Photo: EFE retrieved

“The feminist revolution simply does not exist, it’s a mere illusion,” Mrs. Kislinger, our own resident feminist guru, states in this amazing piece for El País. It’s always great when a female voice speaks out against the government’s propaganda and its use of women’s rights as disguise for totalitarianism.

The piece covers the heartbreaking story of M, a mother to be who decides to flee the country and head onto a nine-day trip to Argentina to give birth, because she can’t afford to have her child in a private clinic in Caracas, and there are no basic supplies at public facilities. M’s story is the story of hundreds of pregnant women who cross Venezuelan borders everyday to give birth elsewhere.

At Hospital Universitario Erasmo Meoz in Cúcuta, Colombia, medical attention to pregnant women increased 316% between 2016 and 2017. In Roraima, Brazil, childbirths by Venezuelan women represent 10% of total births.

After meticulous analysis, Mrs. Kislinger destroys the myth of the socialist, feminist government: “Humanized labor and obstetric violence are only one of the factors that play part on maternal mortality rates. But Nicolás Maduro has turned them into flags that hide inaction of a criminal, hypocrite regime.”   

It’s always great when a female voice speaks out against the government’s propaganda and its use of women’s rights as disguise for totalitarianism.

Truth is, this government is the absolute opposite of feminist. While Maduro claims he got rid of the macho values plaguing the healthcare system, the harsh reality is maternal mortality rates are higher than they were 20 years ago. Just between 2016 and 2017, deaths rose 65%.

The “revolution” is a huge setback for women’s rights and feminist accomplishments. With 90% shortage of birth control methods across the country, women have no reproductive rights. There’s no information and there aren’t reproductive health centers either. Women have no access to equal job opportunities, healthcare, information, protection from violence or supplies to decide over their bodies.

Venezuela’s teen pregnancy rates —the second highest in Latin America— are comparable to those of Sub-Saharan Africa. The regime has adopted a policy of massively incorporating poor women to its machinery in slums, turning them into instruments for social control.

“Feminism is equality and freedom so that women can be whatever they want to be, with no other limitations than our own capacities and talent,” is Mrs. Kislinger’s statement, hitting all the right notes. No woman can be free under the current condition Venezuela is in.

Maduro, the feminist, is just an act.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. The author’s observations bring to mind Manuel Caballero, who used to mock the revolutionary pretenses of Hugo Chavez, calling him the “Hero of the Military Museum.”

    That trick the master demagogue played on his supporters early on is the same trick described in this piece. It is the trick of selling ideological window dressing to cover a crime in progress.

    And it works. Once the original sales pitch is pulled off, for a large mass of people stubbornly tied to that original sales pitch, now invested in an ideological ponzi scheme, anything the leader does after that can be forgiven. They are awaiting the dividend; they are invested in the demagogue’s rhetorical war against the doubters. The implications of being wrong become unthinkable.

    The regime is torturing and killing people in the name of feminism, peace, socialism, et cetera, because it has learned to repeat this trick from a master. There will continue to be people who believe what they are experiencing is the hardship of a revolution, and not the hardship of being at the scene of a massive crime.

    • I hated Luisa’s article despite my being a passionate advocate for equality of opportunity. It is quite fundamentally divisive when the opposition to the Venzuelan regime needs solidarity and unity of purpose above all else.

      The Venezuelan regime is an equal opportunity destroyer of human rights and human lives. No group nor institution, apart from those connected to the regime itself, has been protected from the regime’s sick and criminal perversions. Chavez was an absolute master at keeping his opposition weak by means of “divide and conquer”. All of his polemic rhetoric was focused on emphasising DIFFERENCES:- rich vs poor, left vs right, black vs white, thieving capitalists vs caring humanitarians, and, oh yes, women vs men. In this, he relied heavily on what is sometimes called “noble cause corruption”. This is the ability that most of us have to pardon or deny the sins and failings of a group provided that the group is pursuing what we perceive as a higher priority, noble goal. The western supporters of soviet communism in the 30s had this ability in abundance, the subject of many historical studies. Ditto for leftwing internaional support for Chavez. The feminist movement, both internationally and within Venezuela itself, showed a similar willingness to forgive Chavez for his autocratic tendencies and his dismantling of democratic protections because he was actively supporting women’s empowerment as a political force in Venezuelan sociey. The old, old argument is always the same – you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.

      Demographically, there were a lot more women in the voting-age population than men – around 17% more at the last credible census (54% women to 46% men) – and Chavez quite wilfully targeted the female vote. His partial implementation in 2006 of Article 88 of the new constitution was much admired by feminists worldwide, who were happy to ignore his autocratic tendencies and economic ineptitude because he was helping the feminist cause, clearly a higher priority for these admirers. He received lots of plaudits from external commentators for his elevation of the role of women. (In fact, I cannot find ANY negative external reports against Chavez in this area from feminist activists, not one. There were no voices around in 2006 saying that Chavismo represented “false feminism”.)

