JOHN PILGER: The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies

The reporter as clown — for whom the truth is too difficult to report —may be the final stage of much of mainstream journalism’s degeneration, writes John Pilger for Consortium News.

By John Pilger
Special to Consortium News

Travelling with Hugo Chavez, I soon understood the threat of Venezuela.  At a farming co-operative in Lara state, people waited patiently and with good humor in the heat. Jugs of water and melon juice were passed around. A guitar was played; a woman, Katarina, stood and sang with a husky contralto.

“What did her words say?” I asked.

“That we are proud,” was the reply.

The applause for her merged with the arrival of Chavez. Under one arm he carried a satchel bursting with books.  He wore his big red shirt and greeted people by name, stopping to listen.

Hugo Chavez in 2004. (Franklin Reyes via Wikimedia)

Hugo Chavez in 2004. (Franklin Reyes via Wikimedia)

What struck me was his capacity to listen. 

But now he read. For almost two hours he read into the microphone from the stack of books beside him: Orwell, Dickens, Tolstoy, Zola, Hemingway, Chomsky, Neruda: a page here, a line or two there. People clapped and whistled as he moved from author to author. Then farmers took the microphone and told him what they knew, and what they needed; one ancient face, carved it seemed from a nearby banyan, made a long, critical speech on the subject of irrigation; Chavez took notes.

Wine is grown here, a dark Syrah type grape. “John, John, come up here,” said El Presidente, having watched me fall asleep in the heat and the depths of Oliver Twist.

“He likes red wine,” Chavez told the cheering, whistling audience, and presented me with a bottle of “vino de la gente.” My few words in bad Spanish brought whistles and laughter.

Watching Chavez with the people, la gente, made sense of a man who promised, on coming to power, that his every move would be subject to the will of the people.  In eight years, Chavez won eight elections and referendums: a world record. He was electorally the most popular head of state in the Western Hemisphere, probably in the world.

Every major chavista reform was voted on, notably a new constitution of which 71 percent of the people approved each of the 396 article that enshrined unheard of freedoms, such as Article 123, which for the first time recognized the human rights of mixed-race and black people, of whom Chavez was one.

Their First Champions

One of his tutorials on the road quoted a feminist writer: “Love and solidarity are the same.” His audiences understood this well and expressed themselves with dignity, seldom with deference. Ordinary people regarded Chavez and his government as their first champions: as theirs.

Crowds paying their respects to Hugo Chávez Frías, Military Academy, March 2013. (Cancillería del Ecuador via Flickr)

Crowds at the funeral of Hugo Chávez Frías, Military Academy, Caracas, March 2013. (Cancillería del Ecuador via Flickr)

This was especially true of the indigenous, mestizos and Afro-Venezuelans, who had been held in historic contempt by Chavez’s immediate predecessors and by those who today live far from the barrios, in the mansions and penthouses of East Caracas, who commute to Miami where their banks are and who regard themselves as “white.” They are the powerful core of what the media calls “the opposition.”

When I met this class, in suburbs called Country Club, in homes appointed with low chandeliers and bad portraits, I recognized them. They could be white South Africans, the petite bourgeoisie of Constantia and Sandton, pillars of the cruelties of apartheid.

Cartoonists in the Venezuelan press, most of which are owned by an oligarchy and oppose the government, portrayed Chavez as an ape. A radio host referred to “the monkey.” In the private universities, the verbal currency of the children of the well-off is often racist abuse of those whose shacks are just visible through the pollution.

Although identity politics are all the rage in the pages of liberal newspapers in the West, race and class are two words almost never uttered in the mendacious “coverage” of Washington’s latest, most naked attempt to grab the world’s greatest source of oil and reclaim its “backyard.”

For all the chavistas’ faults — such as allowing the Venezuelan economy to become hostage to the fortunes of oil and never seriously challenging big capital and corruption — they brought social justice and pride to millions of people and they did it with unprecedented democracy.

Chavez voting in 2007. (Wikimedia)

Chavez voting in 2007. (Wikimedia)

Stellar Election Process

“Of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored,” said former President Jimmy Carter, whose Carter Center, is a respected monitor of elections around the world, “I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” By way of contrast, said Carter, the U.S. election system, with its emphasis on campaign money, “is one of the worst.”

In extending the franchise to a parallel people’s state of communal authority, based in the poorest barrios, Chavez described Venezuelan democracy as “our version of Rousseau’s idea of popular sovereignty.”

In Barrio La Linea, seated in her tiny kitchen, Beatrice Balzo told me her children were the first generation of the poor to attend a full day’s school and be given a hot meal and to learn music, art and dance. “I have seen their confidence blossom like flowers,” she said.

In Barrio La Vega, I listened to a nurse, Mariella Machado, a black woman of 45 with a wicked laugh, address an urban land council on subjects ranging from homelessness to illegal war. That day, they were launching Mision Madres de Barrio, a program aimed at poverty among single mothers. Under the constitution, women have the right to be paid as caregivers, and can borrow from a special women’s bank. Now the poorest housewives get the equivalent of $200 a month.
In a room lit by a single fluorescent tube, I met Ana Lucia Fernandez, aged 86, and Mavis Mendez, aged 95. A mere 33-year-old, Sonia Alvarez, had come with her two children. Once, none of them could read and write; now they were studying mathematics. For the first time in its history, Venezuela has almost 100 percent literacy.

This is the work of Mision Robinson, which was designed for adults and teenagers previously denied an education because of poverty. Mission Ribas gives everyone the opportunity of a secondary education, called a bachillerato. (The names Robinson and Ribas refer to Venezuelan independence leaders from the 19th century).

In her 95 years, Mavis Mendez had seen a parade of governments, mostly vassals of Washington, preside over the theft of billions of dollars in oil spoils, much of it flown to Miami. “We didn’t matter in a human sense,” she told me. “We lived and died without real education and running water, and food we couldn’t afford. When we fell ill, the weakest died. Now I can read and write my name and so much more; and whatever the rich and the media say, we have planted the seeds of true democracy and I have the joy of seeing it happen.”

In 2002, during a Washington-backed coup, Mavis’s sons and daughters and grandchildren and great-grandchildren joined hundreds of thousands who swept down from the barrios on the hillsides and demanded the army remained loyal to Chavez.

“The people rescued me,” Chavez told me. “They did it with the media against me, preventing even the basic facts of what happened. For popular democracy in heroic action, I suggest you look no further.”

 Carmen Vásquez, 85, learning to read and write at the Misión Robinson, Isla Borracha, Anzoátegui, Venezuela. March 2004. (Franklin Reyes/J.Rebelde via Wikimedia)


Carmen Vásquez, 85, learning to read and write at the Misión Robinson, Isla Borracha, Anzoátegui, Venezuela,2004. (Franklin Reyes/J.Rebelde via Wikimedia)

Saddam Hussein Incarnate

Since Chavez’s death in 2013, his successor NicolásMaduro has shed his derisory label in the Western press as a “former bus driver” and become Saddam Hussein incarnate. His media abuse is ridiculous. On his watch, the slide in the price of oil has caused hyperinflation and played havoc with prices in a society that imports almost all its food; yet, as the journalist and film-maker Pablo Navarrete reported this week, Venezuela is not the catastrophe it has been painted.

“There is food everywhere,” he wrote. “I have filmed lots of videos of food in markets [all over Caracas] … it’s Friday night and the restaurants are full.”

In 2018, Maduro was re-elected president. A section of the opposition boycotted the election, a tactic tried against Chavez. The boycott failed: 9,389,056 people voted; 16 parties participated and six candidates stood for the presidency. Maduro won 6,248,864 votes, or 68 percent.

On election day, I spoke to one of the 150 foreign election observers. “It was entirely fair,” he said. “There was no fraud; none of the lurid media claims stood up. Zero. Amazing really.” 

Like a page from Alice’s tea party, the Trump administration has presented Juan Guaidó, a pop-up creation of the CIA-front National Endowment for Democracy, as the “legitimate President of Venezuela.” Unheard of by 81 percent of the Venezuelan people, according to The Nation, Guaidó has been elected by no one.

“Chavez, I promise you, I will vote for Maduro,” sign on wall in 2013. (Wikimedia)

“Chavez, I swear, I will vote for Maduro,” sign on wall in 2013. (Wikimedia)

Maduro is “illegitimate,” says Donald Trump (who won the U.S. presidency with 3 million fewer votes than his opponent), a “dictator,” says demonstrably unhinged Vice President Mike Pence and an oil trophy-in-waiting, says “national security” adviser John Bolton (who when I interviewed him in 2003 said, “Hey, are you a communist, maybe
even Labour?”)

As his “special envoy to Venezuela” (coup master), Trump has appointed a convicted felon, Elliot Abrams, whose intrigues in the service of Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush helped produce the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s and plunge central America into years of blood-soaked misery.

Putting Lewis Carroll aside, these  “crazies” belong in newsreels from the 1930s. And yet their lies about Venezuela have been taken up with enthusiasm by those paid to keep the record straight.

On Channel 4 News, Jon Snow bellowed at the Labour MP Chris Williamson, “Look, you and Mr. Corbyn are in a very nasty corner [on Venezuela]!” When Williamson tried to explain why threatening a sovereign country was wrong, Snow cut him off. “You’ve had a good go!”

In 2006, Channel 4 News effectively accused Chavez of plotting to make nuclear weapons with Iran: a fantasy. The then Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, allowed a war criminal, Donald Rumsfeld, to liken Chavez to Hitler, unchallenged.

Overwhelming Bias

Researchers at the University of the West of England studied the BBC‘s reporting of Venezuela over a 10-year period. They looked at 304 reports and found that only three of these referred to any of the positive policies of the government. For the BBC, Venezuela’s democratic record, human rights legislation, food programs, healthcare initiatives and poverty reduction did not happen.  The greatest literacy program in human history did not happen, just as the millions who march in support of Maduro and in memory of Chavez, do not exist.

Protesting removal of Chávez and Bolivar images from the National Assembly, Jan. 7, 2016. (Wikimedia)

2016 protests against removal of Chávez and Bolivar images from National Assembly. (Wikimedia)

When asked why she filmed only an opposition march, the BBC reporter Orla Guerin tweeted that it was “too difficult” to be on two marches in one day.

A war has been declared on Venezuela, of which the truth is “too difficult” to report.

It is too difficult to report the collapse of oil prices since 2014 as largely the result of criminal machinations by Wall Street. It is too difficult to report the blocking of Venezuela’s access to the U.S.-dominated international financial system as sabotage. It is too difficult to report Washington’s “sanctions” against Venezuela, which have caused the loss of at least $6 billion in Venezuela’s revenue since 2017, including $2 billion worth of imported medicines, as illegal, or the Bank of England’s refusal to return Venezuela’s gold reserves as an act of piracy.

Chavez and Pilger, 2007. (johnpilger.com)

The former United Nations Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas, has likened this to a “medieval siege” designed “to bring countries to their knees.” It is a criminal assault, he says. It is similar to that faced by Salvador Allende in 1970 when President Richard Nixon and his equivalent of John Bolton, Henry Kissinger, set out to “make the economy [of Chile] scream.” The long dark night of Pinochet followed.

The Guardian correspondent, Tom Phillips, has tweeted a picture of a cap on which the words in Spanish mean in local slang: “Make Venezuela fucking cool again.” The reporter as clown may be the final stage of much of mainstream journalism’s degeneration.

