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Canada’s CBC talk show, Power and Politics, hosted by Vassy Kapelos, demonstrated today (Friday, February 01, 2019) the usage of the big lie technique for disseminating news about Venezuela. At the same time some of it could be simple ignorance, stating an supposed ‘fact’ when that simply is not the case. The Power and Politics panel are mostly frequent pundits on the show, but are not necessarily experts on anything but their own opinions,.

It started with comments rather interestingly concerning Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, wanting to “legitimate an American stance”. This was combined with comments about an “emerging international” consensus against Maduro. Also included in the discussion were the usual comments about a “barely functioning democracy” and how the Chavistas have “Drive this country into the ground.” Further it was noted that anyone against government change was not “on the side of democracy.”

All well and good except for a full lack of context and some outright lies, mainly by dissimulation. The missing context includes the several decades of U.S. interference in Venezuela’s affairs. An attempted and sort of successful coup against Chavez in 2002 was backed by the U.S. with its contacts with the right wing backers of the coup. Sanctions placed on Venezuela have restricted its ability to work through the U.S. dominated and controlled global financial network.

The U.S.’ main interest is not the people of Venezuela nor democracy. It is, as per John Bolton, access to Venezuela’s oil and other mineral riches currently denied to U.S.corporations. If the U.S. was truly interested in democracy, the Saudi tribal theocracy would have gone long ago – but in reference to oil, it is Saudi oil supporting the U.S. petrodollar so no need to worry about democracy.

Another big lie technique is the argument an “emerging international consensus” or as stated even more unequivocally by PM Trudeau last night, Maduro was illegitimate “in the eyes of the world.” Perhaps the ‘Five Eyes’ but not Italy, or Greece, or Turkey – all EU and NATO compatriots – nor in the eyes of China, Russia, India, Mexico, Uruguay (the latter being the most democratic South American country) and many others, comprising more than half the world’s population. But what’s a few billion people statistically speaking….

Later in the show, Kapelos hosted Eric Farnsworth, a former U.S. State Department employee, currently Vice President of the Council of the Americas. This council is comprised of ex-politicos and many business men and women from the financial, energy, mining, manufacturing, media, technology and transportations corporations. Included among its notables is John D. Negroponte, the Honduran ambassador who ignored Honduras’ human rights abuses while targeting the Guatemalan government with the Contras.

To his credit, Farnsworth did not beat the drums by advocating military action, but did reiterate the “all options” mantra of the U.S. government, and then qualifying that by saying he thought military action was “unlikely”. However, when questioned about U.S.history in the region – and as any well read person knows the CIA, covert operators, and militaries and paramilitaries trained at WHINSEC, have attacked in different ways just about every country in Latin America – he acknowledged that yes “we do have a history” without specifying any of it. He then backtracked and said we “must separate from history” due to the nature of the problems in Venezuela.

Unfortunately that “history” gives full lie to the democracy arguments as indicated immediately above, all democratic governments in Latin America that have worked to have an independent foreign policy and to control their own resources, and to use them to benefit the people and not the corporations, have been overthrown by the U.S.. Greg Grandin’s “Empire’s Workshop – Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism.” Metropolitan (Henry Holt & Co.), New York, 2006, is a good starter reference for this along with most material from the late William Blum, but especially “Killing Hope – U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II.” Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, 1995.

Farnsworth’s final comments concerned the Lima Group – a group of nations all having recently been turned over by U.S. actions of some sort, except Columbia which has been a long standing war base for U.S. operations in the region. Canada was lightly praised as it “plays an important role” in actions against Venezuela, which is to say it supports the U.S.empire in its quest to control the oil resources of the world (among other resources) in order to sustain the highly indebted U.S. petrodollar.

Thus the CBC continues its editorial policy of supporting the U.S. in its global desires. Every now and then it advertises itself, a recent spot saying, “when there are multiple sides to a story, we cover them all.” Only in Edwin Abbott’s “Flatland”.

Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and a regular contributor/columnist of opinion pieces and book reviews for The Palestine Chronicle. Miles’ work is also presented globally through other alternative websites and news publications.

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One Comment

  1. Bill Malcolm says:

    CBC and the Canadian government’s foreign policy is gleaned from news releases issued by the US State Dept. There is less discussion and criticism of these pronouncements in Canada than even political media dough-heads give them in the US. Fake foreign news has a comfy home at the CBC, and naturally at all the other private broadcasters happily reciting the views of their corporate owners – they add in fake domestic politics views to completely fill their pot. We live pumped full of propaganda of the thinnest gruel imaginable posited as a banquet, grandiose pronouncements of cow manure.

    The US State Dept operates out of Foggy Bottom, an unusual but appropriate name for their civic address, and those staff not turfed by Trump the Intellectual Dunce, trust me on this, remain Democratic Party followers. The Dems are the War Party – Neocon Central, HQ for world domination, and Hillary was the nasty piece of work who took out Libya, with Canadian air force help. Good thing she didn’t get elected or we’d all be dead from nuclear war by now. A sabre-rattler par excellence. She couldn’t care less about the social plight of her fellow citizens and got Sanders dumped. A person who knows how to blame others for her myriad failings.

    The Dems loved the Project for A New American Century, a 1997 position paper still available online, that considers the US exceptional and indispensable and destined to rule the world before 2100 (what remains above sea water, anyway) by one means or another. Canada agrees with this 100% except for sanctions on Iran. Otherwise, we are the sweetest little lap dogs US money can buy. We’ll arrest anyone the US doesn’t like and keep them locked up awaiting extradition hearings, while bleating about rule of law when we mean due process – but amateurs like Trudeau are in charge and don’t know the difference.

    Vassy Kapelos is an awful host of her TV program. She speaks so fast nobody can understand or follow if you know what I mean we’ll be discussuing Huawei and Venezuela and the colour of the finance ministers socks and have a panel on something or other blah, blah, blah. TV or radio unfriendly doesn’t begin to describe the woman. Utterly useless at her primary job before we even begin to discuss if she has brains or not. Wendy Mesley is another promulgator of the standard US line, and Chris Brown, the CBC’s man in Moscow, manages a defamation attempt in every report from Moscow – I’m sure Fox News has a spot already laid out for him. Objectivity was not taught at Brown’s journalism school; how to spew propaganda was – or it is an entirely personal project on his part. He should be fired.

    I am thoroughly ashamed of my country, its foreign policy and the state-paid for CBC. Disingenuous in the extreme. If I were a long-haired hippie freak, you might dismiss my rant as the ravings of a lunatic. I am, however, a retired professional engineer who put in his time at work, then with free time to spare found out what a spineless bunch of second rate mediocre people we had running Canada, apparently all bought and paid for, willing to sway with the wind and never rock the boat for decency’s sake. That was a bleak discovery for me, now too damn old to do anything to change things. I am disgusted. We regard ourselves as being far, far better than we are. Even the US has better consumer protection laws than we do, and they’re the home of the corporate power government.

    All you Indian intellectuals reading this web site: Are you going to let your country be taken over by corporate monoculture agriculture and the Modi neoliberals? Or are you going to sit on your hands like I did until it was too late?