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The Revolution in fallacies in Venezuela

Marino Gonzalez in Tal Cual

The Government of President Chávez uses propaganda, permanently and abusively, to spread falsehoods. It does it to survive politically. To create the illusion, especially among the poorest and excluded, that there exists a concern for the daily problems of Venezuelans. The Government takes advantage of the good faith of millions of people to advance its objectives, which are authoritarian and aim to exclude.

What has happened in health care in the last eight years is clear evidence of the use of fallacies as a substitute for good Government. As proof, three examples.

If the current Government had had a genuine concerned with the health of Venezuelans, it would not have eliminated the program for the assistance to kids and pregnant women that used to receive food and health services. Instead of improving on the deficiencies of that program, it decided to abolish it. It could not accept anything form the “IVth. Republic”. As a result, alter eight complete years, and according to official figures, the risk of death for a pregnant woman has increased by 20%. We also confirm that each day, according to official figures, twenty kids die of causes that could have been prevented (diarrhea, malnutrition, birth complications, pneumonia, among others)

To face up to this desert of social policies that we had between 1999 and 2003, the Government made use of another fallacy. It created, with the assistance of the Cuban regime, the barrio Adentro Mision. Improvising on the way, as has been the signature of its administration, the Government proclaimed at full blast that it was implementing this mission to rely on the successful Cuban experience on the matter. Where, according to the database of the Pan-American Health organization, in the last few years, maternal mortality has increased, they have not been able to deal with transmittable diseases, they have the highest rates of cardiovascular problems in America and the use of technology in health care is rudimentary.

When the implementation of the barrio Adentro program had reached its second anniversary, the Government propagated the third fallacy. President Chavez himself, from the stage of the United Nations, informed us that 17 million Venezuelans now had public health services. President Chávez and his advisers were lying. They were hiding the facts, like the one that Venezuela has not even yet approved the list of health services to which all inhabitants should be entitled to. That it is not enough to build health clinics, many of which have been closed already. That if the people can not demand the detailed services that they require, what exists is a rhetorical policy, without any concrete content.

After three years, the reality itself as expressed by the numbers published in official web pages, has taken care of illustrating the drama and the gravity of all of these fallacies.

According to the Government itself, the Barrio Adentro mission should take care of 60% of the population. This implies taking care of at least 300,000 pregnant women a year to insure adequate prenatal control and birth without complications. In the three years of Barrio Adentro only 2,500 births have been taken care of.

This means that the “wonderful” health care system handles only one of each 600 births. Nothing is known about the number of pregnant women under control, nor that of the three million kids under three years. Nothing about immunization, nor their health control, much less about nutritional complements.

The fallacies of the current Government have placed us at end of the list in Latin America with respect to public health. We have 25% malnutrition in kids less than fourteen years old, maternal mortality is only worse in the poorest countries of the region. For the huge amount of resources devoted to the health sector, we show, without any doubts, the worst execution in the area. It is time for the current Government to answer for its fallacies. It is time for Venezuelan society to choose a frank and effective Government.

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