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Venezuela: a study in opinion manufacture

Philip Roddis

My previous post on Venezuela claimed media on both sides of the Atlantic to have a long and unbroken record of backing US aggression on the global south. Of scores of examples I might have given, I chose the Observer’s 2003 call for ‘decisive action’ against Iraq.

I stand by the general claim but it needs refinement. Today’s Observer runs an editorial on Why Venezuela needs consensus, not conflict. It opens with the image shown above, of an anti Maduro rally (or to be pedantically accurate, one in support of a Juan Guaidó “recognised” by the USA – dutifully followed by that long list of leaders beholden to Washington and Wall St. – as president). Note the absence of faces. So what? So former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, a man of proven courage and principle, posted a few days ago this picture:

It too has been widely circulated to show mass domestic opposition to Maduro. But, as I point out in my previous post, Murray wisely invites us to look closely at those it depicts. Do they seem ill fed and dressed in rags? Or are these the faces of those who have done very well from their country’s ruthless subordination to El Norte, via domestic comprador classes? The faces, in fact, of those who feel most threatened by the Chavismo project of social justice.

I mention this because corporate media – and, for reasons I’ll get to, liberal media in particular – avoid active whoppers when they can. Such lies have clear dangers. But the pictures above, or to be precise the contexts in which they are fed to us, underpin a passive lie. For one thing the second of them shows hands only, making it hard to assess – is someone at GMG shadowing Murray? – the socio-economic status of those present. For another, as the sole image in today’s editorial, it is one of many receiving far wider circulation in Western media than those showing support for Maduro. Upshot? We are subconsciously – and this is where propaganda operates – primed to see a nation united against its leader. Does it work? Check out the BTL comment, by liberal intelligentsia, below any Guardian opinion piece on Venezuela.{a href=”#1″>1

The two images exemplify a bigger lie – chain of lies in fact – implied by my claim, in that previous post, that corporate media have “abdicated a core duty in their refusal to explore motives that cast a very different light on Western interventions sold to us as humanitarian”.

I might add that, where such abdication provides ideological cover for military assaults of the kind seen in the middle east, those media are parties to what was defined at Nuremberg as “the supreme international crime” of the “initiation or waging of a war of aggression”. Yes, it’s that serious.

Meanwhile, back in Caracas, would we be quite so sure of Maduro as odious tyrant were we to encounter, on a daily basis, images and footage like this??


Moving on, the Observer editorial tells us in paragraph two that Maduro has “disastrously mismanaged” his country – and in paragraph three that Venuzeula “would be well rid of him” – while cautioning in paragraph four against “US intervention”. Two things about this. First is the mealy-mouthed mendacity of implying that Washington meddling is an imminent possibility, when it is a matter of historic record: on the continent as a whole (plus Central America) and in Venezuela specifically. From murderous and chaos inducing sanctions, to attempted coup on Chavez, El Norte’s inglorious record of installing abysmal regimes to further Wall Street ends is beyond dispute. As is liberal media’s double act of looking the other way, then shedding tears after the fact.

Which brings us to the second point, that hand-wringing and fence-sitting[2] are something of a habit at Guardian Media Group. On this I offer two insights by Noam Chomsky: this one …

The right wing claims the press has a liberal bias, and there’s some truth to that … liberal bias is important in a sophisticated system of propaganda. You don’t express the propaganda: that’s vulgar and easy to penetrate, you just presuppose it. And the presuppositions are instilled not by beating you over the head with them but by making them the foundation of discussion. You don’t accept them, you’re not in the discussion.

… and this, from Understanding Power

So when American dissidents criticize the atrocities of some enemy state like Cuba or Vietnam, it’s no secret what the effects of that criticism are going to be: it’s not going to have any effect whatsoever on the Cuban regime, for example, but certainly will help the torturers in Washington and Miami to keep inflicting their campaign of suffering on the Cuban population [i.e. through the US-led embargo]. Well, that is something I do not think a moral person would want to contribute to.

Hear hear.


One last point, for now. The opening paragraph of today’s Observer editorial tells us that:

Nicolás Maduro was re-elected Venezuela’s president last May by fraudulent means, as regional governments and independent observers noted at the time, and his leadership lacks legitimate authority. Maduro, in office if not in power since 2013, has proved himself an incompetent and unimpressive successor to the late socialist president, Hugo Chávez, on whose name and reputation he shamelessly trades.

