Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Puerto Rico puts the lie to America's supposed "humanitarian" concern for Venezuela's blackout

One of many blackouts in Puerto Rico after Maria
As the imperialist media and politicians in North America sneer and distort, the Venezuelan government and people -- already the victims of a cruel and illegal economic blockade --  fought to restore power to the country days after terrorist attacks brought the grid down. It was almost entirely back up, despite continued attacks, as of Tuesday night. They are also working to progressively restore the water supply.

Attempts to portray this as another example of "mismanagement" by the Venezuelan government should ring very hollow given that it took the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world -- the very United States that is behind all the various attacks on the country -- 328 days to restore electricity to its citizens in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017 with repeated partial or total outages during that whole period. As many as 200,000 residents fled the island. 

That fiasco was an epic story of incompetence and corruption that took a terrible human toll. As Vox noted:
The lack of reliable electricity had deadly consequences. Elderly people were unable to use essential medical equipment, such as respirators, and other couldn’t refrigerate drugs like insulin. The lack of electricity and basic public services has also triggered a suicide crisis on the island, and prompted thousands of families to move to the US mainland.
Researchers believe the lack of electricity was largely responsible for the surge of deaths reported in the hurricane’s aftermath. The government of Puerto Rico recently admitted that the official death count of 64 is way off, and that it’s probably closer to 1,427.
But even that estimate may undercount the hurricane’s real toll. In June, Harvard researchers estimated in the New England Journal of Medicine that up to 4,600 people likely died as a result of the storm.
While imperialist interests seek to undermine and destroy all the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution to allow corporate access to Venezuela's oil and natural resources it is worth keeping facts like these in mind.

If the American government was totally uninterested in the humanitarian needs and the lives of its own citizens in Puerto Rico, why would anyone, anywhere think they cared about those of the Venezuelan people?

 Further Readings: 

For links to an extensive array of articles about the situation in Venezuela and its background see The Left Chapter's four weekly news and information round-ups here, here, here and here.

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