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Crocodile Tears for Venezuela

From Late Victorian Holocausts to 21st Century Imperialism

Colin Todhunter

Stephen Hickey addressing the UN Security Council, Feb 2019.

On 26 February, Stephen Hickey, UK political coordinator at the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on Venezuela that put the blame for the situation in that country on its government. He said that years of misrule and corruption have wrecked the Venezuelan economy and that the actions of the “Maduro regime” have led to economic collapse.

He continued by talking about the recent attempts to bring ‘aid’ into the country:

[Maduro’s] use of deadly violence against his own people and other concerning acts of aggression to block the supply of desperately needed humanitarian aid are simply repugnant… the Maduro regime’s oppressive policies affect… innocent civilians, including women and children, who lack access to essential medical and other basic supplies…”

He then went on to talk about journalist Jorge Ramos being reportedly detained, later to be released and deported:

As with the lack of freedom given to journalists, other essential freedoms – such as democratic ones – are simply not present in Venezuela… We stand with… Juan Guaidó in pursuit of our shared goal to bring peace and stability to Venezuela.”

We can but wonder what Hickey thinks about the illegal and arbitrary detention and needless suffering of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the best part of a decade courtesy of his own government.

Hickey argued that the only way to achieve peace and stability is by democratic transition through free and fair presidential elections, as demanded by ‘interim President Guaidó’ and the National Assembly, in line with the Venezuelan Constitution.

He stated:

Until this is achieved, the current humanitarian crisis caused by the Maduro regime’s corrupt policies will continue… nothing short of free and fair presidential elections will do.”

In the meantime, Hickey called for additional sanctions against individual members of the Venezuelan government who he said had benefited from corrupt policies.

He concluded that:

The Venezuelan people deserve a better future. They have suffered enough at the hands of the Maduro regime.”

Something for Hickey to consider

Here are a few facts for Stephen Hickey. In 2018, Maduro was re-elected president. A section of the opposition boycotted the election but the boycott failed: 9,389,056 people voted; 16 parties participated and six candidates stood for the presidency. Maduro won 6,248,864 votes, or 68 per cent.

Renowned journalist John Pilger says that on election day he spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers who told him the process had been entirely fair. There was no fraud and none of the lurid media claims stood up.

So what of the unelected Juan Guaidó whom Hickey calls the “interim president”?

Pilger notes that the Trump administration has presented Guaidó, a pop-up creation of the CIA-front National Endowment for Democracy, as the legitimate President of Venezuela. Guaidó was previously unheard of by 81 percent of the Venezuelan people and has been elected by no one.

And what of the people who are behind him (not ordinary Venezuelan people, but his backers in Washington)? Pilger says:

As his “special envoy to Venezuela” (coup master), Trump has appointed a convicted felon, Elliot Abrams, whose intrigues in the service of Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush helped produce the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and plunge central America into years of blood-soaked misery.”

Talking about the Western media biased reporting on Venezuela, Pilger adds that the country’s democratic record, human rights legislation, food programmes, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen:

The greatest literacy program in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist.”

None of this happened in the warped world of Stephen Hickey either. He paints a wholly distorted picture of the situation in Venezuela, one which lays the blame for economic woes and their consequences at the door of Maduro and his ‘corrupt regime’. But this is a tried and tested strategy: bring a country to its knees and apportion blame on the political leaders of that country.

Countries like Venezuela have to a large extent been trapped by their colonial legacy and have very often become single commodity producers – in this case oil – and find it difficult to expand other sectors. In effect, they have found themselves extremely vulnerable. The US can squeeze the price of the commodity upon which such countries rely, while applying sanctions and cutting off financial lifelines. It then becomes that much easier to lay the blame for the consequences on a ‘corrupt regime’.

Prof Michael Hudson has outlined how debt and the US-controlled international monetary system has backed Maduro into a corner. He argues that Venezuela has become an oil monoculture, with revenue having been spent largely on importing food and other necessities, which it could have produced itself. In the case of food at least, many countries in the Global South have been adversely affected by the ‘globalisation of agriculture’ and have had their indigenous sectors undermined as a result of WTO policies and directives, debt and US-supported geopolitical lending strategies.

