Of Venezuela and Hypocrisy 267

Hugo Chavez’ revolutionary politics were founded on two very simple tenets:

1) People ought not to be starving in dreadful slums in the world’s most oil rich state
2) The CIA ought not to control Venezuela

Over the years, Chavez racked up real achievements in improving living standards for the poor and in providing health and education facilities. He was widely popular and both he and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, also racked up very genuine election victories. Maduro remains the democratically elected President.

But the dream went sour. In particular it fell foul of the tendency of centrally planned economies to fail to get the commodities people want onto shop shelves, and to the corruption that goes with centralisation. The latter was certainly not worse than the right wing corruption it replaced, but that does not diminish its existence.

Every revolution will always displace an existing elite who are by definition the best educated and most articulate section of the population, with most access to resources including media – and to CIA secret backing, which has continued throughout at an increasing rate. Chavez did not solve this problem in the way Robespierre, Stalin, Trotsky or Mao would have done. He embraced democracy, let them be – and largely left their private offshore billions, and thus their power, untouched.

Inevitably the day came when economic and administrative failings cracked the solidity of support from the poor for the revolution. The right then stepped up their opposition with a campaign led by corrupt billionaires, which the western media has failed to acknowledge has been throughout murderously violent.

The problem with revolutionary millenarianism is that its failure to achieve utopia is viewed as disaster by its proponents. Maduro ought to have accepted that it is the nature of life that political tides ebb and flow, ceded power to the opposition gains in parliament, maintained the principles of democracy, and waited for the tide to turn back his way – taking the risk that the CIA might not give him the chance. Instead he has resorted to a constitutional fix which dilutes democracy, a precedent which will delight the right who in the long term have most to fear from the populace. Given the extreme violence of the opposition, I am less inclined to view arrests as unquestionably a straightforward human rights matter, than are some pro-western alleged human rights groups. But that Maduro has stepped off the democratic path I fear is true. He has, bluntly, gone wrong, however difficult the circumstances. I condemn both the departures from human rights best practice and the attempt to use a part indirectly elected body to subvert the elected parliament.

But, even today, Venezuela is still vastly more of a democracy than Saudi Arabia, and a far greater respecter of human rights than Israel in its dreadful repression of the Palestinians. Yet support for Israel and for Saudi Arabia are keystones of the foreign policy of those who today are incessant in their demands that we on the “left” condemn Venezuela. The BBC has given massively more news coverage to human rights abuse in Venezuela this last month than in a score of much worse countries I could name – than a score put together.

Human rights abuse should be condemned everywhere. But it only hits the headlines when practised by a country which is on the wrong side of the neo-con agenda.

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267 thoughts on “Of Venezuela and Hypocrisy

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    • Salford Lad

      BBC continue as a mouthpiece for the Washington Consensus. Chris Williamson gave impressive replies.I doubt he will be invited back to discuss Foreign Policy again, Much too politically incorrect for the BBC and their manipulation of perspective, to further their Masters Voice in Washington.
      Harris and Evans are human detritus, should be confined to the Cake Baking afternoon programme.

      • Brianfujisan

        Salford Lad

        Some of it must be bbC war Crimes..The fabricated War Mongoring….Syria

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Brianfujisan August 5, 2017 at 04:37
    Pity when Williamson was asked if he was closer to Maduro or Bliar, he didn’t add ‘At least Maduro didn’t participate in the illegal invasion of a Sovereign state, on the basis of lies’, (or something to that effect)!

  • Peter Beswick

    Something I honestly don’t understand.

    Why is it that some people, lets say about 50% of the population, are not aware that they are being exploited, enslaved, brainwashed and are open to have their perceptions decided for them.

    I’m not talking about ideological beliefs of left and right (whatever that means these days) the mentality difference between caring and selfishly ruthless (up to socio / psycho pathic) individuals.

    I’m talking about a bulk of people on either side of the norms of intelligence / class (I just love that word) / professional / work / unemployed status etc etc.

    What makes these people keep supporting the murderous, corrupt, self serving, exploitative regimes of the UK?

    I will give a personal (if removed example from the tenet of the question) example; I have a friend / acquaintance whom I see down the pub. He is well educated (phD Oxford in science), has senior journalistic experience as Editor in Chief on a well known scientific journal (ie he is not thick, has been taught how to evaluate; theories, hypotheses and “laws”, he know the importance of verification and impartial critical analysis.

    So we were chatting about “conspiracies” (I didn’t bring the subject up) but I did ask him what he thought of the Dr David Kelly mystery, he said something like he believed Hutton got it right.

    I wasn’t sure if he was joking (he doesn’t joke – possibly due to his placement on the Asperger spectrum). So I asked him how much he knew of the case and if he had done any independent research in the case. He replied he hadn’t but from media reports he knew all he needed to know. I suggested that his narrow mind had got stuck in a narrower passage.

    He became angry that anyone should believe the nonsense that the “conspiracy theorists” put out. I had no problem with that, what alarmed me was he had a certainty in his perception that what the media told him was true. This from a man who education and professional expertise had taught him to question anything and everything and apply tests to verify truth from illusion / false interpretation.

    The sad lesson that I took away was his quality of life and comfort depended on him believing what the establishment told him to be true was true, the alternative was a very dark and dangerous place.

    Sorry! I think I just answered my question.

    • Loony

      It is always possible that on any given matter that any individual could be in error. So what? This is just a statement of the obvious.

      You appear to be deploying a statement of the obvious in order to obfuscate and divert from another statement of the obvious: namely that the entire mainstream media comprises a corrupt and mendacious edifice that spews lies and misinformation on a continuous basis across the full spectrum of subject matters that it covers.

      In the comments on this very blog you can find reference to a WSJ article that claims Venezuelan oil to be more expensive than US shale. This is a lie and it can be proven that it is a lie. In all probability the authors of the WSJ article know that what they are writing is false.

      Ask why the media is so interested in death and mutilation in Syria and yet so disinterested in death and mutilation in the Congo. The very fact that this is the case proves up another lie. The BBC claims to be “independent, impartial and honest” How then to explain the extreme partiality in their reporting of death and destruction around the world. The explanation is that they are liars and that lies infuse everything they say and do.

      Contempt for the media is entirely rational. The more duplicitous and dishonest the media then the easier it is for “nutty conspiracy sites” to gain traction. The problem is not with the people that take information from such sites, but with a media that makes even the most deranged theories seem equally as plausible as the lies that they pump out.

    • Bobm

      I belong to a philosophy group.

      Insofar as we would have a view on your question, I think it would be that there’s another problem, too: a lot of people don’t want to be told: “its complicated..” whether it be the dysfunctionality of our tax system and of PFI, and other issues that I will forbear to mention.
      I couldn’t bring myself to read this, properly:


    • Clark

      Peter, I think it is more because people’s time is limited than that they are comfortable, because there are plenty of non-comfortable people who accept the corporate narratives.

