In the Chavez heaven of Venezuela President Maduro is getting more and more desparate. He is intimidating and forcing news outlets to close. And he is censoring government statistics. (Yes, a government can censor itself.) When public health statistics are published the world can see how bad the situation is. Since his Chavismo does not have solutions the desperate dictator hides the data.
More from Fausta.
And The Economist:
Under Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Chávez as president in 2013, the government is supplementing its relentless propaganda with self-censorship. The apparent goal is to hide from Venezuelans bad news that might weaken their already shaky faith in the regime. The health ministry, for instance, has not published a weekly epidemiological bulletin since early November, despite concurrent outbreaks of three mosquito-borne diseases. Last May Venezuela saw its first cases of chikungunya, a disease originating in Africa, which causes very high fevers and severe joint pains. It took the authorities five months to declare chikungunya a notifiable disease. The most recent bulletin still fails to include it.
Self-censorship is not confined to the health authorities. The National Statistical Institute (INE) has not published poverty data for 2014. No one has provided production figures for PDVSA, the state oil corporation, for the past three months. When officials explain their silence, which is not often, they talk of a need to avoid “political manipulation” of statistics.
Those officials sure know about political manipulation; they are doing it.