Now you, your sceptical tendencies confirmed by the fact you give the likes of me time of day, will follow that embedded link. Others will not, and they outnumber you. Taking as read that the link is to evidence of Maduro’s lack of legitimacy, they’ll pass on the detour and stay with the main article, congratulating themselves at its close on being better informed through their diligence. Later, confronted by ‘Maduro apologists’, they’ll cite his lack of legitimacy as proven.

Not you though. You’ll follow through to see that the link is to another Observer editorial, from last May. Like me you’ll read it, and like me you’ll struggle to see a scintilla of real evidence for this putative lack of legitimacy. (For an example of that, Brits might look a little closer home, a few miles across la Manche, to be exact.)

And this – as I’ve commented more than once in the context of Russia, of Syria and of Ukraine – is another staple from the Guardian propaganda toolkit. By repeating unsubstantiated claims, then using them to lend credence to other unsubstantiated claims, our sincere but utterly wrong opinions are daily manufactured.

Till we decide we’ve had enough.

  • [1] Re BTL comment, let me single out that currently fashionable phrase, ‘whataboutery’. I’ve written before on ‘a stubbornly empiricist refusal to join the dots; to view each new situation as isolated and without precedent’. This tendency to view Syria as if Iraq and Libya hadn’t happened, Venezuela as if Chile and scores of other US coups hadn’t either, is reinforced by that ‘whataboutery’ response. Offensive and philistine, it gives those who deploy it immunity from any imperative to study patterns.
  • [2] Fence-sitting and having it both ways cascade through liberal media. As Guardian and Observer are vital to Chomsky’s “sophisticated system of propaganda”, so too are house leftists like Owen Jones and George Monbiot vital to the Guardian. Both damn Bashar Assad to Hell and back – and do the same with those experts, from Mother Agnes to Scott Ritter and Ted Postul, critical of Empire-serving claims against him – but preserve their reputations by winding up lamely opposed to military interventions they do so much to give cover to.

Scribbler for some sixty years, and for fifteen a photographer too, Philip Roddis began blogging in the early noughties by inflicting film reviews on an unsuspecting public. Soon he was doing the same with illustrated writings on wanderings in Asia and Africa. He writes “to help me think, and because I like to be read”, and finds photography's problem solving aspects "a break from those of writing, as well as an aid to writing and to reflective travel”.

His blog is Steel City Scribblings


  1. falcemartello1 says

    I find this whole charade with regards to Venezuela just a further nail in the coffin of any semblance of realism and further s my argument that we are truly living in an idiocracy here in the so called liberal western world. Like the so often and pushed phrases like the International order of things. Or our western values that are tried and proven .
    I Posit this question to all the western plutocrats ,elites, intellectuals. If you sincerely believe in what you say then how many elections does the PSUV have 2 win before one gives it any legitimacy ? The western world is led to believe that the Russians had installed the POTUS and that meddling in other countries elections is very bad (Naughty naughty boy those Russians). Well Nato since the Yugoslavian balkanistaion to Venezuela and all the other countries in between that have been devastated ruined and made to be non-existance (Libya human slave trade alive and well, from the maghreb to the ME it is estimated that over 2 million people have perished since Gulf war 1 and 2 let us not forget Afghanistan)
    Thank goodness for these exceptional western values that we have had the privilege of experiencing in this dystopian post modern world.
    Let us look at the countries that are being run by the M and M club(Merkle,Macron and May)
    Lets begin with Merkle the Germanic Iron lady whom dethroned Thatcher of that infamous acronym. In the pockets of her masters the corporations decided to open the flood gates of the many displaced peoples of the maghreb, Mali Malawi, and the ME . All countries that have been devastated and destroyed by leading Nato countries. Well this has caused many of the so called civilised EEC to become a tad concerned. The plutocrats and their mignons along with the legacy media portray these concerns as “Rising Xenophobia”. Well let me paraphrase Friedrich Engels.Migration is the enemy of the working class”
    Lets get to May Thatcher on Valium. Well “Brexit means Brexit” Yeah right so know they are floating the idea of another referendum. Democracy alla post modern Fascismo purro.Then there is Mark Carney the British chairman of the Bank of England who has the audacity to deny access to the sovereign government of Venezuela their gold that is in their custody. Well that is shear theft. Remind anybody of Libya and the missing 86 billion dollars in Gold and silver.
    Then let us not forget the M in this exclusive club Macaroni man. Yes the man who is King of the country that gave us LIBERTE <FRATERNITY. Well lets look at Malawi and Libya. Great holiday destinations all do to the great military investments and destruction of the aforementioned countries He can not even acknowledge or have the courage to have any dialogue with the gilet jeune instead 100's maimed for life and a few dozen have been killed.
    Benito Mussollini is laughing in inferno while we are living his dream and the united Europe project is fact that we are living his prodigy Hitlers dream , remember my dear readers that Mussolini in 1915 with the help of French and British secret service money was bankrolled into opposing the socialist and initiating his right wing rise further more during the BIENIO ROSSO wrote an op ed in his paper wher he first coins the phrase the Lo Stato Corporato the corporate state. which my fellow humans is FASCISMO 101.
    Look around and smell the roses its full of thorns the largest wealth gap exceeding the Gilded age. The largest displacement of humans exceeding the second world war. But hell we have our western liberal values free choice wi-fi AI and 5G let us not forget the uberfication of everything.
    Hence Maduro has no legitimacy .