Should the CIA stooge Guaidó and his white supremacists grab power, it will be the 68th overthrow of a sovereign government by the United States, most of them democracies. A fire sale of Venezuela’s utilities and mineral wealth will surely follow, along with the theft of the country’s oil, as outlined by John Bolton.

Under the last Washington-controlled government in Caracas, poverty reached historic proportions. There was no healthcare for those could not pay. There was no universal education; Mavis Mendez, and millions like her, could not read or write. How cool is that, Tom?

John Pilger is an Australian-British journalist and filmmaker based in London. Pilger’s Web site is: www.johnpilger.com. In 2017, the British Library announced a John Pilger Archive of all his written and filmed work. The British Film Institute includes his 1979 film, “Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia,” among the 10 most important documentaries of the 20thcentury. Some of his previous contributions to Consortium News can be found here.  

155 comments for “JOHN PILGER: The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies

  1. March 3, 2019 at 08:19

    A clear and true picture of a country! What is the point to stop it???

  2. Baz
    February 28, 2019 at 09:12

    As the news broke of Michael Cohen, President Trumps ex lawyer, giving evidence to a Congressional committee,
    the White House gave out a statement to blacken his name- that he could not be trusted, as he had previously lied to Congress!

    While it would be gratifying to know the White House has such high standards, one has therefor to wonder about the
    guy appointed by the White House as U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela on January 25, 2019

    [Or Regime Change coordinator some might say!]

    This is Elliot Abrams, who was convicted 1991 on two misdemeanour counts of UNLAWFULLY WITHHOLDING INFORMATION FROM CONGRESS

  3. Brian James
    February 27, 2019 at 17:31

    Feb 11, 2019 Venezuelans’ message to the US: Hands off our country

    From inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country.

    https://youtu.be/-LT_O7tI3DY

  4. Terry Pearce
    February 27, 2019 at 16:00

    For oil companies and their representatives in U.S. government, Who by now must know they are killing this planet’s ability to maintain life, continue their murderous policies, one can only conclude they must be deeply disturbed psychotics/psychopaths/sociopaths.

  5. Christy Walsh
    February 27, 2019 at 15:14

    What is happening in Venezuela is a text book example of what Naomi Klein calls Disaster Capitalism in her book The Shock Doctrine and Pilger is right about how fast Venezauela’s natural resources will be auctioned off.

  6. Realist
    February 27, 2019 at 14:09

    Skip Scott
    February 27, 2019 at 7:39 am
    Realist-

    I’m not much of a “techie”, but I think maybe you should try a different computer. Maybe go to the library, or a friend’s house, and try posting from there. Peter Underwood was successful posting below you with Windows 7. Do you have malware protection?
    —————————————————

    Skip, I do an entire system scan at least once a day and several quick scans more often. Never encounter anything other than a small number of “tracking cookies” which the Norton Antivirus program immediately eliminates.

    “Glitches” like this sometimes transiently occur after a Windows update (which I just experienced prior to this problem). Eventually, perhaps after a subsequent update, it gets back to normal. For a rather long time the Weather Underground weather service ceased to function properly and they insisted it was not their fault though I had tried all the remedies they suggested. It wouldn’t work on multiple browsers. Then it spontaneously started functioning tip-top again. Haven’t yet tried different browsers with CN, settling exclusively on Chrome. We’ll see. If not, this cut & paste approach may be my approach.

    • Realist
      February 27, 2019 at 14:15

      Attempted reply on alternate browser.

    • Realist
      February 27, 2019 at 14:17

      And it seemed to work with Microsoft IE, which is generally inferior to Chrome.

      Sumpin’ not quite right with Chrome lately.

    • Skip Scott
      February 27, 2019 at 15:09

      That’s kind of strange Realist. I’m using Chrome on my mac with no problems. Maybe it’s that the version of Chrome for Windows is different somehow. Anyway, whatever works!

  7. Enginer01
    February 27, 2019 at 07:05

    CitzenOne:
    You excoriate The Guardian, with good cause, but erroneously pick up on their error that CO2 endangers the earth. Don’t you realize that this precious nutrient, low by plant standards, is largely responsible for the increase in agricultural produce over the last 40 years?

  8. February 27, 2019 at 04:07

    I have a great respect for John Pilger and this article says it all. There is a massive war being carried out by the USA in its final death throes as it collapses into the final economic global crisis which will see the final destruction of this toxic hegemon.

    One move by the EU could start a fire: Invite Russia to join the EU – they have so many interests in common and Russia’s vast resources can be developed in unison with the states of Europe. All this might happen after the next global economic and financial crisis which might see the final demise of the USD.

    I have written a book about all this and much more regarding the coming crisis and a free pdf is available on request to: peter@underco.co.uk.

    I have yet to find a publisher because the feedback from the captured publishers is that the polemic is anti USA and telling the truth is not to be published.

  9. Realist
    February 27, 2019 at 02:27

    test

    Nope, the reply feature is still not working properly for me, Skip. This was supposed to attach to one of your comments on the problem. Again it ended up here.

    You or somebody thought maybe operating system could be an issue? I’m using Windows 7 (Never ten!) on a Dell desktop. Sometimes certain sites act funky after a Windows 7 update. I don’t know enough to say anything cogent on the matter.

    • February 27, 2019 at 04:10

      I am using the same HP PC with Win 7 and I am trying a reply test too

    • Skip Scott
      February 27, 2019 at 07:39

      Realist-

      I’m not much of a “techie”, but I think maybe you should try a different computer. Maybe go to the library, or a friend’s house, and try posting from there. Peter Underwood was successful posting below you with Windows 7. Do you have malware protection?

  10. February 26, 2019 at 22:08

    Gun boat diplomacy is what you might expect from a corporate controlled government – executive, legislative and supreme court – more interested in exploiting the resources of Venezuela than the welfare of it’s indigenous people. Once again the US has turned democracy upside down in Latin America to the detriment of the actual people. What does when expect when they do the same thing at home? Is compassionate capitalism just a slogan? One might opine that this could be the democracy the founding fathers had in mind – at least the idealistic ones. Good bye sweet dreams.

  11. Esteleen
    February 26, 2019 at 12:02

    The lies are thick and cover decades. Amazing article. Thank you.

  12. John dos santos
    February 26, 2019 at 09:19

    I am an avid follower of John Pilger,since I read an article he wrote about East Timor , back in 80’s I am well informed about the world leaders, and their crownis.. I took interest in politics and always believe John pilger’s vews as very fair. So I am always his student . I like his reports on Palestine , the lies of Iraq AMD to regime change the Iraq ‘s Goverment and now it will happen with Venezuela…

  13. Peter Loeb
    February 26, 2019 at 07:20

    Any analysis which throws names such as “war criminal” at former Secretary of
    Defense Donald Rumsfeld, cannot be shared. Unless Pilger appreciates the
    use of the words “commie” and “n-lover” for those on the left.

    That kind of language is often called “mud”. Deserved or not, it is best
    left off the page.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA

    • Jes
      February 27, 2019 at 05:27

      The problem with your false equivalence, is “war criminal” is an actual legal reality. The other two ridiculous pejoratives you cite are simply that, pejorative of zero consequence.

      Try again.

    • Skip Scott
      February 27, 2019 at 07:06

      Amen Jes. I don’t know what Peter is thinking, but sugarcoating war crimes isn’t going to get us anywhere. It is not mud-slinging, it is stating a provable fact. I would love to see Rumsfeld and all the other war criminals held to account at the Hague.

    • Paul
      February 27, 2019 at 07:48

      It’s all in the framing isn’t it Peter. There is a universal truth of sorts, and it has more to do with the irrefutable laws of physics than what’s in and of the minds of people. Truth, yours and mine, is largely made up of rubber. Or stretchy slime. Ah Rumsfeld. One of a long conga line of ….heroes. Heroes. God we all love ‘em don’t we. Or maybe it’s need. Which is synonymous anyway for most of us. They’re always the winners. And Winners are Grinners. Not necessarily of or in our higher values though. I’m quite partial to the notion of truth in advertising. Why don’t we actually call our militaries the Departments of Attack. That’s just proactive defensiveness.

  14. CitizenOne
    February 25, 2019 at 23:46

    Great article. I especially appreciate the personal involvement of the author with Chavez and his take that he was a leader who listened to the people. This is perhaps the single reason that the West and especially the USA tried to overthrow him a dozen times. In the US, multinational corporations call all the shots and what they most desire is unfettered access to the vast oil and gas reserves of the greatest single cashes of oil and gas reserves on the planet. Where is the largest goldmine of petrochemical wealth on the planet located? Is it located in Saudi Arabia? Is it located in the Middle Eastern nations? The answer is that the biggest oil and gas deposits on the entire planet are located right inside the tiny nation of Venezuela. It is a proven fact thatVenezuela has the largest proven reserves of oil and gas and also the largest recoverable oil and gas fields on the planet. More than Saudi Arabia. A quick Google search will show that this truth.

    The US media and the war planners. the Neocons and Neoliberals will never ever utter one word about the huge oil and gas reserves in Venezuela or utter a peep about the real reasons we have trying to overthrow the government of Venezuela for a long time. Our leaders have objected all along to the nationalization of the petroleum resources of that nation by the Venezuelan government Just like the move by Iran to nationalize their underground national treasure of oil, people here don’t even know what nationalization of resources by foreign governments means. It means a government is trying to control the use of the natural resources of its country through governmental control of the resources to provide a benefit to the country.

    That is something that the USA and other Western governments who are in turn controlled by giant multinational corporations find abhorrent and anathema to their profit driven corporate goals and objectives. Foreign nations that have engaged in attempts to nationalize their natural resources have been long attacked by western nations chiefly the US because nationalization means profits from extracting those resources flow to the government of the foreign nation and not into the coffers of giant multinational corporations. The history of Iran and the CIA backed overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leadership and the return of control of their nationalized oil fields to oil conglomerates serves as a historical template for the current sabre rattling, sanctions and threats of military intervention going on about US foreign policy regarding Venezuela today.

    Here in the USA we are bombarded with fake news designed to cause us to feel no sympathy for the Venezuelan government or its attempts to share its vast resources with the citizens of Venezuela. The media rails against the socialist tendencies of the Venezuelan government like a communist plot threatening the stability and security of the mighty Western nations. The western nations including the US have become accustomed to overthrowing upstart nations that jealously hoard their resources for themselves and their population. As far as the official US policy goes suffice it to say that there is a overwhelming belief that the Oil and Natural Gas under the ground in Venezuela is the rightful property of the USA and the giant petroleum corporations that dominate the economy.

    Obama classified Venezuela as a security threat to the nation and Trump is following suit with rhetoric liking the Venezuelan government to a bunch of oppressors trying to starve the nation and its people while they engage in sanctions designed to stop the flow of aid from international agencies framing the failure as a failure of the Venezuelan government rather than admitting that the aid is being used as a political tool and that humanitarian aid is being politicized and controlled by wealthy nations to drive Venezuela into a crisis by deliberately blocking the flow of aid to Venezuela. The citizens of Venezuela are merely pawns in the geopolitical strategy to coerce the population to stage a bloody coup all for the benefit of giant oil companies.

    Any article that fails to connect the dots that the reason for the military posturing and sanctions and threats coming from the USA over the fate of Venezuela are motivated by the greed of global oil corporations that stand to gain the biggest oil and gas reserves on the planet by overthrowing the Venezuelan government seriously miss the point.

