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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 12:45 PM
Original message
The Associated Press (AP) and its anti-Chavez articles
I was asked to post the following comment as an OP. This was comment #57 for the OP entitled, "More anti-Chavez propaganda via the AP," posted by emperor72 yesterday.
The AP article was a contrived affair, trying to create the impression that many Venezuelans are fleeing Venezuela to Florida, like anti-Castro Cubans fled Cuba. The thread got immediately side-tracked by one of these "hit and run" anti-Chavez posters who don't know what they're talking about and never provide informative discussion. We finally got down to a discussion of the AP article. Here's what I posted:

57.And, now, finally, as to the substance of this OP and the Associated Press "news" article...

The first thing to know about AP articles on Chavez is that they closely follow Bush Junta "talking points" and are part of what appears to be a coordinated effort of the Bush Junta State Department and the war profiteering corporate news monopolies to create certain IMPRESSIONS about Chavez and Venezuela--

Thus we have had floods of AP "news" reports following up on the Bush State Dept. "talking point" that Chavez is "increasingly authoritarian"--always framed this way: "according to his critics"--never a quoted source.* These generally have followed an election that Chavez won big (and he has won several, including the US-funded (your tax dollars) wasteful and stupid recall election, two years ago. The Bush State Dept. and AP were trying to cover up the fact that Venezuelan elections are far, far more transparent than our own--which currently have no transparency whatsoever--and that the REAL "authoritarians" in Venezuela are the rightwing fascists in the military, and in the business community, allied with, and directly funded by the Bush Junta (your tax dollars), working in cooperation with US-based global corporate predators, to overthrow Venezuela's democracy and install a rightwing dictatorship in Venezuela.

These bastards almost succeeded in 2002. A military coup kidnapped Chavez from Miraflores Palace (the seat of government), and suspended the elected National Assembly (i.e., Congress), the Supreme Court and all lawful officers of the government. Venezuelans were outraged at this violation of their Constitution, and one million Venezuelans flooded into the streets of Caracas and surrounded Miraflores Palace, demanding--and it was the first thing on everyone's lips--the restoration of Constitutional government, and the return of their elected president. Meanwhile, all the "Faux" News stations in Venezuela--owned and controlled by rich corporatists, as here--were cheering the coup on, and spreading disinformation to the public and to the rank and file military. It was the presence of the million people in the streets, and the defection of most of the military from the coup (including the presidential guard--i.e., the Secret Service), that turned the tide. Chavez was returned to the palace unharmed, after three days in captivity. He subsequently took almost no retaliatory actions against those who had participated in the coup. A few officers were dismissed from the military. I think two were jailed. The political leaders are still at large. Some of them are still in politics. And his government has decided not to renew the license to use the public airwaves of ONE of the many TV stations that helped to create such disorder in their country--RCTV (which directly supported the coup, and hosted meetings of the plotters). (See "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised"--great documentary on all this, by an Irish film crew who happened to be present while it happened.)

It is these rightwing assholes and Bush who are the "authoritarians." Not Chavez, nor his millions of supporters. It is THEY who hold utter contempt for lawful government, as we have seen, time and again, with the Bush Junta here in the U.S. And, in so far as any Venezuelans who are seeking to live in the U.S. share such views of government--that it should be dictatorial, and favor their well-padded pocketbooks--then it does not surprise me at all that Bush-controlled U.S. immigration authorities and rightwing, anti-Castro Cubans welcome them with open arms to Miami.

"Those who come (from Venezuela) are received with open arms in Miami, where their money is welcome and the Cuban exile community views Chavez as the next Fidel Castro."--AP

Which brings me to the second big Bush State Dept. "talking point"--that Chavez is a friend of Fidel Castro. Chavez is also friends with Evo Morales, the democratically elected president of Bolivia--and the first 100% indigenous ever to hold that office. He is friends with Nestor Kirchner, the democratically elected president of Argentina (who helped free Argentina from onerous World Bank debt, and put Argentina on a fast track to recovery, after near decimation by World Bank/IMF policy). He is friends with Rafael Correa, the recently elected president of Ecuador--a US-educated leftist economist with close ties to the indigenous community. He is friends with Lula da Silva, the former steelworker president of Brazil, who led the third world revolt at the WTO meeting in Cancun a few years ago, and who visited Chavez last December, two weeks before the Venezuelan election (which Chavez won with 63% of the vote), for the opening of the new Orinoco Bridge between Venezuela and Brazil. Chavez is friends with MANY political and social leaders in Latin America. Why is the re-integration of Cuba into the economies of its brethren Latin American countries, and Chavez's friendship with this old revolutionary, Castro, such a thorn up the butts of the Bush Junta and of AP, such that they mention it virtually every time they mention Chavez, in any context--'ChavezfriendofFidelCastro'--to the exclusion of all his other friendships and associations?

