Fox News recently published an article detailing the protests taking place in Venezuela at the moment. The article is titled “Venezuelan protests propelled mostly by dropout students who can’t afford college”. It went live on May 22nd, 2017.
The article recounts how civil unrest has struck a chord at the heart of Venezuela amid the food shortages, inadequate medical supplies, and job loss.
Protests kicked up after the socialist regime headed up by President Nicolás Maduro took things a step too far – or rather, too close to an autocracy – when the Supreme Tribunal of Justice took over legislative powers, and attempted to squash the opposition by restricting immunity and jailing the more extreme members of the opposing party, as reported by CNS News.
What the Fox News article doesn’t recount is how they managed to come to the conclusion that led to their current headline. Nowhere in the article do they cite proper estimates, statistics or surveys to reach the conclusion proposed in the headline: that the protests are “mostly” from college dropouts.
In fact, the article on Fox News spans coverage on the topic from a wide range of different views and individuals, each from different social classes protesting for different reasons: from musicians to kids, to senior citizens, and everyone else in between. Each have taken to the streets in hopes of getting the opportunity to change the ruling party’s mind and hold an election in order to oust President Maduro.
Fox’s headline could easily mislead people into thinking that the protests taking place are just from angry kids or slackers who can’t afford college. It almost paints the picture of an Occupy Wall Street-esque movement.
Nevertheless, one Imgur user going by the handle of IneverCommentButWhenIdo has been posting up photo galleries daily of the plight that the people of Venezuela are suffering under the current conditions of the ruling party. The images and personal commentary reveal that everyone from students and youth to the elderly and medical professionals are out protesting… even when standing in the face of violence.
This isn’t to say that students aren’t protesting… because many are, due to what’s mentioned in the Fox News article about high tuition costs. Thus students are forced to vacate their opportunities for higher education while dealing with the tumult political unrest. The police have carted off some of the male youth in trucks to clear the streets, while others are whisked away via motorcycle.
Consistently Venezuelans have been slowly making it known just how bad things are by posting about their own personal stories across social media. The individual who took some of the photos above has been detailing the degradation of Venezuela’s civil infrastructure as death tolls mount, murder counts rise, and basic amenities in life are dwindling for citizens.
Sites like BBC News have attempted to paint the picture as more of a violent outcropping of individuals simply opposed to the government, giving more testimony, time and quotes to the powers that be.
Almost identical to #GamerGate, it’s difficult for some of the people with feet on the ground to have their say broadcast to the wider public due to media misrepresentation or being completely ignored. In fact, in certain threads on Reddit where the issue could be broadcast more widely to those who might be interested in the subject matter, Venezuelans are finding themselves sinking in the quicksand of censorship.
A post on Reddit recounts how the Socialism sub-Reddit has banned people from Venezuela from discussing their country in the forum due to claims of “brigading”. Many Venezuelans wishing to speak about the topic have very little good to say about socialism under President Maduro’s reign. Facing off against impossible tuition, rapidly rising inflation, exorbitant crime rates, and food shortages, it’s easy to see why so many have become outspoken and angry at their current predicament.
According to Telesur, they claim that socialism isn’t to blame for the food shortages and starvation taking place in Venezuela. They claim that the biggest issue is the right-wing opposition party who has been puppeteering and machinating their way into creating the food shortage crisis in order to manufacture anger toward the socialist ruling party.
Telesur claims that the U.S., right-wing establishments are helping the opposition party in Venezuela establish a plutocracy, all while the media blames socialism for Venezuela’s ails.
Telesur doesn’t address the disgruntlement from citizens who are protesting against the current socialist party in power.
Regardless, some Venezuelans feel as if the world is crumbling down around their ears while no one will properly report on or convey the decay chipping away at their beloved country. The reports are surfacing, but much like every other hot topic in the media, there’s a lot of noise and narrative muddling the picture. Meanwhile Venezuelans can do nothing but protest while the country that houses them slowly burns to the ground under a dictatorship calling itself socialism.
(Images courtesy of IneverCommentButWhenIdo)
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