Thank you Sonali for writing this. A good source of information is venezuelanalysis.org. I was beginning to wonder about CD's missing this other important foreign development. The situation is even more extreme than what Sonali has written here. Most of the deaths in the most recent uprising (not the coup conspiracy revealed in February) were caused by upper and middle class right-wingers in Caracas. Police who did kill some protesters have been arrested and are awaiting trial. Compare that to the US.
If anything, both Chavez and Maduro have acted too cautious and respectful of hegemonic western standards, a situation that is openly discussed by both the government there and the majority that continues to strongly support the Bolivarian revolution. Since the revolution Venezuela has reduced poverty drastically, and has improved literacy markedly. The government's efforts at land re-distribution to working farmers and peasants is only hampered by the government's desire to assure that the process is supported by the full weight of the law.
There is much more that reveals the corruption and deceit of the US and the right wing counter-revolutionary upper class of Venezuela. ALL of South America supports Venezuela and the Bolivarian government except for those lackeys that the US continues to corrupt with money and weapons (Columbia.) Like most other US foreign involvements now, the efforts to destroy the government of Venezuela are based on outright lies. Period.
Go to venezuelanalysis and read there the open discussions of the government, the country's continuing problems, and the future, and compare that to what passes here in the US for "discussion." You'll be amazed.
"As news organizations are increasingly driven by a bottom-line mentality, the news we get becomes more and more sensational. What is the difference between Time and Newsweek? Between ABC, NBC, and CBS News? Between the Washington Post and the New York Times? For all practical purposes, none. The concentration of media power means that Americans increasingly get their information from a few sources who decide what is "news."
"Most newspapers are part of huge conglomerates, and the policy that comes down is that you don't rock any boats. You can't make the government upset because the value of the company is the broadcast licenses, and the government will not renew them, and we can't make our corporate owners mad because they will fire us, and we can't make the advertisers mad or they will pull their advertising. So the media can't say anything that will upset the power structure. And that's what has happened to the press."
Paul Craig Roberts
"More than fifty years ago the [J.P.] Morgan firm decided to infiltrate the Left-wing political movements in the United States. This was relatively easy to do, since these groups were starved for funds and eager for a voice to reach the people. Wall Street supplied both. The purpose was not to destroy ... or take over but was really threefold: (1) to keep informed about the thinking of Left-wing or liberal groups; (2) to provide them with a mouthpiece so that they could "blow off steam," and (3) to have a final veto on their publicity and possibly on their actions, if they ever went "radical".
Carroll Quigley in his book "Tragedy and Hope"
"For the world as a whole, the CIA has now become the bogey that communism has been for America. Wherever there is trouble, violence, suffering, tragedy, the rest of us are now quick to suspect the CIA had a hand in it. Our phobia about the CIA is, no doubt, as fantastically excessive as America's phobia about world communism; but in this case, too, there is just enough convincing guidance to make the phobia genuine. In fact, the roles of America and Russia have been reversed in the world's eyes. Today America has become the nightmare."
Arnold Toynbee, the British historian, quoted in the New York Times of May 7, 1971
Much of the Western Press focuses on the shortage of goods in Venezuela so as to demonstrate how Socialism failing. The Government has made a number of raids of warehouses where great stockpiles of these goods found and being deliberately kept off the market by the Corporations. Other firms are exporting the goods out of the country so as to help create these shortages.
While the Western media publishes article after article claims that Putin works to destabilize the Ukraine, the very same media suggests all problems in Venezuela related to "socialism" and the lack of "free markets".