    Not only has our main stream media and our corporate controlled government failed to see the forest from the trees, when it comes to global warming; our nation and the current administration is currently and has been for decades been in deep denial of the potential catastrophic effects of continuing our geopolitical strategy to control all of the worlds oil and gas reserves by expanding our petroleum fueled economy.

    It is more than ironic that the asteroid which wiped out 90% of life on Earth including the dinosaurs did so by accomplishing a one in a billion lucky strike in the Yucatan Peninsula where the damage to the environment caused by the meteor impact was multiplied a million fold due to the huge Sulfur deposits laid down for millions of years in the precise area where the collision occurred. If the Chicxulub Meteor which wiped out the dinosaurs had struck the Earth anywhere else there would have been no extinction of the dinosaurs and we would not be here today as a result. The irony is that today we are on the precipice of going to war in the same exact region to extract the unlimited mineral resources located there which are, once again, the biggest threat to our existence on the planet which we plan to fully harvest and expel as CO2 into our atmosphere that will spell doom for humanity as surely as the extinction of the dinosaurs.

    The dinosaurs didn’t have a choice in the matter but we surely do.

  15. Marianne vd velde
    February 25, 2019 at 23:08

    So. It is the same as in Chile with Alllende., Mozambique with Samora Machel, , lybie with Khadaffi….Nelson Mandela and more.
    What can we do to prevent these superpowers of destruction stop this killing of human rights, humans and all life on earth

  16. CitizenOne
    February 25, 2019 at 23:07

    Great article. I especially appreciate the personal involvement of the author with Chavez and his take that he was a leader who listened to the people. This is perhaps the single reason that the West and especially the USA tried to overthrow him a dozen times. In the US, multinational corporations call all the shots and what they most desire is unfettered access to the vast oil and gas reserves of the greatest single cashes of oil and gas reserves on the planet. Where is the largest goldmine of petrochemical wealth on the planet located? Is it located in Saudi Arabia? Is it located in the Middle Eastern nations? The answer is that it is located squarely in Venezuela. Venezuela has the largest proven reserves and the largest recoverable oil and gas fields on the planet. More than Saudi Arabia. A quick Google search will show that this is the truth but the US media and the war planners and Neocons and Neoliberals will never ever utter one word about the real reason why we have been after Venezuela for a long time. Our leaders have of course objected all along to the nationalization of the resources of Venezuela and the nationalization of their resources. People here don’t even know what nationalization means. It means a government is trying to control the use of the natural resources of its country through governmental control of the resources.

    That is something that the USA and other Western governments who are in turn controlled by giant multinational corporations find abhorrent and anathema to their profit driven corporate goals and objectives.

    Here in the USA we are bombarded with fake news designed to cause us to feel no sympathy for the Venezuelan government or its attempts to share the vast resources of a tiny nation filled with poor people. The media expounds upon the socialist tendencies of the government as a Communist plot threatening the stability and security of the mighty Western first world nations who have become accustomed to overthrowing upstart nations jealously hoarding their resources.

    Obama classified Venezuela as a security threat to the nation and Trump is following suit with rhetoric liking the Venezuelan government to a bunch of oppressors trying to starve the nation and its people while they engage in sanctions designed to stop the flow of aid from international agencies framing the failure as a failure of the Venezuelan government rather than admitting that the aid is being used as a political tool and that humanitarian aid is being politicized and controlled by wealthy nations to drive Venezuela into a crisis by deliberately blocking the flow of aid to Venezuela.

    Any article that fails to connect the dots that the reason for the military posturing and sanctions and threats coming from the USA over the fate of Venezuela are motivated by the greed of global oil corporations that stand to gain the biggest oil and gas reserves on the planet by overthrowing the Venezuelan government seriously misses the point.

    Not only has our main stream media and our corporate controlled government failed to see the forest from the trees, when it comes to global warming but our nation is currently and has been for decades been in deep denial of the potential catastrophic effects of continuing our geopolitical strategy to control all of the worlds oil and gas reserves by expanding our petroleum fueled economy.

    It is more than ironic that the asteroid which wiped out 90% of life on Earth including the dinosaurs did so by accomplishing a one in a billion lucky strike in the Yucatan Peninsula where the damage to the environment caused by the meteor impact was multiplied a million fold due to the huge Sulfur deposits laid down for millions of years in the precise area where the collision occurred. If the Chicxulub Meteor which wiped out the dinosaurs had struck the Earth anywhere else there would have been no extinction of the dinosaurs and we would not be here today as a result. The irony is that today we are on the precipice of going to war in the same exact region to extract the unlimited mineral resources located there which are, once again, the biggest threat to our existence on the planet which we plan to fully harvest and expel as CO2 into our atmosphere that will spell doom for humanity as surely as the extinction of the dinosaurs.

    The dinosaurs didn’t have a choice in the matter but we surely do.

  17. February 25, 2019 at 19:50

    No More War

  18. michael rohde
    February 25, 2019 at 17:42

    It makes you embarrassed to be an American.

    • Bradley Anbro
      February 25, 2019 at 18:19

      Yes, I AM ashamed to be an American! I have no doubt that the CIA was instrumental in the death of Hugo Chavez. I would
      put nothing past that ROGUE “agency” and all of the other so-called “pro-democracy” agencies of the U.S. government. They
      have nothing to do with the furtherance of democracy and everything to do with the furthering of the interests of the big American and foreign multi-national corporations and the fraudulent banksters.

    • Josep
      February 26, 2019 at 01:17

      I myself am an American who is dying to visit Russia soon.
      Where do I begin…
      * We continue to use non-decimal customary measurements based on the body parts of a long-deceased English monarch from whom we declared independence 243 years ago. The irony in our resistance to the metric system is that we were the first Anglo country to adopt a decimal currency system of 100 cents to the dollar. Thomas Jefferson was even in favor of metrication back when the iron was still hot.
      * Our government fails to take legal action against big tech companies that threaten the livelihood of its consumers. Thanks to this, 82% of the world uses Microsoft Windows.
      * There are only two political parties in prominence.
      * We still don’t have universal healthcare or paid maternity leave.
      * There’s still no proper system of mass transit.
      * Our government keeps poking its nose where it doesn’t belong, and even bullies other countries to submission at the expense of their own national interests. Thanks to that, our national debt is $22T.
      * We’re one of two countries in the world (the other being Eritrea) whose government taxes its citizens, not just its residents. If you’re an American citizen living in, say, Canada, you’re forced to pay taxes for both countries even if you’re not a Canadian citizen.
      * It took until 2016 for GMOs to be labeled here. Other countries have been doing it for at least a decade, if not since day one.
      * Our government subsidizes corn, which means fast food is cheaper and easier to obtain than fresh produce, and high fructose corn syrup is cheaper than cane sugar.
      * Our food portions are too big. Meanwhile a percentage of our own population is dying of hunger. Many of these same foods are also laden with artificial colorants and preservatives that allegedly trigger hyperactivity and attention problems.
      * Our public schools have replaced education with indoctrination and rote memorization.
      * Day-Month-Year is far more intuitive than Month-Day-Year.
      * US dollar bill denominations are all the same color and size. Most other countries’ banknotes come in differing colors and sizes.
      * There’s still scant support for the dollar coin even after Canada and Australia introduced theirs in the 1980s. They even have a $2 coin as well. Meanwhile, we’re left with a dollar bill that lasts 18 to 22 whole months, and vending machines give out change in stacks of quarters.
      * Money is wasted minting (copper-plated zinc) pennies, which vending machines no longer accept. Canada did away with theirs (copper-plated steel) in 2012 and Australia (bronze) in 1991.

    • John Piety
      February 26, 2019 at 20:49

      Jose[h, you have really nailed it. Nothing more needs be said. Thanks

  19. Brian James
    February 25, 2019 at 16:20

    Feb 11, 2019 Venezuelans’ message to the US: Hands off our country

    The Grayzone reports from inside Venezuela, where millions of people waited in long lines to sign an open letter to the US public, strongly rejecting foreign intervention in their country.

    https://youtu.be/-LT_O7tI3DY

  20. Tony Demetriou
    February 25, 2019 at 16:12

    John the decent people in this world all love you keep the good reporting coming god bless you brother

  21. David Waas
    February 25, 2019 at 15:28

    Is the removal / overthrow of Muduro a “sure” thing? What, at this point could stop it?

    • Tony Demetriou
      February 25, 2019 at 16:14

      I hope Russia and China put troops there immediately before the Americans start their attacks

  22. February 25, 2019 at 14:04

    You forgot something crucial. He must also replace Pence on the 2020 ticket to have any hope of freeing the nation of the Neocons or even winning another term for that matter.

  23. Maxwell Quest
    February 25, 2019 at 13:52

    Thanks Zim, it was a good read, and the author successfully strips away all the window dressing used to disguise U.S. imperialism and class domination.

  24. Sam F
    February 25, 2019 at 12:29

    Alert to website administrator:
    It is not possible to Reply to the anti-Consortium comment of “John Croix” below: the Reply button goes to the new-comment area instead. This may be a hack of the comment field inserting the button code. This should be tested and corrected to prevent organized hackers from sabotaging the comment section.
    A useful test would be whether the right-wing comments only have this problem, or just one commenter.

    • Skip Scott
      February 25, 2019 at 12:33

      Realist had the same trouble earlier. On Saturday morning I posted three comments and had them all go into moderation, although their was nothing out of bounds about any of them. It is a shame that the operation of the comment section has deteriorated since last October.

    • Josep
      February 26, 2019 at 01:25

      Some months ago, once you posted your comment, you had five minutes to make changes to it (formatting, etc.) before it’s published and sent for moderation. Nowadays it just sends in your comment without giving you the chance.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 07:17

      You can still refresh the browser page and get 5 minutes to edit. I do it all the time.

    • Sam F
      February 26, 2019 at 06:21

      The moderation issue is avoidable (my comment concerns a new issue):
      1. Expect comments made after about 8PM to go into moderation;
      2. Use a new variation of a fictitious email address with every comment;
      3. If not all comments appear, make a “test” comment, Refresh browser, Edit, then Delete.

      My observation is that for certain comments, the Reply button does not put the reply where it should go under the subject comment, but at the top with new comments, where it is out of context. I thought that others were hitting the wrong button until it happened to me. To fix that, someone should test which comments it applies to: a rare case, or certain viewpoints (suggesting organized hacking), or perhaps comments made in a certain way, such as subsequent editing, or no editing, etc.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 07:22

      Hi Sam-

      Yeah, I understand you’re talking about a new problem. Realist had the same issue in a previous article trying to reply to rohit. I have not had it happen to me yet. I’m not enough of a “techie” to get to the bottom of this one. I wish CN would spend a bit of effort trying to improve the comment section. Back before mid-October of last year, I didn’t see any major problems. We had a few trolls, but we’ve still got those, and now we’ve got all these glitches too.

  25. Realist
    February 25, 2019 at 10:54

    Maybe Carlos should read his South American history books and recall what happened to the peoples of Chile and Argentina back in the 1970’s when the CIA led coups against Allende and Peron to install the fascists thugs Pinochet and Galtieri. Life became as horrible for most citizens as anything imposed by Hitler, Stalin or Mao on their populations. Tens of thousands of human beings were “disappeared” and their children stolen merely for belonging to a “leftist” political party before US-imposed regime change. Live humans thrown out of helicopters at 5,000 feet was an everyday event. It was a process that American death squads repeated throughout Central America in the 1980’s, coupled with CIA drug running to finance the despicable operations. Better yet, go read General Smedley Butler’s book “War is a Racket” to learn how Washington rode roughshod over all of Latin America since the 1800’s under its imperious “Monroe Doctrine.” Every US military action in this hemisphere has been carried out exclusively for the benefit of North American economic predators of the South. Or did you not hear about Trump’s plans for Venezuela’s oil, corporate assets, and gold reserves which he believes he has already seized?