      The actual conspiracy theorists also do a lot of harm. Anyone who ventures away from the corporate media’s well reinforced path finds themselves in a quagmire of marginally plausible theories popularised and enforced by the self appointed conspiracy theory industry – question any of them and you’ll be ridiculed and smeared by their impromptu tag teams.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Peter Beswick August 5, 2017 at 13:03
      Perhaps this otherwise ‘affable’ guy got to his position by ‘serving the PTB – no questions asked’.
      University departments and government departments are chock-a-block full of them, as are law, police, military, education, local councils – that’s the way the PTB (be they Masons, ‘Old Boy networks’, religious fraternities, ‘Common Cause’, homosexual fraternities, Gulen Movement or whatever.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Paul Barbara August 5, 2017 at 17:26
        Sorry, I forgot the word ‘operate’ at the end of my comment above.

      • Babushka

        Succinct choice, elaborating on:

        you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

        But first, the truth shall make you miserable.

        Who wants to be lonely and only?

    • Lorna Sharp

      What an interesting analysis. I know people like this. I also conclude that it is much easier to think radically when you are no longer in employment and frightened about saying and doing what you really think. I am retired and feel I am free to stand up for my political beliefs, in a way I could never have done while still working in my occupation. Work does not make you free. The opposite I think. I can’t see a solution to this conundrum.

    • Kempe

      Well of course if he has been taught how to evaluate theories, hypotheses and laws it wouldn’t take him long to realise just how ridiculous the conspiracy theories are and he must’ve had some exposure to them otherwise he wouldn’t know they were nonsense. I suspect he did apply himself to verify truth from falsehood and like any sensible person found the alternative theories wanting.

    • J

      In an economy of trust, information we receive from our culture is information we want to trust in, because the alternative is too difficult or too painful. What if almost everything we encounter is an elaborate display? At some level false or at most levels false? What if history is a series of lies? Of course, that is exactly what it is in the sense that any theory is a model and not the thing, an approximation which contains truths and untruths. How to tell one form the other? How to evaluate the quantity of each when we can’t go directly to the source to find out? Has it ever been any different?

      Look on the bright side, the freedom to be uncertain is freedom indeed.

      Since I tend to transfer my assumption of competence in one field to other fields, I assume that others do likewise but what do I know about other fields apart from what experts in each field tell me? It’s down to whom we trust to tell it straightest. And that ‘economy of trust’ is collapsing because there are too many cheats. We all know it. How we deal with that is a matter of what we want and what we want to do.

      Illusion versus disillusion.

  • Mark DC

    Senior Labour Party members are claiming that Venezuela has failed because it hasn’t had enough socialism.

    That’s always the answer isn’t it. More socialism and “it hasn’t been tried properly”.

    • glenn

      Have they indeed, Mark DC?

      Could you provide a quote for us? I’m happy to take this on face value, of course, based on your good word alone. But there are sceptics around who would like a proper source – so let’s have it.

  • nevermind

    Almost like the Guardian here, look…all clean and sorted now.

    I agree with you Peter.
    The same dichotomy exist in very large corporations such as the BBC, the civil service and the intelligence services, intelligent and engaged people seem to be holding on to the narrative they are purveying, for dear life…. even if they suspect it to be false, made up or outright misleading.
    I don’t think its the massive pay that is the instigator to their collusion, or the economic situation of their respective futures, I suspect that its the gullibility glue of being in the club, of being a vital part in the defence of the establishment/ the western trade/political narrative that turns them on. Maybe its a bit of all.

    That this institution, just as others in intelligence, pilfer universities such as Cambridge/Eton and Oxford of ‘like minded’ or manoeuvrable able wo/men is also the Guarantee for their survival within these organs of state, imho. They feel that they are actually steering our destiny, keeping the system ticking over, what direction this takes is irrelevant, for them there is only one right direction, regardless of the consequences of this one eye blindness.

    wishing all an enjoyable weekend.
    Note to Craig….Norwich 1- 1 at Fulham

  • Habbabkuk

    Look, let’s have some straight talking – no excuses.

    I challenge anyone to name a single country run over time on socialist lines (socialist as the fiery left-wingers on here would understand the term) that has managed to combine economic success with individual freedom and respect for human rights. Or that has achieves even one of those two splendid aims.

    I submit that the honest answers would be “none” and “none” but of course stand ready – as always – to be instructed.

    • mog

      You need to be more specific.
      ‘Economic success’ means what exactly?
      Ditto, individual freedom and ‘respect for human rights’?
      By what measure, what time frame? Does the respondant need to consider the human rights effects of the said regime on people outside the borders of the country in question? If so, how much weight should be put on this relative to the citizens’ conditions within the borders?
      You see my point, it is hard to quantify, impossible some would say.
      Socialism certainly has a bad press. What is often claimed to be omitted is the role that outside parties play in distorting the intentions of Leftwing governments. How do we factor that in?

      • FranzB

        Chile was moving in the right direction after Allende was elected (1970). What happened to him?

        Didn’t Kissinger say he couldn’t see why he should stand by while a country went Marxist.


        Of course what’s happening in Venezuela is the Chile playbook repeated. I suppose next stop for the USA is the Nicaragua / Contra play. Didn’t that go on to John Negrponte’s C.V. I wonder if he’s ‘helping’ in the Venezuela crisis.

    • glenn

      We have to define terms. In a “socialist” country, I would like to see a government which takes as an absolute priority that nobody should live in poverty, other that say monks or others that choose to live in an utterly minimalist way. These provisos could take forever, yet the lack of their inclusion invites gleeful ‘gotcha!’s that makes conversation tedious and unproductive.

      A reasonable distribution of wealth between, and provision of services to, the population is an obvious given, since inequality gives rise to all the real problems in and among a society. Read “The Spirit Level” :


      Personal freedom is a given, interference from the state should be very much frowned upon.

      This is reality for many Scandanavian countries, and most of northern Europe for that matter.

      Why hands should be slapped to the face with horror, just because a popular leader of an opposition party is suggesting a bit of socialism for a change, instead of the dog-eat-dog capitalism which you appear to assume is the absolute gold standard for governance, is something I would like to hear you explain.

    • SA

      I guess we could at the same time ask the question with regards to Imperialism which is the current system operating in the world. Maybe it had benefitted many of those living within its protective dome but has been hell for those outside.

      • J

        The model for western democracy has always been democracy deferred elsewhere. For freedom, freedom deferred elsewhere. And so on.

