the left. The truth cuts both left and right sides.

  • Hi David, enjoying your show. One question I have if this: As a native of Argentina, what is your opinion on the dispute between them and Britain over the Falkland Islands? Thanks, keep up the great work. Rich

  • Watch the documentary the Revolution will not be Televised on Youtube. The National Endowment for Democracy and the CIA as well as the State Department. There is this Masonic liberal fetishization that permeates the the so-called establishment left in this country. If they are in the streets they must be legitimate movements. We see this in Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela. Ochlocracy, or mob rule is a way for imperialists to overrun a country. See the 1953 Iran where demonstrations were used by Kermit Roosevelt to overthrow Mossadeq. The State Department since 2002 has been using Color Revolution to overthrow regimes. This is Zbigniew Brzezinski's soft power tactic as oppose to the Neo-Con invade a country and bomb it into the stone age. You put in a Regime that will do your bidding for you. Been done in Somalia, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, as well as failed campaigns in Russia with Pussy Riot and the Alexei Navalny Neo-Nazis gang. There is a globalist war on the State internationally and this is wrong. Americans really need to mind their own business we have enough here to deal with. 

  • David, first Venevision, and Globovision were instrumental in the 2002 coup, they manipulated images day and night to call Chavez a dictator, and nearly ousted him,  so that should be know, and President Maduro has called for dialog with the protesters, to solve many problems that do exist in Venezuela, but the protesters have refused him, and the main opposition leaders that are presented to the world, like leopoldo lopez, reinaldo dos santos, and maria corina machado, are right wingers, and oligarchs, and tried to oust president chavez in 2002 in an undemocratic way, and you should understand that Venezuela before Chavez the poor were voiceless, they were nothing, Chavez gave them a voice, he connected with the poor in a a very personal way, and he is loved, and by extension most of the PSUV and Maduro support come from the poor. I am a Venezuelan student here in the US, i recognize that in my home country their are many problems and maduro has not been the best of presidents, but to solve the problems people should come together and dialog, because President Maduro is not going to be toppled, and those who call for his toppling are only wasting their time and are going to create a bigger more dangerous conflict. 

  • 1:33 Im native from argentina too and im well informed about the political shift going on in south america and support Maduro 100%; so just because you were born down there doesn't mean you're right about it
    4:13 venezuelan contact told you??? That's your source??
    4:23 so they found one "slum" protesting against the government, heard of the tea party? They don't look millionaires either.
    6:44 you're talking about the students that won't negotiate until Maduro is ousted?
    7:28 really? 54.2% it's not enough, from what I know 50+ represents majority…
    By minute 8:00 I already know where you're going so I must stop watching.

  • Ya, but how are you gonna fight a neo-nazi system setup by the US?  I mean, you have to have a "strong-arm" left-wing gov.  Setting up something like Sweden down there would just be a disaster–it would be crushed instantly.  Fight fire with fire until there is no more fire.

  • AS, Venezuela — Gentilina Radaelli is sweeping away shards of glass from an advertising billboard that rioters have ripped from its base and flung into a major avenue. A fallen tree and a metal bar are tangled with it to complete the barricade.

    “This is anarchy,” says Radaelli, a 54-year-old auditor who works in the square. “This isn’t protest; It’s vandalism.”

    Around 150 yards south, a public transport information kiosk sits in the middle of the road, burned out the previous night by protesters and left to form another barricade.

    Putrid remnants of the nightly bouts between rioters and government security forces have turned this once posh plaza into a wasteland. Smoke from protesters’ smoldering barricades and gas bombs as well as the police’s tear gas seep into neighboring apartments and upscale bars serving $30 cocktails.

    For an entire month, demonstrators have come out by the tens of thousands across Venezuela to rail against economic and social problems, including shortages of basic goods and some of the world’s highest inflation and violent crime rates. On Wednesday, they prompted mobs of counter-protesters to take to the streets as they had done before, in a show of support for the leftist government. The crisis is the biggest test yet for President Nicolas Maduro, but it could well cement his presidency if the opposition continues to falter.

