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Campaign Against the Arms Trade is completely out to lunch on Venezuela


CAAT calls Venezuela a “hybrid regime” by relying on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index which also labels the UK a “full democracy” – along with a few others like Canada and Spain. What a joke.

In all of those “full democracies”, most of Venezuela’s opposition leaders would have been locked up and never seen or heard from again by 2002 – the first time they tried to overthrow the elected government by force (with foreign support to boot) and briefly succeeded. Christ, in the UK people have been thrown in jail for Facebook posts that advocate riots.

Just compare and contrast the way two illegal referendums were very recently handled in Venezuela and Spain.

The illegal opposition referendum against Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly in July 15, 2017 required an extremely high level of political expression, organization and participation. It allegedly involved 7 million people voting in it.

Its questions were highly provocative – for example one asked if the military should obey the opposition controlled National Assembly.

All of this was done – and not totally criminalized as in Spain – by an opposition whose supporters had burned people alive in the streets and that is supported by foreign governments.

I’m sure it doesn’t help that 1/4 of CAAT’s funding comes from trusts & foundations, but my hunch is that the problem is elsewhere. I suspect the general lack of pushback on propaganda against Venezuela will lead people and outfits that are totally independent of rich donors to accept the “hybrid regime” label for Venezuela or worse.

I’m very glad that CAAT has campaigned hard to end UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but the “full democracy” label for the UK is also an absurdity when you consider why UK foreign policy is such a horror show  – its massive arms sale to Saudi Arabia (obviously) but much else.

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