However, this is all an inconvenient truth for the likes of Hickey and the Western media. Talking about the BBC, John Pilger notes that it is “too difficult” for that media outlet to include any of this in its reporting:

It is too difficult to report the collapse of oil prices since 2014 as largely the result of criminal machinations by Wall Street. It is too difficult to report the blocking of Venezuela’s access to the US-dominated international financial system as sabotage. It is too difficult to report Washington’s “sanctions” against Venezuela, which have caused the loss of at least $6 billion in Venezuela’s revenue since 2017, including $2 billion worth of imported medicines, as illegal, or the Bank of England’s refusal to return Venezuela’s gold reserves as an act of piracy.”

None of this is up for debate by the BBC or Hickey. He sits in the UN talking about, freedom, democracy and the rights and suffering of ordinary people, while failing to acknowledge the US or the UK’s own role in the denial of freedom and the perpetuation of suffering across the world.

From Syria to Iraq, the ‘squeezing out of life’

According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009. And writing in The Guardian in 2013, Nafeez Ahmed discussed leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, that confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

But this is where Britain and the West’s concerns really lie: facilitating the geopolitical machinations of financial institutions, oil companies, arms manufacturers and profiteers. And it is no different this time around with Venezuela. Ordinary people are mere ‘collateral damage’ left dying in or fleeing war zones that the West and its allies created. The West’s brutal oil and gas wars are twisted as ‘humanitarian’ interventions for public consumption.

In 2014, former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray told a meeting at St Andrews University in Scotland that Libya is now a disaster and 15,000 people were killed when NATO (British and French jets) bombed Sirte. The made-for-public narrative about that ‘intervention’ began with some tale about Gadhafi killing his own people, which turned out to be false. Now we are hearing similar about Maduro.

As far as Iraq is concerned, Murray said that he knew for certain that key British officials were fully aware that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction. He said that invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

Over a million people have been killed via the US-led or US-backed attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. But this is the plan: to turn countries into vassal states of the US, or for those that resist to reconstruct (destroy) them into fractured territories.

Any eulogies to morality and humanitarianism must be seen for what they are: part of the ongoing psychological operations being waged on the public to encourage people to regard what is happening in the world as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention. These events are not for one minute to be regarded by the public as the planned brutality of empire and militarism.

Tim Anderson (author of The Dirty War on Syria) argues that where Syria was concerned Western culture in general favoured its worst traditions: “the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention… reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda.”

We are now seeing it again, this time with Venezuela.

We might well ask who is Donald Trump, John Bolton or for that matter Stephen Hickey to dictate and engineer what the future of Venezuela should be? But this is what the US with the UK in support has been doing across the globe for decades. Control of oil is key to current events in Venezuela. But there is also the subtext of destroying any tendencies towards socialism across Latin America (and elsewhere) as well as the need of Western capital to expand into or create new markets: Washington’s hand-picked puppet Juan Guaido will facilitate the process and usher in a programme of ‘mass privatisation’ and ‘hyper-capitalism’.

In many respects, the US has learned its imperialist playbook from its former colonial master, the UK. In the book ‘Late Victorian Holocausts’, the author Mike Davis writes that millions in India were dying of starvation when Lord Lytton (head of the British government in India) said, “There is to be no interference of any kind on the part of government with the object of reducing the price of food”. He dismissed any idea of feeding the starving as “humanitarian hysterics”. There was plenty of food, but it was held back to preserve prices and serve the market.

Indian writer and politician Shashi Tharoor, notes a speech to the British House of Commons in 1935 by Winston Churchill who said that the slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people. And that after almost 200 years of British rule. According to Tharoor, this “squeezing out of life” was realized at the hands of Churchill in the six to seven million Indian deaths in the WW2 Bengali Holocaust.

Despite Hickey’s crocodile tears, hundreds of thousands in various countries are still dying today due to the same imperialist mindset. Humanitarian hysterics are for public consumption as the “squeezing out of life” continues regardless.

Colin Todhunter is an independent journalist who writes on development, environmental issues, politics, food and agriculture. He was named in August 2018 by Transcend Media Services as one of 400 Living Peace and Justice Leaders and Models in recognition of his journalism.

