The ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela

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!

As Harold Pinter said, in his 2005 Nobel Laureate acceptance speech:

“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:


From The Whitstable Gazette 14/02/19

The editor welcomes letters on any topical subject, but reserves the right to edit them. Letters must include your name and address even when emailed and a daytime telephone number.

Send letters to: The Editor, Room B119 Canterbury College, New Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3AJ

fax: 01227 762415

Published by christopherjamesstone

CJ Stone is an author, columnist and feature writer. He has written six books: Fierce Dancing: Adventures in the Underground (Faber & Faber 1996); The Last of the Hippies (Faber & Faber 1999); Housing Benefit Hill & Other Places (AK Press 2001); The Trials of Arthur (with Arthur Pendragon: Thorsons/Element 2003); The Trials of Arthur Revised Edition (with Arthur Pendragon: The Big Hand 2010); & The Empire of Things (Gonzo multimedia 2013). He is currently working on his seventh. From 1993 till 1998 he was a regular columnist with the Guardian Weekend in the UK. His column Housing Benefit Hill was a runaway hit, observing life on a run down housing estate in a small town in England, while his travel column CJ Stone's Britain took a wry look at the state of Britain in the 90s. From 2003-2008, he ran a column for Prediction magazine. Other columns include a fortnightly column for The Whitstable Times and columns for Mixmag & the Big Issue. Currently he writes a fortnightly column for The Whitstable Gazette and makes regular contributions to the Guardian on-line, the London Review of Books and Kindred Spirit magazine.

2 thoughts on “The ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela

  1. Another excellent blog Chris. It does look like a transfer of American hot war to a continent closer but I am hopeful on this one. Trump does seem to prefer extreme bluster to bullets (Korea, Syria, Iran) and I am hoping that he uses the same strategy in Venezuela. I’m no fan of Maduro or Chavez for that matter, and the new guy may not be any worse. I don’t really care and all I pray for is that America does not let the bullets fly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Greg. I liked Chavez myself, as he clearly had a sense of humour, but it also shows the problem of a revolution based entirely upon the charisma of one man: it is too fragile to last, and it will be hampered by his weaknesses as much as it is aided by his strengths. Maduro is another character entirely, but, whoever the leader is, or how he got there, it’s not up to the United States to tell another country who it should be run by.

    Liked by 1 person

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