    • Clark

      “…name a single country run over time on socialist lines that has managed to combine economic success with individual freedom and respect for human rights”

      Britain, from the mid 1940s to the mid 1980s.

      • fwl

        Clarke, socialist yes but not sure about us meeting the economic success criteria?

        I suggested early post WWII Israel, but there is a difficulty here with the human rights criteria.

        Britain and Israel used to be attacked by Germany as the socialist enemy. What happened? I’m thinking now of Mark Rylance playing Johnny Rooster in Jerusalem (a fantastic riotous part for such an intense often quiet actor).

      • mog

        Britain, from the mid 1940s to the mid 1980s.

        Does not include the human rights of Kenyans, Indonesians, Egyptians, Nigerians…..et al

        The point is that countries exist in a world system of competing nation states. To try and assess whether an individual country has been ‘successful’ or not in its application of a political program, is all but meaningless without considering the world system of empire, trade and military power.

    • Republicofscotland

      Habb’s, is a loaded question, there are no ideal run socialist countries, just as there are no ideal capitalist countries.

      Habb can easily shoot down any argument to the contrary, do not fall, for it.

    • Phil the ex-frog


      I challenge anyone to name a single country run over time on socialist lines (socialist as the fiery left-wingers on here would understand the term) that has managed to combine economic success with individual freedom and respect for human rights.

      I suspect ‘on socialist lines’ means not at all socialist. Places where the basic capitalist tenets of wages, money, markets, private business, etc persist but where the state plays a major role in the economy. This is not socialism. This is capitalism, specifically state capitalism.

      There have been socialists and communists in government but there has never been a socialist nor communist country.

    • Roderick Russell

      Habbakuk – “I challenge anyone to name a single country run over time on socialist lines that has managed to combine economic success with individual freedom”
      You are surely not suggesting that Britain in recent years has combined economic success with a high measure of individual freedom???

      I believe that most people value some forms of socialism – i.e. socialized medicine (NHS in UK, Healthcare in Canada, etc.), socialized education, etc. etc. However, I do think it is true to say that socialism in general doesn’t work well, but then neither did Mrs. Thatcher’s form of crony capitalism (unless of course one thinks that the destruction of much of the manufacturing sector, and the bailouts needed subsequently to keep the financial services sector going are a measure of success).

      The truth is that over centralised economies, whether socialist or capitalist, don’t work well either economically or for individual freedom. Like the historian AJP Taylor I like the Swiss model which is so different from ours being decentralised in its decision making, very democratic, and a republic

  • Dave

    Corporal Jones looking in the sky seeing planes said “dirty Hun”, but being told they were British planes said “come on you heroes”. The lies are rationalised as our lies and so acceptable, whereas their lies are deplorable. Hence until people think of the government as ‘occupation government’ they will think the government lies are serving them.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Interesting your observation.

      I recall in the 1970s while at University there was a Professor Hans Eysenck who did work on genetics and co-relation to human intelligence. Anyway, he was Professor at LSE and in a lecture he had used the reference about intelligence of Blacks and the Irish being less than others as measured. Recall at the time that the IRA was in full force and the whole Irish question was a very hot political potato. I thought that Eysenck was incorrect in his conclusions and in his argument and that the Irish reference was more about ‘good politics’ supported by ‘bad science’.
      Relative to examples he gave, I stated to him that killing is a matter of social definition. Our exchange in essence was that if I as a soldier with the allied forces had killed him, a German in the Second World War, I might be a hero deserving of a Victoria Cross. By way of the same act of shooting him in the lecture theatre I then would be arrested as a criminal and a murderer. He tried to fudge the social context reference but I held my point.
      Comes back to mind because of what you just posted.


      • Paul Barbara

        @ Courtenay Barnett August 5, 2017 at 22:45
        Tend to agree with both you and Dave.

  • Loony

    Why would the US (or CIA if you prefer) be so against socialism in Vietnam that they launch a war to oppose it, and yet immediately at the close of this war be so keen to support socialism in Cambodia?

    Why have the US maintained a decades long embargo of Cuba to oppose socialism there are yet be so keen to support socialism in South Africa?

    Why is the US so keen on domestic socialism (SNAP for the poor and money printing for the rich) and yet be determined to prevent any socialization of losses in Greece?

    Actual facts on the ground would not readily lend themselves to any form of Gaussian analysis.

  • fwl

    Peter Beswick and Habbakuk have both asked interesting questions on this page.

    In response to Peter I think people are not so blind, that they intuit much, but keep suspicions to themselves because they know on which side their bread is buttered. If they have a slice they don’t want to let go for fear it may fall butter side down. If they have a whole loaf then they can speak out. If they have none they can speak out.

    There is something else as well. There is something about not biting the hand, which feeds because if one looks closely it is likely to be a mixed story. The hand which feeds may have blood on it, but perhaps that blood came from the fight for the bread. The mind of the hand, which feeds might be cunning, duplicitous, sometimes evil, but did it not also create all that is good in our culture if we can still see that. We have to look for the good in our culture not only the hidden hand. If we end up loathing our own culture perhaps we think we are clever and we see the hypocrisy which others do not, but perhaps we fail to see our self, our own self loathing and guilt and where does that take you? It may work for a saint, but there are few of those. If looking at the dark side, in the shadows of one’s culture and society then one needs to also look at the light. This is no easy balance.

    As for Habbakuk’s question about a successful socialist society what about Israel? I don’t know much about Israeli history and its change of direction, but in earlier decades Z’ism was inherently socialist. Could it be that some parts of Jewish communities may sometimes have more of what it takes to make a better go of socialism than others? I don’t know…

  • SA

    Another incredible piece of hypocrisy from the Guardian.

    It is really not the fact that this same scenario had been blessed by the west whilst AQ happily coexists, supports and affiliates with our trained ‘moderate rebels’, it is when AQ becomes the dominant party which was always the case and the mask has just slipped. The same happened before when all jihadists happily worked together until IS decided it was strong enough to split from the rest. Who is fooled by this blatant whitewashing I ask?

  • nevermind

    Habbakuk likes ism’s
    ism’s ism’s ism’s. Socialism, Capitalism, shism ism’s, Its not ism’s that make for good or bad state’s, but people who have too much hope for change and keep voting for the same thing.
    Whether they disagree in any way, or just running alongside, they inevitably are confronted with the power and control paradigms that exist and who, in a highly controlled, technically all incumbent world, will seek and sift out these individuals long before elections. Those who are in charge of the power levers and the rich societal class that have benefited from the existing paradigms are aligned against the majorities, 10% forcing 90% to conform, vote if you may, or else.

