[OP-ED]: Truth has become useless in Venezuela
The crisis in Venezuela is grave and complicated, which makes the OAS’ Secretary General Luis Almagro’s consuming obsession with Venezuela not only strange and counterproductive, but totally inadmissible.
If his intention really were to help resolve the situation of runaway violence in the South American country, his unbridled hostility is sure to end up producing the exact opposite result.
Without a doubt, the seemingly intractable polarization between Venezuelan social classes, ideologies and political positions has provoked a crisis of unforeseen consequences that has already taken the lives of dozens of people, both from the opposition and from supporters of the Bolivarian government. Shamefully, forfeiting their journalistic mission, the great majority of news reports in this country reflect almost exclusively the opposition side of the story, leading the public to mistakenly believe that all protestors are “peaceful” and are the only ones dying in the streets.
Yet, the reality is much more complex, as Rachel Bothroyd Rojas reports in the April 23rd issue of Venezuelanalysis.com. Recently, she accurately concludes, the “truth has suddenly become useless.”
“To date, three people (two protesters and one bystander) have been killed by state security personnel, who were promptly arrested and in two cases indicted,” she wrote. “A further five people have been directly killed by opposition protesters, while one person has died as an indirect result of the opposition roadblocks in Caracas (Ricarda González, 89, who suffered from a CVA and was prevented from getting to a hospital).
“Five people have been shot in separate incidents near protests but under unclear circumstances. One of these victims was shot by an alleged opposition supporter from a high-rise building, although the perpetrator’s political affiliation is yet to be confirmed,” Bothroyd Rojas added. “Nine protesters appear to have died as a result of their own actions (at least nine were electrocuted in the recent looting of a bakery).”
Tragically, Venezuela’s streets are burning and all Venezuelans are suffering for it.
Going back to Almagro and the OAS, it seems that for the former Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs under President José Mujica, Venezuela is the only problem that exists in the entire continent.
Yet if the OAS really wanted to fulfill its obligations, it would have plenty to do beyond the borders of the oil-rich nation, which makes it very hard to understand why it remains silent and uninterested.
As Ricardo Alarcón, Cuba’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs has said, one has to wonder why Almagro and the OAS do not mention, for instance, the massive repression against immigrants, particularly Latinos, in the USA; Trump’s infamous border wall; the shameful removal of president Dilma Roussef in Brazil; the almost daily murders of journalists and students in Mexico; the strikes and popular protests in Argentina, Brazil and other countries. Even though all these are problems affecting people all over the continent, they are not Venezuela, and Almagro, who has put a great deal of effort into trying to isolate and suspend it from the OAS, doesn’t give a damn about them.
No wonder Mujica, the respected former president of Uruguay and Almagro’s boss, who was mainly responsible for his minister to become the OAS executive director has, for all intents and purposes, disavowed him.
"I regret that the facts repeatedly show me that I was wrong," Mujica said in a letter to Almagro. And added: “I cannot understand your silence about Haiti, Guatemala and Asuncion, while at the same time you publish a letter responding to Venezuela.”
Yes, installing Almagro at the helm of the OAS was, without a doubt, the beloved Pepe Mujica’s greatest mistake.