Over the past few weeks, Venezuela has witnessed an intense amount of controversy at home and abroad. Much of it has been drummed up by opposition activists along with international media outlets who appear ready to call into question the validity of upcoming regional elections in November, if opposition demands are not met.
The first sign of this came in late July when the International Crisis Group published its 2008 report on Venezuela entitled "Venezuela: Political Reform or Regime Demise?"
The report is alarming because 1) it is issued by a leading international organization tasked with identifying deadly conflicts before they happen, 2) it is filled with glaring mistakes and factually inaccurate information, and 3) the majority of sources are aligned with the opposition or are not disclosed.
The interactive timeline that accompanies the report doesn't fare much better. It is a sloppy piece of work that distorts well-known historical facts such as the coup d'etat. For the year 2002, ICG states, "In what amounts to a coup d'etat, the armed forces disobey orders to repress the protesters, and announce Chavez's resignation."
To anyone who is familiar with current day Venezuela, the findings and recommendations of the ICG report will be perceived as inadequate and inaccurate in certain instances. But for the many more international organizations, journalists, and policy makers who are much less knowledgeable, it will likely be taken seriously.
For this reason, it is important that we set the record straight and clarify the key discrepancies published by the International Crisis Group on Venezuela. You can read our analysis, "International Crisis Group-Short on Facts, High on Bias"
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the issues and share it with whomever you see fit.