The supposed “irony” of whistle-blower Edward Snowden seeking asylum in countries such as Ecuador and Venezuela has become a media meme. Of course, any such “ironies” would be irrelevant even if they were based on factual considerations.
Last week’s grounding of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane in Europe, after U.S. officials apparently suspected whistle-blower Edward Snowden of being on board, caused an uproar in Latin America. If the U.S. government was seeking to intimidate Morales and other Latin American leaders who might consider harboring Snowden, its strategy has completely backfired.
The character of the Bolivarian process—Chavismo—lies in the understanding that social transformation can be constructed from two directions, “from above” and “from below.” Although not free of contradictions and conflicts, this two-track approach has been able to uphold and deepen the process of social transformation in Venezuela.
On Friday, I participated in a panel discussion hosted by Al Jazeera English’s weeknight news program “Inside Story Americas,” along with Latin America scholars Gerardo Munck of the University of Southern California and Diana Villiers Negroponte of the Brookings Institution, on the ramifications of the U.S. hunt for whistleblower Edward Snowden.
It is not the intention of this report to pass final, or even interim, judgment on the 14-year presidency of Hugo Chávez. Instead, we are interested in exploring what the movement that bears his name—Chavismo—was all about.
Over a dozen experts on Latin America and media studies have signed a petition encouraging New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan to probe the paper's double standards in covering Honduras, a U.S. ally, and Venezuela, an official enemy.
In the wake of a close electoral race launched hastily after Hugo Chavez’s death in March, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro finds himself facing a nation taut from the reactionary smoke-and-mirrors conflict surrounding the legitimacy of his 1.8% margin victory.
As a result of many dozens—possibly hundreds—of messages from readers over the past few weeks that criticized The New Yorker’s inaccurate coverage of Venezuela, reporter Jon Lee Anderson issued a response in an April 23 online post. This marks the first time the magazine has publicly addressed its controversial and erroneous labeling of Venezuela as one of the world’s most “socially unequal” countries.
If the goal is for democracy to run its course in Venezuela, it is incredibly important that anti-democratic means do not become the tools of choice in order to bring about a change in government more favorable to U.S. interests. As the events in Venezuela unfold, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is wishful thinking.
While issuing a correction to reporter Jon Lee Anderson’s third Venezuela article over the past year would have been embarrassing for The New Yorker magazine, the continued silence and inaction of the elite intellectual journal is perhaps a greater indictment.