At the guarimbas, democracy blazes

Or where responsible journalism is again abandoned to promote an agenda, and where it becomes no more than full-throated propaganda to support ‘régime change’ – the overthrow of yet another ‘insubordinate’ sovereign nation-state, one with massive reserves of hydrocarbons.

This example, one of many indictments of establishment media, invites the thought of complicity in promoting insurrection against a democratically-elected government. Here we have the BBC covering protests in Venezuela. The title of its broadcast is telling, Meet ‘The Resistance’: Venezuela’s frontline protest army- BBC News.

In stark contrast, independent journalist Abby Martin in one of her series on Venezuela would cover the same type of protesters, not just the generally peaceful set, and where we have a hint in this excerpt, Abby Martin on the streets with the Venezuelan Opposition. And these heroic resistance fighters so glorified by the BBC turn out, to the surprise of only the willfully uninformed, to be no more than brutal, violent thugs, better armed and trained than that other lot in 2013-14 – in a word, insurrectionists. Martin does invite voices other than those gangs of sponsored ‘freedom fighters’.

One teleSUR report on the violent disruptions to daily life and the naked attempt to overthrow the government had asked the question, Venezuela’s Contras: Protesters or Terrorists?, with this gruesome bit of information,

In Miranda, a focal point of the unrest, Orlando Figuera was mobbed, beaten, stabbed and set on fire by a crowd of opposition protesters.
Some media outlets suggested the group thought the young, dark-skinned man was stealing.
Figuera, who initially survived the attack but later died from his injuries, believed he was targeted for looking like a ‘Chavista.’

To look like a ‘Chavista’ does have that obvious connotation. That is a group, of several million, for which the government has implemented many social programmes to improve the quality of life by, for example, reducing poverty and illiteracy; improving the quality of health; increasing educational and employment opportunities. The antipathy of the upper-class to such people and programmes is understandable, given its continuing and frustrating failure to seize the reins of government and revert to a governing for which it was more than a little notorious.

Yet one unique feature missing in both the BBC and Martin’s broadcasts is some foul-mouthed US official handing out cookies to the very well-sponsored rioters.

As for the BBC, even time has a sense of irony. June would be the month in which a report was released with very little fanfare but with more details on the overthrow of another democratically-elected government, Iran, a report coming some 64 years after that violent ‘promotion of Western democracy’. The irony? Time is yet to forget that the Beeb (through its Persian ‘service’) had been an active participant in that overthrow of President Mohammad Mossaddegh.

And that makes the BBC’s Venezuela coverage all the more awkwardly timely, even if more ominous – which, with the motives of Fake News exposed, serves to strengthen and reinforce the inexorable ascendance of independent media, and online blogs and analysts.


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