40 Comments

  1. Nafeez Ahmed is a faker. In one of his articles (“European support for far right extremism reaches 1930s scale”), he writes “Thirdly, this prospect calls into question the stability of the entire security architecture of the postwar international system. Whatever the flaws of this system — and they are real — it has permitted peace within Europe for 66 years.” Should we tell Noam Chomsky, who wrote an entire book about war on Yugoslavia? It is titled “The New Military Humanism – Lessons From Kosovo.” Michael Parenti would not be amused, for sure. He wrote “The Nobel Peace Prize for War,” in which he wrote:

    (o
    “In October 2012, in all apparent seriousness, the Norwegian Nobel Committee (appointed by the Norwegian Parliament) bestowed the Nobel Peace Prize upon the European Union (EU). Let me say that again: the European Union with its 28 member states and 500 million inhabitants was awarded for having “contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy, and human rights in Europe.” (Norway itself is not a member of the EU. The Norwegians had the good sense to vote against joining.)…

    The Nobel Committee, the EU recipients, and the western media all overlooked the 1999 full-scale air war launched on the European continent against Yugoslavia, a socialist democracy that for the most part had offered a good life to people of various Slavic nationalities—as many of them still testify today.

    The EU did not oppose that aggression. In fact, a number of EU member states, including Germany and France, joined in the 1999 war on European soil led largely by the United States.
    o)

    Then, in a paper titled “State Propaganda in Syria – From War Crimes to Pipelines,” Nafeez Ahmed touts the establishment, Washington line that Bashar al Assad is a monster who is killing his own people and the White Helmets are heroes. And he tries to have it appear that Max Blumenthal would agree with him that leftwing activists have been unfair to the White Helmets. I think Max may have been initially too willing to swallow the establishment line on the White Helmets (discussed by Barbara McKenzie), but has since come around to a position opposite to that of Ahmed.

    Nafeez Ahmed:

    == =
    “This vindicates the importance of evaluating narratives put out by the White Helmets rather than accepting them without question. Yet the widespread belief among increasing sections of the leftthat the White Helmets are, effectively, a terrorist organisation; and that all or even most of their reports of violence by Syrian and Russian military forces are nothing more than sophisticated Western or rebel fabrications, goes too far…

    But Beeley and Bartlett are not independent or impartial sources of information on the Syrian conflict, but quite openly support the Assad government. The Guardian noted: “In 2016, Beeley had a two-hour meeting with Assad in Damascus as part of a US Peace Council delegation, which she described on Facebook as her ‘proudest moment’.
    She was also invited to Moscow to report on the ‘dirty war in Syria’; there, she met senior Russian officials including the deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, and Maria Zakharova, director of information and press at Russia’s foreign ministry.”
    = ==

    Nafeez, a hearty Russia basher, dismisses what ‘on the ground’ non establishment journos like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Barlett and others say about the Syria conflict while accepting The Guardian’s and Washington’s crappola. Exercise caution when dealing with Nafeez Ahmed.

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  2. axisofoil says

    THIS……………………. https://afterhollywood.online/2019/02/24/caracas-in-venezuela-has-plenty-of-food/

    THIS……………………..You are subscribed to All Treasury Press Releases for U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    Treasury Sanctions Security Officials Associated with Violence and Obstruction of Humanitarian Aid Delivery

    Treasury further targets security officials loyal to Maduro as humanitarian aid is prevented from entering Venezuela

    Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated six Venezuelan government officials who are aligned with illegitimate former President Nicolas Maduro and associated with the obstruction of humanitarian aid deliveries into Venezuela on February 23, 2019. In order to prevent much needed aid from reaching the suffering people of Venezuela, Maduro closed Venezuela’s border and deployed official, and unofficial, military and security forces to Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil where the humanitarian aid convoys were set to cross. This action, taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13692, targets six security officials who control many of the groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela, thereby exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that has left millions of Venezuelans starving and without access to medical care under the Maduro regime

    “Former President Nicolas Maduro’s border blockades of trucks and ships loaded with humanitarian aid are the latest example of his illegitimate regime weaponizing the delivery of food and critically needed supplies in order to control vulnerable Venezuelans. We are sanctioning members of Maduro’s security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths, and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States strongly supports the efforts of Interim President Juan Guaidó, and Treasury will continue to target Maduro loyalists prolonging the suffering of the victims of this man-made humanitarian crisis.”