    Protest-related deaths are mounting on both sides of the political divide, and both sides appear to seek to inflate figures. As many as three people were reported killed in Wednesday's protests, including a National Guard captain who died from gunshot in the northern state of Carabobo, according to the state's governor, who called the assailants "terrorist delinquents."

    That raised the death toll to at least 25, according to collated government and opposition numbers. Previous victims include a motorcyclist who was decapitated by wire strung across a road and numerous people attempting to clear barricades from the streets. One barricade-buster was a Chilean middle-aged woman who became the first known foreigner killed in Venezuela’s grinding crisis.

    "This is the only way we can make our voice heard."

    Here in the Chacao district of Caracas, half a dozen barricades immediately surround Plaza Altamira. Cars make U-turns as they approach the roadblocks, opting to drive the wrong way down surrounding one-way streets.

    Many locals in this traditional pro-opposition outpost are getting fed up. Clashes appear to be cleaving the opposition both at ground level and in its upper political echelons.

    “I’m an opposition supporter but these protests are stupid,” said 47-year-old lawyer Jose Luis, who refused to give his last name.

    Standing next to a roadblock, he said, “They seem to think that because the government is bad, this is good. It’s not. It’s just as stupid as the currency controls, the shortages and everything else that’s going wrong here.”

    The turnout for the evening riots here has been dwindling, leaving primarily the hard-core government haters on the streets. Only some are from the lower classes. The majority are wealthier teenage or young-adult residents of Altamira, many of whom tote iPhones and BlackBerrys. As the sun begins to go down, they fill their Molotov cocktails, gear up their makeshift shields and gas masks, and march toward the waiting National Guard.

    Students Clash With Police in VenezuelaNBC NEWS
    “This is the only way we can make our voice heard,” said Kayley Piñango, a 21-year-old student standing near the burning kiosk. “We have no opportunities so we have to do things like this.”

    The protesters’ demands are vague and diffuse. They all want change and many are seeking an end to the Maduro government — but few can see any realistic means of achieving any of it.

    As well as arguments among the demonstrators, rifts are emerging in opposition political circles.

    Indeed, many in the opposition see the violent protests as counterproductive, playing into government hands by allowing the Maduro administration to accuse the opposition he often calls "fascist" of inciting violence. It was under that pretext that the authorities imprisoned Leopoldo Lopez, a prominent opposition leader who called on his followers to join in peaceful marches.

    "A toxic wedge now separates factions that had managed a grudging cooperation for the last six years."

    “People seem to think that if somebody rejects violence, including the barricades, it means they are supporting Maduro,” said Luis Vicente Leon, a Venezuelan pollster. “That’s crazy.”

    He doesn’t believe the opposition has a plan. “They have no clear leadership,” he said, despite strong attempts to take the reins by politicians like Lopez, and another popular leader, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

    After the destruction of the kiosk in Altamira, the authorities suspended local buses. That will hit hardest those who cannot afford to drive in Caracas — the government’s traditional support base whom Capriles is working carefully to attract. Backed by a disparate opposition bloc, Capriles lost by a hair in last April’s presidential election to Maduro, who had been Hugo Chavez’s preferred successor but has proved to be less popular than the late “Comandante.”

    “The protest movement has set in motion a real political crisis,” wrote blogger Francisco Toro. “A toxic wedge now separates factions that had managed a grudging cooperation for the last six years.”

    Tourism Minister Andres Izarra, as well as others prominent in government including Maduro, tweeted pictures of the burning kiosk in the square, which is in the wealthy district Chacao.

    It took more than a decade of rule by Chavez for the opposition to unite behind Capriles. More hardline opposition politician Lopez remains in jail and continues to call for more protests.

