With few exceptions, most international media coverage of the recent protests in Venezuela gives little sense of the response from the popular social movement actors who support the Maduro government but operate independently from it.
Blogger Francisco Toro claimed in the New York Times that Venezuelan "government pressure ensured that no broadcast media carried coverage" of a speech made by opposition leader Henrique Capriles. But the two largest private media outlets did in fact cover the event.
What you're seeing is a portrayal of Venezuela as some kind of a chaotic economic basket case. But when you look at the macroindicators, inequality has been reduced so drastically that it's now the lowest in Latin America.
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.