    To combat the significant humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the United States led a multilateral initiative on February 23 to fund and stage hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid for delivery into Venezuela. Trucks were organized to carry these supplies across the border from Colombia and Brazil into Venezuela, but the Venezuelan military and security forces controlled by Maduro blocked the aid before it could cross the border. These Maduro-controlled groups and units fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and set some humanitarian aid trucks ablaze. Additionally, a vessel carrying humanitarian aid from Puerto Rico to Venezuela received direct threat of fire by Venezuelan naval ships.

    One of the groups staged along the Venezuelan border to prevent the humanitarian aid from reaching the people was Maduro’s Special Police Unit, the FAES, or the Fuerzas de Acciones Especiales. The FAES’ appearance at the border came at the same time as the announcement that humanitarian aid would be arriving to the border regions. Maduro created the FAES originally to put down armed gangs and rescue hostages; since then, the FAES has been used by Maduro to suppress dissent using deadly operations, to crack down on Maduro’s political opponents and the opposition, and to control crowds of protesters. Maduro has cultivated the FAES to serve as a force loyal to him and not to the Venezuelan people or the constitution. The illegitimate Maduro regime uses the FAES to suppress public shows of defiance by members of the armed forces, including when the Maduro regime arrested members of the Venezuelan National Guard after they pledged allegiance to the opposition in January 2019.

    After stopping aid from reaching Venezuelan citizens, Maduro severed diplomatic ties with Colombia. According to the Colombian foreign minister, following clashes with Venezuelan security forces throughout the day, Colombian authorities documented that the violent actions of the Maduro regime had left at least five people dead and 285 people injured, of whom 27 required hospitalization.

    The following six individuals designated today control many of the groups that prevented humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela on February 23, and these individuals have been determined to be current or former officials of the Government of Venezuela:

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    • mark says

      “To combat the significant humanitarian crisis in Venezuela”, the United States conducted a 20 year long campaign of economic strangulation, sabotage, subversion and terrorism against Venezuela, stealing many tens of billions of dollars of its assets, and preventing it from purchasing basic medical supplies such as insulin.

      It then sent a few truckloads of supplies, allegedly worth $20 million, as cover for smuggling weapons to extremist groups, a time honoured stunt out of the CIA Playbook.

      Sort of like me sticking a knife deep into your gut and offering you an Elastoplast.

      • axisofoil says

        Mark,
        You still don’t get what I am saying. Do you think I don’t know what is going on? Do you think I side with the USA? How about I attack the author of this post for having quoted the government of the USA? What if I insisted that the quote showed him to be in collusion with the policies of the USA? Could you see the insanity in that? What exactly is the disconnect here?

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    • axisofoil says

      Only 9 thumbs down? Come on people. Get with the program.

  3. Gezzah Potts says

    “We stand with Juan Guaido in our shared goal to bring peace and stability to Venezuela”. Jesus, are creatures like Hickey even human? Automatons with the same evil script. Reminds me of the odious, vile Gareth Evans in Australia (former Foreign Minister). Thank you Colin for an excellent article. Slime like Hickey, and all the other R2P worms – where are their tears for Yemen? Where is their outrage at the mass slaughter there, a bus full of school children blown to bits, the mass cholera outbreak, the forced starvation of an entire people, the blockade of Yemen’s ports? Where is Hickey on this? Why isn’t Richard Branson standing on the border of Yemen with an aid convoy? Where are the equally disgusting western media? Lies after lies after fucking lies. All in their utterly craven, utterly immoral service to the Anglo Zionist Empire. “The planned brutality of empire and militarism’. Exactly Colin. A massive psyops to blind people to reality. ‘International rules based order’ sounds so quaint and orderly dosn’t it? Its how ‘civilised nations’ should behave – you know, respecting international law and respecting the sovereignty of other countries. What evil this Empire visits upon the World; and as for all these creatures that fully serve this monstrosity…..

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    • Antipropo says

      The one down vote has to be from the axisofoil paid employee? of the US state dept.

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      • axisofoil says

        I am beginning to understand why no progress will ever be made in stopping that of which you all complain. You don’t take the the time to analyse material presented. You operate on the same false meme and presumptions as the masses who support the government narrative.If one can not discern between two entirely different bodies of information without having it explained to them, here in lies the core problem.One body of information is on the ground and another is straight from the government. Is it that difficult to juxtapose the two and determine the truth and the intent of my post? Please.

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        • mark says

          BS is still BS no matter how much it is analysed.