  2. Joerg says

    No, Vexarb, I am not “Willem”. but as You called me – here I am:

    Trump obviously wants to enter the history books with a glorious (or “awesome”) war.
    But his intention could relate to much more than just Venezuela.
    I think Thierry Meyssan once again had a good intuition: Please read his – already six weeks old – article “THE UNITED STATES ARE PREPARING A WAR BETWEEN LATIN-AMERICAN STATES” – https://www.voltairenet.org/article204400.html .

  3. BigB says

    Spot on Phillip.

    To change our relationship with propagandic and opinion manufacture narratives: Caitlin Johnstone suggests switching focus and attention to beauty – to distract from the assumptive encultured mind-chatter. Which is to say: switch focus away from the conceptual, to the actual and experiential. Which is a pure Zen manifesto.

    If we take the beauty, novelty and infinite uniqueness of the moment as the primary core consciousness …a new way of seeing and knowing arises. If we look past the old, habitual, encultured mind – to see deeply into the lived experience – we can see reality unfold with us: as us …when beauty and not-beauty coincide. Such pure perception cannot be managed – it is Such (tathata).

    Suchness is normative, regenerative and restorative. As life cognisant of life …in the co-mutual embrace and enaction of life. As Caitlin attests: when the propagandic imaginal world is stripped and emptied of its habitual daily processual of perception management – it is revealed as a regime of untruth and unfreedom …viewed as a primal seeing and knowing (jnana). Identifying its incoherences and misperceptions provides the root corrective and affords a praxis of enaction. The way of seeing that-which-is-as-it-is is generative of a Zen manifesto of an emergent politic of unity. To co-evolve further: the basic fundamental assumptions – of self, mind, separation, and hierarchical sectarian Otherness – that govern the dualistic propagandic imaginal need to be challenged and evolved. Jnana is the evolutionary key.

    • Tim Jenkins says

      The beauty in that moment of official confirmation of controlled demolitions, still to come , is something worth waiting for:-

      like a baby in extended incubation, when one knew from the outset , not least because the BBC had kindly announced the WTC 7 collapse before it ever firkin’ happened and I heard them and saw the building still standing over her left shoulder, live ! So i was ready & waiting then, all prepared for those very first few seconds when WTC 7 began to implode on its’ own footprint, (impossible without explosives) and there they were visible on film, almost half an hour later after the announcement: time enough to make popcorn, drink coffee , smoke and let the show begin, “Beautiful Mess” , finally I thought, they’ve blown it this time, nobody will fall for this huge shot in the foot … nobody could be so dumb >>> simple . . .

      “Suchness is normative, regenerative and restorative. As life cognisant of life …in the co-mutual embrace and enaction of life.” & death of the deep state 🙂

  4. What a racist and supremacist anglo-saxon arrogance…!!! Do ‘Latinos’ (Spics?) have to be toothless, rachitic souls dressed in rags to protest against the unconstitutional rule of a moron that is ruining their country, just to keep the presumptuous and ignorant creed of an ‘anglo’ loony left of cowards that are the agents of globalist slavery…???!!! Do they have your permission, oh Lords of the North, to defend their Constitution (Created by Chavez) and their legality…???!!! Can these poor Banana Republics, like leftist Spain, Ecuador and Costa Rica or ‘rightist’ Brazil and Colombia, oppose the immigrationist attacks of the Misgovernment of Venezuela, that has been destroying its country for 20 years…???!!! Do they have to negate what is evident just to keep you happy with dreams of fake revolutions in your ‘metropolis’ oh Masters of the Boreal Kingdoms…???!!!

