So much has been talked about the hatred by opposition leaders. Some have been jailed because of that. But how about the hatred by government officials? Nothing ever happened to Chávez, Maduro, Cabello, and the many other government officials that insult the opposition (half the country as shown by the presidential election results) and its leaders on a daily basis. "Escuálidos", "fascists" are only some of the insults. Nothing happened to the congressmen that attacked María Corina Machado during a session of the National Assembly. How can the opposition believe in the call for peace that the government does?
Great that Rodrigo asked the Consul General to expand on the issue about the arrested students, but the Consul General never really said if that's true or not, neither did she answer the most important questions around the issue: How many students have been arrested? On what circumstances were they arrested? What are they being charged for? Instead, she just articulated the same official discourse that we've heard lots of times already. Maybe next time a more precise question can be asked so that she has to give real information and not just more propaganda.
They had talked about the fake images used by the opposition already when Rodrigo asked the Consul General about that again. She cleverly used that opportunity to expand on her political propaganda. But still, it's sad and really bad that some people from the opposition distributed fake images showing policemen using excessive force against protesters. But that does not mean that there is not a lot of real footage of the abuses by the GNB. It's false to say that the GNB has acted wrong in all cases or right in all cases. Furthermore, the government should not just blindly defend the GNB, but investigate all those cases in which excessive and unnecessary force has been used against protesters.
I respect that the Consul General admitted the HUGE issue around insecurity in Venezuela. It's good that measures are being taken. Now, how effective have those measures been? The homicide rate has more than doubled since Chávez took office in 1999, according to the UNODC. I would love to cite a government source, but they stopped publishing these numbers 10 years ago. How will they measure the success or failure of the measures taken against criminal activity?
I'm going to be honest, it seems to me that this was an open space for the Consul General to promote the official take on the issues. There was no real questioning, there was just lot of political propaganda. It'd be awesome if next time some tough questions are asked. Also, you guys should interview opposition leaders as well, giving them the same opportunity that you have given the Venezuelan government. A great deal of the Venezuelan community here in Edmonton opposes the government, so hopefully Programa Nosotros can take them into account. After all, there must be a reason why HALF the country opposes the government and why so many (poor and rich, leftists and rightist) have been protesting for more than a month, right?