With Trump’s recent hint at possible military action against Venezuela, media attacks against the South American country and its Bolivarian government have ramped up exponentially over the past few days.
An article published Monday in the Daily Beast is perhaps illustrative. The piece, by Antonio Mora, accuses the Maduro government of torture, rape, drug trafficking, forced starvation, and other crimes–though no mention of disconnecting babies from incubators.
“Few doubt the Maduro regime is heavily involved in drug trafficking, supporting terrorism, and looting the country’s economy,” Mora writes.
I guess I’m one of the “few.” I do doubt these things. Unlike certain other countries, Venezuela, at least to my knowledge, has not provided assistance to ISIS or served as Al-Nusra’s air force, and if there are any Venezuelans selling drugs in my neighborhood, I haven’t yet made their acquaintance.
“The international community must treat the regime as an active criminal enterprise, using criminal investigations to pierce the veil of banking secrecy in places such as Andorra, Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands in order to access the ill-gotten gains hidden there by Venezuelans made wealthy by their corrupt dealings,” Moro goes on. Apparently the US Federal Reserve and the crime syndicates on Wall Street are small potatoes compared to these créme de la créme Caracas plunderers.
“The violent repression, oppression, and human rights abuses by the Venezuelan government have become so commonplace and the Venezuelan people have become so despondent, little is seen as shocking anymore,” says our pundit before adding that “millions of Venezuelans are clamoring for the international community to take action and save the country from an authoritarian regime that has turned totalitarian since protests erupted against a power grab in March.”
Sounds very much like a call for war. Of course, if the Maduro government were every bit as evil as the Daily Beast claims, the US regime-change harlequins wouldn’t be trying near this hard (or even at all) to overthrow it.
Naturally, like all “dictators,” Maduro makes minced meat out of the free press–pundit Moro informs us that “the regime has taken dozens of television and radio stations off the air,” though the details of this he leaves a bit sketchy.
Fortunately, however, we have an article published by VenezuelaAnalysis.com that offers some insight into why at least two of these media outlets, both cable TV channels, were closed–and yes, there was indeed a legitimate reason for shutting them down: according to writer Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, both channels were found to have advocated the murder of President Nicholas Maduro.
One wonders if the Daily Beast simply didn’t find that detail relevant or newsworthy enough to mention. ]
Venezuela Pulls 2 Channels Off Air Over ‘Resign or Die’ Comments
Puebla, Mexico, August 25, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan regulators ordered Thursday two cable networks be taken off air, after they were accused of promoting violence.
The country’s national telecommunications regulator CONATEL said Colombian broadcasters RCN and Caracol Television would be taken off air for “openly calling for [the] assassination [of the president].”
“The measure is within the bounds of the law, given that those stations over several months attacked Venezuela and [its] institutions,” CONATEL said in a statement, quoting former head regulator Andres Mendez.
The move was in response to comments by former Mexican president Vicente Fox aired by RCN and Caracol. Addressing Maduro, Fox warned “this dictator will leave through resignation, or with his feet in front of him, in a box”.
During RCN’s broadcast, the lower third beneath Fox simply read, “Dictator Maduro, resign or die.”
Fox’s comments were quickly condemned by Maduro ally and Bolivian President Evo Morales.
“If anything happens to our brother President Maduro, it will be Mexican ex-president Vicente Fox’s responsibility,” he said.
Fox made his comment during the “Thinking the 21st Century” conference in Baranquilla, Colombia. Last month, the ex-president was declared persona non grata in Venezuela after he participated as an observer in an unofficial opposition plebiscite asking citizens if they would support a “zero hour” campaign of protests aimed at overthrowing the government.
Neither RCN or Caracol appeared available in Venezuela at the time of writing, and at least one major cable provider has confirmed cutting one of the signals.
“We inform you that the 772 Caracol International channel is no longer available for Venezuela because we are complying with an order from … CONATEL,” cable provider DirecTV tweeted.
Some viewers have reported they can still access RCN through DirecTV, but not through most other major providers.
Venezuela’s opposition had condemned CONATEL’s decision as censorship.
“One more channel off the airwaves! Has that made crime go down? Is inflation any lower? Is there more food? More medicine? Has any problem been solved?” opposition leader Henrique Capriles stated.
The shutdowns are the second major regulatory action taken against broadcasters accused of promoting unrest in Venezuela. Earlier this year, CONATEL pulled CNN’s Spanish language channel, accusing the broadcaster of seeking to “undermine the image of the national executive branch”.
The decision came in the wake of CNN’s publication of an investigation that alleged to have uncovered evidence Venezuelan diplomatic officials in Iraq had sold Venezuelan passports to non-Venezuelans, including Iraqi and Syrian nationals. Venezuela’s government largely dismissed the report as US propaganda.
In 2014, another major Colombian broadcaster, RTN24, was also wiped from Venezuelan airwaves after CONATEL alleged it had “promoted violence”. Another major case also occurred in 2007, when the Caracas-based RCTV lost its broadcast concession, after regulators determined the station had played a role in a 2002 coup that temporarily overthrew the Chavez government.