    (Why won’t this site allow me to attach replies to previous comments? Everything I now post just ascends to the top of the list. This was in response to Carlos via Erik.)

  26. Brian Murphy
    February 25, 2019 at 09:48

    This is an intelligence community hack on this message board.

  27. Seapho
    February 25, 2019 at 09:05

    “For all the chavistas’ faults — such as allowing the Venezuelan economy to become hostage to the fortunes of oil and never seriously challenging big capital and corruption —“

    Seems to me that’s one aside that ruins everything else. There is no point to governments that fail to secure the future. They will fall even if they aren’t pushed.

  28. mike k
    February 25, 2019 at 08:52

    Bravo John Pilger! A beautiful telling of the truth about Venezuela. Your reporting touched my heart. The truth is so ennobling. Thanks for your courage in standing up for what is right.

  29. OlyaPola
    February 25, 2019 at 07:41

    OlyaPola
    February 24, 2019 at 8:13 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies”

    “…. attempted regime change to
    facilitate regime sustainability of those attempting coups ….”

    Lateral opportunities catalysed by the opponents attempted regime change to facilitate regime sustainability of those attempting coups.

    https://therealnews.com/stories/is-participatory-democracy-the-solution-to-venezuelas-crisis

  30. OlyaPola
    February 25, 2019 at 06:01

    OlyaPola
    February 24, 2019 at 8:13 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    “The War on Venezuela is Built on Lies”

    It is also built on previous attempts to deflect anti-colonial
    efforts/ class wars under the guise of “counterinsurgency”
    with various forms of co-operation by various
    participants, and hence is not an attempted coup (Regime
    Change Made in the USA) but attempted regime change to
    facilitate regime sustainability of those attempting coups,
    made in various locations with various participants in
    co-ordination, as were efforts in the former “Soviet Union”,
    the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

    Various participants including those referenced below
    continue research and practice in such attempts in
    recognition that previous tools to deflect anti-colonial
    efforts/class wars, including fear based upon belief in the
    utility of nuclear weapons and comfort blankets misrepresented
    as “big sticks” have reduced potency and
    hence have decreasing fitness for purpose.

    https://therealnews.com/stories/palestine-and-rule-ofpower

    https://therealnews.com/stories/israels-newcommander-
    in-chief-well-create-a-deadlier-army (illinformed
    headline since “IDF” is not restricted to the
    army)

    https://libcom.org/library/low-intensity-operationssubversion-
    insurgency-peacekeeping

    https://libcom.org/files/low-intensity%20operations.pdf

    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/02/11/regime-change-made-in-the-usa/#comments

    OlyaPola
    February 13, 2019 at 8:55 am

    “knowing perhaps that in the end the bigger arsenals(balls) hold more weight.”

    One of the significances of the withdrawl from the INF treaty is that some, but not all, of the practitioners “acting for on behalf of The United States of America” “know” that bigger arsenals do not hold more weight, hence their increasing efforts in “low yield atomic weapons”, and development of other strategies de-emphasising the nuclear option including, but not limited to, “regime change through multi-disciplinary teams”.

    Regime change through multi-disciplinary teams is not a step-change in itself, but many of the opponents believe that levels of integration predicated on developing mathematical models not limited to the spatial which are simultaneously being developed in co-operation with the IDF, do represent and facilitate a step-change – the beliefs of opponents remaining a land of opportunity.

    The CIA and the US Department of Defense contain a spectrum of opinion, the “opinions” of politicians form a less extensive spectrum of less informed “opinions” with greater assay of the big balls/more is better persuasion.

  31. Frank Murray.
    February 25, 2019 at 00:42

    A clear and true picture of a country I have come to love in my 23 years HEAR.

  32. Zim
    February 25, 2019 at 00:07

    Pilger’s essay is great. But this one is outstanding: http://www.thepolemicist.net/2019/02/the-siege-of-venezuela-and-travails-of.html

  33. Brian Freeman
    February 24, 2019 at 21:08

    John! Your the best Mate!

    Brian Freeman
    Perth WA

  34. Joe Tedesky
    February 24, 2019 at 20:30

    For Carlos Dominguez

    See what Senator Marco Rubio tweeted…

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-24/marco-rubio-tweets-thinly-veiled-death-threat-maduro

    Carlos please reconsider your request for Trump to come save your embattled Venezuela.

  35. Joe Tedesky
    February 24, 2019 at 20:12

    Carlos Dominquez although you have my deepest sympathies for your grandmother dying as, you struggle to make ends meet inside of a country which finds itself troubled by outside hegemonic desires and slumping oil prices I need to tell you how this American feels about our country the USA getting involved in yet another country said to be guilty of human rights abuse. Carlos for my whole 69 years of American life I have watched my country go to war far too often over instigated covert maneuvers that were meant to cause division and pain . Our armed military service in my estimation has been abused to no end. It is said that everyday 22 veterans commit suicide as the result of all these wars they suffer from PTSD. Our American debt from all these coups and wars has only drained our once highly regarded creditor nation into it becoming a fiat printing money exchange, where no one wins but the bankers.

    Carlos before you continue to hope for an American invasion I must warn you to watch out for what you wish for. Think of at least one nation where the USA got involved where democracy and freedom prevailed. Look at the devastation the USA has wrought and, then ask yourself does Venezuela really need this. I would hate to see your beautiful nation turn out to be another Vietnam, Libya, or Afghanistan among the few to mention.

    Everything my friend is not to be decided at the end of a gun barrel. Many nations have encouraged the USA to settle controversial matters by diplomacy but, Carlos diplomacy doesn’t manufacturer the profit that the arms industry does so, forget that profit losing detente business is the theme of the mighty American hegemon. In fact Carlos consider this, that the USA isn’t coming to save the Venezuelan people in as much as the USA is coming for your oil and other natural resources. Why to just dominate Venezuela’s oil market by taking it off line would mean the USA could control the price of the world’s dying fossil fuel business. America doesn’t really need the oil to sell it only needs control of it. In case you haven’t noticed Carlos chaos is the new control.

    Carlos I wish you well but, again I insist you rethink your wants for an American liberation … that’s only in the movies where the Calvary rides in to the rescue. Peace Carlos. Joe

    • Curious
      February 25, 2019 at 00:54

      Well said Joe, as always. May I add just two things? Besides the fact that our criminal in the Oval Office can’t even pronounce Venezuela (“Ven is whale-uh”. “Veniswella”, along with Nepal- “nipple”, and Bhutan-“button”) his verbal attack on a sovereign country with “death” and treats against their military, puts him right up there with a rope around his neck if the Nürenberg Trials has any basis in law.. He has no idea of international law, nor respect for other countries. He even outright talks about Venezuals’ resources, primarily oil, and defends a person (politician? Not puppet?) trained by the US who wasn’t even part of the elections of that country which is quite a reach from the self proclaimed leader in Democracy and the free world (a joke on its own) This is an immoral high ground, to defend a person no one heard of.

      Anyone in the US who supports this aggresisive vermainspeak from a low brow human should read the Geneva Convention, and the fact we hanged ‘criminals’ for far less after WW2. Who has the courage to step up here in the US and demand the president learn international law? Not only do I see a lack of courage, I witness a in-depth sickness where people actually defend him along with Bolton, and Elliot Abrams. I think it’s sad we no longer have Mr Parry to write scathing reports on Abrams for our readers anymore. Mr Parry would have a biting, factual knowledge of these twisted ‘humans’ and his presentation is sorely missed in this case.

    • mike k
      February 25, 2019 at 09:02

      Thanks Curious. Your remarks are right on!

  36. Frank Zeleniuk
    February 24, 2019 at 19:30

    Whew! Was spinning down the wishing well to oblivion there. Luckily my slide into political dysphoria was halted by a knowledge of basic economics, however minimal.

    There is one word for this article – tripe.

    • anon4d2
      February 26, 2019 at 06:32

      Your economics are far too basic to call knowledge. Sure, US sanctions couldn’t possibly have had their intended effect of impoverishing Venezuela so that traitors in the US government could lie that it was all caused by socialism.
      Why not admit your intentions and argue your “economics” point?
      Because you know it is a lie to serve your personal gain.
      Basic economics, indeed: the economics of cave men.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 10:36

      There is one word for Frank – TROLL.

  37. Tom Kath
    February 24, 2019 at 19:29

    We as humans the world over, respect and hold in high regard those who defend their country from invasion and foreign attack.
    From the loftiest private to the lowliest captain or general, there must be a psychological conflict in the mind of any foreign soldier trying to pretend that they are defending their own country in someone else’s. The natural respect and admiration must always be for those on their home ground.

  38. American
    February 24, 2019 at 19:18

    It’s cute how you are so sure the media was against Chavez and lied about him while also ignoring the same thing they have done in the US to both Trump and Pence.

    I guess it’s only worth pointing out the fascists media when they turn on someone you like. Maybe you should do the same type of research into the real issues in the US as in Venezuela, rather than believing in the clown media you speak of, instead of spreading more lies and half truths.

    Its dishonest that you put this on Trumps administration. Venezuela has been dwindling since prior to 2017. People are 100% starving in Venezuela. They are the people you chose to ignore while touting the mass food storage and availability to Maduro supporters.

    Be fair or stop complaining about others being unfair. Try it.

    • Tom Kath
      February 24, 2019 at 19:41

      I suppose you are just emphasising that EVERYTHING we are told is lies. I’ve been told there are actually more starving people in the USA than in Venezuela. It depends on who is looking, where they look, and what they want to see or believe. In any case, if Americans were serious about helping starving people, they would surely start in Yemen!!??

    • Michael
      February 25, 2019 at 07:08

      Or maybe with their own citizens in Puerto Rico? They haven’t recovered from Maria.
      The talk of Nuremberg is risible. The October Surprise and the Contra death squads, where Elliott Abrams starred under Bush and the CIA (which Parry covered at length), was just one of the more obvious non-stop war crimes of its time (ever heard of Kissinger?). Every President since Bush I has committed war crimes non-stop (Clinton’s refusal to accept the Peace Dividend after the Soviet Union fell, bombing Yugoslavia (and the Chinese Embassy there) to “send a message to Russia”, killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children with sanctions, turning a blind eye to Rwanda, Monica Missiles in Sudan. Bush used 9/11 to slaughter and gut Iraq (who wasn’t involved), his administration took away civil rights due to “terrorists” largely created/invented by the CIA; with Saudi Arabia and Israel the cornerstone of our foreign policy, we are complicit in their war crimes as well. There were high hopes for Obama, but if anything he proved worse, jailing those who had the audacity to point out war crimes. He expanded the wars from two to seven, turning the richest country in Africa into a smoldering slave market, breaking the agreement with Gaddafi that he would be left alone if he did not pursue nuclear weapons; instead he tried to replace the dollar in Africa with his gold dinar and build pan-African self sufficiency (Sarkozy and Hillary would not allow that!) Victoria “F*ck the EU!” Nuland turned the Ukrainian government into a NAZI war party with the Maidan massacres. Hillary functionally booted out the Honduran progressive elected government and re-installed an American dictator. These disasters went largely uncovered in the media (with lone voices of Perry, Hersh and Pilger, and a few others, largely ignored); if anything the media were enablers and cheerleaders of the slaughter, maiming and displacement of the mostly civilians involved. And America’s poodles in Europe generally joined in the slaughter and theft of resources (then complained about the displaced asylum seekers).
      Under Trump the only difference is that the anti-Trump media is divided in their response to the naked transparent aggression in Venezuela. The EU poodles quickly have recognized Guaido. There has been a Declaration of National Emergency with sanctions in place against Venezuela since Obama in 2015, this in not a new plan (of which Trump is probably incapable).
      Nuremberg war crimes, remember, only applied to the losers.

