So the media are at it again, touting for another war.
As if Iraq, Libya, and Syria weren’t enough, now we have Venezuela to add to the list.
The excuse this time is that the president, Nicolás Maduro, is a dictator and must go. Meanwhile Juan Guaidó, leader of the National Assembly, has announced that he is now the interim president and has been duly recognised by a number of Western governments, including our own.
Well dictators come and go, and no one bats an eye; unless that is, the so-called dictator is sitting on a supply of oil that the Americans deem to be theirs.
Take the Saudis, for example, a corrupt medieval autocracy ruled by a single family: they can murder journalists, lop the heads off the opposition, repress women and gays, export terrorism and stone people to death. Who is talking about invading them?
Say what you like about Maduro – an incompetent leader presiding over a political and economic crisis (not unlike Theresa May) – he is, and remains, the democratically elected president of the country.
He received 67.8% of the vote in the presidential election of 2018, with a 46% turnout, under an electoral system that Jimmy Carter described as “the best in the world”.
That’s a more resounding victory than any of the politicians who are currently accusing him of being a dictator.
Imagine if Jeremy Corbyn was to announce himself the interim Prime Minister of the UK, and the Russians and the Chinese were to recognise him.
Well we’ve seen it all before, of course. What gets me is the way the media are lining up to back America’s obvious imperialist designs.
Almost exactly a week before the crisis began, the BBC showed a programme about Venezuela called “Revolution in Ruins”. Was that prescient or planned I wonder?
Since then we’ve been subjected to a relentless barrage of anti-Maduro propaganda. Even supposedly liberal left outlets like Channel 4 and the Guardian are joining in.
So we’ve seen Lindsey Hilsum for Channel 4 reporting from inside Venezuela on the breakdown of the economy, cheerleading for “humanitarian aid”, which has been called for by the opposition, but which Maduro has described as a Trojan Horse.
Given that the United States has been blocking aid from other countries, and has a known history of fomenting coups in Venezuela, including a 2002 attempt to overthrow the previous president, Hugo Chavez, that doesn’t seem at all unlikely.
If Maduro was really a dictator, would Lindsey Hilsum be allowed to roam freely throughout the country filing hostile reports?
Or what about Juan Guaidó: what self-respecting dictator would allow him free access to the world’s media? Do you think leaders of the opposition in Saudi Arabia are given such privileges?
The irony here is that Guaidó called Maduro a usurper, when he himself is actively conspiring with a foreign power to overthrow his own government.
There’s a word for that. Normally it is called treason.
The question is, at what point in Lindsey Hilsum’s career did she decide that it was the job of the independent media to aid and abet coup attempts in other people’s countries?
And meanwhile the Americans are huffing about the Russians interfering in their election by putting up posts on social media!
“You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.”
That was during the Iraq war. Tell me: what has changed?
More about Venezuela:
- Red Cross, UN Slam ‘Politicised’ USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Venezuela
- Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens
- International politics and humanitarian aid collide in Venezuela
From The Whitstable Gazette 14/02/19
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