Monday, 4 February 2019

Venezuela: the situation looks bleak for the people

The disinformation explosion on the issue of political situation in Venezuela is surely so caricatured as to be self-defeating. The political and media elite seem to be incapable of discussing this issue without resorting to blatant lies and hypocrisy. These are so obvious that anyone who is even half-awake cannot help but notice.

A concern for human rights, democracy and the rule of law are asserted as a justification for an illegal regime change operation to overthrow a democratically elected government, which risks the unleashing of a civil war that would inevitably result in mass violations of human rights. Yet, this is precisely what politicians and journalists are daily trying to sell to their domestic audiences.

The narrative of the US and its allies is beyond absurd. Its antimonies are so obvious that one can only assume the narrative is not even intended to persuade. The ruling class apparently no longer even care whether or not their lies are believed. The only purpose such blatantly absurd propaganda can serve is to provide a clear demarcation between those who support the rulers and those who oppose them.

According to the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and others, they have the right to decide who is the president of Venezuela. Yet, these same governments have for years consistently condemned Russia for allegedly meddling in the domestic politics of another country. And the same corporate news media organisations that have pushed that narrative are now equally assiduously pushing the narrative that meddling in the domestic politics of a foreign country is a good thing to do. Apparently, no one is supposed to notice the contradiction. And if anyone is tactless or honest or principled enough to do so, they are immediately vilely abused as Chris Williamson discovered in the British parliament when he had the audacity to point this out in the House of Commons.

Nor is anyone supposed to notice that these same governments and same corporate media organisations provide fulsome support for countries that do not have any respect for human rights, democracy or the rule of law. Their support for the barbarous regime in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an obvious example. If the United Kingdom is really concerned about human rights, democracy and the rule of law, how can it support the House of Saud? The question answers itself - it couldn't. Yet it does. And this too is supposed to go unnoticed.

However, none of this is new. The same people peddled not dissimilar lies to justify previous regime change operations. The public were told that President Assad was a monster; that Gaddafi was a potential genocidal maniac; that Yanukovych was a murdering dictator. The propaganda was used to justify support for jihadists, the bombing of Libya back to the Middle Ages, and the organisation of a violent coup d'etat by neo-Nazis, who immediately unleashed civil war upon their fellow citizens. All of which happened in the last decade. Yet the public are not supposed to remember. They are assumed to have the memory capacity of the proverbial goldfish in a bowl.

The US uses the same playbook over and over again. It demonises the leader of the target country. It imposes economic sanctions to create domestic discontent. It covertly funds and organises domestic opposition. Its corporate media amplify the propaganda and demands that something must be done. Allies are conscripted to beat the drum. If the government is still standing, the military are despatched. And no one is supposed to notice the misery and mayhem; but, if they do, it was a price worth paying.

The situation in Venezuela is now approaching the end game. All the pieces, long prepared, are now in place. An obscure opposition figure, Juan Guadio, has been proclaimed the president by the democratic fiat of the US government. However, the actually elected president, Nicolas Maduro, is still standing, so the US has stated that military options are on the table. CNN has manufactured news of military defectors calling for US arms.

The situation looks bleak for the people of Venezuela. The only allies the Venezuelan government has in the region are Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba. When President Assad beat off the US and its allies, he did so by the direct, military support of Russia. Whilst Russia is providing Venezuela with diplomatic support, it is highly unlikely that it could do more and, without serious outside support, it is difficult to see how the Venezuelan government will be able to fend off the US and its allies indefinitely. As John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor, has made clear, US oil companies want control of Venezuelan oil fields: and whatever American corporations want is generally provided by the US government.

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