"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." – Noam Chomsky
By Manmeet Sahni
Part 5 - Questionable Statistics
Moreover, the figures supporting Paez's argument in the Wall Street Journal simply don't add up. Joe Emersberger breaks them down in the Green Left Weekly: "According to a Colombian university study of Venezuelan migration to Colombia, it averaged about 47,000 per year from 2011–2014, then increased to 80,000 per year in 2015–16.
"U.S. government data show migration from Venezuela to the United States increasing from about 7,000 per year before 2013 to 28,000 per year by 2015, including Venezuelans who have entered without authorization.
"Between 2000 to 2013, the United States was the destination for about 30 percent of Venezuelan-born people who left to live abroad, according to the World Bank figures.
"If the Colombian university study and U.S. government data are accurate, then the United States has been the destination for about 20 percent of Venezuelan migrants after 2013. That would mean about 140,000 Venezuelans per year were leaving to live abroad by 2016.
"That is not remotely comparable to the 5 million Syrians who fled the country in the first five years following the civil war – and that doesn't include over a million per year who fled their homes inside Syria (the internally displaced)."
Western media continue to dismiss the May 20 elections as a farce, despite the fact they will be overseen by international experts and organizations – including the African Union, the Caribbean Community and the Latin American Council on Electoral Experts (CEELA) – and involve one of the most technologically sophisticated voting systems in the world.
With just days to go until Venezuela chooses its next president, luminaries across the continent are rightly petitioning to fight such media bias and calling instead for "balanced information that allows us to understand the complexity of the situation in Venezuela."