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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

VenEconomy: What’s the Matter, Venezuela?

From the Editors of VenEconomy

Unfortunately, bad news in Venezuela keeps overshadowing good ones as many Venezuelans thrive in many spheres of human activity.

For instance, on September 11 of this year, Jacinto Convit, a famed Venezuela-born doctor and scientist, celebrated his 100th birthday and a life full of achievements and medical discoveries, including valuable contributions to fight medical conditions such as leprosy, leishmaniasis and most recently a few cancer types. Convit was nominated to the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988 for the discovery of a vaccine against leprosy and was the winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research in 1999.

But such an important centennial celebration went practically unnoticed after newspaper headlines and articles of analysis focused on the Government of Venezuela giving a step forward to be at the same level as other dictatorial governments by formally withdrawing from the Inter-American System of Human Rights a day earlier. This is one of the worse retrogressions with regard to human rights ever made by Venezuela. Once more, the Government proved an offender regarding the matter as evidence has clearly shown it violated the freedom of speech and information in many ways, starting with the case of the Diario 2001 newspaper, whose managers were summoned by the Public Ministry after President Nicolás Maduro disapproved a headline that read “Gas is pumped with a dropper in Venezuela,” thus publicly pressing charges against them and sending them to stand trial last Thursday, also ordering the arrest of the people responsible for the article.

Another fine example took place on October 1, when Andrés Ricardo Gluski, a Venezuelan economist, was named by U.S. President Barack Obama as his export consultant. This was another news story that went unnoticed, not because is linked to the so-called “Empire,” but because shortages and inflation are giving the population a hard time for the endless queues to get basic products such as milk, corn flour or toilet paper, which most part of their salaries is spent on. And also because the best answer that very same day from the Superior Organ of the Economy, a governmental body that is supposed to ensure the supplies and food distribution to the population in times when Maduro comes up with an economic war, was putting militia soldiers from the Bolivarian Armed Forces (FANB) to fill vacancies at cash registers in grocery stores and supermarkets in many parts of the country.

And we were not able to celebrate much the feat of Maickel Melamed on Monday, a courageous 38-year-old marathoner who has overcome many physical handicaps since his birth, who crossed the finish line of the Chicago Marathon after nearly 17 hours, apart from those in New York and Berlin already conquered by this remarkable Venezuelan holding a national flag in his hand.

That very same Monday, analysts were focused on the bad omens due to the creation of the Strategic Center for Security and Protection of the Homeland (Cesppa).

We must bear in mind a quote from an article by Andrés Armero, a sports writer, published by the Marca.com web site, talking about the accomplishment of Melamed in Chicago: “We came to run a marathon and we ended up in a steeplechase competition,” while commenting on the “curbs, sidewalks and continuous ups and downs along the way.” And Armero concludes by saying “yet, with the support of an entire country, Melamed got the best out of a body that looks weak in appearance, since this has been built with granite from the inside.”

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

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