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China’s Chernobyl

Chernóbil, El American

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The 1986 tragedy at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Chernobyl, once again exposed to the world the vices of communist regimes and the dangers of their existence. At the time, the Soviet Union was consequently unable to contain the damage of the worst nuclear accident in history. The miniseries created by Craig Mazin and directed by Johan Renck, Chernobyl, exposes very well the manipulation and mediocrity of the declining empire, at that time led by Gorbachev.

Although the communist regime tried hard to hide the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, it failed to do so. The greatest nuclear tragedy, five hundred times more radioactive than what Little Boy generated in Hiroshima, had an impact far beyond the borders of the Soviet empire. Practically all of Europe was hit by the radioactive tail, as a consequence of the clumsiness of a group of ill-prepared scientists and a structural failure of the nuclear power plant.

The Soviet Union tried to limit the official death toll, as if the dead obeyed the will of a bureaucrat. A little more than thirty, said the communist empire. But the reality, according to much more precise estimates, is around sixty thousand people, thousands of whom died over the years from exposure to radiation. It will be impossible, in fact, to calculate the exact number of deaths from the accident.

The Soviet Union’s stubbornness in hiding the details of the accident from the world lies in the fact that the regime shares much of the responsibility. As Mazin’s series exposes so well in its paroxysm: all the Soviet Union’s nuclear power plants were structurally flawed for the simple reason that they used the cheapest available on the market to build them. And for communist misery, everybody paid. Hundreds of thousands had to leave their homes, tens of thousands of people across Europe developed diseases such as cancer, and others died within days of the accident. All, in the end, to spend less and, of course, to avoid turning to American technology.

Svetlana Aleksievich’s great work, “Voices from Chernobyl,” also works as a testimony of communist evil. The drama that each family lived through those days, in the face of uncertainty and pain due to illness, is the responsibility, in the end, of a group of bureaucrats who had no idea what they were doing. The purpose, above all else, is to protect the regime’s reputation. Everything else comes second, as we saw last year in China.

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Although at one time it was dismissed as a conspiracy theory, today most scientists in the world agree that it cannot be ruled out that the coronavirus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. From the moment the pandemic began, Xi Jinping’s communist regime has avoided rigorous investigations into the origins of the virus. The Communist Party exerted its influence to manipulate large organizations to deflect responsibility. Meanwhile, the regime persecuted and harassed those in China who tried to refute the narrative pushed by the central power. It encouraged the mobilization of its citizens when the pandemic was emerging, in February 2020, and tried to contain the information that spread about the virus before it reached the West — as if silencing the drama could have prevented it—.

If confirmed, the escape of the virus from the Wuhan Institute would be the equivalent of the 1986 Chernobyl tragedy in the Soviet Union. However, with a clear difference: the devastation caused by the virus has been much greater than that caused by the radiation. Already millions have died, coupled with the economic collapse of most nations, poverty, the coronavirus testing scam and the tyranny that many governments have imposed on their people. If today we discuss vaccination passports and, terrified, witness the despotic development of liberal democracies, it is thanks to the Communist Party of China.

The common denominator is clear: communist bureaucrats, without a remote idea of what they are doing, nor experience, make decisions that dramatically impact the lives of innocent people. As the world did in 1986 against the Soviet Union, today the West must raise its finger and accuse China. Then, it must make it pay. The worst mistake would be to make the communists believe that they can plunge us into tragedy and get away with it.

Orlando Avendaño is the co-editor-in-chief of El American. He is a Venezuelan journalist and has studies in the History of Venezuela. He is the author of the book Days of submission // Orlando Avendaño es el co-editor en Jefe de El American. Es periodista venezolano y cuenta con estudios en Historia de Venezuela. Es autor del libro Días de sumisión.