    That countries are prepared to defend their unsustainable systems, the existing power paradigms at all costs, is Here and Now-ism of the worst murderous kind! and its done at all costs, as we have failed to evolve our political systems to the extent that, although we pretend to care for our children with money schooling etc., we can’t even consider that they need a less rapacious, a less angry, and a more cooperative and sustaining environment and society, we are unable to stop this development and have conformed with it to a certain extent.

    We have no ways of changing these existing paradigms unless we, on masse rebel and force those who don’t want to live more sustainably, to get rid of us, in prisons, in camps and with bullets, the shism’ ism we so seemingly are programmed for.

    Protesters in North Dakota, pursued by federal agencies to pay for the protests against an oil pipeline through their rightful lands, have vowed to fight on, but are harassed by federal agencies of a democratic country that purports to allow peaceful protests, a good example of what matters more than humans, treaties or past rights.

    The power ism paradigms will fight anyone, be they friendly citizens in their own country, naughty spies, or terrorists, anything that threatens the made up card house, however wobbly it might be.

    The global move against human rights, UN or otherwise, is a self destructive skid, an approx. 30 years long dark brown and smelly skid that can only be cleaned up by us all, we have to get rid of the arses that caused it.
    The Breszinki’s of this world saw a grand calamity forcing us into a unified confrontation. We had the calamity, some say it was badly organised…. but it has not unified anything, merely shown how unsustainable and unwilling we have become to change our lot, or stand up for others who feel worse.

    All of Europe/the world will be inundated with people fleeing a hostile environment and we knew of this for some time. But what have rich countries or well off people, done/thought of doing? We hera the siren voices of agencies that can’t cope, we know others are in peril far more than us, yet. Homosapiens is changing into Homo eraticus necare.

    The left and right, communism vs. capitalism is just a motor for industry to use, a mechanism of opposing beliefs that is used to stop the card house falling down. By accruing assets and resources by means of war and convoluted scenarios, the more complicated the better, we think our life’s will carry on as usual.

    for how long?

    • Peter Beswick

      “we have failed to evolve our political systems”!

      Apologies for taking out of the context of the sentence.

      But this is The Problem.

      Luddites , Marxist/Leninist , Whigs, The GOP (that one still makes me smile), laissez faire Capitalism etc etc (yes we do still have Luddites, Whigs and the let it be-ers)

      What’s changed?


      Since 1960 the population of the earth has more than doubled.

      Atomic, Chemical and Bio Weapons have each the capability of wiping human life off the earth (C&B W are cheap and that’s why nuclear weapon owners don’t want anybody to have these, except the US & UK still research these weapons capabilities advancing still this strain of death – “You Not Have Because You Primitive, We Have Because We Are Civilised”





      Science – Medical, Materials, Energy, AI, Satellites (not now just communication but war accessories), etc etc


      What’s not changed?


      Poor – Zero education for the poorest

      Ill health for those that cannot afford expensive treatments* or death for those that are too poor to matter. (*expensive treatments now rationed on the NHS)


      Politicians unable to tell the truth

      Civil Servants that continue to be our masters.

      Inequality in the Law, in Gender, Colour, Cast and Birth Right etc etc


      What is the difference between What’s Changed and What Hasn’t?

      Obsolete Politics!

      What changed would have changed with or without political interference maybe some of the changes were hastened by defence investment (taxpayer investment) but the necessity caused by ballooning population forced the advances.


      But the obsolete politics work better now than they did before for the people that deploy them and benefit from them, they get richer, more powerful and will use the unbalanced Law to Silence Dissenters.

      That is what we will be voting for at the next General Election……… If we are allowed to have one.

      • J

        “we have failed to evolve our political systems”

        There’s your mistake, right there. Evolution does not imply improvement or progress as such, merely adaptation and survival/extinction, where useful traits are preserved because of their enhanced survival value. Our cultures have long protected traits which have a long term negative survival value, such as attitudes to ecology and environment flourishing in our extractive industries. Evolution in action. We may be removing ourselves from the gene pool through failure to adapt to the pressures our population density has imposed on the environment. Unfortunately we may be taking most other highly developed species with us.

        Might be worth pondering why there are no signs of intelligent life elsewhere in our galactic neighbourhood.

      • Sharp Ears

        Some of the front page of the Electronic Intifada’s recent entries illustrate what life is like for Palestinians living under the heel of the Israeli boot.

        EU removes video featuring Israeli genocide advocate
        Ali Abunimah

        Senator Gillibrand pulls support for Israel Anti-Boycott Act
        Josh Ruebner

        Disappeared Palestinian-Syrian software developer reportedly executed
        Maureen Clare Murphy

        Surge in Israeli attacks on journalists
        Charlotte Silver

        Christians urged to heed call for “costly solidarity” with Palestine
        Ryan Rodrick Beiler

        Video: Israeli soldier shoots, beats fleeing teen
        Ali Abunimah

        Insurance giant AXA urged to end support for Israeli war crimes
        Ali Abunimah

        G4S complicit in Israel’s attempt to take over al-Aqsa
        Ali Abunimah

        Gaza boy killed during al-Aqsa protest
        Maureen Clare Murphy

        IT disruption panics Gaza’s new Internet entrepreneurs
        Generators for phone company held up by Israel, and more disruption could harm
        4 August 2017

        My child died before my eyes
        Gaza Strip 27 July 2017
        Palestinian Authority refuses to allow transfer of patients out of Gaza.

        These are the Israeli leaders who want to destroy al-Aqsa
        24 July 2017
        Genocidal ideology lies behind push to take over Jerusalem’s Muslim holy sites


    • nevermind

      Yes indeed, silence, but not in the camp that wants to see cheap oil forever. But the reactionary forces are looking at protecting the poor punished population, after they helped to destabilise the Chavez/Maduro regimes from the outside. This last sentence in this CBS snippet sound like macabre humour.

      Despite having said previously that the US has no plans to invade Venezuela to save them from an ‘authoritarian dictatorship’…..

      ” General H.R. McMaster, said he doesn’t see a military intervention in Venezuela as likely — even as he’s calling on nations to help “rescue” the country from “authoritarian dictatorship.”

      McMaster cites the historical resentment in Latin America over the long history of U.S. military interventions in the region. He said he doesn’t want to give Maduro any added ammunition to blame “Yankees” for Venezuela’s political crisis.”

      RoS has pointed to a call to genocide on all of Ghaza’s resident Palestinians, who’s electricity and water are cut off regularly. And there’s utter silence about it as well.

