Yes, The Guardian is covering it

The refrain is increasingly common among medical professionals in Venezuela, where acute shortages of food, drugs and sanitary products threaten to reverse decades of health gains.

Despite its immense oil wealth, the country is in the midst of devastating economic, social and health crises. It has the world’s steepest economic decline, the second highest murder rate and the sharpest-rising inflation (forecast to reach 2,200% by the end of next year, according to the International Monetary Fund).

These problems all converge in the nation’s hospitals, where doctors report rising levels of mortality thanks to a dire shortage of medical supplies, shutdowns of operating theatres, staff declines and violent crime, including gunshots during surgery and mugging in corridors.

For years, among the proudest boasts of the Bolivarian Socialist administration was that it eradicated hunger, reduced poverty and improved healthcare for the poor.

But the trend now appears to be moving in the opposite direction at an alarming speed. Reliable data is hard to find. The government has acknowledged that maternal mortality – a key healthcare indicator – has doubled in the past year. The opposition says the deterioration is five-fold – and that death of newborns increased 100-fold.

Hasn’t reached the comment pages yet but they are covering it.

35 thoughts on “Yes, The Guardian is covering it”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    The government has acknowledged that maternal mortality – a key healthcare indicator – has doubled in the past year. The opposition says the deterioration is five-fold – and that death of newborns increased 100-fold.

    Does the Guardian go on to comment on how they believe their socialist comrades and reject the neo-liberal lies aimed at discrediting the Bolivaran Revolution?

  2. If only someone could have seen this coming and warned them.

    I wonder when Venezuela will switch from “At last, true socialism that’s showing the world how it can really work” to “It didn’t work because it wasn’t real socialism. Next time, comrades….”

  3. S2, it seems the Guardian is beginning that now. “Bolivarian Socialist” rather than simply good old “socialist”. Did Semas and Owen usually differentiate before?

  4. Bloke in North Dorset

    As a news gathering organisation the Groan is quite good. The problem is analysing the problem and recommmending solutions.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Dongguan John – “it seems the Guardian is beginning that now. “Bolivarian Socialist” rather than simply good old “socialist”.”

    Paul Hollander predicted this in Political Pilgrims. They are already moving on to the next socialist paradise and their past support for Venezuela is slowly going down the memory hole.

    Where will the naive young comrades go next ? Zimbabwe?

  6. The failure is due to Colonialism, and Spain’s failure to establish functioning democratic institutions. Spain just raped the place and left.

    Blame, as ever, lies with white European men.

  7. ‘These problems all converge in the nation’s hospitals, where doctors report’

    Usually, “poor and minorities hardest hit.”

  8. Reliable data is hard to find.

    It is if you keep asking the government, like The Guardian does with Cuba’s health and education statistics, rather than going out there and gathering some themselves.

  9. One of the commenters there (yes, I read the comments [gag]) refers to Venezuela’s system as “Bolovarian capitalism”. I predict that’ll become standard terminology within a month.

  10. “Spain just raped the place and left”

    Yes, 200 years is much too short to recover from colonial oppression. One More Century, Comrades!

  11. Mal Reynolds (Serenity)

    Mindset:

    Socialism = good
    Capitalism = bad
    Venezuela = bad
    Q.E.D.: Venezuela = Capitalism.

    *Smug look* “See? The problem is not socialism”

  12. Oh yes, reminds me that the USSR was “State Capitalism”.

    That old trope.

    Then why were so many self-identified socialists calling it “actually-existing socialism” at the time?

    Either they were all dumb as f*ck, or were lying through their teeth.

    Either way, we should *certainly* listen to them as to the best way to organise society….. right?