Well, it's obvious. There Cuba sits, ikon to the success of communism, this tiny island, the only place where communism ever worked out very well--probably because of its Latin cultural flavor. A mild dictatorship--rocked by US sanctions, and threatened with US invasion for the entirety of its 40+ year history. A place where everybody eats, everybody has medical care, everyone has a place to live and useful employment, and everyone gets a free university education if they want it. A place with one of the best medical educations in the world--free of charge. A place with one of the highest literacy rates, and lowest infant mortality rates, in Latin America. Could be some lessons to be learned there, about what government should be doing, about fairness and equity. Why NOT be friends with Cuba? Cuba may revere Castro, and hold elections only for lower level government officials. But how is this less democratic than, say, the U.S., where rightwing Bushite electronic voting corporations now "count" all the votes with 'trade secret,' proprietary programming code, and where SEVENTY-FOUR PERCENT of the people want Bush's heinous war on Iraq ended, and the leaders in the White House ignore them, and feel zero accountability to the people, and where Congress, for all its Democratic coloration, can't do anything about it?

Which country's government is more responsive to its people--the U.S. or Cuba? Who, really, is suffering the most from "authoritarian" government--the U.S., which has seen the near destruction of its Constitution, the destruction of transparent elections, and hideous policies of torture, war and massive theft by the rich--or Cuba? It is arguable that Cuba is actually a better democracy than the U.S. Yet it is used almost as an epithet ('Castro loving'--read 'nigger loving'--Hugo Chavez). (--much like the "hit and run" posters here at DU, who use "Chavez-lover"--read 'nigger lover'--to try to shut down rational thought about the peaceful, democratic Bolivarian revolution).

"Increasingly authoritarian" = Hugo Chavez. "Castro-loving" = Hugo Chavez. Hammered home over and over and over again, at every opportunity--to the exclusion of all other facts about Chavez and his government, and its many supporters.

The other Bush State Dept. "talking points"--that Venezuela, one of the most democratic countries in the western hemisphere, is somehow a menace to its neighbors, and is somehow "disturbing" South America in a bad way, are trotted out again and again. Venezuela's arms sales are dwelled upon. Most countries in the world purchase arms, and maintain a military. So what? It's a small part of Venezuela's budget. A Bush Junta State Dept. report blaming Venezuela for drug trafficking is issued and picked up by AP without a glimmer of skepticism--when it is Bush's paramilitary buds in Colombia who are the drug traffickers and also mass murderers. There is a big scandal about it right now in Colombia. This latter Bush State Dept. report was a transparent attempt to divert attention from the huge paramilitary drug trafficking and corruption scandals in two of the five countries that Bush is going to visit next week--Colombia and Guatemala, both with rightwing governments.

Many of these "talking points" are repeated in this article about anti-Chavez (read 'Republican,' Bushite) immigrants to Miami. I imagine that the reporter (Laura Wides-Munoz, "AP Hispanic Affairs Writer") had the Bush State Dept. "talking points" memo taped up on the wall next to her phone and computer, as she dialed around Miami seeking the right quotes to fit the "talking points."

Yes, I think it's that artificial, and that cynical, and that corrupt. Direct collusion between the Bush Junta and the war profiteering corporate news monopolies.

Anyone who trusts one word of this article--including its use of Bush provided statistics--is a fool. We also need to be profoundly distrustful of the choice of subject matter, the timing of the subject matter, the headline writing, and all aspects of its publication. AP is 100% untrustworthy on the topic of leftist governments in South America.

Want a laugh? Try this...

"As of 2004, Venezuelans tied with Germans and Canadians as the second biggest group of foreigners purchasing homes in Florida, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the British bought more Florida homes." --AP

The British? Hm-m. Fleeing Tony Blair?


As to the reason for this utterly corrupt sort of "journalism"--and for the Bush Junta "concern" about Hugo Chavez--besides the obvious ones (neither Bush nor AP approves of poor people benefiting from their country's oil reserves; the Bush Cartel plunder of the Middle East is not going very well, and they have to find more oil profits; and they have their greedy eyes on the oil, gas, minerals and other resources in the neighboring Andean democracies of Bolivia and Ecuador, allies of Venezuela)--the main reason is probably that Chavez and his Bolivarianian revolution are inspiring plans for a South American "Common Market," in which US corporations would have to compete in a fair market. This is the most serious threat to Bushite interests--that South American countries would stand up for themselves, and assert principles of regional self-determination and cooperation, and would band together, for the benefit of their people. It was Simon Bolivar's dream (a "United States of South America"). A So. American Common Market is becoming more feasible and more realistic with every leftist (majorityist) electoral victory in South America. And the Corporate Rulers may be making their continued prop-up of the Bush/Cheney Junta contingent upon the Bush Junta's successful interference with these developments.

Bush's choice of countries to visit is interesting in this respect. He is naturally attracted to the righwing thuggery and corruption in Colombia and Guatemala. That is no surprise. But Brazil and Uruguay have left/center governments, not at all friendly to Bush, and populations that are as hostile to Bush as they are in any other South American country. The key may be a minor dispute between Brazil and Uruguay on some trade issues in Mercosur--the So. American trade group and probable prototype for a So. American Common Market. Bush will try "divide and conquer" tactics there, meanwhile conspiring with the worst elements of the fascist elites in South America, to overthrow all of these leftist governments. The Bushites won't succeed, but they can cause a lot of trouble, with their big draw on future American taxpayers' money.