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          • axisofoil says

            From that comment I can only assume that you somehow still believe I am presenting a government perspective. I am. To what I had hoped was an intelligent audience. BS is called before even looking at the obvious context in which it is presented.
            It is the false assumptions of knee jerk observers having fallen into an echo chamber of themselves that I see as the biggest problem of all on the political landscape. Arrogance. This is by design and ‘they’ are laughing at us.
            I believe you and I have been here before?
            I happen to be subscribed to government publications because I choose to get my propaganda from the horses mouth. We live in a world of BS. The legislation that is allowing the current plunder of personal bank accounts to ruin countries like Venezuela is based on the lies of Bill Browder…..the Magnitski Act. Look how far astray from that core deceit we have been led. We are diverted from one atrocity to the next atrocity and the next and the next. Never resolving anything. We are part of the entertainment. We obsess on the death of one mass murderer by lowering the flag to half mast, while ushering in the next mass murderer with our all powerful and patriotic voting right. All the while claiming we must exercise our choice because we have no choice. Are we really this stupid? Yes…..we are this stupid. Worse. We are a planet of sheep in a circle, seeing which one of us can bleat the loudest to impress the others while the man at the human meat grinder sings Yankee Doodle. We are always fighting the windmills we are provided, from our armchair, then patting ourselves on the back for our clever input and understanding of the information we have been spoon fed. On and on. Like Plato’s Cave. We go nowhere. Again……………….by design.
            “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Henry David Thoreau

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  4. Grafter says

    Here in Tenerife just watched France 24 “news”. Not a word about Yellow Vests. Whole thing fronted by a cardboard American speaking bimbo. Everything is all normal in the make believe world of msm “news”. A small example of how the trash msm from across the Atlantic is infecting us on this side of the pond. Oh hold on ! Football and more sport to follow. Brain cells are not required. Sit there and “watch”. Orwell saw it coming and now the filthy rich can play out their murderous agenda worldwide.

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  5. Jen says

    Once again the West (in the form of its lackey technocrat Stephen Hickey) trots out the overworked trope that a government’s “mismanagement” of its nation’s economy warrants foreign intervention to remove that government and install one that will “run” the economy properly – as if it were a business, and the nation’s people mere employees and consumers rather than actors with brains and voices of their own – and submitting to World Bank and IMF advice in order to receive “loans” it doesn’t necessarily need or want.

    As soon as Maduro became President of Venezuela, the US doubled down on the pressure it was already applying on the country and added more sanctions – and Saudi Arabia started dumping oil on global oil markets to drive down the prices – so Maduro never really had a chance to govern and lead properly. Most politicians, if they were in the position he has been in, might well have done the same as he has and resorted to crisis government, doing all they can to keep things stable while being constantly under siege and assailed at the same time.

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    • harry stotle says

      ‘Once again the West (in the form of its lackey technocrat Stephen Hickey) trots out the overworked trope that a government’s “mismanagement” of its nation’s economy warrants foreign intervention to remove that government and install one that will “run” the economy properly’ – indeed, liberal interventionists love this sort of shite, although most seem oblivious to the fact that war wreaks economic havoc in every country that is invaded.

      The picture for US corporations who exploit war conditions is rather different of course, they tend to do rather well, but this is something the likes of Stephen Hickey always seem to forget about when he is beating the drium – I wonder why?

      The British public school system is responsible for an endless production line of Stephen Hickeys, or war apologists just like him and as the likes of Danny Dorling point out this may be necause Britain is still unable to come to terms with its imperial past, especially the terrible harms that have been inflicted.

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    • Antipropo says

      If mismanagement of the economy is a prime reason for “intervention”, as I understand it current US debt is 50 trillion dollars. Bring on the missiles!

  6. IntergenerationalTrauma says

    Yet again we can clearly see that the only thing that it is impossible to speak about within the confines of MSM and the Western political establishment is of course – the “simple truth of things.” Events in the actual physical world – “reality” – are simply replaced with “made-up” events – “propaganda.” These “made-up” events are then repeated ad nauseam and all who challenge them by recounting actual “reality = events in the physical world,” are roundly demeaned and dismissed.

