Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Skwawkbox Goes “undercover” in Venezuela and finds a Horn of Plenty in Supermarkets.

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Image result for venezuela las colas para supermercados 2017

Venezuela, March 2017, Queue for 2 Bags of Goods.

“If seeing is believing, then these simple, everyday scenes that would be familiar to anyone in a developed nation should be enough to cast serious doubt on the perception that the Establishment media seem eager for us to adopt.”


On Thursday the SKWAWKBOX published a first-hand account of the situation in Venezuela that challenges the prevailing portrayal and exposes the ugly reality of much of the opposition ‘protest’ as violent, even murderous and co-ordinated with ‘economic war’ on the socialist government to create the impression of a failed state.

A key part of the ‘failed state’ narrative is the claim of nationwide shortages in food and other key goods, as corporate and Establishment news attempts to convince that the socialist project has been a disaster.

That shortage-narrative has been raised by objectors to Thursday’s article as proof of the claims of the right-wing opposition.

As Thursday’s article showed, what shortages there are appear to have been manufactured by opposition-run monopoly corporations – but even those appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

For her Empire Files series, journalist Abby Martin filmed undercover in a series of Venezuelan supermarkets – and found something very different to what those watching BBC and other mainstream news would expect.

Skwawky reminds me of a certain Édouard Herriot (1872 – 1957) Parti Radical, and many times French PM) who remarked during a visit to Stalin’s Russia in 1933 that, the “Soviet Ukraine was “like a garden in full bloom”.

This is what Wikipedia has to say, Shortages in Venezuela.

Under the economic policy of the Nicolás Maduro government, greater shortages occurred due to the Venezuelan government’s policy of withholding United States dollars from importers with price controls.[6] Shortages are occurring in regulated products, such as milk, meat, coffee, rice, oil, precooked flour, butter prices and other basic necessities like toilet paper, personal hygiene products and medicines.[4][7][8] As a result of the shortages, Venezuelans must search for food, occasionally resorting to eating wild fruit or garbage, wait in lines for hours and sometimes settle without having certain products.

This is what Human Rights Watch says (2017 report),

Under the leadership of President Hugo Chávez and now President Nicolás Maduro, the accumulation of power in the executive branch and erosion of human rights guarantees have enabled the government to intimidate, persecute, and even criminally prosecute its critics.

Severe shortages of medicines, medical supplies, and food have intensified since 2014, and weak government responses have undermined Venezuelans’ rights to health and food. Protesters have been arbitrarily detained and subject to abuse by security forces.

Police and military raids in low-income and immigrant communities have led to widespread allegations of abuse.

Other persistent concerns include poor prison conditions, impunity for human rights violations, and continuous harassment by government officials of human rights defenders and independent media outlets.

Here is what the Morning Star said in July,

OVER 100,000 Venezuelans queued at the San Antonio del Tachira border crossing into Colombia over the weekend to buy foods and medicines that are in short supply at home.

It was the second weekend in a row that the socialist government has opened the border with Colombia, which was closed, as were all crossings, a year ago to obstruct smuggling.

Speculators were accused then of causing shortages by buying state-subsidised food and petrol in Venezuela and taking them to Colombia to be sold for far higher prices.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has played down talk of a humanitarian crisis, blaming his government’s political enemies and self-serving smugglers for shortages.

He dismissed as a “media show” televised images of 500 women pushing through the border checkpoint a few weeks ago claiming to be desperate to buy food.

Venezuelan state TV ran footage on Sunday of citizens returning from Colombia empty-handed, dissuaded by “price-gouging” and the threat of violence from their neighbours.

So Skwawkbox have been caught out spinning faubations yet again.

Any shortages are the fault of the ‘monopoly capitalists” and….well there are no “real” problems with food in supermarkets as a single video shows.

Perhaps one could ask who, with hyper-inflation, can afford to but anything.

Full marks for ‘undercover’ investigation into a Venezuelan supermarket though.

Written by Andrew Coates

August 12, 2017 at 10:51 am

9 Responses

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  1. Background to this fake news report, on Abby Martin.