    Maduro has called for dialogue between his government and the opposition. Some talks have already taken place, though the primary opposition leaders have not participated after Capriles said that he was not up for a government “photo opportunity.” An umbrella opposition group has agreed to talks in principle, though with caveats such as wanting them broadcast live.

    The United States, the United Nations and the Catholic Church have also urged Venezuela peacefully negotiate an end to the crisis.

    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called a conference Wednesday of neighboring nations in South America’s UNASUR group to address the violence in Venezuela, the region’s biggest oil exporter.

    Meanwhile, Maduro told CNN in a recent interview that he was “sleeping like a baby,” unconcerned about the protests.

    Capriles admitted that the opposition has lessons to learn. “We’ve got to take a look at ourselves,” he said. “I’ll be first to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again.”

    Few in the streets are interested in the political party heads.

    “I’m disappointed in the politicians right now,” said Silvana Lezama, a 20-year-old student who manned barricades in Caracas’ El Cafetal district.

    “They say they support us but keep saying we shouldn't build the barricades. I understand they’re an inconvenience but they’re the only way of making people realize that they can’t keep going on with life like nothing is wrong.”

    “I’ve realized this isn’t about politics. It’s about Venezuela,” she said.

    This story originally appeared on GlobalPost.

    More from GlobalPost:

  • Excellent point. Progressives are to remain objective, pragmatic, and scientific, not following rallying calls and propaganda techniques. Those mentioned philosophies and methods gave us our perspectives in the first place. Now is not the time to reject them in support of a questionable regime. 

  • I'm Venezuelan, living in Venezuela. Public opinion outside of politically influenced people is of being absolutely disinfranchised. People look at the opposition and sigh and do the same with Maduro, but in the past two years people have been so repelled by the truly aggressive nature of the opposition supporters and how they just criticise anything and everything the government does and abandon any progress to boycott that people have been turned into the governments favor. These protests began after a student got killed by a cop during a march calling for the buses of the university of Merida be fixed (The buses that pick the kids up at all the bustops so they don't have to pay to get there as the campus is very big and far away from the city) and then it all started… But the buses remain broken and the infrastructure remains unpleasant to be in. Leopoldo López and his people keep calling people to carry on with the slogan of "ElQueSeCansaPierde" (Whoever gets tired loses) and irresponsibly calling kids to carry on the guarimbas and keep it up, that has been followed with hastags of "Maduropalcoñotevas" (Maduro you're getting the fuck out" and "Sacarlabasuradevenezuela" (Taking the trash out of VEnezuela), those are trending as I type this in Venezuela. And people say VERY discriminating things towards Maduro supporters, like "I hate being near this march, so much trash I feel I'm gonna get robbed" referring to the people looking, what I guess you'd call "Ghetto" or "White trash"… THe media presence of the protesters is very heavy but as they continue this they worsen their chances. And after all, López is trying to force a coup cause he doesn't even get nominated by his own party so the only way for him to get power is taking it.

    And this is all for the politicians and by the politicians, the claims that the image of "Why do venezuelans protests" is as factually correct to the truth as FOXNews is impartial to Obama, they manipulate information just to justify themselves and don't care if it's a problem that ended last year or one that is still happening but in very few cases.

    Thing you have to understand about this is that in Venezuela the media has been playing with words at their will. "Violation of human rights" is the term used to describe police that step over the line with protesters, "freedom of expression" is what they say about them not being able to barricade streets and organize protests without permission, "repression" is how the word they use to give an opinion about the police showing up at a university and not letting the students barricade it… It's all wrong terminology, and insultingly so since all those claims are very serious and are being undermined for the sake of political ambition. I read newspaper articles this weekend that referred to Maduro as a "dickhead" and a "donkey", the protests headline all news here… It's absurd, really. Every claim has some truth to it but none of it merits the word they choose to describe it.

    Also, Petare is HUGE, there are plenty people from the opposition because it's so big there are so many people there it's statistically guaranteed there are lots of anything and everything there.

