Trudeau Covers for Trump on Venezuela – and the CBC covers for Trudeau

A CBC news article reports that Trudeua’s foreign affairs minister, Chrystia Freeland “steps up diplomatic pressure on Venezuela, warns of refugee crisis” [1]

Freeland makes a subtle appeal to xenophobia to justify Canada’s aping of Trump and other right wing governments in the region who want to see Venezuela’s government overthrown. Fortunately for Freeland, she can expect zero resistance from other political parties or Canada’s media. The CBC article causally refers to Venezuela’s government as a “regime”. When a democracy is targeted by the United States the word “regime” often gets slipped into news articles.  Nearly two decades of propaganda aimed at delegitimizing Venezuela’s government is what allows the CBC to use that label, but the biggest whopper in the article is where Freeland is quoted as follows:

“And I think . . . there are mounting signs of a regional refugee crisis as well. Colombia and Brazil are facing a lot of pressure. So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged.”

Colombia’s current president Juan Manuel Santos was minister of defense during years when the Colombian military murdered thousands of innocent people and tried to pass them off a rebels to inflate its combat success. If that weren’t horrific enough, as of mid-2016 according to the UNHCR, Colombia’s population of internally displaced people is 7.1 million, surpassing even Syria’s. And if you look at Annex Table 1 of this UNHCR report, you’ll see that 174, 234 people (overwhelmingly Colombians) are living as refugees in Venezuela. There was hope that a peace deal between the Colombian government and the country’s main rebel group, the FARC, might end decades of US-backed slaughter, but the news this year is grim as Dan Kovalik reports:

Though you would not know it from the utter silence of the mainstream press, Colombia continues to be plagued by right-wing paramilitary violence. As Justice for Colombia in the UK explains, over 100 social and political activists have been killed so far in 2017, and the paramilitaries are responsible for the lion’s share of these killings. The BBC recently explained that the murder of social, political and human rights activists is actually increasing in Colombia even as the overall murder rate in Colombia is decreasing, and despite the disarming of the left-wing FARC guerillas as part of the Colombian peace accords. Indeed, it is quite clear that the paramilitary groups are exploiting the very absence of the FARC guerillas to acquire territory and to violently wipe out peaceful social movements in Colombia. And, this is all according to plan.

But in fantasyland described by Freeland, and dutifully regurgitated by the CBC, Colombia is just another respectable democracy in Latin America (not a “regime”) that is entitled to help overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government. Also respectable to Freeland (so also not a “regime” to the CBC) is Brazil since it is ruled by an unelected right wing president backed by Washington.

If Canada had a vibrant press and at least one opposition leader with integrity, Freeland’s gross hypocrisy would be exposed. At present, she and Trudeau have nothing to worry about. They can mimic Trump’s belligerence towards Venezuela and pay no political price.


[1] From the UNHRC report and from this analysis, it is clear that Venezuela is not, despite its economic crisis, a major source of migrants or refugees. I also highly recommend this piece by Jacob Wilson which reveals how the media how greatly exaggerated the impact of Venezuela’s economic crisis on food availability in the country.

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