    What an effective “war machine” and propaganda machine we in the West have created in order to justify our ongoing pillage of the planet. All carried out, nation after nation, while collectively pretending to ourselves we care about humanity. “Duty to protect” and “humanitarian intervention,” solemnly intoned – and a half-a-million dead Iraqi children described as “worth it” in this alternative moral universe we inhabit. It is a fine madness – these mental gymnastics required of the “normal” citizen of the West, in order to be considered a “good citizen” and a “patriotic citizen.” It is high time that all of us who still have a functioning conscience and any critical reasoning faculties to cease being “good citizens,” and cease being “patriotic citizens” and to instead embrace being humane beings who refuse to allow this oh so normalized “madness” to continue unchallenged.

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    • Gezzah Potts says

      Intergenerationaltrauma: every sentence you wrote nails it. It is madness, it is cognitive dissonance on a massive scale, it is truly warped.

  7. Mikalina says

    The English practised Holocaust methods on the Irish before India. The so-called Potato Famine was a starvation exercise which saw daily sailings of 40-70 ships from Galway carrying food to feed 18 million people. Millions of Irish died – deliberately left to die for the sake of the ‘free market’.

    The elite have always planned, controlled and reported the ‘narrative’ and the people have, are and always will go to the slaughter ad infinitum.

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    • mark says

      The history of genocide and Imperialist massacre in Ireland goes back much further than that.
      From 1641-1652 the population of Ireland fell from 1,500,000 to 600,000.
      500,000 were slaughtered in war and 400,000 were enslaved and freighted off in chains in slave ships and sold at slave auctions to Caribbean and American plantations.
      Most of the slaves then were Irish, not black. The African slave trade hadn’t yet taken off and an African slave cost £50, and the plentiful Irish slaves £5. Slave owners bred male African slaves with much cheaper Irish slave women.

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    • Martin Usher says

      The British were aware of the famine in Ireland and there were many ad-hoc committees to try to relieve the suffering of its people. People were also aware that the problem wasn’t just potato blight, it was what we call ‘agribusiness’ — large landowners were focused on growing cash crops like barley for export rather than food for the locals. The situation is similar to that in many parts of the world — the system is primarily focused on making money rather than providing for people. Attempts at changing the system will result in serious blowback so for today’s countries like Venezuela — who’s principal crime is trying to spread the wealth about a bit (not even a whole lot, just a bit) — you’ve got to be prepared to tough it out and maybe even deal with outbreaks of ‘freedom and democracy’.

      (One example of the importance of dealing with threats to the system from that period concerns the Franco-Prussian war. This ended after some mediation by Britain in a rather inconclusive peace. I think the wind down wasn’t prompted by strategic or military concerns but the absolute necessity to squash the nascent revolution in Paris — internecine squabbles were one thing but everyone will come together when the established order is threatened.)(If anyone has better information about this I’d welcome feedback.)

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      • mark says

        The Franco Prussian war didn’t end in an “inconclusive peace.” It ended with a clear cut Prussian victory and a Prussian victory parade through the centre of Paris. Surrender of French army and French emperor, Alsace and Lorraine and a huge indemnity. Sounds fairly conclusive to me. A Bismarck Plan coming together. If he’d still been around, 1914 would never have happened.

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        • Martin Usher says

          The Prussian victory was indeed conclusive but at the end of the war the situation was that Paris was surrounded, under siege and undergoing a revolution while the French government proper had retreated west. The war could have dragged out a lot longer; that it didn’t was due to some diplomacy by the British. (I believe there was also some money involved.)

          I found references to this in contemporary sources rather than in a history text. (BTW — I described the peace following this war as ‘inconclusive’ because its pretty easy to draw a direct line between 1871 and 1914.)