  39. February 24, 2019 at 16:59

    My grandmother had to leave Venezuela for the first time in her life when she was 80 to receive medical treatment for cancer in Spain because there was none in Venezuela. She died and was burried in Spain. I couldn’t said good bye to her or see her for the last time.

    I was beaten by the colectivos for raising my voice against corruption in the oil industry. They forced me to live in the exile. I have two years I can’t see my mother who is sick and also in the exile (in Spain). Our family is all spread (Colombia, Chile, Spain, USA and Panama) running from a country were thinking different is a crime. The country was totally destroyed and now Trump administration is doing something about it to help our people. My only question for you is how much did Maduro paid you to write all this lies?

    • Erik
      February 25, 2019 at 01:27

      Carlos, if that’s even your real name, Trump is doing nothing for your country. You are a fool, or a paid troll, for even suggesting such an inane thing. How is Trump doing anything for Venezuela by trying to impose an unelected, “president,” on its people? You call the literal usurpation of your country’s constitution as Trump doing something for the Venezuelan people? Your democracy is under attack by the Trump administration and you are so bold and ignorant as to try and falsely frame that attack as, “doing something for the Venezuelan people”? You are only kidding yourself.

    • JoeSixPAck
      February 25, 2019 at 15:37

      How much did the CIA pay you to write this. Right wing opposition groups in Venezuela have burned people alive. But I guess you’re cool with that.

    • Antiwar7
      February 26, 2019 at 13:23

      Carlos Dominguez, I’m sorry to hear about your family’s troubles. If you’re in exile and your mother is, too, why can’t you see her?

  40. John Croix
    February 24, 2019 at 15:44

    Sorry Mr Pilger. You can’t blame an oil price crash for the problems Venezuela is cureently facing. Venezuelan oil traded in the $60-70 range in 2018. Chavez’s government enjoyed a massive influx of petro dollars with the price for Venezuelan crude peaking at around the $100 a barrel mark in 2011-2012 (ironically food rationing in Venezuela started in 2012). Caldera’s government contended with an oil price of around $9 -10 a barrel in 1998. The economic crisis Carlos Andres Perez contended with the led to el caracazo and in part led to Chavez organising a coup against that democratically elected leader (one of his objectives being to kill Carlos Andres Perez) was caused by an oil price crash where the price per barrel averaged around $15 (when Chavez launched his coup the price was $14). Using an alleged oil price crash to attempt to apologize for or excuse the disasterous policies of Chavez and Maduro and the misery they have visited on the Venezuelan people is highly irresponsible. If anything oil over the last decade has traded at massive highs versus its historic prices. Against that backdrop Chavez and Maduro destroyed Venezuela’s economy and placed Venezuela in massive debt to the Chinese and the Russians.

    • JoeSixPAck
      February 25, 2019 at 15:40

      There’s nothing alleged about the oil crash. Talk to US fracking companies. It’s well documented what oil prices did to Venezuela’s economy plus the sanctions and hostility towards Venezuela by the United States going back to George W Bush Administration.

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 07:36

      I think the petro-dollar is key to US warmongering. Russia’s natural gas is much cheaper for Europe than our fracked gas, so we have to stop the pipeline, and make Europe buy more expensive gas from us, since we can’t get “our” oil companies in to steal Russia’s oil and gas. We have to attack Venezuela because they started selling oil in Euros instead of dollars, just like Iraq. Libya started their own gold Dinar to challenge the petro-dollar, so Gaddafi had to go. Although Venezuelan oil is difficult and more expensive to process, they have a huge amount of it, so when the good stuff is all used up, the USA want’s to control what’s left.

  41. ruedi bosshart
    February 24, 2019 at 15:34

    GRANDE Pilger!
    Excellent, thanks a million.
    One point, which should de looked at carefully is, why The Carter Center, regarding
    the 2017 election, did express the following:
    «The Carter Center Expresses Concern about Recent Events in Venezuela
    August 01, 2017
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact: In Atlanta, Deanna Congileo, 1-404-420-5108 or deanna.congileo@cartercenter.org

    (En español)

    ATLANTA — The Carter Center is dismayed by the deplorable events that have taken place in Venezuela in recent days.

    We condemn Sunday’s process to elect a National Constituent Assembly. The process was carried out in the complete absence of electoral integrity, posing serious problems of legitimacy, legality, and procedure. The measures taken by the government to prevent freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the right to peaceful demonstrations contravene the democratic values of plurality and the democratic and participatory clauses protected in the Venezuelan constitution.

    We deeply regret the violence, repression, and riots that occurred during the election and the excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces. The government of Venezuela has the responsibility to ensure respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights.

    We reject the extrajudicial detention of opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma on Tuesday morning by agents of the intelligence service. The persecution of political dissent lays grounds for serious violations of human rights. Authorities must find workable solutions for citizen grievances.

    We urge political forces to reinstate rule of law and the 1999 Constitution and to restore confidence that has been lost because of their attempt to establish divisive parallel institutions.»

    https://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/venezuela-080117.html

  42. Joe Tedesky
    February 24, 2019 at 13:49

    Many an American sat idly by as many a proclaimed dictator was the target of a USA invasion. Ho Chi Minh who sided with the USA against the Japanese during WWII was first honored by the USA until the mighty hegemon ignored his country’s self sovereignty to back a revolt against the same WWII ally who then became known as a ‘dictator’. Castro would visit the USA on his way up into the world for him only to be ignored by then President Eisenhower and why? Because Castro was deemed a ‘dictator’ and, a threat to the northern hemisphere. You see in the case of Castro the American corporate interest along with the American Mob was more important than investing in a true Cubian democracy. Gaddafi who would relinquish his military power only to be betrayed as, he was simply referred too as an ‘evil dictator’ suffered an inhuman death as a result of his negotiating for peace. Saddam Hussein was a good ally against Iran until he wasn’t, he too was destined to become a ‘dictator’. Just ask April Gillespie about Saddam.

    It’s the same process and, we Americans keep falling for it time and time again. It’s the same process which takes out a foreign government only for that nation of conquest to be left in a terrible state of chaos. People die. Death squads roam their once peaceful land and, all in the name of spreading democracy which never comes too these average citizens who want to just merely survive. This chaos is a particularly evil state the USA and it’s allies leave these conquered nations in as, apparently its easier to steal said nations natural resources. He who controls the markets control the world or, something like that as Cecil Rhodes would declare and, that mantra of Rhodes rules the Westetn Hegemony today.

    Venezuela for whatever it is worth should be allowed to control its own destiny. We Americans who are dumbed down by heavy propaganda should wake up to the lies that we have been told. Peace.

    • elmerfudzie
      February 27, 2019 at 13:01

      Right on Joe!, and it WAS Ho, who presented a mirror of our consitiution to the American government as his way forward for the future of his country….makes you wanna cry

  43. February 24, 2019 at 13:23

    Bernie Sanders used to hold up Venezuela as a great Socialist country, but Bernie no longer says that. Could the million migrates from Venezuela to Columbia be the reason, due to no meds, and no food?

  44. Larry Brown
    February 24, 2019 at 11:41

    3 million people have fled Maduro’s communist Venezuela. Nothing to do with Donald Trump

    • Jeff Davis
      February 24, 2019 at 13:07

      Taking the oil wealth from the petro-oligarchs and sharing it with all Venezuelans is not Communism, it is justice. The Us has been waging economic war on Venezuela, which is why three million have fled. They have no experience at working for a living, and don’t want to learn. Good riddance. You’ve drunk the Neocon supremacist Kool-Aid, and now have nothing to say worth listening to.

    • Truth
      February 24, 2019 at 19:22

      “Nothing to say worth listening to”

      The words of every fascists ever.
      The attitude of every sociopath ever. Congrats.

    • February 25, 2019 at 01:49

      So what? The people living there overwhelming support Maduro. That is all that matters. You want him out? VOTE! The Chavistas make up the largest political block in the country. Good for them, everything has improved since the days of Caldera,, and that is with crippling illegal sanctions. Did you know the US blocks insulin from being sent to the country? The Truth matters. Individual experience can only ever be anecdotal. What counts is what most people want and what they dont want is neoliberal raping of their nation’s wealth by greedy transnationals.

  45. Deanna Johnston Clark
    February 24, 2019 at 11:05

    Now that Trump & company are trying to end the Obama restraints on Pay Day loans, everybody, including his voters, are questioning everything…EVERYTHING. Their kids will not join up for a war on Latin American Christians who look just like many of us anyway. This will be the Bridge too Far if Abrams gets too trigger happy at thinning another “herd” down there.

  46. chucknobomba
    February 24, 2019 at 10:23

    No Blood For Oil………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    • chucknobomba
      February 24, 2019 at 10:25

      Adelia, What’s the weather in Ft. Meade? Wage Peace, No Blood for Oil.

  47. Adelia Batista
    February 24, 2019 at 07:22

    Maduro is a dictator. As all populists in some way, right or left, it does not mind. I am very sorry for Venezuelans. Especially the poor ones.
    Anyway, no one has the right to try to invade Venezuela for that. The only people who can save themselves are the Venezuelan people. That dictatorship must end.

    • anon4d2
      February 24, 2019 at 10:38

      A descendant of the Cuban dictator Batista?
      We really need to know why oligarchs are not dictators, only populists.

    • Jeff Davis
      February 24, 2019 at 12:38

      You have a famous name, Adelia. The current generation probably does not remember, the Banana Republican dictator Fulgencio Batista, whom Castro disposed of in liberating Cuba. Are you a descendant of that Dictator? Do you live in Miami, Florida, where the booted-out henchmen of that dictator now reside? Is your brain infected with Brutal Banana Republican Supremacism? Did you not read the f*cking article??!! Do you not know right from wrong? Is the truth “too difficult” for you to see?

    • Tom
      February 24, 2019 at 16:57

      Maduro won an election…..and the USA planned this YEARS ago…….

      Aaron Maté

      ?Verified account @aaronjmate

      Page 136 of McCabe’s new book, recounting a 2017 Oval Office meeting: “Then the president talked about Venezuela. That’s the country we should be going to war with, he said. They have all that oil and they’re right on our back door.”
      12:59 PM – 18 Feb 2019

      how many times can you be LIED into war for OIL?.and they even use the same premise…….over and over

      Dictator…check!

      Suffering people…..Check!

      OIL…..CHECK!!

      You do know the USA is committing genocide in Yemen right?……because we care.Fool me once….

    • February 24, 2019 at 17:41

      You must not have read the article, especially the parts about how Venezuela’s elections are legit.