    And the point that says the protesters are mostly rich, upper class people is true, not in its entirety but it is true. In Caracas, it's the east that's tense, the rest is tense but uneventful, same in Barquisimeto, same in Valencia. And one fact that is rarely made is that the riots are only happening in 5 districts in the entire country.

    I'm from and IN Venezuela, and I can truly confirm to you that most people disaprove of the protests (we don't say "right" or "left" we say "opposition" and "oficialism") and it's all because of the protesters themselves, they've good intentions but stupid actions parallel to them. I myself got hit on the head with a rock whilst trying to hail a cab by students trying to block the avenue, they also have points where they gather and want to paint your car with slogans of support and when I told 'em not to do it they ripped a trashbag and hurled it at my car and surrounded it for a minute, I couldn't go to work for three days cause the protesters lit the subway on fire, just like they did yesterday to the botanical gardens, and yesterday I had to wait for half an our in traffic cause they wanted to block an avenue and the police wouldn't let them and my kids were in the car with me and were scared to death.

  • Maduro and Chavez had a completely wrong picture of socialism. They looked at Cuba and other pseudo-socialist states that followed the Stalinist method of ''socialism in one nation''. Also Hugo Chavez was a mixture between a social democrat, a nationalist and a militarist. He came from the army, is still called ''the commander'' of the Bolivarian Revolution. Chavez nationalized some industries but he replaced capitalist owners with bureaucratic state managers. Workers are not running the economy of Venezuela. The government is fighting a war with the remaining capitalist class over who is running the economy!

  • This video shows me that not all the left is fucked up. Not all the left supprts russian imperialism, not all the left supports the killer Al Assad, nor all the left supports the socioeconomic tragedy of fake socialism in Venezuela.

  • When citing public opinion I guess it is important to remember that in the past the United States had deposed just about every leftist democratically elected leader in South America to replace them with right-wing regimes that would better better serve our purposes. Think Milton Friedman. We even taught them how to torture people. I'm sure this history contributes to our view of what's happening in Venezuela now.

  • You may be familiar with FOX lying on a daily basis, you know poor people which will support the republicans' discriminative policies. Take away the guys like you,  Sam Seder, Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow. Now you have the bigger picture.  

  • This is an excellent video, and you deserve credit for showing the inaccuracies in the media that overlook the greyness of this situation. 

    However, it's really disappointing that, in other videos, you uncritically report allegations of certain sources (for example, that Venezuela is a dictatorship, or that Leopoldo Lopez is innocent of all charges). The claims of your inside sources should surely be subject to scrutiny if their opinions are to be repeated on your show. 

    I look forward to more videos (How about "Addressing misperceptions on Venezuela by the vast majority of journalists in the mainstream media"?)

  • I think you are getting it wrong. In America 'liberals' are in fact 'socialists.' They have no concern for freedom or liberty, only egalitarianism – even if that requires authoritarianism to achieve. 

  • Very good video, and a pretty thorough and even-handed calling out. Longer than usual, which is refreshing. Clearly Pakman has a lot to say regarding Venezuela.

  • I'm just curious– what are the sample sizes of the polls you're analyzing; the ICS poll reached out to only 1400 households– with no mention of how many responses per household. We also do not know whether the possible choices were binary or more nuanced. I would try to look further for the data on the poll, but I'm working at the moment.   
    It may be presumptuous to take these results and cantilever them out to represent the entire nation.

  • No, David. You're getting it all wrong! I suspect you are getting your source of information from so called "leftists" in Venezuela. There is no sector of the "opposition" that one can call leftist by any measure.

    First, according to the ICS poll "85.3 percent of Venezuelans disagree with protests mounted by sectors of the ultra-Venezuelan right." The "ultra-Venezuelan right" are indeed engaged in Guarimbas and are associated with the Guarimbas. There, your argument is circular and doesn't prove anything, it just affirms the original statement by truth-out.

