NYT Runs Op-Ed from Venezuelan President Blaming Violence on ‘The 1%’

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is desperate for a platform that will legitimize the rampant violence his police force perpetrates on unarmed civilians. He writes in The New York Times Wednesday that after 1,900 arrests and 38 deaths, “now is a time for dialogue and diplomacy.”

Maduro appears as a guest columnist in the A section of the newspaper, making the case against a government almost universally reviled by those who believe in Western notions of individual human rights. The newspaper that brought the “radical, democratic and therefore anti-Communist” Fidel Castro to the American public’s consciousness has lent its pages to a more palatable, less off-the-rails conspiratorial version of the Venezuelan government’s narrative against the protests. People are to believe that those on the streets are all members of the country’s elite, the “1%,” and that Maduro has improved the country’s economic situation by slowly impoverishing those elites–or, as Maduro puts it, “reducing income inequality.”

“According to the United Nations, Venezuela has consistently reduced inequality: It now has the lowest income inequality in the region,” Maduro writes, not mentioning that the oil-rich nation has a toilet paper shortage. He also does not mention that its resources have been plundered so thoroughly that the government recently imposed food rations to attempt to prevent famine. Those who oppose such a state of affairs, Maduro writes, are “people in the wealthier segments of society who seek to reverse the gains of the democratic process that have benefited the vast majority of the people.”


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