      There is also utter silence over the persecution of Tibetans and Ughiurs in China, Homo erraticus necare definately knows no borders or races when it slaughters its own kind.
      Is it genetic or a herding instinct of an animal?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Kempe August 6, 2017 at 13:42
      Quite understandably, as you seem to be the only one to have heard about it. Did a little bird tell you about it?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It was all over Radio 4 news. The butcher Kagame’s re-election didn’t get a mention, the ongoing Netanyahu corruption case has barely been touched on. Same for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to the ailing Nigerian President Mohammedu Buhari in London, and, on the Welby-alleged* Divine miracle of the latter’s improving health (he still looks like death and not about to return home any time soon), the UK media maintain a respectful silence.

      *according to Nigerian pro-Buhari outlets – the others are hoping he’ll turn up his toes.

      • Hieroglyph

        The Guardian no longer really reports news. It’s gone full ‘Identity Politics For Teenagers’, and will, of course, duly go out of business soon enough. Won’t be missed, sadly. What an awful waste of a brand and a once-decent newspaper. The Trump Derangement syndrome is borderline sinister now, and I’m quite sure Kath Viner would support the upcoming coup. The Deplorables, however, will not. Much of interest will ensure, possibly later this year, but none of it will be fairly reported in the CIAdian.

        Actually, the ‘news’ everywhere is almost uniformly awful. It’s so bad that a life-long lefty like myself regularly listens to Alex Jones, which is real news, albeit Trump-biased. The Left is Dead. Long life The Left.

  • mog

    Kempe, Re: Kuwait
    To claim that this story was in any way pivotal in the decision to go to war against Saddam is just farcical.
    Not to many who have studied the incident in earnest, it was key in securing a very close vote in Congress:

    Also, wasn’t there some dispute about the photos of Iraqi troops allegedly amassed on the Saudi border – photos that were never released by the US and countered by (released) photos from Moscow? US troops in the Muslim holy land was a highly controversial move, and only came about because KSA were persuaded that they were under threat from Saddam.

    It is increasingly obvious to more and more people that our understanding of most conflict changes, as facts emerge and the element of social manipulation is unveiled.

      • mog

        Your comment, to a degree makes my point even further.
        Why didn’t the New York Times conduct a full investigation into how PR firms were employed in the lead up to the war? Lantos was not reprimanded, as far as I can tell. John Strauber’s book (linked previously) shows that there were obvious stories and leads to follow there for any honest journalist trying to understand the conflict. Lantos was involved in just one of many front groups that posed as human rights advocates but which were anything but. Zakhem (former US ambassador) poured money into these, the connections of Gray and Fuller to the White House, the Democrats who were propagandising for war …etc.
        You cite an ‘opinion’ from the NYT editors, which is a paper that is embedded in a propaganda system which thrives on deception in the cause of imperial war. It is only by reading deeply the work of academics and researchers who have unpicked the web of deceit that runs through establishment media organisations (like the NYT) that we start to make sense of the veracity or true nature of all those alleged ‘threats’ of history.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe August 6, 2017 at 16:29
        What Saddam may have said is not the point – the point is Colin Powell LIED about massed Iraqi tanks and 250,000 Iraqi troops on Saudi Arabia’s border.
        He also LIED about WMD in Iraq, and much earlier, he was the officer who tried to cover up the Mai Lai massacre. What you might call a ‘serial liar’ for the War Criminals of the US:
        ‘In war, some facts less factual’: https://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0906/p01s02-wosc.html

  • Sharp Ears

    Rachel Corrie would have been 38 this year. RIP dear brave Rachel.

    Fury at London Theatre Production of Israel’s Notorious Killing of American Rachel Corrie in 2003
    August 05, 2017
    Rachel Corrie was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement.
    The acclaimed production of ‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ by London’s Young Vic Theatre Group will be performed at the end of this September under a Director who has stated that Rachel Corrie’s legacy “is our inheritance”.


    Beloved actor Alan Rickman lost pro-Israel fans over Rachel Corrie play

    • Babushka

      Sharp Ears whenever I speak with fellow Australians about global politics and they in turn look at me blankly i say only:
      “if you do nothing else, look up Rachel Corrie”
      An amazing young lady whose name is written upon eternity.

      Your contributions to this blog are very valuable to me.
      Some months ago you posted a link to a nesting box in Dorset.
      My granddaughter and I have been enthralled watching the hatchings and growth of a family of magnificent barn owls. Thank You and best wishes for your health and the good fight.

  • Jeffrey Kaye

    “The problem of revolution, as of war, consists in breaking the will of the foe, forcing him to capitulate and to accept the conditions of the conqueror. The will, of course, is a fact of the physical world, but in contradistinction to a meeting, a dispute, or a congress, the revolution carries out its object by means of the employment of material resources – though to a less degree than war. The bourgeoisie itself conquered power by means of revolts, and consolidated it by the civil war. In the peaceful period, it retains power by means of a system of repression. As long as class society, founded on the most deep-rooted antagonisms, continues to exist, repression remains a necessary means of breaking the will of the opposing side.” – https://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1920/terrcomm/ch04.htm

  • Sharp Ears

    On this day, August 6th.

    In 1813, Simón Bolivar, considered to be the great liberator of the South America from Spanish rule, a close friend of Haitian independence, and the inspiration of the popular Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, took Caracas from the Spanish and proclaimed the Second Venezuelan Republic.

    In 1824, Bolivar and de Sucre defeat the Spanish forces at Junín in central Peru.

    In 1825, Bolivar becomes President of the independent state of Bolivia.



    • Why be ordinary?

      Venezuela was proclaimed independent on 13 January 1830 and José Antonio Páez maintained the presidency of that country banishing Bolivar.

      • Bobm

        I visited Venezuela in the nineties and was struck by the obvious “second/third world” features of a country that should, clearly, have been a developed country.
        To my amazement I recently heard John Simpson of the BBC saying that one of Venezuela’s two key problems was the grip that the super-rich european emigrée class have long had on the country.

    • Habbabkuk

      There have been 64 Presidents of Venezuela since independence.

      That’s about one every three and a half years.

      • Bobm

        The US of A has had direct and indirect control of Venezuela since 1905 when the oil began to flow [to the US].
        Please name a nation in Central or South America in which the USA has not acted rapaciously. ??

        • Pyewacket

          It might be continuing for quite some time yet, given the much reported drive to develop and mass produce electric vehicles for which the element Lithium is required. Some of the World’s greatest reserves of this metal are held by Chile, Argentina & Bolivia. China’s car industry in this direction should be self sufficient as they’ve got plenty too. By comparison; the US of A has almost none. Something like 38,000 tonnes against Chile’s 7,000,000 tonnes ! I tried to add a link, sadly without success, but easily verifiable if one googles “Lithium reserves”.

  • Becky Cohen

    Well, politics aside, I have to admit that with all the profound, deep-rooted anti-Semitism and classism around in the UK, unfortunately I couldn’t imagine a working class bus driver with a Jewish family background like Maduro ever becoming Prime Minister over here. The right-wing dominated press would just destroy him before he ever got to office.

