“On July 14th three pasta-making factories stopped working. Bread manufacturing could stop in October. The problem in both sectors is the same: lack of wheat. The reason for this is that requirements for importing wheat have not been approved, and the dollars approved have not been paid since last March. There is also scarcity of bottled water, because imports of raw material to make bottles and lids have not been approved.”
“Do you have any idea how much a kilo of black beans costs? A thousand bolívares. You probably also have no idea how much onions, melons, and potatoes are going to cost soon. It’s not the dollar, farmers simply did not plant enough due to a lack of fertilizers and fungicides that (state-owned) Agropatria is supposed to carry, and because in certain products, the first people who purchase are relatives and friends (of people in the government) who then sell them in their stores at outrageous prices.”
The last two quotes do not come from opposition bloggers.
They are not quotes from opposition politicians, nor from opposition activists standing in line waiting to buy essential products.
They come from two of the most visible pro-government journalists around.
The first one comes from José Vicente Rangel, the rabidly chavista appartchik – a key figure in this government if there ever was one – who has gone back to his journalistic day job.
The second one comes from the sycophantically chavista editor of Últimas Noticias, “esteemed” (in some circles) journalist Eleazar Díaz Rangel.
Who do these guys think they are, not touting the party line? Don’t they know that the official story, the *only* story, is that scarcity is caused by an economic war? And if that isn’t convincing, they should blame the US and Uribe?
In all seriousness, you can have all the communicational hegemony you want, but it has to be grounded in some sort of truth. When even supposedly-respected mouthpieces such as the two Rangels can’t bring themselves to repeat the government’s nonsense, it’s time the government did one of two things: fix the underlying problem, or change the nonsense strategy.
Fat chance of them doing either of those things, which only suggests we will continue seeing cracks in the government’s messaging.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.