      • Maggie says

        ”large SUBSIDISED gentleman farmer” landowners were focused on growing cash crops like barley for export rather than food for the locals.”
        Exactly as now..
        It was on the news last night that lettuces and tomatoes are going to cost us a more??? FCS We began growing our own on an allotment, precisely because of what was broadcast in 2015:
        More than half of the UK’s food will come from overseas within a generation, as a rising population and (DELIBERATELY) stalling farm productivity combine to erode what remains of the UK’s self-sufficiency, according to farming leaders.
        The UK’s failure to produce more food will leave households more vulnerable to volatile prices and potential shortages, the National Farmers’ Union will say at its annual conference on Tuesday. The farming body will call on politicians to encourage new investment in farming, and develop a national plan for a higher degree of food self-sufficiency.
        Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU, warned: “The stark choice for the next government is whether to trust the nation’s food security to volatile WORLD MARKETS or to back British farming and reverse the worrying trend in food production. I want to see a robust plan for increasing the productive potential of farming, stimulating investment and ensuring that the drive to increase British food production is at the heart of every government department.”
        The NFU cited “poorly crafted regulation” – and farmers having weak bargaining power with big retailers as key problems affecting agriculture.
        Farmers meeting in Birmingham are expected to demand more attention from politicians ahead of the general election, when rural votes could play an important role in deciding the make-up of the next government.
        The Conservatives dominate in rural areas, but many key Liberal Democrat constituencies have a farming base.
        Farming production is worth about £26bn a year, while the broader food industry accounts for about £103bn to the UK economy, MORE than the car and aerospace industries combined, and represents about 3.5m jobs.
        According to projections by the NFU, on current trends the UK will reach a tipping point in about 25 years, beyond which a majority of our food will have to be imported…
        ‘Unless governments take strong action to improve food production and protect consumers from a future of relying on food bought from abroad.”
        Self-sufficiency in food in the UK has been eroded since the 1980s: about 60% of food currently consumed here is grown here, down from nearly 80% IN THE MID 80s, even though more varieties of food previously thought exotic are now grown in the UK.
        The problems created for British farmers when cheap imports flood the UK’s market have been illustrated in recent weeks. A glut of dairy products on ”international markets” has sent prices to farmers plummeting, driving thousands out of business and threatening a future in which the UK has to import its fresh milk???
        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/24/uk-will-need-to-import-over-half-of-its-food-within-a-generation-farmers-warn

        I would have thought Government Economists would have learned from what happened in 2011 in Jamaica:
        http://notenoughgood.com/2011/06/jamaicas-ruined-economy/

        Life and Debt is a feature-length documentary which addresses the impact of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and current globalization policies on a developing country such as Jamaica
        http://www.lifeanddebt.org/

        2011 After 40 years of Dairy farming Oral Rayson stopped milking his cows, because he couldn’t sell the milk they produced, and had to dump thousands of gallons down the drain, then sell the cows one by one to provide for his family.
        Pouring out fresh milk is a long-standing problem in Jamaica.
        IN THE LATE 80s, Jamaica had a successful milk industry, in part because of policies that increased tariffs on imported milk powder. The tariff revenue was passed on to local dairy producers as a subsidy.
        But in 1992, THE WORLD BANK required Jamaica to lift the tariff as a condition for granting a LOAN…..
        Soon enough, Jamaica was flooded with imported, heavily-subsidized powdered milk from America, which put most Jamaican dairy farmers out of business..
        The milk powder was cheaper and didn’t require refrigeration, which benefited poor families. On the other hand, the destruction of the local dairy industry weakened the ”long-term food security of Jamaica.”
        “A country that feeds itself is a country that is self sufficient,”
        But it’s too late now – business is gone.
        https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/jamaica-fresh-milk-down-drain

        This is what the WORLD BANK/EU/US have in store for us. Time to cut their ties, be self sufficient and align with Russia, China and the East. imho.

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      • Mikalina says

        I think you prove my point that history is written by the winners – your “agribusiness” is the Irish Holocaust. You will recall that the British Government today is “aware” of the problem in Venezuela and sends aid money – so kind of them.

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        • mark says

          Same as Yemen. Apparently there’s a famine and cholera there. No idea why. It must be an Act of God or something.

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  8. Robyn says

    Is it time to pull out the tried-and-tested word ‘collaborator’ for everyone complicit in these US-led moves against individuals and nations. How many deaths do they have to cause and how many countries ruined before people call a halt? When you know a country commits war crimes yet you continue to supply troops, materiel, fiinance, ‘advisors’, satellite co-ordinates, or impose death-causing sanctions, or report blatant propaganda lies as truth, surely you are a collaborator. Even turning a blind eye. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

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    • mail says

      After the war a Nazi journalist called Julius Streicher was put on trial at Nuremburg and hanged.
      He had been sacked before the war started and could not have taken any direct part in war crimes, but his incitement was considered sufficient justification for his hanging.
      The same standard should be applied to all the Freedlands and Viners and Hardings and Monbiots and Judith Millers in the US. Those who incite and facilitate the slaughter of millions should be held equally accountable as the major war criminals, the Blairs, Bushes, Rumsfelds, Cheneys, Straws and Campbells.
      I don’t have a problem with the death penalty and all of this utter scum and subhuman filth should be dangling from a six foot length of rope. A fair trial followed by a fair hanging.
      They are a thousand times worse than people like Hindley and Brady and Sutcliffe and Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. They killed a handful of people. They should all have been hanged as well, but may have been damaged individuals in some way. There is nothing more revolting than seeing mass murderers like Blair posturing and preening themselves as great statesmen or Save The Children’s “Humanitarian of the Year.” Some people just need to be killed. He should have been lawfully executed years ago with all the others when the enormity of their crimes became known.