    • harry stotle says

      Mike Pence believes it should be left up to neoncons like him to ‘phone in’ the leader of democratic states.

      Juan Guaidó did not emerge from nowhwere even if 80% of Venezuelans have never heard of him, he is ‘the product of a decade-long project overseen by Washington’s elite regime change trainers.’

      Apparently Juan and Mike Abrams, the man who loves overseeing torture in Latin America have become inseparable at the local death squad team building days.

    • mark says

      Yes, these “toothless spics” apparently need the Three Amigos, Pompeo, Abrams, and Bolton (or maybe the Three Stooges) an odd ragbag of warmongers, convicted perjurers, death squad and torture queens, war criminals and corporate lobbyists, to decide what is best for these poor benighted lesser breeds in the interests of “democracy” and select an IMF approved candidate to rule over them, So much more convenient than free and fair democratic elections. Why, Bolton is even thoughtfully and helpfully offering to haul off the elected president of Venezuela in chains like they did with their uppity satrap Noriega to his own cell in the Guantanamo Concentration Camp.

  5. Paul Spencer says

    I especially appreciate the paragraph about ‘whataboutery’ in the final notes of your article. I have had a native dislike of the term, but your point about using it to avoid the discernment of patterns is exactly correct. “Aha” as the expression goes.

  6. bevin says

    There are several indications that the Canadian government is deeply implicated in this coup. The Foreign Minister Freeland is one of the leading lights in the Lima Group whose mission is to promote regime change in Venezuela. They are meeting again next week in Ottawa.
    And the call to the Guiado puppet character that initiated the coup attempt came from Freeland, it was followed by another from Pence.
    Characteristically Freeland’s initiatives in this matter are being widely leaked, there have been several accounts of how the Canadian embassy in Caracas has been pushing the entirely bogus propaganda that the recent Federal election (may 2018) was unfair. As Joe Emersberger points out in counterpunch today this is nonsense. In fact even though the US backed opposition boycotted the election, Maduro still received a larger share of the registered electorate than either Trump or Obama did.
    It would be interesting to discover how much money and other resources Ottawa has devoted to sabotaging the government of Alberta’s only competitor in the tar sands business.
    Then there is this report from mintpress, which links the propaganda with anti-Syrian government sites, also part of the Initegrity Intiative-NATO- Five Eyes propaganda network, intimately connected to the Ukrainian fascists, another of Freeland and Canada’s pet causes.

    “SouthFront –– The Twitter account of the pro-opposition blog “In Venezuela,” appears to be run from Toronto, Canada, and an in-the-field news source run by Bellingcat member, Giancarlo Fiorella.

    “The “open-intelligence investigation network,” Bellingcat, is infamous for its biased reporting and forwarding the mainstream media narrative. Its connections to the Institute of Statecraft and its pet project the Integrity Initiative are also no secret…”

  7. This article doesn’t really need to be so fixated on a single editorial to make its argument, which aims at a broad generalization we are already acquainted with. Proving the wheel is round, really.

    • When you consider we are engage in a time where many people are just now waking from the illusion of managed perception from the MSM, it is especially articles like this I can use in my blog to use as a measure of how they’ve been trapped in that illusion.

      • Individuals are always waking up from the MSM, just as individuals are always falling in love or crashing cars or getting into folk music, so not sure you’re making much of a case there.

        And for those of us who lived through both Iraq wars and 9/11, the process is almost 30 years old, so this piece is very much superfluous to requirements.

        • Badger Down says

          You might as well say: We know how to cross the road, so there’s no point in teaching children how to do it.

    • vexarb says

      KingFelix, true, the article does not reveal anything new but the wheels of Roddis’s prose go round very smoothly to refresh our impressions with a scenic tour of the terrain. I particularly liked this passage:

      “As Guardian and Observer are vital to Chomsky’s “sophisticated system of propaganda”, so too are house leftists like Owen Jones and George Monbiot vital to the Guardian. Both damn Bashar Assad to Hell and back – and do the same with those experts, from Mother Agnes to Scott Ritter and Ted Postul, critical of Empire-serving claims against him – but preserve their reputations by winding up lamely opposed to military interventions they do so much to give cover to.”

