I am loath to invoke the term because of its association with so many of Trump’s idiotic utterances and wrongful accusations against the press. However, in truth, there is a great deal of “fake news” being circulated in the mainstream corporate-owned media about what is going on currently in Venezuela.
The intense, sometimes violent, conflicts we see on TV playing out in the streets in Venezuela are being framed as ones between authoritarianism and democracy. But this is not what is actually happening.
Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro, commonly depicted in the mainstream media here in the U.S. as a “dictator,” has been elected to his position twice — most recently in 2018 — and Venezuela’s elections (unlike ours) have been praised as corruption-free by international observers, including Jimmy Carter.
The man whom the Trump administration has recognized as Venezuela’s president is a right-wing CIA-trained usurper never once elected to that position. A recent poll in Venezuela showed that Venezuelans, by far, regard Maduro to be the legitimate president and oppose U.S. meddling in their internal affairs.
What is actually happening in Venezuela is the result of sharpening class struggles. Beginning under Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s socialist government has tried to create a more just, egalitarian and democratic country by devolving power to the working masses. These positive changes are detested by the privileged members of the society from whom the opposition is largely constituted.
The mainstream media often show us opposition protests. Yet they mostly fail to cover even larger pro-government marches. A comparison of the two would reveal that the opposition is not only from the upper echelons of Venezuela’s society but is almost entirely white (just like Trump rallies), while pro-government marches much more reflect the country’s racial diversity of mestizos, whites, blacks.
So why would our government be using economic sanctions to destabilize a democratically-elected government and threaten to invade it? The reason is because U.S. corporate interests want to get their hands on Venezuela’s petroleum, the world’s largest reserve. Historical memories seem to be woefully short here in the U.S. Even so, we should not forget how the U.S. sanctions against — and subsequent military invasion of — oil-rich Iraq was justified by about non-existent “weapons of mass destruction.”
For more truthful news and analysis about Venezuela, I recommend the website Venezuelanalysis.org and the Pacifica radio show “Democracy Now!” broadcast locally on WGDR (91.1) and WDEV (96.1).
Joseph P. “Jay” Moore