Every time I mention Venezuela and Hugo Chavez to my friends whether on the Right or the Left they all scoff. If there is one thing most of them agree on is that Hugo Chavez was terrible and that Nicolas Maduro is corrupt. That is what the supposedly objective media would have you believe. But here is the truth.
No politician is an angel. But the plutocracy that drives them is worse. They create the environment and many times the mainstream media acquiesce to their direction to shape the news. It was not too long ago when the Bush administration used New York Times' Judith Miller to pull the wool over America's eyes about the Iraq war. In other words, the mainstream media made a lie a plausible reality to many Americans who trusted them.
The mainstream media has done the same thing with Venezuela. FAIR exposes them with a classic example. What is great is that they were able to find a near perfect similarity that shows it is deliberate. Joe Emersberger's article "Western Media Shorthand on Venezuela Conveys and Conceals So Much" is a must-read. But here is the core of the hypocrisy.
A Reuters article (4/18/18) reports that the European Union “could impose further sanctions on Venezuela if it believes democracy is being undermined there.”
The line nicely illustrates the kind of journalistic shorthand Western media have developed, over years of repetition, for conveying distortions and whitewashing gross imperial hypocrisy about Venezuela. A passing remark can convey and conceal so much.
The EU’s sincerity in acting on what it “believes” about Venezuelan democracy is unquestioned by the London-based Reuters. Meanwhile Spain, an EU member, is pursuing the democratically elected president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, for the crime of organizing an illegal independence referendum last year. Weeks ago, he was arrested in Germany at Spain’s request, and other elected representatives have been arrested in Catalonia, where Spain’s federal government deposed the elected regional government after the referendum.
In July 2017, a few months before the referendum in Catalonia, Venezuela’s opposition also organized an illegal referendum. One of the questions asked if the military should obey the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which was an extremely provocative question, given the opposition’s various efforts to overthrow the government by force since 2002. The referendum required an extremely high level of political expression, organization and participation. It allegedly involved 7 million voters. The Venezuelan government disregarded the results—as Spain disregarded the Catalan referendum results—but unlike Spain, did not jail people for organizing it, or send police to brutally repress voters. In fact, two weeks later, Venezuelan voters (overwhelmingly government supporters, since the opposition boycotted and did not field candidates) were violently attacked by opposition militants when they elected a constituent assembly. The attacks resulted in several deaths.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has hardly failed to call attention to the hypocrisy of both the EU and Spain, but the Reuters article made no mention of it.
I must remind Americans of an important fact. Venezuela is sitting on one of the largest oceans of oil in the world. During the reign of the Venezuelan Plutocracy, most Venezuelan's lived in abject poverty. The country has enough natural resources to ensure a prosperous nation. But the spoils went to foreign companies and the country's plutocracy.
Shouldn't one question what was the genesis of Hugo Chavez? The theft of the countries natural resources for the benefit of a few did. And with all of his faults, he took care of the poor. But when a Plutocracy controls much of production and works in concert, they can cripple a country. And then it is easy to fool many that it is the government and not the thieves with a record of stealing that is to be blamed.