    • Habbabkuk

      There was a Prime Minister of Jewish background in the UK over 150 years ago.

      His name was Disraeli.

      So no “imagination” is necessary.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Kempe August 6, 2017 at 13:36
    ‘Well of course if he has been taught how to evaluate theories, hypotheses and laws it wouldn’t take him long to realise just how ridiculous the conspiracy theories are…’
    ’53 ADMITTED False Flag Attacks’: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/x-admitted-false-flag-attacks.html
    ‘Not Theory … Admitted Fact
    There are many documented false flag attacks, where a government carries out a terror attack … and then falsely blames its enemy for political purposes.
    In the following 53 instances, officials in the government which carried out the attack (or seriously proposed an attack) admits to it, either orally or in writing…..:

    And remember, these are just admitted cases.
    Similarly, the Venezuelan ‘Opposition’ encouraged violent protests, involving home-made guns (what the Americans used to call ‘zip-guns’ – I made one myself when I was in the States in 1959), explosives and Molotov cocktails, as well as employing snipers to shoot both sides, in order to blame the government Security Forces. They employed these tactics in the short-lived 2002 coup against Chavez, and have used it since:
    ‘…Venezuela 2002
    In 2002, the CIA attempted to overthrow Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, in a military coup. On the 11th of April 2002, an opposition March towards the presidential palace was organized by the US backed Venezuelan opposition. Snipers hidden in buildings near the palace opened fire on protestors killing 18. The Venezuelan and international media claimed that Chavez was “ killing his own people” thereby justifying the military coup presented as a humanitarian intervention. It was subsequently proved that the coup had been organized by the CIA but the identity of the snipers was never established….’
    Likewise, they payed youths to violently protest, kill and burn down facilities, including clinics, shops, government buildings.
    This was documented, with photos of youths being payed in University facilities in the 2002 events:
    ‘…“It’s about organized groups which are coordinated and paid in US dollars. We have photos of them being paid within the hallways of the Universities” he stated.
    “Underneath the violence and the spite there is a scheme, planned from outside of Venezuela, to generate violence… They had 9mm pistols in their hands, with munitions, to create chaos…they have mortars, armaments, munitions, and guns, to hurt the people of Táchira”.
    The youths vandalized various private institutions which work alongside the local government, such as the Foundation for the Family of Táchira and the Táchira Institute for Women, as well as inflicting infrastructural damage to various buildings, and the attempted burning of an ambulance.
    Táchira State was one of those lost by the opposition forces in December local elections, despite strongly voting for Capriles Radonski in October, and was previously considered a center for anti-Chavez sentiment…..’

    ‘Venezuela: Opposition ‘Activists’ Confess Being Paid to Promote Violent Protests’:
    ‘..In one video broadcast during the president’s televised evening address, a young opposition protester named Guido Rodriguez admits being paid 300,000 bolivars (US $70) – more than double the monthly minimum wage – to commit acts of anti-government violence during April 8’s demonstrations.
    “They proposed that I go to today’s march and burn and vandalize, and that they were going to pay me 300,000 bolivars. And I accepted,” stated Rodriguez, who says he has been working with the youth section of the right-wing Justice First (PJ) party “for a while”…..’
    ‘…In another video confession, one of the Sanchez brothers explains that attacks were planned three weeks ago by PJ Caracas Youth Secretary Carmelo Zambrano in conjunction with PJ National Assembly deputies in Caracas.
    “We participated in the burning of the DEM [Executive Office of the Judiciary] together with Carmelo Zambrano who is the planner and executor of this play. They gave him the money, I don’t know, he has contacts among the Caracas [PJ] deputies, Marialbert Barrios, Tomás Guanipa, José Guerra,” the right-wing youth leader told the camera.
    Sanchez continued, “Three weeks ago in the basement of the [PJ] headquarters in Chacaito they met and planned this. The instructions were to set Caracas alight and he was going to distribute the money they gave him among the parishes of Caracas.”
    According to Sanchez, the orders came directly from PJ General Secretary and lawmaker Tomás Guanipa, with Zambrano “divvying up the money among the bases to buy water and do protest activities”…….’

    So do you wonder if the Maduro government is starting to crack down on these ‘peaceful protesters’ and their instigators in the ‘Opposition’?

    • SA

      Snipers shooting both sides were also reported in the Maidan protests in Kiev and also in Dara’a in Syria.

      In fact the amount of violence on the police by ‘peaceful demonstrators’ was incredible and I saw that transmitted live by RT as it happened.

    • Kempe

      So you’re still clinging on to the idea that because there have been false flag incidents in the past, that’s evidence that everything that happens is a false flag? Actually most of those so called 53 admissions are nothing more than accusations, many others are proposals that were never carried through and others are just ridiculous.

      Venezuela Solidarity and Internationalist 360 are both leftist propaganda outlets, the “paid protestors” story I remember first hearing about during the Vietnam war protests in London and it has cropped up several times since. As for global research… oh please.

      Now, what about this attempted coup. Surely that has to be a false flag, nobody could sensibly expect to succeed with just 20 men and it’s very convenient for Maduro. His only chance of staying in power is to find an excuse to cancel next year’s presidential election and an attempted coup or coups would seem the perfect excuse to impose martial law. It all fits!!!

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe August 7, 2017 at 07:52
        I will respond to you on these issues and others you have raised on the 9/11 thread later, as I suspect we may be clogging this thread (although it does relate to Venezuela).
        I’ll just say here that I didn’t say everything is a ‘False Flag’, but because they have been so prevalent in the past, any possibility of something being one should be very carefully scrutinised (especially re ‘Cui bono?’).
        And it is not good enough to say ‘…Actually most of those so called 53 admissions are nothing more than accusations, many others are proposals that were never carried through and others are just ridiculous….’; be specific.
        And just because you heard stories about people being paid to demonstrate in London against the Vietnam War, does not have anything whatsoever to do with evidence the Venezuelan government has, both confessions and photographs, of Venezuelan youths being paid to violently riot.

        • Kempe

          You can read, read the list yourself and click on some of the links and see how often these admissions turn out to be just accusations or speculation. I haven’t the time or the inclination to spoon feed you.