    Second,  You suggest that the statement “The violent actions of the opposition and intentional undermining of the economy are signs of an oligarch class that has lost power and is desperate” is wrong.  I suggest you look at the ties of Maria Corina Machado, an opposition leader, whom is a business elite and was involved in the unconstitutional overthrow of President Chavez in 2002. Now, she is trying the same tactic again because her party cannot win in elections and their only resort is through unconstitutional coup d'états.

    Third, you seem to make much emphasis on private vs. public media outlets and how you believe the statements of the truth-out article to not be true. The company AGB which did the reporting may have subjective standards as to what they consider national coverage and pro or anti-opposition, but that is besides the point. The issue here is whether or not the opposition claims of lack of freedom of speech and expression has any validity. I urge you to tune into private Venezuelan media outlets supportive of opposition elements and you will eventually hear racist, fascist, vitriolic comments directed towards the indigenous population, the poor and supporters of the popular government. I don't believe this would constitute as control of the media, as the opposition claims.

    Your viewers should really look at the article by truth-out more in depth and I'm sure they will have a better understanding of the true situation in Venezuela, much of which you failed to address in your commentary.

    I suggest you scrutinize your sources of information as it seems you are just reiterating talking points of the mainstream media through the lens of a so called "liberal". which provides in depth reporting of the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela has too, been critical of the government, however with a much more accurate analysis of the situation. I suggest you check them out.

    Here's a good article to start…

    Also, you should take a closer look at the history of your home country of Argentina to get a better perspective of what's going on in Venezuela. Remember, US interests in America's "backyard" are always in play.

  • April 2017, I want to tell all the Chavistas and their apologists: I told you so and been doing so since Chavez gained power. David hit the nail on its head in this analysis.

  • David, estoy muy sorprendido con la falta de calidad de tu espanol. eres un nativo de un pais Latino. No se porque no haces tambien videos para la gente aca? En el sur nos falta mucha noticias de los EEUU como vos haces. Yo soy un gringo que vive en Colombia y la gente aca no se puede encontrar contenido como vos hablas. Hay una potencial audiencia grande aca que puedes agregar a tu canal que no tiene acceso ahora a noticias honestas directamente de los EEUU. Buen dIa.

  • United States Government: Socialism doesn't work! People die under a Socialist Regime!"
    Also United States Government: "A country in latin america wants to nationalize it's wealth and other assets? We better bomb their cities and towns until their governments agrees to sign a treaty that says we can have all their Oil, Diamonds, Iron, etc!

  • The main thing about "Left" government systems (socialist, communist, etc…) is that when setting it up, you have to be very very careful about the possibility for corruption. Progressives have a tendency to think the best of ppl and thus fail to plan for corruption and/or dictators. A lot of the Western European countries have managed to set up a fairly robust system (being parliamentary systems for the most part), but even so corruption stories aren't uncommon. Corruption is a very hard thing to plan for. After all, you build a better lock and they'll build a better thief. Corrupt politicians are no different.

    That doesn't mean left governments aren't technically possible. There are several communities around the world that have communism and it works perfectly fine. But they are quite literally communities. The one I remember the best is one in Spain where they found an abandoned village (from the 15th century, I believe) and rebuilt it. Last I heard they had about 20 adults and several children and were living there quite happily and peacefully – the only money they had was the community's money which was used for trading with the outside world for things they couldn't make themselves.

    That's a good example of working communism. But due to corruption problems, I remain skeptical of communism working on larger scales. In a poor agricultural community where you literally live off the land, there isn't much motives for corruption or personal enrichment. When you start getting bigger, you start running into ppl who see opportunities and corruption starts to be a problem you need to be aware of.

    Yes, I'm aware that communism and socialism are not the same thing. I was highlighting communism as that's the left-wing system of government that most ppl are aware of and/or know what it actually is.