  13. abacab

    Apparently the USSR and indeed contemporary north Korea were ‘Hard Right wing regimes’. Among other revelations is that the current government are ‘neo-imperialist warmongers’ and Norway’s lack of an NHS makes it a ‘fascist tax haven’. These are all legit comments from my Facebook feed. It’s hard to over-estimate the insanity of such people. I would suggest the collapse of Venezuela will cause them no issue whatsoever, and as others have pointed out it can either be blamed on pre-Republican Spain for those of an ‘anti-colonialist’ bent or the US for any other progressive variant

  14. SMfS, forget Zimbabwe, that’s already been fucked by socialism, it’s already obviously capitalist.

    I might be biased but I’m going for Philippines as the next socialist poster boy.

    It’s poor as shit because of endemic corruption but ostensibly capitalist.

    Populist president who was always a ‘friend of the poor’, has called the US president a son of a bitch and now all this talk of no longer being a pawn of the US.

    Duterte sucks up to communist China, gives away territory in the South China Sea for cash.

    Implements socialist policies that along with Chinese money give superficial appearance of growth short term. The next generation of socialist cheerleaders (young Owen and Semas having been thrown under the bus for their support of that capitalist roadster Chavez) shouting about how wonderful it all is.

    10-15 years on Duterte is dead, his policeman-punching idiot daughter is running a completely ruined country with no toilet paper.

    It was capitalist all along, always a running dog of the USA, or it was a CIA plot, or something.

    Pick a new poor country to destroy.

    Rinse and repeat.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset

    ““Spain just raped the place and left”

    Yes, 200 years is much too short to recover from colonial oppression. One More Century, Comrades!”

    Reminds of the diagnosis of the “troubles” in Ireland:

    The Irish memory is too long and the English memory too short. “

  16. “death of newborns increased 100-fold.”

    There – right there – is everything you need to know about socialism.

    I weep for them.

  17. “Any downsides to the guy?”

    In Manila last week I bought his ‘manifesto’. A wonderful quote inside:

    “I don’t need to grab the girls, they come to me with pouted lips”

    Much better than the Donald.

  18. No, they won’t pick Duterte. Lefties tend to support drug-taking. Even they might draw the line at a man whose anti-drug measures involve simply creating death squads to kill users. And, you know, anyone standing too near a user. Their children, for instance.

    The death toll is staggering, and really quite upsetting. Course, the same death toll in the cause of advancing a five-year plan would be forgiven.

    Friend of mine’s Venezuelan. She and her husband got the hell out as soon as Chavez was elected, because it was obvious what was going to happen next. Funny how it’s taken the great brains of the Left nearly twenty years to notice what she could see back then. She must be one of the world’s leading geopolitical analysts.

  19. VP–“Apparently the USSR and indeed contemporary north Korea were ‘Hard Right wing regimes’. Among other revelations is that the current government are ‘neo-imperialist warmongers’ and Norway’s lack of an NHS makes it a ‘fascist tax haven’. These are all legit comments from my Facebook feed. It’s hard to over-estimate the insanity of such people. I would suggest the collapse of Venezuela will cause them no issue whatsoever, and as others have pointed out it can either be blamed on pre-Republican Spain for those of an ‘anti-colonialist’ bent or the US for any other progressive variant”

    Which is why we need to stop pointing out the obvious and use our brains to come up with schemes to fuck up and generally destroy these scum.

    One day we might be left with nothing to moan about because they are all smashed beyond any glimmer of repair.

    I look forward to that day but the work is still ahead of us.

  20. VP: “Apparently the USSR and indeed contemporary north Korea were ‘Hard Right wing regimes.”

    What I love the most about this is the following.

    When someone notes that you can’t get a fag paper between “actually-existing socialism” and Fascism/Nazism, since the only objective distinctions are relatively minor policy differences, then you’re stupid, and you know nothing. But then, “actually-existing socialism” is labelled “Hard Right” by the same people to lump them in with Fascism/Nazism due to…. relatively minor policy differences.