Excellent article (and response by Justaman). I'd like to add one more element to the question of the large US diplomatic mission. For quite some time, now, analysts in Latin America have been alarmed by the parallels between the "soft coup" in Venezuela and the 1973 coup in Chile. The Chilean coup was planned over a period of several months, possibly longer, with the support and perhaps also the coordination of US diplomatic staff. In fact, the embassy in Santiago brought together what became known as a "coup team": individuals who had been in various countries where military coups had taken place recently - Greece, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and others I can't recall, but totalling at least 7 or 8 different countries. There were even designated point men whose role was to coordinate with the neonazis, who were extremely active in sabotage and in organizing middle-class demonstrations. There was no doubt at all, in the weeks leading up to Pinochet's attack on the Moneda palace, that the Embassy had served as the nerve centre - but by then it was too late. President Allende had to contend with a congress dominated by the opposition; he'd lost his most loyal general to an assassination, and considerable sectors of the middle class were terrified of communism (thanks to the excellent propaganda of the opposition press but also because o f fears of the radical sectors who wanted to push Allende's project faster and deeper). Venezuela has already seen major acts of sabotage, including disruptions of important power grids and arson at PDVSA oil depots or refineries; sniper attacks by well-armed and trained members of the opposition; and incursions by Colombian paramilitaries. Maduro could not act swiftly enough, or decisively enough, in reducing the potential for harm by reducing the size of the US mission. HOWEVER, he still has to contend with enemies from the other NATO countries, who are likely using their diplomatic missions to support the opposition in various ways -- Canada would be a No. 1 guess, followed closely by the UK, Spain, and other European countries openly hostile to his regime, plus those who haven't shown their cards. The missions of certain Latin American and Caribbean countries cannot be trusted either - certainly right-wing governments like Mexico, Peru, Colombia, some of the West Indian missions... plus the CIA assets within the governments of other countries. Maduro has his hands full not only with Venezuela enemies but also with their supporters and enablers operating under the cover of diplomatic privilege.
Thank you for mentioning what I alluded to but purposely left out - the deliberate economic sabotage by right-wing Venezuelans. As we see and understand it there, might we also be able to discern this tactic applied elsewhere? How about right here? Yes, that is the closest corollary.
It's a infallible rule of thumb:
If a foreign government is oppressing the poor, it is a friend of the US.
If a foreign government is helping the poor, it is an enemy of the US.
That is all that is necessary to know for an understanding of US foreign policy. The MSM will let us know whether a foreign government is friend or foe, thus revealing whether foreign policy will be helpful or destructive toward that government.
Venezuela is Cuba without the military dictatorship needed to maintain the government.
Venezuela is Cuba with a rich resource that is in demand in the world and so has income that cannot be embargoed out of existence (despite the unsuccessful economic war that NATO/EU is waging against Russia by trying to destroy the price of oil).
Venezuela (and for that matter Ecuador and Bolivia) have learned from Cuba's example and in the process are bettering the instruction for the sake of others in the region.
If Fidel lives to Jan 20 2017 he and his revolution will have outlasted 11 US presidents, all of whom in their own way tried to kill him and destroy his revolution.
Viva Fidel! Viva Chavez!
Very astute and concise observation.
"But Freedom&Democracy, Inc."
Andrewboston: OUR oil. I like that.
Isn't it just a bit professionally insulting to suggest that any Latin American military needs U.S. help to stage a coup? Think back to, say, Allende. The CIA station chief in Santiago got up, put on his shoes and socks (hopefully not in that order) and .... then what? Flew a plane? Drove a tank? Called in air strikes? Led a platoon? No. They gave information and approval.
When Allende was in power, I had many professional acquaintances working in Chile. They were politically liberal, sympathetic, and proficient in Spanish. And they were absolutely unanimous that Allende's government had made an utter mess of the economy and it was all going to end very, very, badly. Toward the end, as Allende's crew nationalized ever more petty things, I had the mental image of them ripping out sofa cushions frantically looking for change. "I don't understand it. We nationalized all the means of production. How come we only have empty buildings and idle machinery?"
One of my acquaintances, who learned of the coup only after landing in the U.S., later described his frustration at talking to people about Chile. "Okay, don't believe me," he said> "I was only there and actually saw it."
