Apocalypse is such a relative term

C'mon guys: things are bad in Venezuela, but they're not thaaat bad! I mean, Maduro is still in power, so that's good. Right? RIGHT?!

People walk past shelves mostly filled with the same product at a state-run supermarket in Caracas January 9, 2015. Lines swelled at Venezuelan supermarkets on Friday with shoppers queuing up by the hundreds to seek products ranging from chicken to laundry detergent, as a holiday slowdown in deliveries sharpened the OPEC nation's nagging product shortages. Queues snaked around the block at grocery stores and pharmacies around the country, with consumers in some cases gathering before dawn under the gaze of national guard troops posted to maintain order. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins (VENEZUELA - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)

So this is what the Pendejo Sin Frontera defense of the revolution has come to: sure, things in Venezuela are bad, but it’s not cataclysmic. That’s what passes for regime propaganda abroad these days, as Gabriel Hetland — formerly of Aporrea, formerly of TeleSUR — takes to the pages of The Nation to tell us that, sure, 83% of households can’t afford enough food, but this guy saw one really clean CDI so, y’know, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

The sirloin (which, according to the author, may be missing from store shelves, but that’s a good thing!):

Is Venezuela descending into a nightmarish scenario, as these stories suggest? To answer this question I’ve spent the last three weeks talking to dozens of people—rich and poor, Chavista and opposition, urban and rural—across Venezuela. My investigation leaves little doubt that Venezuela is in the midst of a severe crisis, characterized by triple-digit inflation, scarcities of basic goods, widespread changes in food-consumption patterns, and mounting social and political discontent. Yet mainstream media have consistently misrepresented and significantly exaggerated the severity of the crisis. It’s real and should by no means be minimized, but Venezuela is not in a state of cataclysmic collapse.

So, people, quit your whining. As the author says, there is looting, scarcity, inflation, rampant crime, but … c’mon, it’s not that bad. Look on the bright side: as your kids cry themselves to sleep at night on an empty stomach, you can reassure them at at least we don’t have neoliberalism!

Gabriel Hetland, is one few, the proud, the total desperadoes: PSFs willing to go down with the ship. Just a few months ago, he penned an adorable letter to Bernie Sanders praising the late Hugo Chávez. So it’s not surprising that he sees happy people everywhere – whether they’re growing their own food, or glowing from the wonderful service they receive at free clinics.

I really tried to view this piece with an open mind, but he lost me when spewing out flat-out lies such as this:

Everyone I spoke to, regardless of their political beliefs, agrees that the government has lost significant support since the December 6, 2015, legislative elections, which the opposition won handily. There is also widespread agreement that this has not translated into greater support for the opposition.

It takes a special kind of talent to say that the opposition won a landslide election victory while – in the same paragraph – you claim that the opposition does not have greater support. This ridiculous claim is contradicted by major opinion polls, which tend to be a little bit more reliable than “everyone I spoke to.”

You’d think The Nation would’ve learned where mindless boosterism for failed leftist autocracies will get them…then again, what am I saying, it’s The Nation. Still, looking for the silver lining here, I guess it says something when even a radical, uncritical nincompoop like Hetland can’t muster a more stirring defense of the model he wants to export all around the world than “it’s not the apocalypse yet!”