Manufacturing Consent: A Case Study of Venezuela & the Ongoing

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

The Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies (ANCLAS) and the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Australia present Manufacturing Consent: A Case Study of Venezuela & the Ongoing Crisis.

The recent conflict in Venezuela between the government of Nicolás Maduro and the local Opposition has once again placed the South American country in the spotlight of the international media. Images of protests, police firing tear gas, food and medicine shortages have flooded the mainstream media in print and television. Add to this the fall of oil prices in recent years and spiralling inflation, there should be few doubts Venezuela is experiencing a serious economic and political crisis. Likewise though, as was the case with the short-lived coup d'état in April 2002 against President Hugo Chávez, the oil strike the following year, or more recently, the 2014 'guarimbas', the mainstream media has long played a partisan role in shaping how we interpret Venezuela.

The manufacture of consent, either by the press in English or Spanish, has also failed to suffice in explaining the longevity of what is known as the 'Bolivarian revolution.' This talk aims to explain the most recent crisis in Venezuela in both its economic and political dimensions. Criticisms will be made of the mainstream media's coverage of Venezuela as they have often acted like another political actor in the conflict instead of providing a more objective level of analysis. Finally, this paper will attempt to discuss some of the possible future scenarios of political developments in Venezuela.

About the speaker

Dr Rodrigo Acuña is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of International Studies at Macqaurie University. His research interests include Inter-American relations, Cold War and Post-Cold War Latin America, Venezuelan history and politics, media, human rights and development policies from a multidisciplinary perspective. Rodrigo has published in the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research (JILAR), the Macquarie Law Journal and numerous media outlets including: The Drum at the Australian Broadcasting Cooperation (ABC), The Diplomat, New Matilda, Alborada, Canadian Dimensions and The Conversation.

The lecture will be followed by light food and beverages. Free and open to the public. No RSVP required.