The crisis in Venezuela, according to Cuba's official press
BORIS GONZÁLEZ ARENAS | La Habana | 2 de Junio de 2017 - 11:20 CEST.
On Tuesday, May 23 journalist Irma Shelton Tase, of Cuban Television's
daily news broadcast, spotlighted statements made by Carlos Aquino, a
member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Venezuela.
Commenting on the spread of social protests in his country, the official
stated that "the solution to this escalation ... does not involve
conciliation between the classes. Then he added: "As one of our slogans
says, 'Peace is achieved by defeating the fascists, not reconciling with
In the remainder of her report, Irma Shelton had no qualms about calling
imprisoned Venezuelan dissidents "terrorists," Hugo Chavez the "eternal
commander," and demonstrations, "fascist." The linguistic overlap
between the Venezuelan Communist official and the Cuban journalist
should surprise no one.
In his book LTI: The Language of the Third Reich the German philologist
Victor Klemperer argues that the language of Nazism is characterized by
its poverty, and that Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle) was the
work underpinning it. Klemperer, a Jew who survived the Holocaust by
being married to an "Aryan" German, points out that it was with the rise
to power of National Socialism that the group's language became that of
the entire people; "That is to say, it took over every public and
private sphere: politics, jurisprudence, economics, art, science,
schools, sports, family, kindergartens and children's rooms."
A "common language" also calls for a gross transformation of reality.
Those of us who are following with interest what is happening in
Venezuela recently saw how on May 8 journalist Juana Carrasco, in an
article published in Juventud Rebelde, confused an armored military
vehicle with a police car, and misreported: "Violent protesters burn
police car in Caracas."
But the journalistic "highlight" of these "Venezuelan days" came from
journalist Alina Perera Robbio. For her efficacy, she was sent as a
special envoy to that country, and her reports appear in both Granma and
With headlines like Bolivar's Prophecy Fulfilled and Venezuela Deals the
Terrorists a Hard Blow, Perera Robbio both glorifies the chavista
political class while criminalizing its opponents. These are key
elements of a jargon that, as described by Klemperer, not only pervades
every public and private sphere of a nation, but also manages to
transcend national borders and unite similar political regimes.
In this environment impossible alliances are decreed and foreign
elements are assimilated. In an interview a few days ago by Alina Perera
Robbio of Roberto López Hernández, Cuba's Vice Minister of Foreign
Trade, when addressing bilateral relations with Venezuela, the official
described the links between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez like those
between a "father and son, of profound love." In this way he responded
to questions in which the "special envoy" inquired about Hugo Chávez's
personality with hard-hitting questions like: "He was a poet,
philosopher, very sensitive. Did you have the chance to appreciate those
facets of his?" And "Did you ever see him sad?"
Thanks to the tight and extensive control enforced by Cuba's official
news editors, the name of Luisa Ortega, the chavista prosecutor who
actually condemned Nicolas Maduro's rupture of the constitutional order,
will remain unknown. As will the nature of this constitutional
violation, through with which the Venezuelan president seeks to impose a
constitution amenable to his authoritarian tendencies. Our official
journalists fail to mention that the current situation was preceded and
spawned by elections in which 64% of the South American country's people
voted in favor of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática, in December of 2015,
ushering into the legislative branch a surprising majority of members of
this political group.
But this "common language" is nothing without persistent omissions. To
be assimilated in the simple way it aspires to be, the "common language"
requires the omission of all elements that might prompt reflection,
critical judgment or intelligence. "Reality" needs to appear before its
consumers in the clearest and simplest way possible.
Source: The crisis in Venezuela, according to Cuba's official press |
Diario de Cuba - http://www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1496395224_31589.html