    • Curious
      February 27, 2019 at 06:28

      Adelia,

      Slapping labels on people must be fun for you. but before you get too much milage believing Maduro is a dictator, here is a little brain food for you. The fact that this pretend president (Guido), was trained by the US taints him and he is not a valid canditate (since he didn’t even run in the elections). Please consider, if Maduro were a dictator , Juan Guaido would now be in prison and yet he is free to roam and spout. Whether he survives the Supreme Court by defying their ruling about leaving the borders of Venezuela to venture into Columbia has yet to be seen. A 30 year sentence is facing him. He is nothing more than a criminal.
      But also please consider this:
      In an article from Gloabal Research the Carter Center stated that of the 92 elections he has witnessed, Venezuela has “the best voting system in the world”. Partly due to using thumb print recognition, along with other security features, and far exceeds our Diebold machines by tech leaps. At the ‘black hat’ convention in Vegas it took a winner Hacker under 40 minutes to hack the best machine. Carter was also there in ‘98, and the year 2000 to witness it personally. Fingerprints are far less hackable and the custody of the ballads puts ours to shame.

      Please don’t toss the word “dictator” around without first reading G.R. Also, for your edification, the Carter Center ruled the US system as the worlds worse. Please educate yourself.

  48. michael crockett
    February 24, 2019 at 04:03

    This was an excellent article John Pilger. Thank you. I can only hope that our clown president and his friends from the swamp fail in this attempted coup. May the people of Venezuela protect and defend their sovereign nation from all outside invaders and all internal traitors. No easy task when the empire has got you in its sights. This commander in chief, like those before him, through lies and pretence, is setting the stage for another illegal and immoral war. Every president is a war president. The lawlessness and corruption of the white house and the pentagon are breath taking. So many gangsters for capitalism. Demonstrations and protest need to be in our future, if we are going to have a future.

    • Jeff Davis
      February 24, 2019 at 14:00

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the outcome of the affair. We are witnessing the twilight of the Monroe Doctrine,… and the Neocons. Trump is giving Pompeo, Bolton, and Abrams — Neocons all — the rope with which to hang themselves. They will try to take down Venezuela, and they will fail.

      Tactically, Venezuela is a formidable challenge. Unlike Nicaragua, no dictator’s National Guard to serve as Contras. Unlike Libya, no al Qaeda boots on the ground to take up the fight. Unlike Syria, no suppressed confessional (Sunni) majority and foreign (Sunni) jihadis to serve as rebel ground troops. (And no justification as in a “war to make the region safe for Israel” lurking in the background). Trump will never send in US troops. As in Syria, Russia and/or China may provide a disincentive to the application of US Air power in the form of a “tripwire problem”. With Cuban security personnel assisting on the ground, internal subversion will be prevented. Any fighting will threaten to turn into another Bay of Pigs fiasco. Trump won’t go there.

      Then Trump will lay the blame on the Neocon crew, with their catastrophic “Wolfowitz Doctrine”, and boot them out,… just before the 2020 elections. The Neocons were always the obstacle/enemies of his America First policy, and he needed them to fail in the bright illumination of the public spotlight to justify/enable their termination. Then quite possibly, Trump-the-nimble will pivot and seek peace with Maduro — “Good cop, bad cop” — just as he pivoted after “Fire and Fury” to seek peace with NK.

      Because of his behavioral quirks and radically unorthodox political style — derisively characterized as “incompetent” — Trump’s effectiveness is dismissed by his old-guard critics. But the truth may just turn out to be that Trump’s game and his political instincts are so far above the political “dinosaurs” of the post-WW2, pre-internet era, that he will end up constructing a new political paradigm for a new digital age.

      I believe that how he handles the Neocons and Venezuela in the next 18 months will tell the story.

    • Bob Van Noy
      February 25, 2019 at 09:25

      I think you’re right Jeff Davis…

    • Skip Scott
      February 26, 2019 at 07:40

      I hope he’s right Bob. The other possibility is that Trump is looking for a boost as a “war president” to take him into 2020. Time will tell.

  49. February 24, 2019 at 03:35

    Nothing new about the media starting wars. Ever since newspapers became major enterprises in the 1700s, their sole job has been starting wars, fomenting riots, and encouraging crime.

    It makes sense from a business standpoint. Death is the raw material of journalism. A grocery store encourages farmers to supply better tomatoes, and the media encourages governments and criminals to supply better death.

    • OlyaPola
      February 25, 2019 at 06:12

      vobi87
      February 24, 2019 at 1:54 am

      Stay at home mom Kelly Richards from New York after resigning from her full time job managed to average from $6000-$8000 a month from freelancing at home… This is how she done it
      …….
      ???USA~JOB-START

      Thank you for your confirmation of the utility of this portal as dead drop box.

      Thank you also for your confirmation that you perceive “money” as prime motivator – what ever happened to the notion of getting with the team as motivator?

  50. Chris
    February 23, 2019 at 22:57

    Damn, it goes to show how evil and corrupt our state of the union really is! There is no justice on the right or left, lies and deceit are all around us. One can only hope the day of reckoning is at hand, and that truth & justice will finally reign supreme..
    Thank you for sharing

  51. Leon Lovett
    February 23, 2019 at 22:28

    John…..you skipped over the Obama administration, didn’t you? So now, as usual, it’s all Trumps fault, even though the intel services that you deride are trying to pull off a coup against him.
    No, John, life was not a roses and rainbows under Chavez, and now the U.S. is exporting crude. Seems like your time machine has hopped a decade.

    • JD2027
      February 24, 2019 at 10:22

      No one with any sense believes “It’s all Trump’s fault.” Regardless of which administration is in office, foreign policy remains essentially the same. And nowhere in this piece is it implied all were “roses and rainbows” under Chavez, it merely reports on some actual realities-on-the-ground that the entire Western corporate media intentionally overlooks. Naturally partisan-hacks and mindless ideologues get their panties-in-a-bunch over that.

  52. February 23, 2019 at 18:46

    You have to cheer for the people of Venezuela who stand against the bully United States. Even if it wins this battle to replace Maduro, it will be a loser as long as the United States chooses to apply the economic power it possesses. The sanctions and the seizing of assets would continue to impoverish the country. The message do what we say or suffer the consequences. One can imagine the capitalists licking their chops if Maduro is replaced with someone we choose. Inflation invites those with dollars to buy up assets at bargain prices and mass redistribution of wealth from most of the country to a few inside and outside of Venezuela. If the Venezuela people stand their ground what can happen would be much like what happened in Cuba. Even in the absence of the USSR it stood its ground to protects its revolution. Poorer in wealth but richer in equality and pride of self.

    • February 24, 2019 at 05:49

      After doing a little research influenced by Augustina’s comments, it appears the only way out is to get Maduro’s faction and the opposition to sit down and agree to a process for electing the President. I have to say I was influenced by the Carter Center’s decision not to monitor the last election. That election, whatever side you were on didn’t represent what might be considered a fair election. No election will be satisfactory to all sides and as for the United States, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

      Noted that most of the comments in support of the current government by Mr. Pilger were about Chavez, not Maduro.

      Anyway, its a mess and cooler and more unbiased heads are needed. that would exclude the United States but to get it to step aside would be impossible. It would be in the best interest of the United States to be helpful and remove the sanctions and asset freezes in the meantime, but that won’t happen. It should if we really believe in fair elections, as we profess to do.

      It would be a great tragedy, of course, that the coup succeed and the US puppet be installed. It would also be a great tragedy if all the gains under Chavez for the poor were lost which is a possibility.

    • February 24, 2019 at 16:23

      Back again. One of the claims against 2018 vote was the low turnout. Assume the vote turnout was higher. say 60% and none of the additional 1.4 million voted for Maduro, he would still have been the winner. That 60 percent of population were voter eligible was based on percentages from the US which I assume, perhaps on shaky ground, that the same percentage would apply to Venezuela. I then figured a 60% voter turnout which gives you 10.8 million voting(the actual figure around 50%). Now if you went to 70% voter turnout, that would mean 12.6 million votes. Maduro would lose by a narrow margin if one hundred percent voted for a single person and not Maduro.

      So, I guess the real reason we refused to recognize the vote because we want some one who may not have received even one vote.

      So I amend my thoughts about why a new election, although given the earlier Maduro support in 2018, the outcome would probably be the same and the US a and its vassals wouldn’t recognize that vote either. Still, I think Maduro would be smart to make the offer, which likely would be rejected. Assad made the offer and the millions of crazies in America and Europe rejected it. The insisted on democracy, US style. We pick the candidates and you pick one of them. And still Assad prevailed with the support of the Syrian people which means there is hope for the people of Venezuela.

      For the Venezuelan people our prayers and best wishes,

    • Sam F
      February 24, 2019 at 16:47

      I have heard that the Maduro government has indeed proposed new elections, to meet a broader standard of fairness. That seems to be a good strategy in the short term.

  53. Maxwell Quest
    February 23, 2019 at 18:25

    Each empire throughout history performed some useful function for the world, while internal corruptions and the excessive reliance on militarism eventually led to its collapse. It is clear that the US has already embarked on this downward trajectory. The signs are everywhere. Thus the excessive money printing (just another form of plunder), propaganda, and militarism in an attempt to hold it all together – the equivalent of baling wire and duct tape. People will marvel on how quickly it all comes unraveled once the lethal blow is struck, and the world is once again reordered under new masters.

  54. February 23, 2019 at 17:21

    Why is it that evil seems to rule the day? The people who truly want to improve the lives of the oppressed, and thus improve society as a whole, are always demonized by the diabolical of the world and they are winning!
    Even worse is the fact that these same criminals call themselves Christians.

    • Kenneth
      February 23, 2019 at 21:21

      It is prophesied to be so. Remember, in those days Lucifer will rule over planet Earth, and he will deceive even the elect(the priests and the authorities), so that only 144,000 around the world manage to escape his clutches.
      From where I sit, that number looks way too large. I am hard put to come up with more than a handful that might see the way things really are. But lots now are waking up from their long slumber, and there might yet be that many Rip Van Winkles that shake themselves fully awake before this is over.

    • Josep
      February 26, 2019 at 01:43

      What doesn’t help is that the Pledge of Allegiance had “under God” added sometime in the 1950s, and American coins and bills have had “In God we Trust” engraved/printed on them since some time in the 19th century. All this coming from a country that emphasized separation of church and state from day one onward.

      It irks me to see self-entitled “Christians” pledge allegiance to their own countries more than their own faith in Christ their Savior. Some go as far as to have them intertwined. Both scenarios are idolatrous.

      During WWI, millions of innocent German-Americans had their lives ruined for the crime of being of German ancestry, that Sauerkraut was renamed to “Liberty cabbage”. When France refused to fight in Iraq in 2003, French fries were renamed to “Freedom Fries” and a litany of mean jokes was thrown around. Where were the Christians in both cases?

  55. February 23, 2019 at 16:06

    Well done John!

  56. February 23, 2019 at 15:27

    So let me get this straight, the media says Russia, via social networking, negatively affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. There is evidence of collusion among certain Russians, Trump and others. Fair enough.

    Apparently this interference was of such high influence that the government and media sees fit to obsess over the Russians’ ability to force too many Americans to vote for Trump over Hillary. Even the likes of Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert are parroting the bullshit.

    The fact that the two parties and the media interfered with the election by A, the media giving Trump billions of dollars of exposure, and B, the Democratic corporate party ousting the very popular Bernie Sanders, is apparently of little consequence, nothing to get riled up about folks.

