Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page - Hi­lal Ka­plan

IT IS our re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect a hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis from be­com­ing the vic­tim of an ide­o­log­i­cal war that is cur­rently be­ing fu­eled in part by lazy jour­nal­ists

Ithought 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.”

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