    “In 2008, Martin posted a video showing her support for the 9/11 Truth movement.[15] She has labelled the US government’s version of September 11, 2001 as “propaganda”.[16] During the administration of President George W. Bush she said of the attacks: “I’ve researched it for three years and every single thing that I uncover solidifies my belief that it was an inside job and that our government was complicit in what happened.”[17][18][19] The New York Times described her as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist,[17] but Martin told the Associated Press in March 2014 that she “no longer subscribes” to the theory that 9/11 was an inside job as she did earlier.[20]

    In 2016, Martin endorsed Green candidate Jill Stein for President of the United States.”

    More recently,

    Empire Files: Abby Martin In Venezuela – Supermarkets To Black Markets
    By Abby Martin – July 15, 2017
    Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter
    Abby Martin talks to Venezuelans on the streets of Caracas and investigates the main claim that there’s no free press, and that there is no food in the supermarkets.

    Using hidden cameras, she takes you through local grocery stores and the underground black market currency exchange, the main source of inflation in the country.

    Abby sits down with economist Pasqualina Curzio to learn more about the nature of the black market and chronic shortages of goods. Knowing that world leaders are calling for foreign intervention, Abby finds out if locals agree.


    Andrew Coates

    August 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

  2. I think the Abby Martin video has to be dealt with. Either she visited a normal average Venezuelan supermarket or the whole thing is a hoax. We weren’t told where the supermarket was or why she had to film “undercover”. Is the implication that the government of Maduro would have prevented her showing what he claims is reality? Is it possible to ask here these questions and who is behind skwarwarkbox?

    Dave Roberts

    August 12, 2017 at 9:22 pm

  3. You would need to speak Spanish but the sub titles translations are accurate. I think her take on the press is different as the opposition papers are strapped for cash and can’t get the newsprint or the distribution networks.

    Dave Roberts

    August 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm

  4. I read Spanish.

    This (I bought a copy of El pais and read it several times) influenced recent posts,

    “Venezuela, el elefante en la habitación. ANA NUÑO 5 AGO 2017

    “El régimen bolivariano se mantiene hoy gracias a un aparato represivo, militar, policial y de inteligencia diseñado y controlado por oficiales y funcionarios cubanos. El problema es convencerlos para que se vayan. Y a cambio de qué.”

    “Si la crisis venezolana no es atajada, el tsunami puede afectar gravemente también a otros países de la región. El país es un polvorín de desgobierno, con múltiples focos de violencia aun dentro de la FANB, y armado hasta los dientes. Más de 15 millones de armas ligeras se calcula que circulan entre una población de 31 millones, y sobrecoge pensar que el armamento militar de origen ruso en el que Chávez invirtió millardos de dólares, incluidos misiles superficie-aire portátiles, pueda nutrir alguna red de contrabando de las muchas alentadas por el Gobierno.

    El régimen venezolano hoy se mantiene gracias a un aparato represivo, militar, policial y de inteligencia diseñado y controlado por oficiales y funcionarios cubanos. Este es el elefante del título. Todos lo saben, dentro y fuera de Venezuela, pero se suele esquivar el asunto. Tal vez porque la extraordinaria resiliencia del castrismo augura una difícil solución al desastre venezolano. Y porque Venezuela es, para Cuba, no solo un respaldo económico (aunque en menos cantidades, Venezuela sigue entregando petróleo casi gratuitamente a la isla) sino el último bastión de sus ambiciones geopolíticas. Todo un símbolo para la Revolución y único sostén franco de la dictadura más longeva de América. Cómo convencer a Cuba de que retire a sus “asesores” (el número ha disminuido, pero eran 45.000 cuando Maduro llegó al poder). Y a cambio de qué, sobre todo.”


    Andrew Coates

    August 13, 2017 at 11:27 am

  5. Tendance Coatesy needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

    Begging Bowl

    August 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

  6. Is this the same Abby Martin who was unceremoniously sacked from Russia Today (RT) after her on-air outburst when she said she could not longer go along with the channel’s unwavering support of the Kremlin, among other issues, the situation in the Ukraine?

    Max Keiser

    August 13, 2017 at 1:41 pm

  7. You could pull the same stunt in virtually any country depending on the picture you wanted to paint: In the UK you could film choose between an upmarket Waitrose/Marks and Sparks or a foodbank to film in. Same county – two entirely different perspectives on the same story.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    August 13, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    • I have a lot of time for HUman Rights Watch reports.

      I have little time for reports from teleSUR on Venezuela.

      Andrew Coates

      August 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm

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