        • vexarb says

          KingFelix, thanks. Jonathan Cook comes highly recommended.

          “Cook was a freelance sub-editor with several national newspapers from 1994 until 1996. He was a staff journalist at The Guardian and The Observer between 1996 and 2001.[2]

          Since September 2001, Cook has been a freelance writer based in Nazareth, Israel.[3] Until 2007 he wrote columns for The Guardian,[4][5] a publication which, he argued in 2011, limits the expression of dissent by its attacks on Gilad Atzmon, Julian Assange, Noam Chomsky and other Truthers.[6] Articles by Cook have also been published in The International Herald Tribune, Le Monde Diplomatique, Al-Ahram Weekly, Al Jazeera, The National in Abu Dhabi, CounterPunch, The Electronic Intifada, Mondoweiss, and AlterNet among others. In 2011, Cook received the Martha Gellhorn special award for journalism, “for his work on the Middle East”.

          Not surprising to find that Cook’s has also been honoured along with Jeremy Corbyn as “antisemitic”. His website has a good Link to the U$ President Factory that manufactured France’s president Micron and is currently trying to launch their latest model for Venezuela.

          Cook lives in Nazareth, Galilee, a big town not far from my little town in Galilee.

  8. Francis Lee says

    Blatant, in your face, imperialism. All that’s needed are the Pith Helmets. Well I suppose we can now dispense with the United Nations, national sovereignty, International Law, it appears that Might is Right. And here you have the EU, and its cringing Petainst wretches, as usual, giving diplomatic cover to the imperial rogue elephant in the room, the USA.

    An absolute disgrace.

  9. Is it me but on my ipad i cannot seem to find any BTL comments in all the articles that i have clicked on re-Venezuela in the Guardian

    • Haltonbrat says

      I mentioned recently the lack of comments generally these days in the Guardian and no comment on Caracas. It was quickly moderated.

      • George Cornell says

        You are a very naughty boy. How more threatening can you be? Surely one of these days a moderator will jump ship and spill the beans about the orders they march to.

  10. John A says

    Apropos the alleged illegitimacy of last year’s elections in Venezuela as claimed by all western MSM, some British Tory politician Foreign Secretary Hunt perhaps? baldly stated that ‘the ballot boxes were stuffed’ in support of the allegation. Howevere, Venezuela does not use paper voting slips, but uses a British electronic vote registration system.
    Nowhere in the MSM has anyone confronted Hunt with such an obvious and easily proven lie. Says it all

    • bevin says

      It was a cove named Duncan, I believe. He was sent at taxpayer expense to have g
      his hair done. When there he realised that there could be no better place to display his new hairdo than the UN General Assembly, to which, as a junior minister, he was entitled to get a ticket.
      The speech itself had to be made up quickly.

    • JudyJ says

      The attached link makes for illuminating reading. It’s a letter to Mogherini in the EU from a number of international observers at the 2018 Venezuelan election refuting in no uncertain terms the EU’s statement about the status of the election.


  11. MichaelK says

    What’s also rather amusing, in a grotesque fashion, is how, suddenly, people in the UK media and politics have become, overnight, experts in far away Venezuela, after having expressed next to no interest or knowledge about Venezuela previously. My, they are such quick learners!

    This reminds me of how they in the twinkling of a eye began to lecture me on what was happening in Ukraine, where my family owned land and had a history going back several hundred years as they moved eastward from Austria.

  12. MichaelK says

    The photo is interesting because of the way it’s been cropped and the angle it was taken from. Literally one can, at most, see a couple of thousand people within the narrowly chosen frame of the photo, why so few if the ‘people’ are rising up in their millions to show their opposition to Maduro’s government? Because they aren’t rising up in their millions. The photo is highly manipulative and problematic, pretending to show a mass movement, the people on the move for liberty and justice, yet, it actually shows nothing of the sort because those images don’t exist.

    In a way the photo itself is indicative and symbolic of the way our media ‘frames’ the entire situation in Venezuela, ‘cropping ‘ complex reality in order to fit a predetermined narrative and fixing the ‘facts’ around the policy, which is regime change regardless of what the people of Venezuela think.