      Here are a couple of typical articles from outside Venezuela.
      This is from a 2009 IPS article on grassroots empowerment of women in Venezuela:-
      ” In Venezuela “women have passionately embraced community activism, taking on a more committed and active role, and this is reflected in the increasing female participation in neighbourhood assemblies,” Alba Rojas, spokeswoman for a community council in Tacagua, a township that spreads along the Caracas-La Guaira highway, told IPS.

      “Sixty percent of all community councils are chaired by women,” María León, head of the recently created Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Gender Equality, explained to IPS. “Gone are the days in which we were confined to household chores. We’ve earned the right to participate and speak in a forum, like in the French Revolution,” she said. End Quote.

      And his pro-women legend lived on long after Venezuela started its death spiral. This article appeared in the UK Guardian in 2013 shortly after the death of Chavez:-

      QUOTE When Chávez was elected in 1998, the grassroots movement took a leap in power, and women in particular were empowered. Women were the first into the streets against the 2002 US-backed coup; their mobilisation saved the revolution. When asked why, woman after woman said: “Chávez is us, he is our son.” He was an extension of who they were as strugglers for survival.

      Chávez soon learnt that the revolution he led depended on women, and said so: “Only women have the passion and the love to make the revolution.” He acknowledged that the “missions” – the new social services which were at the heart of his popularity and which the state funded but did not run – were mainly created and run by grassroots neighbourhood women.” ENDQUOTE

      In Venezuela itself, this is an extract taken from an article by Natalia Rosetti of UAB in 2013:-

      Quote En las zonas populares, en las Misiones (los programas sociales impulsados por el Gobierno de Chávez) en los Consejos comunales donde la gente se autoorganiza desde abajo, en los movimientos sociales, las mujeres han tenido un papel protagónico. Sólo hay que visitar los cerros y comprobar que mucho de lo que se ha logrado ha sido en gran parte gracias a la fuerza y obstinación de estas mujeres que han visto, por primera vez en su vida, que un gobierno las ha tenido en cuenta.

      Por esto, aunque la dimensión feminista del socialismo del siglo XXI no sea aún muy visible sobre todo desde Europa, hay que reconocer que Hugo Chávez supo sumar e incorporar diversas sensibilidades, también la feminista. Comprendió mejor que nadie que sin igualdad de clase, sin igualdad de género, sin igualdad étnica, no se puede avanzar hacia una sociedad realmente justa. Sin duda, aún queda mucho camino por andar y una agenda pendiente de cambios en profundidad para acercarse a la igualdad. Son muchos los retos en cada frente. ENDQUOTE

      Just as it was wrong for feminists to support Chavez for feminism DESPITE his abuses in other areas of human rights, it is now wrong to get into an internecine war over which particular interest group is more abused by the failures of the regime. It is fundamentallyt divisive at a time when the opposition needs to coalesce into common purpose. Any human rights abuse by a regime – even directed against your political enemies or against male chauvinist pigs – is an abuse against all of us, if not today then tomorrow.

      • Thank you! You did a very good job of amplifying my own expression (below) of discomfort with this article.

        Recently, there has been several discussions about rights in this forum, that have forced me to clarify for myself, my thoughts on this subject.

        Part of the problem is that people tend to see all rights as absolute. This rigidity of thinking blinds people to seeing and acknowledging the impact that their “right” might have on others’ rights.

        I think that a hierarchical model of relative importance should be applied to rights, similar to Mazlow’s model of the Hierarchy of Needs.

        In this concept, the rights to life and liberty carry much greater weight then, say, education, healthcare, or someone’s right to not be offended.

  2. You can easily add to the list:

    – False Environmentalism

    – False Liberalism

    – False Education…ism (I know it isn’t a word. I was on a roll with isms and didn’t want to stop.)

    The point being that the abuses of the regime are not limited to any one group, be it women, children, indigenous people, workers, professionals, or whatever. I don’t think any sub-grouping has any particular claim to outrage above any other group. Venezuelans should set aside their individual crusades and combine forces to fight for the most basic of rights… the right to life.

    • Equal opportunity tyranny and subjugation for one and all!! Viva Chavez! Viva Fidel! Viva Che! Viva la revolucion! Forward we march to our glorious future! ……makes me want to throw up!

    • I agree 100%. However, for most of my life while stateside I have been informed by The Enlightened Ones that Cuba had accomplished three things: 1) Universal Health Care, 2) Universal Education, and, 3) Total Elimination of Prostitution (no longer needed!). And those lecturing me the most tended to be young women.

      So maybe women’s issues do need to be focused on a little more than the others.

      • I never heard about the elimination of prostitution, and I have never seen as rampant and pervasive prostitution as when I visited Cuba.

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