The president tries to come across as cuddly. It isn’t working

CUBABRIEF: The Economist Daily Dispatch focused today on “The declining quality of Venezuelan propaganda.”  The British magazine reports that democracy has been extinguished, and that there are food shortages and people killed. The Chavistas’ propaganda “inspires loathing,” the articles says.  For the full article please turn to
On the same vein Deutsche Welle (DW) [DW.COM/26.04.2017] says that “Cuba is out of oil. Factories are running at minimum capacity and there are long lines at the gas stations.  Many Cubans are worried….If Venezuela reduces its oil shipments it could have serious consequences on the Caribbean island and its economic recovery.”
While in Cuba political repression continues. Bertha Soler, leader of Ladies in White, the organization of mothers, wives, daughters of political prisoners who protest peacefully every Sunday on their way to mass, reports that one of their members, Micaela Roll Gibert was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Her family has been abused by the authorities. Elsewhere, concern about the human rights situation on the island continues. As reported by CUBABRIEF in New York recently the American ambassador to the United Nations singled out political repression in Cuba, Iran and North Korea; while in Washington, Senator Marco Rubio met with a delegation led by Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet (U.S. Medal of Freedom) and Marcel Felipe on the photo below.

The Economist, April 27, 2017

The state of Venezuela: Something rotten

At least 29 people have been killed in protests since March. Shortages of food and medicine are acute. The murder rate is probably the world’s highest. Democracy has been extinguished. President Nicolás Maduro is trying to beguile his people with cuddly videos on social media, but these days his frolicking, well-fed demeanour inspires loathing. Chavistas used to be good at propaganda. Now they cannot even get that right

IN WEEKS of almost daily protests, opponents of Venezuela’s authoritarian regime have found different ways to express their anger. They have held raucous banner-waving marches, a silent demonstration and a sit-in on Caracas’s main roads. At least 29 people have died since March in the worst unrest in three years. Many of these were killed by armed gangs that support the government, called colectivos. The protests persist because the government has made life intolerable: shortages of food and medicine are acute, the murder rate is probably the world’s highest and democracy has been extinguished.But all is well in the world of Nicolás Maduro, the country’s much-loathed president. While chaos engulfs Venezuela’s cities, his social-media team has been seeking to humanise the dictator with video vignettes that emphasise his homespun origins and simple wisdom. In one video, posted on his Facebook page, he rhapsodises on the innocence of childhood as he perches awkwardly on a playground swing. In another, he admires a panorama of an apparently tranquil Caracas from the safety of a cable-car gondola. Sometimes he takes to the wheel of his car with his wife, Cilia Flores, sitting glumly beside him; this is an occasion to reminisce about his early career as a bus driver.  [More]