    It’s obvious, I think, that the great mass of the people in Venezuela are set against the United States meddling in their affairs and attempting to tell them who their president should be or how their economy should be run, only those voices are conspicuously absent from our media, wonder why? And that goes for people from the rest of Latin America too. We here stuff from their political leaders, the ones who are loyal to the United States, the ones Washington helped to put in power, but nothing from ordinary people in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia…

  13. rtj1211 says

    I think most of us here saw through the Guardian long ago.

    Perhaps more important is asking how to wean the current readership off such propaganda without them losing their jobs?

  14. Francis Lee says

    Worth comparing with Ukraine’s colour revolution. Victor Yanukovic the democratically elected president had ambitions to join the EU and he and his Prime Minister, Azarov had undergone long discussions on this issue until the costs of the Association Agreement were too great for the Ukrainian economy to bear, and big Vic suspended the signing of the agreement became known. This gave the signal to the anti-Yanukovic mobs to start the process of unseating the President and his coalition of the Party of the Region and Communist party. What was not known at the time was the US involvement through the National Endowment For Democracy, Human Rights Watch, and the US embassy in Kiev. During the course of the disturbances Victoria Nuland, Assisstant Secretary of State for Eastern European Affairs and the US Ambassador in Kiev Geoffrey Pyatt. Nuland later admitted in the Washington Press Club that the US had subsidized the opposition in Kiev to the tune of US$5 billion. Then there was the infamous telephone conversation between the pair who decided upon who would and who would not be a member of the new ‘government.’

    The upshot was that Yanukovic fled for his life, secessions of the Don Bass and Crimea took place, in addition to a civil war which still simmers.

    It was argued that Yanukovic was a corrupt oligarch, true, but so was everyone else who subsequently took power – ILLEGITIMATELY – in rump Ukraine. In any event Yanukovic was coming to the end of his term of office and there was a presidential election due in 2015. Ah but the sans culottes at the Maidan and their US-EU backers couldn’t wait for this. The coup was finalised in February 2014 and as a result Ukraine is now ruled by a totally incompetent, corrupt, venal collection of quasi-mafia elites and neo-nazi militias. Ukraine is now the poorest country in Europe except for Moldova. It is also rapidly depopulating and has lost 10 million people who have left this economic and political basket case. So much for the revolution of dignity.

    ”Beware of the Greeks (Americans) when they come bearing gifts.”

    • vexarb says

      @Francis Lee.

      “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” is a Latin phrase from Aeneid (II, 49).

      “Timeo Americanos et dona ferentes” is a Latin phrase from Ukraine?

      “Timeo Los Gringos et dona ferentes” is a Latin-American phrase from Venezuela.

  15. Michael Skoruppa says

    Your picture of the pro Maduro rally cannot be entered from your page, only from youtube, because AFP has complained.

      • vexarb says

        Andy, can you blame them? That pro-government crowd is just huge, monstrous (compared to the anti-government one). It might frighten the children.

  16. UreKismet says

    Viner’s arselicks have sunk to a whole new level of perfidious mendacity with today’s “story” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/29/venezuela-juan-guaido-tarek-saab-investigation
    “Venezuela court freezes Juan Guaidó’s bank accounts and imposes travel ban ”

    Written by a pair of Latin America based stringers (and those of us with memories recall the issues the graun has had with it’s foreign based stringers staying home to manufacture stories and supporting quotes), this article which is entirely free of any cheeckable, whatddya call ’em, facts, contains gems such as :
    “Between Monday and Saturday last week, more than 40 people were killed, and 850 people were detained overall, including 77 children.”
    Now that line was placed after but separate from a para which referenced ‘the UN human rights office’ implying that this was the source for that complete tosh – those of us familiar with Viner’s sleazebag of dirty tricks can be sure that is not the case – other wise this august journal (hoick – spit) would have said so.

    Last week when this fishwrap kicked off their Venezuela coverage with an opinion piece saying everyone who is not a venezuelan should stay the f..k away I assumed that the graun’s reader’s contributions were insufficiently generous, so the graun had eased up on the empire spruiking so as not to alienate too many more of us – (hands up if you have responded to their constant entreaties for more dosh by telling ’em “not until you lift your game and quit with the lies and empire enabling tosh”) – yep pretty much all of us.

    Anyway it only took a couple of days and doubtless a few stern words to Viner, for the rag to push out flimsily manufactured lies about Venezuela.