The NY Times is as much stamped by the Pentagon as is Hollywood. Both cater to the interests of the MIC; it's the fist behind Wall Street's glove (and that glove includes the oil barons & banksters added to assorted heads of mega corporations like Monsanto).
If your post isn't indicative of Disinformation 101, I know not what it would consist of.
After tossing in an apt quote from Oliver Stone, you show "sympathy for the CIA" like Mick Jagger's "Sympathy for the Devil." That's quite a weird conflation suggesting that the CIA now takes the heat that in the past was reserved for communists.
The CIA HAS a very dark and disgusting history, nor has it ever been forced to own its actions. The same assassination tactics remain its coin of the realm and ONGOING.
Why do you suppose that people like Ray McGovern--a former CIA insider--calls for it to become accountable to the public, or is Clapper and other professional killers for hire & liars, your kind'a guy?
Looks like you've integrated my former argument to the Blame voters/consumers squad by giving voice to the items I'd often mention--particularly that of the time consumed by earning a living and sustaining a family during these rule-by-oligarchy times--in order to mostly place the ONUS on the INDIVIDUAL consumer of news.
While you mention the Information-by-sound-byte allotment, what you don't mention is how the lockstep march of a full court media (TV, film, radio, newsprint) acts to create consensuses that by virtue of their hegemony, turn outliers into dangerous pariahs, conspiracy nuts and other less than desirable characters.
In short, you pretend (in the same way that other equally fictitious frames promote the illusion of two sides, each endowed with equivalent power, influence, and access) that the problem is that of individuals who just aren't trying hard enough or committing enough time to ferreting out Truth from fiction.
This argument is like that of advising people to individually give up meat rather than radically altering the paradigm that's dominated by meat, dairy, and bio-tech industries.
MIND CONTROL is what's on the menu. And the way it works is that few people recognize that they are under its spellbound influence. So long as they are "getting the news" they have little cause to seek it out elsewhere.
In other words, this post is just another blame voters/consumers/readers for SYSTEMIC controls, SYSTEMIC malfeasance, SYSTEM betrayal, and SYSTEMIC uses of force for population compliance, i.e. behavior modification applied to the masses for absolute control.
Nice try at co-opting the oppositional argument.
I think it makes more sense to frame it as "friendly to corporations."
The oil, gas, coal, and agricultural corps. WANT new markets and lands to exploit.
When the U.S. elites show support for 3rd world dictators, the same ones that show a complete absence of any respect for Democratic practices, it's because these strongmen control their populations. And that makes the world "safe" for global corporations' rape, pillage, and plunder... all for the god of transitory profits.
It can be framed as a war on the poor (and it is that, but it's also more) if one looks at all those being done unto. However, in order to connect the historical dots, it's useful to call what it is fascism--That's what happens when corporations BECOME the government and citizen input is an afterthought kept in place as mostly a table ornament.
THAT is what's been spread through recent global trade treaties and the trend is escalating... hence blowback in the form of protests in Chile, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Ireland, Iceland, Greece, the U.S. Hong Kong and elsewhere.
Nothing like sympathy for the Chicago School and The School of the Americas.
As turbulent as his life has been, I believe Fidel has always been at peace with himself, because he knows that he has been doing what is right.
I think he has a philosophy of life that excludes mental conflict and stress, and for that reason I would not be surprised if he ages into triple digits.
Si, viva El Comandante y todos semejante.
Toynbee might be offended by your calling him a killer and liar. He is criticizing the spooks, not showing sympathy for them.
Corporations and the elite had pulled a coup on this nation.
We the people no longer have a say in what this government does.
We have lost ALL our rights and freedom and the
main backbone of democracy ..... The right to vote.
Now why would my "politically liberal" friends be sympathetic toward the CIA or the School of the Americas? They were sympathetic TOWARD ALLENDE, you illiterate. Nevertheless it was obvious he was messing things up totally and it was only a matter of time before he fell. Learn to read what people actually say and not what your political fantasies project onto them.