The Spectator’s Latest Effort to Use Venezuela to Attack Corbyn

Excerpts below from a Spectator editorial entitled “Jeremy Corbyn still cannot bear to condemn his fallen idols in Venezuela “ with a few comments of mine interspersed.  Hysterical, dishonest and incompetent as you’d expect from this outlet, but also supported by the entire establishment media, corrupted NGOs etc…fifteen years into a vilification campaign against Venezuela. That campaign began about three years after the late Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998.

No one would know from the Labour leader’s words that President Maduro’s regime is engaged in what the UN Human Rights Office described this week as a ‘widespread and systematic use of excessive force’. 

That UN report said it was “unclear” if opposition protesters have killed a single person since the protests began. That would immediately discredit the report to anyone familiar with the facts or with access to Reuters website as I noted here.

….according to the IMF, the economy shrank last year by 8 per cent, inflation hit 481 per cent, unemployment was 17 per cent,… 

Torino Capital, hardly a chavista source, has a vastly better track record than the IMF on Venezuela. With a few months to go in 2015 the IMF was projecting 14% unemployment in Venezuela then quietly conceded a few months later that it was about 7%.

Torino put unemployment at 7.3% last year and projects it to 7.9% this year. 

the country had already declined since 1970, when it had a higher income per capita than Spain and was among the world’s ten richest countries

Turning to the real world, Venezuela’s real per capita income peaked in 1977.


It experienced a major boom during the 1970s because of high oil prices then went into a very long term decline. In 1980, close to its peak, adjusting for purchasing power parity PPP, Venezuela ranked about 30th in the world by this measure.

It is also very important to understand that measures like GDP per capita can hide massive iniquities. In 1980, Venezuela ranked 7th in Latin America in child mortality, as I noted here, even though it was close to its all-time peak in GDP per capita. It had roughly double the child mortality of Cuba and Costa Rica in 1980. In 1999, when Chavez first took office, Venezuela had a 50% poverty rate even though it was second in South America by GDP per capita (adjusted for PPP).

Venezuela jumped from 7th to 4th in Latin America by UN’s Human Development index while Chavez was in office.



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