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37 COMMENTS

  1. Well, is the same usual Mark Weisbrot bullshit, but this example is particulary galling:

    “There has been no statistics that the homicide rate has increased”.

    OF COURSE there hasn’t been any statistics, the Goverment hasn’t published them on the first place!

    Christ. What a slimy, deceitful bastard.

  2. I was referring to Juanito, not Weisbrot, who is arguing from a conceptual POV, not as a living human being who knows first hand the level of grief, danger, lack, insecurity, ineptitude, corruption and macho incompetence that has chocked Venezuela for the last 18 years.

    • Weissbrot was an embarrassment, starting from the very beginning at which point he states that there was an international media campaign against the government in the run-up to the December 6 elections, continuing with his response at 23:25 to the reporter’s comment that Venezuela could become a failed state. Nagel was impressive, with clear and articulate responses to the reporters questions.

      • The poor man (Weisbrot) has to justify his years of pimping for the Chávez *revolution*. Plus his number-crunching of economics is weak. Hence his evasiveness, when the commentator posed an economics-related question to him, Weisbrot unable to answer. It was pitiful. But it did serve one purpose. Weisbrot’s loosey-goosey deviations made Nagel’s clarity all the more impressive. And not just by contrast, but also by its own merits.

        • Didn’t Boyd show that in 2004-5 Weisbrot’s think tank (CEPR) got funds from the Venezuelan Information Office (lobbying/propaganda group in US funded by Chavismo)?

          I wonder if he is still being compensated, for it has to be embarrassing when he’s with other economists (assuming he is) to be peddling propaganda for this failed and disastrous regime? Or it could be that he is so far invested in the regime and supporting it publicly that he has to double down to try to avoid all loss of credibility.

          This guy has written articles, not op-eds but actual purported economic articles, saying in 2009 or so that Chavismo’s anti-poverty spending was completely sustainable and actually building a structure to reduce poverty permanently as opposed to just handouts, that deficits were smaller than reported (how would he know with so much off the books spending?), and in 2013 that Maduro’s administration had already decreased the inflation rate (sure they did). I’m sure there were many more that were indisputably totally incorrect).
          And of course he has written op-eds alleging Western conspiracy against Chavismo and saying Venezuela economy is fine (here is one saying there is was no impending economic crisis in 2013 http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/07/venezuela-not-greece-latin-america-oil-poverty)

          Maybe his main funding source now is from far left governments who need a Western “economist” to extol their benefits (I saw he was a consultant for Greece’s far left regime). What a disgrace.

  3. Juan,

    Thanks! If you see Whitebread or someone else talk about murder stats, you can mention the statistics of UNODC for 1998 showed a murder rate of 19 per 100,000 in Venezuela and over 34 murders per 100,000 for 2002. After that Chacón, one of our many ministers of interiors since Chavismo took power, stopped sending statistics.
    The terrateniente and former coup monger Torres said in 2013 the murder rate was 36 murders per 100,000
    http://www.eluniversal.com/sucesos/131228/rodriguez-torres-tasa-de-homicidios-es-de-39-por-cada-100-mil-habitants. That was a lie. Figures from Notitarde showed at least for Carabobo a murder rate of over 65 (from there we could extrapolate to other regions and the average should not be much lower). Since October the regime forbid to give stats to the press.

  4. I don’t really understand how you can predict no economic meltdown for Venezuela, as Weisbrot repeatedly has, and yet qualify as an “expert” worthy of voicing your opinion on national radio.

    He got away with a lot of lies.

  5. Juan,

    If I may offer, what I hope is, constructive criticism: Your academic background has fostered a propensity for a collegial debating style. Combativeness is discouraged. But, because of that, you missed some opportunities to point out Weisbrot’s lack of impartiality, not to say outright lies. In an academic setting, the assumption is that the audience can identify these types of falsehoods. In a political setting, it is necessary to point them out. And besides, I would not consider Weisbrot worthy of being your colleague.

    • The Current is a Canadian show on CBC radio, in the morning. Middle class, university educated, small-l liberal professionals dropping our kids off at school. Juan hit the tone just right. You don’t want to beat us over the head. Weisbrot, on the other hand, was the office windbag we are going to try to avoid all day. Two of those in one interview, and we switch to the french channel.

    • Points taken! In my defense, I find it hard to spark a direct debate in the panel when the host is not leading me towards that format. I thought the host was asking direct questions, and I didn’t feel comfortable pivoting back to the nonsense Weisbrot was spewing.

      • You interview very well! It is one of your fortes.
        You were on point, articulate and objective.

        No need to get into cat fights to get your points across.

    • I thought you did very well too, congratulations. One small suggestion: you say “uhm” a lot. I used to do that too and didn’t notice it until someone pointed it out, and now that I’m more conscious of it, I do it less often. fwiw

  6. Mark Weisbrot recognizes that there is an economic crisis, a recession and scarcity of basic goods after constantly dismissing the possibility of these things happening… And has the balls to say that it still is not as bad as it is portrayed in the media.

  7. Juan did an excellent job. After Weisbrot gave his obligatory speech about the American media not representing his point of view, he basically had nothing to say. Juan deserves particular credit for his restraint in the face of idiocy.

  8. Juan, I admire how you kept your cool and stuck to answering the questions. I would’ve had trouble containing my urge to reply to every BS argument from this charlatan drunk on socialist koolaid. Very professional on your part.

  9. I don’t understant whay Mr. Nogel did not emphasize the fact that the assembly have indeed the attribution to call for a referendum that it is not a coup, it is a constitutional attibution.

  10. I couldn’t see, or better, hear the “coleto” here, i think Nogel could have refuted Weisbrot more energetically. He certainly had better arguments than Weisbrot and he, for some reason, didn’t used them.

    I’m dissapointed.

    Weisbrot diserved “que pasaran coleto con el” and Nogel did not do it.

  11. Well done Mr. Nagel. You came across as informed, reasonable, and confident. As a conservative Canadian, I generally avoid the CBC, and most especially Anna Maria Tremonti. Not good for my blood pressure. It is only to be expected that the CBC would try to shape the narrative, and their subtext is always about maintaining or increasing their billion dollar subsidy from the Canadian taxpayer. Hence the comment about “over-reliance” on oil revenues. As an oil state, Canada is headed for rough times, and the CBC is looking for a way to blame the previous Conservative government, and protect their boy Trudeau who has promised them an extra $150M. Yes, it’s that simple.
    Once again, well done.

  12. Juan Nagel has achieved what very few of us can do: sound like a native speaker when speaking a second language. I know I don’t.

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