    But using the CIA, State Department, Black Ops military, and ultra-corrupt corporate media to interfere with the current government and install the next Venezuelan government is just fine and dandy.

    Got it.

  57. elmerfudzie
    February 23, 2019 at 15:14

    Another brilliant expose’ by the great John Pilger. I found but one peccadillo, your tieing, even in loose association, the likes of a John Bolton with HK. This in deference to the dignity of Harvard University and their graduates. Bolton a product of Yale U…well, need I say more? How odd, that two sheepskins, one from Harvard and the other, Yale could not hope to carry the same weight or value of your diplomas, one in journalism and the other from that distinguished university, known worldwide as the School Of Hard Knocks.

    John, the things your eyes must have witnessed would probably have drove me permanently insane!

    • T
      February 24, 2019 at 13:16

      > This in deference to the dignity of Harvard University and their graduates.

      Such as the economic hit-men and swindlers, consisting of Harvard teachers and graduates, who played such a prominent role in robbing Russia during the Yeltsin regime?

      Or the fact that people in the know assume that somebody with an honorary doctorate from Harvard is likely to be a CIA “asset” whom it is inconvenient to reward with a lucrative Wall Street position?

    • elmerfudzie
      February 25, 2019 at 11:50

      Now, now, Mr T., the sun shines on both good and evil but Harvard has nothing to do with that. If you have a complaint, file it with God. I was merely joking…visit https://www.funnyandjokes.com/harvard-vs-yale.html and on the bit more serious side, feference https://www.businessinsider.com/differences-between-harvard-and-yale-2014-11?r=US&IR=T&IR=T So, have a good laugh and pour yourself a drink

  58. agustina
    February 23, 2019 at 12:20

    “In 2018, Maduro was re-elected president. A section of the opposition boycotted the election” This is not true. The main opposition parties were not allowed to participate in the presidential elections. The Constituent Assembly barred three of the most influential opposition parties – Justice First, Democratic Action and Popular Will; from participating in the 2018 Presidential Elections. It ruled that the parties who boycotted local elections in December 2017, had lost legitimacy, requiring them to reapply for legal status In 2015, the opposition coalition, the Democratic Union Roundtable (DUR), defeated his Chavismo United Socialist Party of Venezuela in parliamentary elections. Maduro called elections for a new legislature, intended to supplant the DUR-controlled national assembly. Its members were elected in a special 2017 election that was condemned by over forty mostly Latin American and Western states. With the opposition boycotting the vote, the constituent assembly was set up, with an overwhelming Chavismo majority. The new body attributed to itself most of parliament’s powers. I would not call Maduro a “democratically elected” president.

    • Erik G
      February 23, 2019 at 19:56

      The details of internal struggle of democracy against a pretending oligarchy are difficult to evaluate from afar. But the fact that the socialist leadership seeks the benefit of the people, while the oligarchy-funded parties seek to enslave the people to their greed, is undeniable. The rich Venezuelans in this country are a disgrace to humanity, and find many such friends in Florida.

    • Tim
      February 24, 2019 at 13:08

      > The Constituent Assembly barred three of the most influential opposition parties – Justice First, Democratic Action and Popular Will; from participating in the 2018 Presidential Elections.
      > It ruled that the parties who boycotted local elections in December 2017, had lost legitimacy, requiring them to reapply for legal status

      Well, which was it? They were not allowed to participate, or they didn’t have enough votes in the preceding elections to qualify, and had to re-qualify? — The latter, by the way, being SOP in many NATO countries (not to mention the rest of the world)…

    • Skip Scott
      February 25, 2019 at 07:54

      Yes, the bottom line is that the upper crust in Venezuela know that they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a free and fair election. The want to go back to the days when they lived in luxury surrounded by starving “others”. So they boycott the elections, say they’re invalid, and wait for Uncle Sam to come and restore feudalism. Meanwhile they keep the majority of their savings safely abroad and live behind guarded gates.

  59. Bob Van Noy
    February 23, 2019 at 11:59

    This essay reminds me of C. Wright Mills visit and reporting of the “issues” in pre and post revolutionary Cuba. Perhaps if that Revolution had been presented from a Cuban People perspective, rather than an American Business perspective, we may have prevented our poor and hidden history from that point forward…

    https://jacobinmag.com/2017/09/c-wright-mills-listen-yankee-cuban-revolution-trevino-review/

  60. February 23, 2019 at 11:52

    Imagine the response were all Americans to read, fully absorb – and, most importantly … feel in their purest, most decent heart of hearts – the shocking, urgent truth in John Pilger’s powerful writing on Venezuela.

    Peace.

  61. Bob Van Noy
    February 23, 2019 at 10:40

    I totally agree with Realist and Sam F. below. This is the perfect time and place to take a stand. American Politicians should be forced to make a case for and against this “new war” let’s see once and for all how many Americans fully support War Against Venezuela. For once, let us decide before a military intervention just how much actual political support there is for yet another Military Action.

    John Pilger, this was one of the best written, most informative reports I’ve ever read. Congratulations, Real Journalism, very refreshing…

    • Sam F
      February 23, 2019 at 19:26

      Yes, our politicians must be forced to show their views and knowledge of policy issues, despite the demise of independent mass media.

      For this reason I hope to establish a College of Policy Debate in their place, to debate every aspect of policy in every region among university experts, protecting every point of view, and making commented debate summaries available with auto-quizzes and discussion groups. Should that become widely accepted, it will form a standard to which politicians can be held. Much is planned but much more work is needed than I can handle right now, perhaps a Consortium of founders and funders should be assembled. The key problem throughout is prevention of bias, most difficult among top administrators.

    • Bob Van Noy
      February 24, 2019 at 09:03

      I support that concept totally Sam F.

    • Seattle Stu
      February 24, 2019 at 00:19

      Did we read the same article? The content is great, but the writing is terrible. Once again, I cannot share this article with any of my well-educated colleagues. Would it have been too much trouble to run the article through a word processor?

    • February 24, 2019 at 12:13

      Seattle Stu,

      Would it have been too much trouble for Seattle Stu to seriously deal with his clearly out-of-control ego before embarrassing himself in front of the world? If those “well-educated colleagues” suffer from the same pathetic self-centered arrogance as Seattle Stu, then perhaps they can all together take a flying leap into the nearest lake. What an unbelievably rude and inconsiderate comment…

  62. ML
    February 23, 2019 at 10:37

    Gary, you ought to write a book. I love your posts. They are inspiring, terrifying truth reads – please keep them coming. Your “Alexa- unleash the abyss!” I had to share with my loved ones. Thank you, Gary. You write beautifully. Peace. M

  63. kozandaishi
    February 23, 2019 at 09:54

    “Democracy in America was never the same as Liberty in Europe. In Europe Liberty was a great life-throb. But in America Democracy was always something anti-life. The greatest democrats, like Abraham Lincoln, had always a sacrificial, self-murdering note in their voices. American Democracy was a form of self-murder, always. Or of murdering somebody else . . . The love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”
    ?D.H. Lawrence, 1923

    • Erik G
      February 23, 2019 at 19:14

      Much can be said of the interactions of culture and personality within a nation, the tendencies of a culture to develop certain personality traits and cause them to predominate. But the application of personality theories to diverse nations primarily encourages and rationalizes discrimination. The correspondence of personality theories and cultural dynamics is poor because the underlying phenomena are rarely related.

      The use of personality theories even to describe personalities is unproductive, because the theories are vague, speculative, unsupported, and almost invariably employed for denunciation rather than understanding.

  64. February 23, 2019 at 09:48

    Really nice tribute to Chavez, apart from the perspective brought to current events.

    Why couldn’t the elemental principle of leaving a country’s affairs to its people be honored by the United States?

    Even if Maduro were the kind of figure Trump’s ugly crew keeps telling us he is, why would that give the United States the right or authority to intrude?

    Who bestowed the mantle of right and authority in such matters upon the United States?

    And the truth is that there is less potential harm from an individual national dictator – something Maduro clearly is not anyway – than there is from a global one.

    Good God, America has made a huge number of mistakes in its own elections.

    And it deeply resents even a suggestion of outside interference.

    But it has made even more mistakes, far more disastrous ones, in its international behavior.

    Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? Libya?

    Just to name a few. Millions of lives taken, vast amounts of destruction, and not one worthy goal achieved.

    There is a very long list of costly, bloody errors by America since WWII, since the time it conferred upon itself the right to tell others, everywhere, what to do.

    And not one of those errors offers an example America’s leadership can learn from?

    Really, what does that tell us?

    “Don’t bother us, we’re playing with other people’s lives and having a lot of fun!”

    Ugly little, very privileged boys, pulling the wings off butterflies they’ve caught.

    • Seattle Stu
      February 24, 2019 at 00:30

      You articulated exactly what I’m feeling.

  65. TomG
    February 23, 2019 at 09:36

    Sadly, UK Skynews and BBC are every bit as bad as our MSM in obsessing over the latest rapper or actor or now football coach with a hooker and of course, anything to do with Roger Stone or Paul Manafort while working in their one story-one sided report on the bad Maduro and starving people of Venezuela. I applaud Mr. Pilger and others at this site along with the Real News and Daniel Larison @ TAC and all others trying to awaken people in this country. At the same time the momentum for #68 regime change seems to be going smoothly into pro-war just as all the hubristic war mongering crowd wants. My pity for the Venezuelan people is so vast it impossible to put into words.

  66. eric32
    February 23, 2019 at 09:33

    People complain about what garbage mainstream news/info is – and they’re right, it’s destructive garbage.

    But how many of these people support this garbage with money paid to cable / satellite and magazines and newspapers?

  67. Skip Scott
    February 23, 2019 at 07:15

    Guess it’s my day to win the moderation lottery again. I’m batting 1000 this morning. Maybe they’ll get posted Monday morning.

  68. OlyaPola
    February 23, 2019 at 06:56

    “If the U.S. launches a military action against Venezuela it will be up to us to go to the streets in opposition”

    Perhaps others have different options in mind.

  69. February 23, 2019 at 04:45

    Wonderful first hand information. John Pilger rocks!

    It is difficult to say whether our current situation is comedy or tragedy or both or something else.

    https://opensociet.org/2019/02/20/fallen-for-the-lies-about-venezuela/

  70. Realist
    February 23, 2019 at 03:33

    Here we go. The next Iraq war is about to commence. Trump and his triad of terror (Pompeo, Bolton and Abrams) do not seem inclined to keep their powder dry, their puppet Greedo crosses the Colombian border at will to pose for the cameras with several of Washington’s vassal presidents from Latin America, millions(!) of dollars of food donated by generous Americans are denied to starving peasants and the corporate propagandists are already reporting the slaughter of innocents at border crossings in Brazil by Maduro’s commie thugs, while exclaiming that “Vlad’s private killers” (Russian mercs hired by his “personal friend,” oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin) are now at Maduro’s disposal to stave off freedom and democracy in Venezuela.

    Sadly, all of these defense efforts by noble Venezuela, even if true, will be to no avail if Washington sends in a couple of carrier task forces from any of its major bases around the Gulf of Mexico. Maracaibo is probably no more than a half-day cruise from Corpus Christi or Pensacola. All the port cities on our “South Coast” are bristling with naval air stations and the distance from Miami to Maracaibo (1,200 miles) is probably close enough to even obviate refueling during bombing runs. Like Bushdaddy before him, Trump’s got a turkey shoot with which to impress the voting public, if only he can finagle an acceptable casus belli.

