Give Venezuela a Chance?

Dr. Marryshow entitled his article in the May 19th edition of The Grenada Informer, “Give Venezuela a Chance”. Clearly he means give Maduro a chance because the people of Venezuela are making it very clear that they want Maduro OUT!

In this article Marryshow reveals that he was invited by Maduro to Caracas on May 12th as part of a delegation from the Eastern Caribbean to attend consultations on Maduro’s proposed “constituent assembly”.

Now why should a Grenadian medical general practitioner be invited by a foreign government to partake in discussions regarding matters that concern Venezuelans and Venezuelans only? Marryshow is not in any sense a part of Grenada’s government. Presumably participants from Trinidad and Barbados represented the governments of those countries, or were they only local communists like Marryshow?  For that can be the only reason why Maduro invited Marryshow, because of his impeccable Marxist credentials.

I wonder if fellow ex-revolutionary Captain Peter David of the People’s Revolutionary Army was also invited? Unfortunately, for some strange reason our newspapers have kept us in the dark about this meeting in Caracas. Why?Where the western press does provide us with information about what is going on it is pitifully inadequate, in contrast to Marryshow’s claim that there has been a huge attempt by the Western press to portray Venezuela as a failed state.

This lack of information is puzzling and it does largely account for the ignorance of the Grenadian public about what has been going on in a country only 90 miles away from us. In particular our own press provides almost no information at all; it’s as though Venezuela does not exist.

The roots of this lack lie deep in the colonial history of our countries. We were British and they were Spanish and never the two shall communicate. That’s how it was under colonial rule and nothing has changed since our independence.

The only thing we can get from left wing sources is chavista propaganda, as served up by Telesur, (and Marryshow!)

Marryshow actually claims to believe that after the Venezuelan people have risen up and said, “No More!” they are part of a plot by right wing extremists “no doubt supported by Washington” to create disorder in order that Washington would have an excuse to invade Venezuela and grab its rich mineral resources. This “no doubt” of his is supported by not the slightest shred of evidence.

And Maduro dubs these desperate demonstrators against him as “terrorists”.

While in Caracas as an invitee of Maduro, Marryshow claims that he saw no evidence of the lack of food and long lines shown in the few videos we are occasionally allowed to see on US or UK news services.

On the day or days that he was in Caracas he may not have seen much evidence of the hardship undoubtedly being suffered by Venezuelans such as we in Grenada have never dreamed of.  But to begin with, how much does a privileged invitee of a communist government expect to see on such a visit?

Many leftist sympathisers came here during the revolution and returned home saying everything was just great in Grenada’s revolution. They could not see that the people were unable to speak against the People’s Revolutionary Government, they could not see the 2,000 Grenadians incarcerated for the duration for disagreeing with the government, nor hear the screams of those being tortured with electrical torture machines imported from communist countries in Mount Royal and elsewhere.

As for those mounds of food supplies that Marryshow saw in Caracas, does he realise that the price is beyond the reach of most Venezuelans? Desperate to keep alive, many Venezuelans have become “bachaqueros”, people who buy up supplies and then sell them at black market prices. (The term “bachaquero” derives from the Venezuelan and Trinidadian name “bachac” for leaf cutting ants, which cover great distances carrying large burdens.) As a guest of Maduro’s government Marryshow would have been well supplied with food gratis so that he could go home and say how good things are over there, and he wouldn’t even have to know about the black market.

Despite what Marryshow saw, or chose to see, he cannot deny that the footage of Venezuelans lining up to buy food is genuine. And does he really expect us to believe that all these scenes of protest, whether violent or peaceful, are brought about by right wing extremists supported by Washington?  Come on, we know people- power when we see it.

As a doctor, did he visit any hospitals and see the dead bodies lying on trolleys in the corridors because the morgues are full? Did he speak to his fellow doctors and learn that because of the lack of medications patients are dying?  Especially newborn babies? Of the return of diphtheria because of the lack of the vaccine? Of the return of malaria? Of the fact that water gets cut off and there isn’t enough to wash the blood off the operating table?  It’s like the 19th century.

Yes, Dr. Marryshow, I too have been to Cuba and agree with you that the Cuban people are wonderful and generous but living on US$20.00 a month maximum means a life of drudgery and struggle. (Mexican field workers in the US are paid US$80.00 a day or US$ 1760.00 a month!) It’s just fine to admire Cuba from afar as a foreigner, but would you want to work as a doctor for US $40.00 a month? You would never have been able to build that fine, huge house that you have in Grenada. To start with you wouldn’t be allowed to buy the land to build it on.

And as for criticising Washington’s alleged foreign interference in Venezuela, why do you have nothing to say about Cuba’s interference, which has existed since Chavez’ early days to the extent that much of the running of Venezuela was in the hands of Cubans?  Apparently that’s OK by you.

According to you the price of oil has been “artificially” lowered by the US and its allies, apparently in order to hurt Venezuela. I wonder how they arranged that with Saudi Arabia?

As to this Constituent Assembly proposed by Maduro, “bringing together workers, farmers, trade unions, intellectuals, etc.” you can be sure that all such persons would be chavistas. It reminds me of our revolution when a dome on Grand Anse beach was the venue of such a gathering of “the people” to participate in “true democracy”. Of course all the people were supporters of the revo.

In fact what Maduro has been consistently doing is, step by step, removing all of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and this “constituent” rubbish is the final step. The people know this and that if they don’t succeed in toppling the dictator now they will become another Cuba and never be free again.

By the way, Marryshow has nothing to say about the Maduro regime’s involvement in the trafficking of drugs. His wife’s nephews have been sentenced to life imprisonment in New York for flying a plane with a cargo of cocaine to the US. Other top members of Maduro’s government are presently accused of narco-trafficking, and last week a huge luxury yacht belonging to the Venezuelan Vice-President was picked up by US customs with a cargo of cocaine.

Here is some information that does not come from the western press. I have a friend in Venezuela who in response to Marryshow’s article which I sent him wrote some facts:

*Chavez was elected in December 1998.

*Free hospitals ALWAYS existed.. he built medical clinics in the poor communities but TOTALLY ignored the hospitals so they have fallen apart and are like those all over the third world…in dire straits.

*He expropriated industry and businesses and so destroyed productivity of things made in Venezuela.

*He expropriated farms and ranches and turned them over to the poor who then did nothing with them. Also he expropriated agro-industrial companies and so fertilizers and pesticides are nearly impossible to get especially if you are not a party member.

*Not only rubber bullets…real bullets and the tear gas canisters are fired directly at the protesters ….many of the dead are from direct hits with these.

*Venezuela has 5000 hand to air missiles supplied by the Russians which would make an invasion quite deadly for the invaders.

*Socialist ideology is only lip service by the elite…they all have millions and billions of dollars in foreign banks like in Panama and Andora.  The country is run by narcotraffickers…

He also wrote:

“the people who have been arrested are being coerced to sign a statement that they had bombs and guns if they want to be released.

Those women arrested on Monday at the march I was at have only been released this evening and many, many more are still in jail.  The National Guard went into several apartment buildings here at night under cover of darkness and hauled ALL the men in all apartments away…a nightmare…….

*Food is so expensive that poor people search the garbage bags of apartment buildings and restaurants for food  throughout our cities.  People wait for hours in líne at grocery stores for subsidized food because they cannot afford the black market prices.

*Almost everyone has lost weight….I myself have lost 6 kilos since January and I am not one of the poor….yet.  I invite Dr. MARRYSHOW to come and stay with me for 4 months so he can get back into shape and also see the reality of Venezuela.”

Gregory Thomas

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