          ” just because you heard stories about people being paid to demonstrate in London against the Vietnam War, does not have anything whatsoever to do with evidence the Venezuelan government has, both confessions and photographs, of Venezuelan youths being paid to violently riot. ”

          In the same way accusations of false flag events perpetrated in the past has nothing to do with the death of Dr David Kelly or anything else. Thank you. The cue bono test so beloved of truthers is very often misleading as events don’t always work out as planned.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Kempe August 7, 2017 at 15:21
            I did not mention Dr. Kelly, and whether or not people were paid to demonstrate against the Vietnam war or not I do not know (but seriously doubt it was necessary, because people, especially students, were much more moral creatures in those days, and acted out of conviction).
            But youths violently rioting, burning down buildings, throwing Molotov cocktails is not a ‘theory’, there are numerous videos and reports in your beloved MSM.
            And their being paid to do so is not a theory either – there is photographic and confession testimonies to the truth of it.
            I shall do as you ask, as you are too uninterested to read through the 53 cases yourself, but on the other thread, as I explained. I’ll also give the evidence that the brave, heroic ‘White Helmet’ ISIS PR team faked the ‘boy in the ambulance’ on that thread.
            And please be specific – if I say the ‘Iraqi Babies LIE’ dramatically increased support for the war, that does not mean I am saying it wouldn’t have happened without it. You are employing a ‘Straw man’ argument.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Kempe August 7, 2017 at 07:52
        I see – this is not a ‘Coup attempt’, because the leader (and you) say so(!!!): http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/venezuela-coup-uprising-terrorist-attack-military-nicolas-maduro-valencia-caracas-shooting-arrests-a7879321.html

        Why did they head straight for the armoury (as Fidel etc. used to do?) if they were the only members? They already had arms enough to attack a military base. And like so many recent Latin American events, they had the proclamation ready to go out on alternative media (and doubtless, if the attack had turned out well, in the predominantly pro-‘Opposition’ Venezuelan MSM, as well as international MSM). There are undoubtedly other traitors in the military who would have joined in, but thanks to the Chavez legacy, most of the military are fiercely Nationalistic, and support their government and the people.

        And you imply Maduro ‘made it happen’, in a False Flag?

      • Hieroglyph

        I take the view that it is wiser to assume ‘false flag’ as a default position. This isn’t a popular view! One will of course be wrong sometimes, maybe often, but believing a single word that comes out of the spook-military-media industrial complex is a mugs’ game. One that I personally played for far too long, but no longer.

        At the risk of sounding like RobG: they are vermin, they are lying to you, all day every day, and if history teaches us one thing: revolutions happen at the least expected moment. Trump is far from perfect, and I personally don’t agree with many of his policies, but I regard his election as an uprising against corrupt Dem scumbags like Clinton, Pelosi et al – and none of them saw it coming. Well, fuck all of them; they sold their nation down the river, destroyed several others, and should all be in jail. If it kicks of in the US – very likely – they’ll have to leave for their own safety. For the record, I’ve never espoused violence, and still don’t, but the MAGA crowd are all tooled up, and massively, hugely pissed. At such moments, bad things can occur …

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Venezuelans to Re-Vote for ANC in Violence-Stricken Areas’:
    ‘…The re-runs will take place in the municipalities of Miranda in Merida state, and Francisco de Miranda in Tachira.
    Both municipalities were engulfed in violence during Sunday’s nationwide elections, with authorities accusing anti-government groups of trying to impede voters. During Sunday’s vote in Tachira, a National Guard sergeant was gunned down, while three other people were killed in unclear circumstances across the city. Three more deaths were reported in Merida state on voting day. Across the country, a total of around 200 voting centres were attacked by opposition groups, according to authorities.
    Both municipalities will now go to the polls a second time on Sunday, August 13. The re-runs will include voting for seven national constituent assembly (ANC) members…..’

  • Cyril

    “People ought not to be starving in dreadful slums in the world’s most oil rich state”

    When you consider that people in the UK, and the USA, are living in tents and eating at food banks, your indignation seems somewhat misguided.

  • Sharp Ears

    Joe Emersberger

    UN Human Rights Body Makes an Outlandish Statement on Venezuela

    ‘According to a UN statement that was widely reported by the media today, it is “unclear” if opposition rioters in Venezuela have killed a single person over the past four months. The OHCHR press release said it had “remote” investigators study the situation in Venezuela.

    According to the UN Human Rights team’s analysis, security forces are allegedly responsible for at least 46 of those deaths, while pro-Government armed groups, referred to as “armed colectivos” are reportedly responsible for 27 of the deaths. It is unclear who the perpetrators in the remaining deaths may be.

    This statement destroys the credibility of the OHCHR’s “remote” investigation. It is such an extreme remark that only one counterexample is required to completely refute it.’


    ‘Recalling how the Blairites backed a coup in Venezuela
    August 8, 2017
    With Blairites, among many others, pressuring Corbyn to try to get him to join the establishment herd in a one-sided position on Venezuela (and to drop the principled one he has taken condemning violence on “both sides”) it is worth recalling how the Blairites responded to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that briefly set up the only dictatorship to exist in Venezuela’s recent history.

    Here is an exchange I had in 2006 with the former Tony Blair cabinet minister Denis MacShane.

    The core opposition leaders of today (Capriles, Lopez, Machado, Borges) who backed and participated in the coup must have been very pleased imdeed with MacShane in April of 2002.

    Reviewing the exchange, is it any surprise MacShane would go onto become a convicted fraudster?’

    The exchange with MacShane – http://www.medialens.org/23_fg_75_lc/viewtopic.php?t=1563&sid=c110ad0fdc582be678776458c186574c

    • Sharp Ears

      MacShane is given considerable space for his voice in the MSM in spite of his history. He appears in the Guardian, the Independent, FT, HuffPost, etc to campaign against Brexit.

      If hardline Tory MPs get their way, London will become the new ‘Costa Del Crime’ after Brexit
      If Brexit means Britain pulling out of the European Arrest Warrent system, it is London that will be the refuge of preference to every criminal in Europe