  • DP you are maybe the sole voice in american media explaining this. Bernie peeps (myself included) got headjammed from the 2016 primaires and are using EVERYTHING to re-litigate it. Socialism? Must be Good! Russia? Well they outed HRC bout Bernie. Jill Stein? Well she's not planning a trilllion dollar banker bailout and calling it a student bail out…. no no…


  • I don't think there is real democracy, freedom of expression, or human rights in the usa. And due to the greed of the 1% the people make so little that our economy will soon tank hard. Capitalism cycles, and with a weak demand base, it comes down very easily. Socialism like the checks and balances that were installed to prevent another depression are badly needed.

  • Sos un peronista haciendo la finta de intelectual progre. En Venezuela no existe la ultra derecha y los oligarcas ya se fueron hace tiempo. La propaganda del régimen sigue afirmando que existen, y usa la misma táctica que la dictadura Cubana.
    There is NO FAR RIGHT WING in Venezuela. The so-called "oligarchy" left a long time ago. The regime insists in speaking of imaginary enemies, and placing the accusation on opposition protesters as a propaganda justification for repression.
    Al opposition in Venezuela is legitimate – all citizens have the right to oppose the government and its policies. There is an increasing realization that this cannot be accomplished through peaceful or democratic means. Revolution to overthought tyranny is the only option left.

  • How many people have to become patrions in order for you to demonitize your videos. Every one is the NRA. Maybe the fact they they are paying you, in the end, is one thing, but if people refused to show their videos… What amount of money would you need to replace – at least until these ads end? Just a thought. The other thought is these "liberal" websites and fb pages could be russia right turning people away from democrats. We know that's their money.

  • I have heard this bit from Dave many times. He seems to think that practically the whole “left,” are Chavez Applogists, with blanket views and blind support of the Chavista Regime. I hear people on he Left talk about Venezuela with very tactful, and well thought out, positions. Idk if I have ever heard a “Leftist;” here in the US just outright say that Chavez is great because he came in with a lefty agenda. As we all know, Chavez was good, for the most part,” for the poorer people of Venezuela, at first at least. As time went along, he grabbed more and more power, until he had an authoritarian regime in place with himself as the nation’s UberFigurehead. Now, almost unanimously, people on the left and right are saying, “GTFO MADURO!”

  • Ruge respect earned, now in 2018 virtually everyone agrees Venezuela is a dictatorship, even the left here in Brazil that were direct supporters of Chavez and Maduro. Keep up the good work!

  • The facts are clear.
    U.S. Capitalism is not popular is South America.
    Chavez told Bush to Fuck Off.
    The U.S. has since been killing Venezuela.
    Fuck the U.S. Coup.
    It will fail this time.

  • Really? The "USA military intervention has a long and unhappy history in Latin America (LatAm)"? This slogan, repeated at nauseum by most to hide all facts and hypocritically wash their hands, is a HUGE leftist LIE. 
    TODAY LatAm IS NOT A HUGE VENEZUELA because the opportune and open intervention of previous USA courageous governments in 80s and 90s when ALL Cuban sponsored communist guerrillas were defeated. The USA-designed Plan Colombia is the best example as this country at the end of the 90s was broken, unfeasible and totally in hands of the socialist comunist narco-guerrilla, that was then politically, morally and militarily defeated with millions and direct help of the USA. The very central America was saved from cruel wars sponsored by the Cuban-Russian communist guerrillas and all driven into todays existing democracies, thanks God, by USA intervention; today they are functional even to re-elect communist tyrants like the ex-guerrilla commander in Nicaragua, defeated in his war against his people by, yes!, USA intervention.
    And YES, for liberals comfortably indulged in the pleasures of the USA great democracy, intervention is not a nice word, but fighting for oppressed people, starved lost generations of children, and at least for your democratic values and principles requires, some times, a stain in your handkechiefs, unless of course you want more Russian Syrias al-Assads, Castros and Maduros in your backyard.
    As we see it in Cuba and Venezuela, for communists ALL is about brutal control of all institutions, media and, never forget because this is their motto of principle, "fatherland, socialism or DEATH".
    Yes communists do fight for what they believe.
    Huge difference.

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