    Greedo walks around freely (when he should be incarcerated for treason) to prevent providing such a pretext (of course, he’s not winning over any Venezuelans, only clueless American TV watchers). But not to worry, Washington and its media tools will make up some imaginary provocation if need be. Facts (like the well-stocked supermarkets in Caracas) mean nothing when the determined warmongers are churning out their false narratives. A facile false flag might be special ops agents machine gunning a mob of hired actors scrambling after planted relief supplies, as I am sure such covert forces are already working within Venezuela’s borders–you remember how well a similar ploy worked in the Maidan. If it’s ruthless and immoral, it’s in the American tool kit.

    • Skip Scott
      February 23, 2019 at 07:13

      Great comment Realist. Yes, all the factors are coming together for yet another regime change war. False flag ops and propaganda will be a generous part of the mix again. Trump might even get a second term as a war president. And, of course, “you gotta support the troops!”

      Here’s GK Chesterton on the subject:

      “My country, right or wrong,” is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober.”

      It’s time we told mom to sober up.

    • Sam F
      February 23, 2019 at 10:02

      Yes, Guido should have been arrested early, and further measures are needed:
      1. Arrest Guido and put him on trial for treason, with those supporting him;
      2. Request that Russia and China assist with defense, oil sales, and supplies;
      3. Redirect oil to markets other than the US and its vassals;
      4. Cut off trade with the US, except parts for US equipment while it lasts;
      5. Look to Cuba for guidance on economic independence and defense;

      International sanctions against the US, both economic and military embargoes, are needed to restrain its bully-boy warmonger tyrants. This requires the UN to put the US on probation and eliminate voluntary payments in favor of a tax upon members per excess GNP per capita. It is time for the world to stop the corrupted former democracy of the US, for the sake of all humanity.

  71. KiwiAntz
    February 23, 2019 at 02:29

    Many thanks John for this excellent article on Venezuela & what is really happening, on the ground as opposed to the falsehoods being promoted by the Trump administration & the American, Big Brother, Fakestream Propagandist Media telling us lies such as of phony Food shortages & so called desperate Citizens supposedly needing America’s Regime change, humanitarian aid consisting of guns & weapons? I’ve watched your fantastic doco’s regarding “The Coming War with China” & your RT Channel interviews which are truly insightful & damning of the corrupt & immoral US Empire! Keep up the great work John, you truly are a courageous honest Journalist, like the late, great Bob Parry & I wish there where more of your kind who are confronting the falsehoods & brainwashing propaganda perpetuated by the American Empire & its lawless, bloodthirsty, murderous, out of control Imperialism that has to be confronted & stopped in its tracks! Only by changing the official false Political & Media narrative & winning the Information war is the first stage to combating & thwarting the endless War policy of the USA, so thank you again for informing us all!

  72. Johan Meyer
    February 23, 2019 at 01:27

    The attack on Venezuela is at once evil and indicative of NATO/US elite panic. All of a sudden we see dangerous bickering between India and Pakistan, and all manner of other dangerous games. Bolsonaro is attacking the slums, with massacres, as has been reported by Black Agenda Report, with the kinds of justification that is given in Haiti; see Kevin Pina’s Haiti We Must Kill The Bandits.

    I would also like to make a more personal comment, in regards comparisons with South Africa. Constantia is an extremely wealthy neighbourhood. Having never spent much time on the Rand, I cannot speak to Sandton.

    Many of the old (apartheid) white working class neighbourhoods were gentrified to a large extent by wealthier non-whites no longer restricted by the group areas act. To be sure, working class white South Africans had, and likely still have, very racialist views. But we did not hold the capital. The poorest 80% of South African whites are not comparable with Venezuela’s elites.

  73. Paora
    February 23, 2019 at 01:23

    Would love to see that Pilger-Bolton interview if anyone can track down the link. Assume it’s from ‘Breaking The Silence’, haven’t seen it since it first came out. Being called a communist by John Bolton is high praise indeed. Reminds me of Mao’s old dictum:

    “It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.”

    Remember that next time you’re called a communist, populist, Putin apologist, Russian bot etc and keep up the good work.

  74. February 23, 2019 at 01:15

    Max Blumenthal buys groceries in Caracas, Venezuela:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbXqGiNlWWw

    • agustina
      February 23, 2019 at 11:54

      Funny that he is the only one shopping. looks very fake

    • February 23, 2019 at 18:45

      I recommend a trip to the eye doctor, if you only saw one person shopping.

    • Seattle Stu
      February 24, 2019 at 01:33

      I agree that there’s something odd about the video, though I can’t ignorantly call it “very fake”.

      Despite Mr. Pilger’s article, it is a fact that millions of Venezuelans fled their country. Of course, this doesn’t justify US intervention in any way. But, his portrayal of the conditions in Venezuela is a bit too rosy. And, this is also the case with Mr. Blumenthal’s video.

      Another strange thing about Mr. Blumenthal’s video is the size of the supermarket and the overly-stocked and prestine displays. If you go to a comparably large supermarket in the states, let’s say a Costco or a Walmart, it’s usually somewhat chaotic and disorganized. Some shelves are bare because a product has been pulled to make room for a replacement product, there are gaps in the rows of items from customers buying something on sale, there are large signs, etc. The store in the video was too sterile–if the food isn’t coming off the shelves, why is it being stockpiled like that? Because food spoils, you only stock enough to meet demand. I saw the opposite in the video.

    • agustina
      February 23, 2019 at 12:50

      My dissenting comments against this narrative here were erased. Great!

    • agustina
      February 23, 2019 at 12:56

      Sorry. They weren’t. Blasted Chrome cache. I love Consortium News.

  75. February 23, 2019 at 00:10

    I’m guessing that when Trump promised his supporters he would “drain the swamp,” they didn’t expect that he planned to take whatever refuse he found at the very bottom and turn them into foreign police appointees! However, when Trump reached the bottom of that stinking fetid swamp he extended his hand to two of the most odious swamp creatures imaginable. Before you knew it, with the help of MSM and the political class the stench of torture, mass murder and war crimes were magically washed away and both John Bolton and Elliot Abrams emerged shiny and new, as of all things, “statesmen.”

    Only in the most Orwellian world completely disconnected from physical reality can such events take place. That Ilhan Omar’s brave verbal confrontation of Elliot Abram’s sordid criminal past was not praised, but instead condemned by the political shills in both parties, speaks to the completely amoral nature of the American ruling elites. If the U.S. launches a military action against Venezuela it will be up to us to go to the streets in opposition, because both parties are clearly owned by the war machine, and it appears all Trump has actually used “the swamp” for is a convenient place to recruit the most odious psychopaths available for the job.

    • Gregory Herr
      February 23, 2019 at 22:31

      Ilhan Omar’s confrontation of Abram’s sordid past is praiseworthy:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qz6d5Xk78vY#

    • February 25, 2019 at 08:01

      Swamp draining in Brazil.

      First, create a swamp. Iron ore is a cheap product with a very sharp competition, so it has to be extracted carefully, avoiding any unnecessary costs. Extracted rocks contains useless minerals that are much lighter than iron oxides, so they are separated using cheap devices that separate pure ore for sale from muddy stuff (I guess after the rock is crushed, water is used to move the crushed minerals through the separators. Dumping the mud to make hills would be tough, instead, a valley is used, and as it blocks the valley, a dam is created. Upstream from the dam we get a swamp.

      By properly dumping the mud, the dam is stable, well, most of the time. Occasionally, it happen twice in the last two years in Brazil, it bursts and voila! the swamp is drained, few weeks ago few hundred folks perished.

      The new pro-American government already promise more sensible, i.e. lenient, regulations of mining, so more swamp draining should be expected. In the meantime, their political and judiciary system works pretty much like ore separators — leftist bribe recipients are thrown to the mud and the rightist ones are washed, elected etc.

  76. Tom Kath
    February 22, 2019 at 23:06

    The “echo chamber” of MSM is the same as that of social media, where you are now only permitted to say what people want to hear, is very fertile ground for all these “lies”. The trouble is that whatever anyone believes is for them the truth and fact. Alarming is the almost universal rejection of debate, or acknowledgement of conflicting or opposing views. I regard it as a symptom of the extreme feminisation of our society. There is just no appetite for “a bit of biff”.
    Great writing John ! Where’s it all gunna end?

  77. Bryan Farrow
    February 22, 2019 at 22:45

    Thank you John Pilger. I’ll be sharing this and encourage others to do likewise.

  78. Sam F
    February 22, 2019 at 22:22

    The US oligarchy and mass media lies on Venezuela, and its corrupt judiciary, are a fine diagnostic of the absence of democracy in the US. The primary tools of democracy, elections, mass media, and constitutional law, are lost to oligarchy and can no longer be used to restore democracy.

    • Tom Dickinson
      February 23, 2019 at 10:31

      HERE is journalism! It is easy for me to get discouraged these days, and then Mr Pilger speaks up and courage comes back. Of course there are brother and sister journalists of his whom I admire, but he pulls it together so efficiently and powerfully and so inspires! Must share.

    • Bob Van Noy
      February 24, 2019 at 11:43

      There is a very remote chance that the swamp is being exposed by plan. Possibly there is a much larger enterprise going on that both exposes the sordid past, and eliminates it too. If indeed it’s Rope A Dope, It’s totally brilliant.

    • OlyaPola
      February 26, 2019 at 04:29

      “If indeed it’s Rope A Dope, It’s totally brilliant.”

      Rope a dope is quite a simplistic strategy although the opponents have sought to use it since the inception of the self-designated “The United States of America” including but not restricted to “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

      “Success” is always a strategic weakness including but not restricted to belief that “success” exists, rather than moments in lateral interactions affording opportunities of transcendence requiring deflection thereby undermining previous effort akin to the Sorceror’s apprentice – an example being the trajectories of some attempting to control “Germany” in its various guises from 1880 until 2019.

      Some practitioners understand the above and hence amongst other aspects encourage through various means including by “doing nothing” the complicity of others in their own transcendence – roping only being a temporary moment in a lateral process not sufficient in itself to transcend the opponents since apparently even Mr. Gulliver managed to break the bonds, although only temporarily since he emulated the practices of some in regard to perceived Gordian knots.

      “It’s totally brilliant.”

      Some practitioners would never subscribe to evaluations of “totally”, or “brilliant” or “totally brilliant” since they tend not to “believe”, or “believe in”, or “believe in the end of history”, but tend to test and evaluate amalgams of lateral processes in facilitating purpose of how to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback, being aided through the complicity of others immersed in the perceptions highlighted in quotation marks above.

      Some practitioners always realise that they “could do better” and hence do not award themselves accolades, unlike Mr. Brezhnev with his love of medals, and the opponents with their resort to various comfort blankets of attempted coups and “brilliant weapons”.

  79. Jeff Harrison
    February 22, 2019 at 19:47

    Thank you, John

  80. February 22, 2019 at 19:40

    Great article, John. Keep going, even if the criminal clowns in the mainstream media won’t publish it, even if they keep repeating the lies, truth will finally get through.

  81. leon anderson
    February 22, 2019 at 19:30

    Viva Venezuela. Accurate news is difficult to come by. U.S. foreign policy behavior is overbearing, arrogant and unacceptable. Shame on the MSM for not reporting facts.

  82. Zim
    February 22, 2019 at 18:19

    Thank you John Pilger for an excellent essay. Cuts right through all the lies coming from the MSM and our corporate owned government.

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