      Craig too, at length

      How does MacShane show his face? Chutzpah, pure and simple.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears August 9, 2017 at 06:47
      Ouch! I was astounded with that overt baloney from the OHCHR, so did a quick check.
      Who is the High Commissioner for Human Rights?
      Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan!
      Firstly, a ‘Prince’ from a staunchly pro-Western country, firmly in the pockets of Uncle Sam.
      They ‘hosted’ the first training camps for the intended mercenary ‘head chopper’ onslaught against Syria, in 2009.
      Zeid al-Hussein even gets a roasting from Foreign Policy magazine (which appears to be very right-wing):
      ‘The Scandal of Ambassador Zeid’: http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/06/26/the-scandal-of-ambassador-zeid/
      Though in the article, he is praised by ‘Human Rights’ groups:
      ‘….The nomination of longtime career diplomat Ambassador Zeid (shown in the photo above at right) has been largely met with approval from major human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch’s executive director Kenneth Roth tweeted that Zeid had “a strong rights record.” Suzanne Nossel, former director of Amnesty International USA and current executive director of PEN America, also wrote a mostly positive piece on Ambassador Zeid in Foreign Policy….’
      I don’t know anything about Roth, but I do know HRW is basically under the thumb of Western interests.
      But Nossel! She was forced to resign as Director of Amnesty International by widespread grass-roots protest; she would have made a better NATO Secretay General! Then she went for, and became, Director of PEN, against many objections (‘An Appeal to PEN: Exec. Director Suzanne Nossel Must Go’: https://www.antiwar.com/blog/2013/04/03/an-appeal-to-pen-exec-director-suzanne-nossel-must-go/ ).
      Check out her CV!
      I’l have to follow this up further, as I am deeply concerned about the US destabilisation campaign against Venezuela (and other Latin American countries); I cut my teeth on Human Rights campaigns for Latin America in the early 1970’s.
      Interestingly, there is a link with 9/11, via Aaron Russo and Nick Rockefeller: in the interview here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3NA17CCboA ) Aaron explains how Nick Rockefeller told him, in 2000, that ‘there was going to be an incident, and we (the US) would attack Afghanistan and Iraq; there would be US troops hunting through caves for Arabs; there would be a ‘War on Terror’; and after that, we would go after Venezuela’ (that is paraphrased, but very close to the original, which is in the interview).
      So we had 9/11 in 2001, and the (unsuccessful) coup in Venezuela in 2002. All Rockefeller’s predictions came true (he made some others as well, which are on the way to ‘fruition’.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Winston August 10, 2017 at 07:34
      You forgot to finish the sentence: ‘Actually victim of commodity reliance’ ———- ‘by the US of super-cheap raw materials from compliant (or ‘Regime Changed’) countries, especially in the Southern Hemisphere and Middle East’.
      United Fruit, anyone?

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Amnesty International: Pernicious Liars and Empire’s Little Helpers’:
    http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/08/14/amnesty-international-pernicious -liars-and-empires-little-helpers/

    ‘….In Venezuela and Nicaragua, Western human rights organizations exaggerate alleged government violations while minimizing abuses and provocations by the opposition. This screenshot of Amnesty International’s three main news items on Venezuela from August 9th gives a fair idea of the organization’s heavily politicized, bad faith coverage of recent events.

    This is identical false coverage to that of Western mainstream corporate media and most Western alternative media outlets too. Amnesty International’s coverage minimizes opposition murders of ordinary Venezuelans, setting many people on fire, violent attacks on hospitals, universities and even pre-schools and innumerable acts of intimidation of the general population. That headline “Venezuela: Lethal violence, a state policy to strangle dissent” is a pernicious lie. President Nicolas Maduro explicitly banned the use of lethal force against opposition demonstrations from the start of the latest phase of the opposition’s long drawn out attempted coup back in early April this year.
    Likewise, against Nicaragua, Amnesty’s latest report, kicking off their global campaign to stop Nicaragua’s proposed Interoceanic Canal, also begins with a demonstrable lie : “Nicaragua has pushed ahead with the approval and design of a mega-project that puts the human rights of hundreds of thousands of people at risk, without consultation and in a process shrouded in silence” That claim is completely false. Even prior to September 2015, the international consultants’ impact study found that the government and the HKND company in charge of building the Canal had organized consultations with, among others, over 5400 people from rural communities in addition to 475 people from indigenous communities along the route of the Canal and its subsidiary projects. There has been very extensive media discussion and coverage of the project ever since it was announced.
    That extremely prestigious ERM consultants’ Environmental and Social Impact study, which together with associated studies cost well over US$100 million, is publicly available in Spanish and in English. Two years ago, it anticipated all the criticisms made by Amnesty International and was accepted by the Nicaraguan government, leading to a long period of analysis and revision that is still under way. Amnesty International excludes that information. Recently, government spokesperson Telemaco Talavera, said the continuing process involves a total of 26 further studies. Until the studies are complete, the government is clearly right to avoid commenting on the proposed Canal, because the new studies may radically change the overall project.
    Amnesty International states, “According to independent studies of civil society organizations, along the announced route of the canal, approximately 24,100 households (some 119,200 people) in the area will be directly impacted.” But, the ERM study notes, “HKND conducted a census of the population living in the Project Affected Areas. The census determined that approximately 30,000 people (or 7,210 families) would need to be physically or economically displaced.” But Amnesty International’s report omits that contradictory detail, demonstrating how irrationally committed they are to the false propaganda of Nicaragua’s political opposition.
    Amnesty International claim their research team interviewed “at least 190 people” concerned about the effects of the Canal. By contrast, the Nicaraguan government and the HKND company have discussed the project with around six thousand people in the areas along the route of the Canal. In that regard, even the local church hierarchy has criticized the way the Nicaraguan opposition have manipulated rural families on the issue of the Canal. But that fact too, Amnesty International omits. Their whole report is tailor made to supplement the political opposition’s campaign for US intervention via the notorious NICA Act.
    The Nicaraguan government has made an express commitment to a fair and just resolution of the issue of expropriations. Its 2015 report on the Canal in the context of its National Development Plan, states :
    “The Nicaraguan government and HKND will guarantee that persons and families on the route of the Canal’s construction will have living conditions superior to those they currently have (without the Canal). To that end, the Government of Reconciliation and National Unity, via the Project’s Commission, will guarantee not just a fair and transparent indemnification of their properties, via negotiations and direct agreements with each family affected, but furthermore will promote actions to improve their economic conditions, health care, education, housing and employment.”
    But the Amnesty International report systematically excludes that and any other sources giving the government’s point of view, claiming it was unable to access primary sources either from the government itself or from among the Canal’s numerous advocates. However, secondary sources abound that categorically contradict Amnesty’s advocacy against the Canal. Their report specifically and extensively attacks the Law 840, facilitating the construction of the Canal and its sub-projects, but cynically omits a fundamental, crucial detail, while also failing completely to give relevant social and economic context.
    The crucial detail is that Law 840’s Article 18 specifically states the Canal project “cannot require any Government Entity to take any action that violates the political Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua or the terms of any international treaty of which the State of the Republic of Nicaragua is a party.” Amnesty International completely omit that absolutely crucial part of the Law 840 from their report because it makes redundant their advocacy of opposition claims attacking the equity and legality of the Canal’s legal framework. The same is true of the relevant political, social and economic context……’

    I never would have thought, years ago, that I would promote an attack like this on Amnesty International; I campaigned for it for many years. But now they have been taken over, like the MSM.

    Here’s another bunch of war-promoting shysters:
    http://www.theartofannihilation.com/syria-avaaz-purpose-the-art-of-sel ling-hate-for-empire/

    I suppose we should expect a campaign by Avaaz against the Venezuelan government, and for the murderous paid thugs with their sniper rifles, explosives and Molotov cocktails.

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