    I don’t live in england but if as seems likely the paper will continue to spread BS advocating a US imperial invasion of Venezuela, that it is time for those who do live in england to en masse express their dismay loudly & relentlessly outside graun towers or whatever it’s called.
    Creeps like Owen the faded schoolboy Jones and George the corporate puppet’ Monbiot need to be called out publicly to make sure everyone hears that this pair of tory abetting scumbags are not regrded as truthtellers by discerning readers.

    • Martin Usher says

      Our local rag, the Los Angeles Times, duly trotted out an OpEd piece on Veneuzela when this latest ‘crisis’ hit that pressed all the right buttons. It talked about an unpopular, incompetent, President that was elected by dubious electoral techniques, a popularly elected assembly that was opposed to him and so on. I thought it was an exercise in irony and wrote a short note to the editor pointing this out since the talking points could quite easily apply to the US. I kept away from questioning the veracity of their assertions — it wasn’t important in this case, just take what was written at face value and change a few names. I did point out that it was unfortunate that it was an oil producer since states that produce this commodity that don’t play the (our) game seem to suffer unfortunate outbreaks of “freedom and democracy”. Obviously it didn’t get published but, more significantly, every week they publish a numerical summary of letters to the editor and Venezuela didn’t figure at all in the count. Interesting…..

  17. harry stotle says

    Opinions BTL are equally abysmal when it comes to Venezuela (although the Guaridan will memory hole any analysis which strays too far from that approved by the party).

    Some commentators are so conditioned by identity politics that they barely raised a murmer when their golden boy, Obama, described Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat to national security.” Yes, for Barak Venezuela was a brooding menace that could only be dealt with by imposing damaging economic sanctions (amongst other things). irrespective of the serious harms that could all be too easily anticipated.

    It simply did not occur to Guardian liberals that such claims lacked logic or indeed any form of credibility unless ‘extraordinary threat’ is defined as not doing precisely what the Wall Street financiers tell you to do because from where I am sitting it just sounds look another piss-poor excuse for the US to bully a weaker nation.

    Trump of course has cranked up the pressure which must have created some degree of cognitive dissonance for the Guardian because they are probably unsure who to hate the most Donald or Maduro?

    At the same time it fails to dawn on many of the Guardian commentariat that while the US feigns concern about conditions for ordinary families in Venezuela they are at the same time heavily complicit with a war that has led to starvation and a deadly cholera outbreak in the Yemen.

    Sadly 70% of the commentary BTL does not get beyond rationalising regime change in Venzuela with the following tedious formula;
    Economic hardship – Corbyn – socialism – Soviet Union & China – overthrow any non-right wing government.

    Does it not occur to these fuckwits that public support is an important ingredient in the never-ending cycle of violent regime change?

  18. Salford Lad says

    Marine General Smedley Butler’s, ‘ War is a racket’ and William Blum’s ‘Rogue State’ are essential reading to understand the depredations by the US in it wars of Corporate profit over the past 150 years.

  19. Gezzah Potts says

    While waiting on a coffee today, I flicked thru The Age, a sort of slightly ‘progressive’ Australian Guardian. The sort of rag that has screamed blue murder about Trump. Until today. Lo and behold, a ‘story’ on Venezuela states the United States was right in doing what it did, viz, the Coup, and Trump was right in doing it!!! Yet they’ve banged on and on about Trump and Putin and Mueller and all the other deranged fairytales they spew out. But hey, Trump is right in overthrowing the legitimate Venezuelan Govt according to The Age! Nevermind the UN Charter or International Law. This same story proceeded to completely demonise the Maduro Govt. Just to stick the boot in. These people live on Jupiter. And all this garbage is so transparently blatant now. Its right in your face blatant.

    • Bootlyboob says

      The Age has been like this for years unfortunately. My favourite is when they run with the headline: China is Australia’s/World’s greatest threat. So I go to the actual article and it’s a quote from some inbred US general war pig. Our ‘news’ comes directly from the US elites and has nothing to do with our citizens.

    • Frankly Speaking says

      Trump has been fully Borged by the Deep State, there is no escape, resistance is futile…

      • vexarb says

        Frankly, resistance is fertile; otherwise we wouldn’t be on this site.

      • mark says

        It doesn’t really matter whether you have an orange trained monkey or a black trained monkey or a woman trained monkey or a gay trained monkey or even a trannie trained monkey in the White House, it’s all the same to its Zionist organ grinder, just so ,long as it rattles its little tin cup on cue. You could just as well vote for a pig’s bladder on a stick for all the difference it makes.

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