The Best Reporting I've Seen on Venezuelan Prisons Yet

or the pran's wife who is visiting...
or the pran’s wife who is visiting…

SBS, an Australian public broadcaster, is a bit of an unknown entity to me. But this report by Giovana Vitola from inside Margarita’s prison is an absolute tour de force: combining reportorial bravado with insight, humor, and the kind of seriousness too often missing from a subject that’s so often sensationalized.

Hats off. The perfect encapsulation of Prannation in just under 13 minutes.

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  1. It’s a shame they only included a short selective clip of Varela…she might have been able to explain herself and the situation a little better. Oh well, we should know what to expect from “impartial” media when it comes to Venezuela…

    • Did you like the clip with Diosdado DJing in the disco?

      I actually thought it was a relatively impartial analysis. Not because it made the government look incapable, which it did, but that it showed that in the absence of real tangible authority, the inmates manage on their own in a relatively capable manner.

      The fact that, in any other nation than Venezuela, the thought that inmates would run the prison/asylum is relatively horrific to their representative publics, is what makes it seem biased. It isn’t. It simply is not a normal state of affairs, particularly when the scholar points out that there is (and always has been) criminal enterprises run by the pranes that extend beyond the prison walls.

      Take into consideration the psychologist who says that the security situation is better inside the prison than out, for the majority of the prisoners who likely fall into a demographic where they would either be perpetrating or victimized by crime on the outside. (And before you argue that being unlikely…they are in prison for a reason after all, even if it seems like a resort.)

      • The nerve. Iris should have been given the chance to explain her motive: that she only wanted to see if the red they were each wearing, that day, matched photographically. And no place better test the color than in an pran-min embrace, against a cyan background. “Impartial” media journos can be so unfair. sniff.

        (I would have provided as a cutline:
        The best damned minister we’ve had.)

    • It’s a shame they only included a short selective clip of Varela
      The longer the clip of Iris Varela, the greater the opportunity she would have had to put her foot in her mouth. Consider where she talked about Venezuelan prisons constructing the “hombre nuevo” much beloved of socialist transformers. What a howler!

    • Ok, Iris Varela has well-deservedly earned the hate we love to avow for her but being levelheaded about the report it’s got to be admitted Ms. Vitola shows enough of Varela to come to the right conclusion.

  2. SBS is a special kind of public broadcaster, with a more specific approach in “multiculturalism”. In fact, their main newscast is more focused in international news (World News Australia). I’ve seen some of their Dateline reports years ago and they’re top notch.

    • SBS is actually Australian Goverment funded, imaginate! (well like 80%, they have 5 mins of commercials per hour, but still thats a way better deal than the commercial tv). We call it here Sex Between Soccer as it has all the racey international films where everyone gets their bits out, then it’s the only free TV which broadcasts the football in the wee hours of the morn.

  3. I really got speechless by seen this, I mean it almost made want to go on crime rampage so I can get there.
    But in the other hand, you gotta take into account that it’s a prison after all, this country of mine it’s the weirdest place on earth.

  4. Amazing. I have no words. This shows that a single pran is way more efficient than all the Venezuelan government.

    Maybe they should put El Conejo as Minister of Prisons. He would solve the problems.

  5. Last line stuck with me: ” life its good here, as long as you don’t step out of line, in this revolutionary prison”…
    Any similarities to the country at large?

  6. Wow!
    I can’t help but feel that it is the better of many possible alternatives. Not very different from life under the sicilian cosa nostra. They do what they can with what they have…
    Best part: Iris Varela on the goal of the revolutionary prisons.
    It’s not a classic modern model of civility but at least they are creating a “new man!”. A warning, Iris: on your bedside table should be a copy “Pol Pot: Anatomy of a Nightmare”

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