By Maxim Nikolenko.
These are “Venezuelan human rights protests”, as the Guardian describes them. They receive contributions on GoFundMe and Generosity, with their message advertised to the public through the mainstream media, whose coverage tends to strongly embed with the policies of State Department and Pentagon. While the press facilitates what 20th century American propagandist, Edward Bernays, described as “public relations”, Washington continues providing volumes of monetary support to the opposition forces who intend to topple the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro. The latest bill in Congress would alone provide $9,500,000 of support to the ongoing protests. It seems Washington, along with Venezuelan elites, are prepared to use any means to achieve their goals. Not freedom and democracy are those goals, but a restoration of political power and corporate control over the world’s largest oil reserves. These and other aspects of Venezuelan crisis were described in details in the previously published article.
Today’s piece will take a visual look at the protests. As far as death toll concerned, 89 people lost their lives to the ongoing violence. The TeleSUR news network, where the death toll is updated, attributes only 6 deaths to the brutality of security forces. An investigative journalist, Abby Martin, who traveled to Venezuela, reports that security forces were responsible for 11 deaths. At that time, the overall death toll was topping 60. Today, even the Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, who was recently reported to have severed her ties with Maduro’s government, declared police and military officials were responsible for 23 deaths. The mainstream corporate press in U.S. pays little if no attention to such details.
Yet, it will be no surprise if opposition violence resulted in a majority of deaths. The most active and well-equipped elements of a right-wing opposition are the masked provocateurs who run battles with police and inflict overall chaos on the streets. The following video released on (Ruptly) shows these radicals inflicting chaos on Venezuelan capital Caracas.
As seen in the video, some demonstrators are armed with guns, firing multiple rounds in the aimed direction. This is not a first time when opposition provocateurs were caught using live ammunition.
In this video, an armed protester fires multiple shots in the middle of a street. There is a seeming sense of panic and confusion among the anti-government demonstrators. By this video, it is impossible to say whether gunshots have resulted in any injuries. During the failed U.S-backed coup attempt in 2002, sniper fire took down over a dozen opposition marchers. Their deaths had immediately been blamed on the government of Hugo Chavez.
These days the opposition is certainly more violent than in 2002. Right-wing radical provocateurs are blamed for attacking independent and government journalists. Abby Martin herself received numerous “death threats” after covering the protests. Apart from attacking media, extremists are blamed for fascist attacks on government supporters. There were reports of lynching, with some victims being targeted on the basis of skin color. At least 3 Afro-Venezuelans have been killed by opposition. This video shows a young Afro-Venezuelan government supporter being set on fire by the mob.
His name is Orlando Jose Figuera. The 21-year-old suffered extreme burns and died in hospital. American media had numerously downplayed this horrific attack as self-defense. Setting a man on fire is indeed “self-defense.”
Opposition also holds a record of attacking government facilities. In the most recent incident, about 40 tons of subsidized food was burned in a government-run warehouse. Recipients of these stocks are the poorest Venezuelans who suffered most from the economic crisis. Over the course of 3 months, government buildings, including a hospital, were also targeted. In this video, a well-equipped mob of opposition radicals vandalized and set fire to the Supreme Court building in Caracas.
The court was not empty of people.
Mass evacuation followed. It seems opposition mob was not concerned that innocent women and children could be harmed by their actions.
This video released by Associated Press demonstrates how the reactionary opposition elements run battles with police on the so-called “front lines.”
Like in previous videos the protesters are seen well equipped. Gas masks, shields, helmets and goggles are worn. At (2:11) in the video, one protester approaches cameras with a bottle containing dense yellowish liquid. “They have gas; we have excrement”: quotes the Guardian. Even such unequally ‘enlightening’ method of protesting, alongside with general violence committed, are justified by Western press. Persistently portraying Venezuela as a failed state, and exclusively blaming the socialist government for a constructed image would justify any madness. The economic impact from the ongoing protests is never discussed.
As seen in this video, a small contingent of radicals even attempts to attack a military base. Actions of such kind intend to capture international response, which they receive in great volumes.
Not only the United States government is providing millions to the opposition. Ordinary citizens are encouraged to contribute as well. Campaign pages on GoFundMe and Generosity receive thousands in small donations. Not a surprise if corporate Bloomberg openly runs a campaign for the protests. Racism and violence are understandably kept in silence. Reporting them would mean a bad marketing strategy.
This campaign was the most successful raising $45,618 for the protests.
The first few lines of this campaign specifically outline on what the money would be spent. Construction of protective shields for the protests raised $6,990. Receivers will be the radical elements on the front lines, the mob whose actions were graphically depicted in the videos.
In online campaigns and on the corporate press, the socialist government is portrayed as authoritarian regime and dictatorship. Unlike American clients such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel and Bahrain, Venezuela had so far restrained from using military fist to suppress the openly provocative and violence-inflicting opposition. Meanwhile, Washington continues providing support to its most vicious provocateurs.
Indeed, another regime change is underway!