Approximately one month ago, I made an intense ten-day visit to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as a guest of the Venezuelan Chapter of the International Network of Intellectuals and Artists in Defence of Humanity, and I can tell you the Venezuela which I saw with my very own eyes is not the chaotic “hellhole” of a country the Western-dominated mass media is projecting to the world!
Venezuela –– as we all know –– is currently undergoing a difficult period. The Venezuelan economy is centred on the petroleum industry, and with international oil prices having plummeted from some US$140 a barrel to in the vicinity of US$28, the Venezuelan government is facing a serious shortage of financial resources.
(And let it be recorded that knowledgeable observers of international politics are aware this drastic decline in oil prices is the outcome of a deliberate and sustained attack on the economies of socialist Venezuela and Russia by the United States and its Saudi Arabia ally.)
Furthermore, the effect of the decline in oil prices has been compounded by a currently ongoing effort on the part of the traditional Venezuelan elite or bourgeoisie to undermine the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro by using their business networks to manufacture shortages of basic food, household and personal items in Venezuela, in order to make the ordinary people suffer and to blame the government for their suffering.
Thus, during my ten-day stay in Caracas, I did see some evidence of Venezuelans having to wait in long lines to purchase some food and other household items. I also saw evidence of a scarcity of electricity supplies, and several Venezuelans expressed to me their concerns about the level of inflation in the country.
But I certainly saw no signs of desperate and hungry people who had resorted to eating dogs, cats and rats, as claimed by the Western-dominated news media. I also saw no signs of a shattered health care system and a 700 per cent increase in infant mortality, as is being suggested in several propaganda stories being published about Venezuela.
And –– contrary to the idiotic idea currently being peddled by the international news media –– at no time during my visit was I ever left with the impression life was so hard and hopeless in Venezuela that our Caribbean islands were in imminent danger of having thousands of desperate Venezuelan migrants turn up on our shores in
Quite frankly, the people of the world are being fed a gross (and grotesque) exaggeration of the situation in Venezuela, compliments of a Western-dominated establishment mass media apparatus that is intent on bringing down the socialist government of Venezuela, and returning that country to the fold of American neocolonial client states.
The simple fact is that the establishment forces in the United States and in the private sector of Venezuela have never reconciled themselves to the fact the late great President Hugo Chavez effectively nationalized the tremendous oil resources of Venezuela (the largest in the world), and took them out of the hands of their traditional American multinational and Venezuelan private sector elite exploiters!
Not only haven’t they reconciled themselves to this fact, but they have remained ever determined to destroy what they perceive to be the threatening socialist and nationalist movement that Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution catalysed all over the Latin American continent.
And with the untimely and tragic death of Chavez in 2013, the United States establishment and its elitist private sector Latin American allies sense that now is the time to press home their attack. Hence, the orchestrated and determined onslaughts against virtually all of the socialist or nationalist leaders of Latin America –– Christina Kirchner (Argentina), Dilma Rousseff and Lula Da Silva (Brazil), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and, of course, Nicolas Maduro (Venezuela).
Those of us who follow international affairs know very well how this works. Once the United States or British establishment has determined that a country and/or its leader is its enemy, it subjects said country or leader to a comprehensive and relentless mass media-based psychological warfare campaign.
America and Britain put their powerful news agencies (United Press, Reuters, Associated Press) and their multinational news corporations (CNN, BBC, Fox, NBC and the like) to work on manufacturing a particularly damaging image of the country or leader, and foisting such image on the people of the world.
Permit me to give two particularly outrageous examples of this phenomenon in order to drive home the point I am trying to make.
When the United States and Britain were getting ready to invade Iraq, they told the people of the world –– among other things –– that President Saddam Hussein was in the habit of going into hospitals at night and deliberately killing little babies lying in incubators. And many people in Barbados and other countries of the world actually believed this ridiculous propaganda –– because they heard it on CNN.
Similarly, when they were preparing to destroy Libya, they “confirmed” that President Muammar Gaddafi was giving his soldiers Viagra and instructing them to go out and rape Libyan women. And yet again, many people around the world actually believed this vile and ridiculous propaganda –– because they heard it on the BBC.
The reality is that if the powerful Western powers intend to destroy you, their news agencies will publish a steady stream of negative news stories about you. Indeed, if anything negative happens in the targeted country or to the targeted leader, it will be highly publicized; if anything positive happens, it will be suppressed.
And, if there is a neutral happening that can be twisted and subjected to a negative interpretation, it will be given precisely such treatment.
And so we know that with Venezuela and Nicolas Maduro being in the cross-hairs of the American State Department, we cannot trust any “news” that the Western news agencies and multinational media corporations publish about these subjects. Furthermore, we can be certain they will not publish any news about constructive measures President Maduro and his PSUV government are taking to rectify the economic situation in Venezuela.
I am therefore hereby calling upon the seasoned and veteran journalists of Barbados and the wider Caribbean, who know how this wicked system works, to bestir themselves and seek out alternative sources of objective information about the unfolding situation in Venezuela. I am beseeching them not to simply publish news stories that are fed to them by the Western news agencies.
Let us not –– through intellectual laziness and naivety –– play into the hands of those forces that intend to do everything in their power to keep Latin America and the Caribbean in a subservient and exploited condition.
(David Comissiong, attorney-at-law, is president of the Clement Payne Movement.)