I thought a lot about Latin America last week, as I was one of the journalists in the press corps covering President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s tour of the continent and had the opportunity to visit Argentina, Paraguay and Venezuela. Although I am not an expert, I have an interest in the Latin American region. Today, I will share some of my impressions of Buenos Aires and Caracas.
Let’s start with Argentina first. This year, the Argentine peso lost over 50 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar. The country’s central bank’s decision to increase the interest rate to 60 percent fell short, and currently, Argentina’s government has been forced to sign a $51 billion stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bail out.
In fact, since the year 2015 with the end of the 12-year era of the Kirchner couple in government, Argentina has been administered, for the first time after many years, by center-right leader Mauricio Macri. However, recently media reports say that Macri was supposed to be different but he has disappointed all, as the country’s economy is still suffering from a major crisis.
However, recently, some “analysts,” who could not find a proper excuse to cover-up the failure of Macri or explain why the rightist, neoliberal investor and Argentinian leader cannot boost the economy, have started penning articles about the Venezuelan economy, telling readers that the only problem in Venezuela is socialism.
These analysts, however, do not mention in their articles facts such as how many times Venezuela was under attack by repetitive coup attempts, or that Pedro Carmona, the leader of the coup attempt against Hugo Chávez, is living in Miami, or that the United States is trying to impose sanctions against Venezuela to make it obey its demands.
They do not mention the current situation in the country where the Trump administration has clearly threatened the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, to intervene in the country unless he steps down. The same analysts, or call them lazy journalists (more appropriate), ignored the price of a barrel of oil falling to $25 in 2014 and what it meant for the Venezuelan economy. Clearly, they don’t want to miss the opportunity to accuse socialism.
Venezuela, of course, has many structural problems. The financial deadlocks of socialism can be included. However, no matter what, it is necessary to see that there is a humanitarian crisis that should not be the victim of an ideological war, as is currently trying to be fueled by such lazy journalists.
I’ve written these sentences as a Turkish citizen, who is tired of foreign “analysts” or “lazy journalists” that describe Erdoğan, who is a Turkish leader defending the secular system in the country, as an “Islamist” figure, defining Fetullah Gülen, the mastermind of the bloody coup attempt in July 2016, only as an opponent of Erdoğan, or ignoring the fact that more than half of the Kurdish population voted for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) or naming the pro-PKK Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) as a “Kurdish party.”
Therefore, my sole message to my Argentine and Venezuelan friends is that “I understand you very well”