    Either they think we’re monumentally stupid, or they are… Don’t answer that. They’re not mutually exclusive…

  21. “Norway’s lack of an NHS makes it a ‘fascist tax haven’”

    If only these people knew that an NHS-type construction is the exception rather than the rule on the Blessed Continong…

    All those people threatening to move to France over NHS reform would get a nasty shock when their doctor sent them a bill cos they’re not covered on the “Sociale”…

  22. ISTR posting on someone’s virtue-signalling “NHS reform bad, I’ll move to France” post with words to the effect of, “it’s so unacceptable to have to pay a doctor’s bill that you want to move to a country where the doctors send you a bill? How does that work?”

  23. Nah, I’m guessing that Chavez will be praised for being a true socialist whose death was obviously caused by capitalist reactionaries and fifth columnists who have successfully used Nicolás Maduro as a puppet and have undermined the state.

    Socialism does not and will not ever work because the fundamental premise of equality goes against human nature.

    Every attempt to create a “great socialist paradise” just ends up being a reinterpretation of Animal Farm, the only difference being the weather.

  24. abacab,

    > When someone notes that you can’t get a fag paper between “actually-existing socialism” and Fascism/Nazism, since the only objective distinctions are relatively minor policy differences, then you’re stupid, and you know nothing. But then, “actually-existing socialism” is labelled “Hard Right” by the same people to lump them in with Fascism/Nazism due to…. relatively minor policy differences.

    This does actually make sense, since it’s the origin of the term “far-right”. When National Socialism split off from International Socialism, the International Socialists came up with the worst slur they could imagine for the National Socialists, to disassociate themselves from the splitters, to discourage recruitment, and of course to insult them: “far-right”: not just [gasp] right-wing but [conniptions] EVEN MORE RIGHT-WING THAN USUAL! Unimaginative. If only Socialists had a sense of humour, they could have just accused Hitler of only having one testicle.

    Then WW2 happened and Churchill decided (probably rightly) that it would muddy the waters too much and undermine public support to try and explain that we were allying with the Far Left against their enemies the Far Left. So we’re stuck with a completely stupid term.

    But it’s worth remembering that the term was explicitly coined to describe Fascism and Nazism when faced with some wanker using it to describe, say, Boris Johnson or UKIP, as they’ve taken to doing of late. “What’s the matter? He’s part of the more right-wing bit of a right-wing party. Far right. Perfectly reasonable term to use.” Cunts.

  25. abacab

    I find Remainers particularly interesting on this point – as they are the first to cry out if anyone considers reforming the NHS (the closest thing they have to a religion) yet when it is pointed out no other country in the EU has this system (even progressive paradises) I wouldn’t try looking for logic with such people – it’s woefully absent…

  26. Bloke in Costa Rica

    A comment I saw somewhere (paraphrasing):

    “First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak up, for I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Social Democrats, and I remained silent, for I was not a Social Democrat. Then it turned out that killing the Communists and Social Democrats solved all the problems and they didn’t need to come for anyone else.”

    I increasingly favour an Ekcsian solution when it comes to actual Leftists like the Chavistas. Venezuelan friend of mine—top bloke—simply changes the subject if someone tries to talk about the situation in Venezuela. It’s just too painful. We can only hope that Maduro spends the last moments of his life in terror and agony.

  27. Squander Two “Friend of mine’s Venezuelan. She and her husband got the hell out as soon as Chavez was elected,” A young woman in our office came to us as a graduate chemical engineer under similar circumstances. I expect this will be explained away as a “brain drain” by bourgeoise capitalist traitors. And, you know, emigration being a really shitty thing to do to a country and we shouldn’t be encouraging all these young people to come here and make our country more prosperous and simultaneously draining developing countries of their workforce….hang on a minute.

  28. I expect this will be explained away as a “brain drain” by bourgeois capitalist traitors.

    It’s only a “Brain Drain” if you’re on the losing side of the argument. Most people just call it “getting the fuck out of Dodge”.

    The Berlin Wall was East Germany’s answer to the brain drain and that worked out well for all involved as I recall…

    /sarc

  29. Crikey….

    I haven’t the stomach for Guardian comments but there’s 463 at the moment.

    What’s the betting Trump and Climate Change are featuring in there …

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