Massive exodus of Venezuelans? Dismantling the Wall Street Journal fake news and comparison to Syria


February 16, 2018 – Fort Russ News – Paul Antonopoulos – Translated from Mision Verdad.

CARACAS, Venezuela – “Hundreds of thousands” are the lies

In the context of the psychological war that is being waged against Venezuela at this moment, matrices of opinion are launched from the country itself as a boomerang that travels to the United States to validate itself in its communication companies and return to confuse the population, with the goal of sowing fear and uncertainty.

This is the route traveled by the most recent “news” about Venezuelan emigration: on Sunday, February 12, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo published an interview with a Venezuelan sociologist that provides uncertain and tendentious data on Venezuelan emigration: it says that 4 million Venezuelans have emigrated, almost half in the last two years. It should be noted that this is a newspaper recently sold by the family of President Santos, who has been its historical owner, but as part of the sale agreement is kept in the directive from where it defines the editorial line of being anti-Bolivarian.

The next day, on February 13 at dawn, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) took that same article, quoted the same fallacious data but emphasizes on the comparison with the situation in Syria. The matrix that runs along the Colombia-US axis arrives in Venezuela through Venezuelan opposition media such as La Patilla, which published a translation of the WSJ version.

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But who contributes the statements to generate this opinion matrix? This is the sociologist Tomás Páez, who as a professional has been dedicated to research on companies and ventures, but in recent years has ventured into the issue of the “Venezuelan diaspora”, of course with a clear political bias that begins to show when he “ensures” that 97% of Venezuelan emigration has left the country since the triumph of Comandante (Commander) Hugo Chávez.

In addition, this professor became an opiner in the aforementioned interview as a representative of the Hannah Arendt Observatory. This organization, led by the well-known coup priest Luis Ugalde, delivered in 2015 the Heinz Sonntag Youth Award 2015-2017 “in recognition of his career and perseverance in the defense of democratic values, coexistence and peace” nothing less than David Smolansky, former mayor of El Hatillo and national leader of Voluntad Popular.

The numbers in the shadows

WSJ uses the figures of immigration given by Colombia to simulate the “mass exodus.” According to the government of the neighboring country, 550,000 Venezuelans emigrated to Colombia, which allows him to compare Venezuela with the displaced people of Syria and Myanmar.

These figures have been so contradictory that the governor of the Department of Bolívar, a member of the liberal party, denounced his inconsistency last week. Approximately 70% of the people who enter the border with Colombia are born in this country, that is, what actually happens is a return of Colombians or “mixed” families, not an epic growth of Venezuelan immigration as they want. 

But if, despite the evident political commitment of the spokesperson, it is intended to rescue the data that it provides, some intellectual challenges are imposed.

These lies obviously have very clear political and economic objectives

The first is to assume mistakenly – as the WSJ does – that a “migrant” and a “refugee” are the same, which is a shameful mistake for anyone who handles a minimum of information on the subject. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged the correct use of such different terms whose misuse leads to serious consequences for both populations.

For example, an important difference that must be assessed by those requesting refuge is that, once the refuge has been granted, the granting country does not allow it to return to its country of origin under penalty of revocation of the status. Thinking for example that they are the same as migrants, the millions of refugees from Syria, Myanmar and Sudan, turns out to be not a great example of ignorance, a caricature insensitive and disrespectful to populations that have been victims of massacres and even mass violations, such as can be more seriously known in the sources provided by the United Nations.

The comparison of the Venezuelan emigration with the displacements out of Syria or Myanmar not only seeks to place Venezuela in an area of ​​international conflict, it also conceals a huge argumentative weakness: the reasons to emigrate do not come from any persecution of the State – or mercenary or terrorist groups – against tens of thousands of people because of their ethnic, national or political affiliation, reasons that UN agencies use to qualify a contingent of people as “refugees”. Situation that fits in the middle of the Syrian conflict, where radical groups financed by the US like ISIS or al-Qaeda commit violations against the life of the population because they are Syrians, who must ultimately move to preserve their lives.

Case very different from Venezuela, where emigration is motivated by the financial blockade induced by the US and manipulations in the foreign exchange market that have exacerbated the inflation picture of the country, a strategy that in 2017 spokesmen of the Venezuelan opposition reaffirmed as necessary for the regime change.

The other intellectual challenge posed by the WSJ is arithmetic. Mr. Páez presents figures from Consultores 21 according to which “the percentage of families that have an emigrant member is 29”, which suggests that the remaining 71% have less than that. But then this El Nacional columnist says that, according to the same consultant, “the average number of people emigrated per family reaches 1.97.”

In short, this opinion matrix created by the Venezuelan opposition, published by the Colombian press linked to Juan Manuel Santos, endorsed by the US press and then redistributed by the opposition media of Venezuela, is based on very poorly constructed lies that challenge sociological categories established by international organizations and even basic arithmetic.

But there is more. Not content to indiscriminate the term “refugees” with “immigrants”, they also confuse “immigrants” with “returning nationals”: people who enter the country with whom they want a temporary job to return in a few days to the country where they continue to live – in this case Venezuela-, or simply move to other countries less impoverished and violent than Colombia.

The usefulness of these matrices for the government of Colombia and the interventionist plans of the USA against Venezuela have already been repeatedly addressed in this portal. The pot of the supposed crisis of Venezuelan refugees in Colombia is being built for several months, it is based on great lies but it keeps its political and economic objectives very clear.

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