Communicational hegemony = fun with numbers


Pro-government website Noticias 24 had an interesting headline this morning:

Noticias 24In other words, Venezuela was one of the countries in Latin America that received the highest numbers of Foreign Direct Investment. At least that’s what Noticias 24, with the help of AFP, claims, citing a report by the ECLAC.

I scratched my head at that one, so I went to the original source. Guess what? It’s exactly the opposite. See the source table for yourself:

CEPAL IEDThe table says that in the first semester of 2013, Venezuela’s FDI investment was behind that of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and only slightly larger than that of Panama.

News is information alright. Thanks to this, I am now informed that the pro-governemnt tools at Noticias 24 can’t be bothered to properly read a table.

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  1. The headline can be taken two ways. Is Maduro’s goal to encourage foreign direct investment or discourage it? If Maduro thinks DFI is an imperialist plot to wipe out Venezuela industry, then Maduro is succeeding and the headline means Maduro has more work to do.

    If the numbers for Venezuela came from the Vzla government then they cannot be trusted anyway.

  2. OT

    Juan, I just saw this:

    She said :”La reforma busca “acabar con todos los elementos que tiene la Constitución (vigente) que permiten que las minorías puedan vetar a las mayorías”, indicó.

    “Debemos terminar con los cerrojos de las leyes orgánicas constitucionales, con los quórum tan altos y con la labor preventiva del Tribunal Constitucional, que puede parar una ley, porque todavía no ha terminado su discusión”, explicó.”

    Is this freaking serious? basically she wants her will be done on earth and nobody opposing it. One may agree that a minority should not have to power to veto a majority, BUT, in a democracy (not to say en un estado de derecho), a minority should ALWAYS have representation and be a part of policymaking. El que piense lo contrario mire los resultados electorales referentes a la asamblea de 2010 y digame de frente que en una democracia el 48% de los votos te garantiza el 60% de la representacion y mas aun, que en una democracia la supuesta mayoria le puede pasar por encima a la supuesta minoria cuando les da la gana y como les da la gana (y de paso, consistentemente).

    And the “con quorum tan altos y labor preventiva del tribunal constitucional” . Accountability? I am only accountable for myself and to myself.

    What the hell is going on in chile juan? how can it be that in an educated country (at least for south american standards) a person like that has serious chances to get elected president? Are chileans freaking blind on what that kind of thinking/government leads to?

    At last Insulza may be right (finally) on something: latin america feels “dissapointed” with democracy. Well, probably because we have no true democracies, just tyrants elected by elections.

        • The problem in Chile has to do with the legacy of Pinochet’s Constitution. In it, the minority is over-represented. For example, each congressional or senatorial “district” elects two representatives. Normally, the two representatives must come from different voting blocks. The only way two people from the same coalition can win both spots is if their total votes exceed the total votes of the other coalition by more than double.

          For example, you have four candidates for Senator, two by block: Bachelet and Lagos for the left, and Pinochet and Piñera for the right. Suppose this is the outcome:

          Bachelet: 30%
          Lagos: 29%
          Pinochet: 22%
          Piñera: 19%

          Then the two spots go to Bachelet and Pinochet! The only way Bachelet and Lagos can both get elected is if, together, they add up to more than 66% of the votes.

          Of course, this has resulted in evenly split congresses ever since the transition began, which has forced the left to negotiate with the right. People (the left, the majority) are fed up with this.

          There is also a growing sense that the decisions in the country were made long ago by an illegitimate government, and that the governments that came afterwards simply had to “administer” the model, tweaking it here and there. They have had little leverage to change the system dramatically, and this has led to a lot of frustration.

          Therefore, it’s not about whether or not the model works (it does, but that’s not the point Bachelet is interested in exploring), the point is that the model has run its course, and now we want to re-do everything. Bachelet is even threatening with an Asamblea Constituyente, and has said some pretty scary / stupid things (like, for example, saying that all university education, public or private, will be free, and that she will pay for it with a massive tax hike). However, nobody is standing up to her because, you know, she’s just so darn likeable. Nobody defends a system that has outworn its welcome but that has many notable achievements.

          I don’t think Bachelet is Chávez or Cristina. I do think she takes after Correa, minus the vindictive streak. We’ll see. Lo cierto es que va a arrasar, de eso no tengo duda.

          • Oh man…
            I think Latin America needs a success story real bad. A model to follow, something to aspire that doesn’t feel alien or foreign, so it drives more success in the region.

            Mercosur is DOA, CAN was killed by Venezuela, ALBA is the opposite of what I mean. I was hoping the Pacific Alliance could be it, provided it can maintain course over the time required to get the results, but Colombia and Perú have a certain risk of political instability, Mexico still has Lopez Obrador lurking, and now Chile… sight.

            This era of constituyentes in the region troubles me.

          • Thank you Juan for a very clear, concise and incisive analysis on the Chilean situation . Love it when someone clever can explain an item of news ( even of its not the best news) so it becomes comprehensible !!

          • There ain’t no such a thing as a success model to follow in economic policies. You fix things and you really do, but new challenges emerge. In Chile I’ve noted this sentiment of “once we will be a developed country”. I’ve lived in one for the most part of my life and there are always challenges on the economic/social front. Chilean social sciences produce good analysis of their issues. Have nearly finished “La revolución capitalista de Chile (1973-2003)” by Manuel Gárate Chateau. A long good read.

  3. That’s nice, but what about this?
    “El Cesppa ‘solicitará, organizará, integrará y evaluará las informaciones de interés para el nivel estratégico de la Nación, asociadas a la actividad enemiga interna y externa, provenientes de todos los organismos de seguridad e inteligencia del Estado y otras entidades públicas y privadas; según lo requiera la Dirección Político-Militar de la Revolución Bolivariana’.”


    “La Dirección Político-Militar de la Revolución Bolivariana es un órgano político partidista. No es un órgano del Estado.”

  4. A vivid example why the NN.UU. is inefective: That table in alphabetical order (and in US$) is not very informative at all

    • Yeah, the headline is not misleading at all. Venezuela está “entre” los países que más reciben inversión extranjera, en el sentido de que queda “entre” Colombia y Brasil!


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