      Of course people like Hickey probably can’t sleep at night for worry over the welfare of the Venezuelan people. Maybe he worried as well about the 500,000 Iraqi children under 5 who died from sanctions from 1991-2003. Or the 20 million starving people and 1.2 million cholera cases in Yemen. But hey, business is business and there are fat profits to be made from selling the Shadies all the cluster bombs they need.

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      • Maggie says

        I totally agree!!!! But who has the balls to bring the animals to trial?

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        • Some Random Passer-by says

          Kinda hard to dispense justice considering these types have an armed escort (that we pay for…) Wherever they go

      • Loverat says

        Mail

        I can’t agree with the death penalty – but an excellent post all the same

        Personally my preference was the suggestion made by one commentator on Twitter watching the McCain funeral with all the ex-presidents in attendance. Something like ‘quick, lock the church doors and hold the war crimes trial’

        Perhaps, we could do the same with the House of Commons – allow the odd 100 or so MPs out who are not complicit in some way with war crimes, treason and terrorism, then hold the trials there. As for Blair, Campbell, Straw, Cameron and Hague, they can be extradicted to the countries they destroyed and face trial there.

        Any ideas for the media?

        • Robyn says

          Ideas for the media? The MSM should be tried as collaborators. I don’t agree with the death penalty but the MSM should certainly be held to account for promoting war and printing demonstrable lies to get their unthinking uncritical uninformed audience on side. Without the MSM presstitutes these war-mongering politicians and banksters wouldn’t last five minutes.

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        • mail says

          Until we have a death penalty for this human sewage, and it is properly enforced, there will continue to be a death penalty for millions upon millions of children in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and Iran. Some “people”, if you can call them that, just need to be put to death. It’s the only fitting and appropriate thing to do.

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  9. David William Pear says

    If socialism never works, then why do capitalist keep destroying them every time one pops up? I guess free milk programs for poor children really sets a bad example for the rest of the world. Pretty soon all the poor children in the world would want free milk. They would lose all their incentive to work in sweatshops for 38 pence a day.

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    • Maggie says

      Excellent deduction David…
      What are ‘they’ so afraid of?

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  10. vexarb says

    Like Francis said, St.Theresa’s little dummy is playing from the AZC Catechism. By now it’s a broken record. From Syrian Perspective:

    Whozhear #287979
    Not only is the usurper losing to Maduro………….
    He keeps trying to enlist bankrupt countries………[such as UK]

    ziad #287974
    Maduro to move Venezuelan state oil firm’s European HQ to Moscow
    https://youtu.be/luYfGibYOmI

    ziad #287895
    An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela exposed by Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur
    https://youtu.be/ii5MlQgGXyk

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  11. noseBag says

    Stephen Hickey – another name to add to my ‘up against the wall’ list. To think that this excuse for a man represents me at the United Nations elicits nausea and anger in equal amounts.

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  12. Francis Lee says

    I didn’t bother to read the article – I know the patter. You’d at least think they might try something different. But of course we just get the humanitarian intervention bullshit, to wit, the ‘free-world’ – i.e., the US and its vassals has a right, nay a duty to intervene to put things to rights.

    Taking the issues one by one.

    1. The ‘free-world’ has pushed whole populations into economic crises through its implementation of a neo-liberal, globalist agenda.

    2. Venezuela has been subjected to ‘sanctions’ – i.e., medieval siege warfare – which has massively contributed to the present economic state of the country.

    3. When did the internal affairs of a sovereign state, economic, political or otherwise, become the business of external actors: sanctions, colour revolutions and direct military interventions? How come the US and its proxies can continue to violate (with impunity) international laws the the UN was set up to protect and enforce.

    4. How does the ‘free world’ square its bellicose rhetoric and actions with Venezuela with their support for Saudi Arabia and its genocidal war against Yemen.

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