Bush is also going to Mexico, where a huge leftist movement is under way, especially in Mexico City and southern Mexico. It will be interesting to see where Bush's entourage can safely travel in Mexico. And it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Bush-Calderon discussions of the torture, rape, kidnapping, murders and disappearances of hundreds of community organizers, teachers and union leaders in Oaxaca. How does Abu Ghraib compare? Guantanamo Bay? Mexico's fascists have a lot of catching up to do.

There is one other reason why Hugo Chavez and all of his many leftist allies and supporters in Latin America are a big worry to Bush and to his global corporate predator buds. And that is that this democracy movement might spread to us up here in the north, where we, the people of the U.S., have the potential power to dismantle bad actor corporations, and seize their assets for the public good, and, at the least, to severely curtail them and their horrendous impacts on people and on the planet. It would be horrible, from their point of view, if we got the notion that business corporations should be operated in the public interest, and that the rich should pay fair taxes--and got inspired by the South American democracy movement, say, to restore transparent elections here.**


*(I once tried to track down who actually said this about Chavez. Who were the "critics" of "according to his critics"? Who were they actually quoting that he is "increasingly authoritarian"? The only source I could find was an old rightwing Catholic cardinal in Venezuela, who spent his career in the Vatican finance office, and was fired by the Vatican during the fascist banking scandals of the 1980s. (The Vatican almost never fires anyone.) He regularly rails against Chavez, and is an embarrassment to the more liberal and Christian clergymen and women in Venezuela. HE said that Chavez is "increasingly authoritarian." Is this where our war profiteering corporate news monopolies are getting their information--from fascist and untrustworthy cardinals?)

**(I suspect that AP played a role in the theft of the 2004 election. All the votes that were fed from Bushite-controlled, secretly coded voting systems, to our TV screens--that were in such disharmony with the exit polls--were fed through one AP computer. Edison-Mitovksy--the news consortium exit pollster--then DOCTORED the exit polls (Kerry won) to force the exit polls to fit the results of the Bushite-controlled 'trade secret' vote counting formulas (Bush won). It all smells to high heaven, and AP was the middle link. And, considering AP's editorial policy--which appears to be dictated by the Bush Junta State Dept.--I would not be surprised at direct complicity.)
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Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks
Glad to see you start your own post.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I get so caught up in what others are posting and saying that I rarely think to
start my own post. It's weird.
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Great post - should be archived here somewhere. nt.
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puebloknot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. Peace Patriot, your *every thought* should be an OP!
Really! Your articles are so informative, so well-thought-out, and so well "foot-noted"! You're a real help to me in keeping on top of things I don't have time to ferret out, myself.

What is happening "down South" is *so* inspiring! Nothing's perfect, but when the people take hold of their own destiny, as they seem to be doing in South America, it harks back to the events which led to the founding of our country.

What is so suspect about feeding, clothing, educating people, and allowing them to have health care? "What would *Jesus* do," indeed? -- if anyone cares to go there! (I don't!)
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. JudiLynn needs to see this!
K&R! Excellent post!

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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. amen to that! wonder how long it will take for the clueless, yet agenda-laden,
fact-bereft, pro-Corporate fascist/progressives to find this thread, and spread their always-unsupported BS about what's really happening in a country that's actually trying to divert its resources from those who would take EVERYTHING for themselves and let the rest continue to live in poverty.

But, then, again, they might be right. After all, he IS a dictator, isn't he? That's what they repeat, over and over and over again.

Maybe if they say it another sixty thousand times, the rest of us here will start to believe it, right? That's the way it works, isn't it?
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Hil just beat up Chavez today too
Edited on Mon Mar-05-07 07:55 PM by leftchick
I tell ya, what the fuck is the difference between her and any repuke when it comes to US foreign policy???


The first question she received after a speech to employees of the Pioneer Hi-Bred International facility in Johnston raised the issue of the Chavez government. The former first lady assailed the Venezuelan president for fomenting "anti-Americanism across Latin America" and returned, in unusually personal terms, to one of the themes of her speech - how energy independence could prevent the transfer of American dollars to anti-American regimes.

"My late father was a child of the depression and he never left a room without turning out every light. Well, now I go around turning out the lights," she said.

"If we said, 'Turn off that light because we don't want to send any more money to Chavez in Venezuela,' that would make a difference."

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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Now I'm pissed! It is time for a Neo-liberal vs. true liberal/progressive
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. "don't send any more money to Chavez in Venezuela"

It's very questionable though that if Hillary would become president, she would support a government policy of the US boycotting Venezuelan oil. That's how principled they (Repub/Dem corporatist appeasers) are. Nor will they boycott oil from dictatorial regimes with a fundamentalist state-religion of the kind that breeds terrorists - rather, they will befriend them (Saudi Arabia).
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. k
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happydreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R. This one goes into the censorship/propoganda file
Thanks for this most informative post. :hi:
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-06-07 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
11. k&r
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