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Key Facts about Venezuela Protests Difficult to Learn from International Corporate Media


There are two key facts about violent protests in Venezuela that the international corporate press effectively hides from readers. One fact is that more people have died at the hands of “protesters” than as a result of police brutality or the because of attacks by government supporters.  The other key fact is that USA has been remarkably unsuccessful in its efforts to get Latin American governments to denounce Venezuela.

An OAS resolution of March 7 dramatically illustrates the extent of US isolation.  The resolution expressed “solidarity with the victims and their family members, the people, and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”. The USA and Panama alone expressed strongly dissenting views in the footnotes to the resolution. As Nate Singham pointed out, the lopsided defeat at the OAS is especially noteworthy given that the USA is the largest donor to the OAS, one reason why “historically, the OAS has acted consistently with U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

How does the “free press” in the USA report this?

This New York Times article gives a representative illustration. The OAS resolution is ignored and the response of regional governments to the violent protests completely distorted:

“Mr. Maduro’s kinder face is likely intended only to deflect international criticism, which has come most strongly from the United States.”

If the words “most strongly” were replaced with “almost exclusively” then it would have been accurate. Also note how the NYT reporter (William Neuman) is not at all hesitant to speculate about the Maduro’s motives in this news article.  Imagine a reporter similarly speculating about what motivated John Kerry’s wild allegation that the Maduro government has unleashed a “terror campaign” against protesters. How many reporters would dare write the following?

“Kerry’s allegation is likely intended to boost the morale of violent protesters who have been almost entirely shunned by governments in the hemisphere, much to his frustration.”

Corporate news reports that don’t stoop to the level of the NYT are often not much better. For example, Reuters reports that

“Maduro has come under pressure from some foreign governments and rights groups over excessive use of force from his security forces”

Readers must become researchers to discover that violent protesters have killed more people that the government’ security forces, or that the USA has been isolated in its support for the “protesters”.

The “protesters” would be called “rioters” and probably even “terrorists” if their tactics were used in the USA or other rich countries. There is no need to speculate about this. In the UK, two young men were imprisoned for advocating riots on Facebook – not engaging in rioting, just advocating them. One liberal pundit relished the prospect of the young men being threatened with rape while in prison. Journalists with this mentality and level of self-awareness will too often be “informing” us about the “crackdown” in Venezuela.

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