To control shortages, ignorance is bliss (Updated)

For the Venezuelan State, being informed about food shortages is hazardous for your mental health.

The government is pulling out all the stops to contain the wave of shortages, from importing our way out of this mess to militarizing supermarket check-outs.

But Nicolás Maduro believes the cause of the problem is the “psychological warfare” coming from the media. Therefore, he has declared that all news related to shortages are war propaganda and media outlets which report them will be punished.

Even though shortages have been officially acknowledged by State institutions like the Central Bank, the government thinks that pressuring non-hegemonic media outlets further into self-censorship will make the problem go away of people’s minds.

Any excuse to censor the media is OK, so long as it is kept quiet. The thing is, you don’t need to buy the papers to know the shelves are empty.

UPDATE: The first inquiry is now underway. Broadcasting authority CONATEL has opened an administrative investigation against Globovision for “spreading elements that could create public anxiety by covering the issue of shortages”. This is the first legal action against the channel since its recent change of ownership.

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  1. depending on where you read the news, it can be Maduro petitioning a study, or, ordering a study, or barring outright that media outlets report on shortages….
    Two asides:
    Does Granma have satellite offices in Vz?
    Don’t you just love Maduro’s recent crucifix-wear. Por doquier. Not even Chávez relied so heavily on Exorcism-like symbols. Sai Baba must be turning in his grave.

    • Capaz que maduro lance una cadena de 8 horas sobre el acto de desestabilizacion que acabas de realizar, colocando una grabacion de todo el acto delictivo grabado por las camaras del estableciemiento comercial, el cual fue recolectado por funcionarios del SEBIN y por el que tardaron un mes para armar el video y el power point chimbo, para que al final Maduro llegue a la conclusion que necesita poderes supra naturales para acabar con la corrupcion y el acaparamiento.

  2. Add in one more Government induced shortage- a lack of independent news on critical issues.

    If the government does not have to face criticism for the shortages, the shortages will never end.

      • I have been bored for quite a while actually. Maduro and combo are so predictable and that same record has been played so much that is way too scratched for me.
        Sadly, I also became less optimistic. There is no way out this mess, not for the next 5 years.

  3. I could understand these bullying tactics against the press to “buy time” while the shortages get under control. However, if there is nothing being done to get things under control, it is only delaying the inevitable, and that won’t work!

  4. In their warped little minds, it’s not that censoring it will make the shortages go away, they just want people to be less aware of the problem…Just as prohibiting newspapers to run front cover stories of homicides was supposed to curb people’s anxiety over the crime rate.

  5. Ignorance is not bliss in this case; ignorance is unlikely (“that empty shelf isn’t empty but full of fatherland” won’t wash anymore) and bliss is a mood or humor rememebered only by the higher-mileage members of the population. To paint over shortages on the basis of their being publicized causing “public anxiety” is almost a way to ban newspapers altogether; news of a lottery win can easily cause anxious jealousy, news of a favorite team’s falling foul of a real-worldloss can cause anxious reactions – even a war in Honduras once – so what item is free of the anxiety loophole created by that law?


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