Monday, March 17, 2008

The Media as the Voice of Imperialism's Lies

"I believe that unarmed Truth and unconditional Love will have the final word in reality." - Martin Luther King.

"The truth must not only be the truth, it must be told." - Fidel Castro.

In the face of proliferating revolutions internationally of greater frequency and intensity in the last few years, Imperialism has been forced to step up its attacks. The U.S. has slight military presence, or at least military allies, mainly in Mexico, El Salvador, and Colombia, but with most of the Empire's military energy already consumed in several war zones around the world, namely in the Middle-East, they have had to rely increasingly on economic sabotage, and more importantly the media to wage a dirty war in Latin America. This article will show that the right-wing media is chauvinistic because it serves as an instrument to wage a culture war against an alternative to capitalism, against the vital belief that another world is possible. The intellectual attack that the media is waging against the public is xenophobic towards humanity simply because its creed believes in money more than it does in man.

The topic to be analyzed is the distortion of the Colombia-Ecuador-Venezuela conflict by the reactionary media, in response to a 03/8/08 article in the Globe And Mail by one Vladimir Torres. In the past few months the media has very carefully crafted a slander campaign to further discredit Venezuela and to link Hugo Chavez with the FARC by any means necessary, even if the rhetoric is unreasonable and ridiculous. According to Torres, "In the case of Venezuela, there are no doubts: Mr.Chavez's support for the FARC is unequivocal". The media clamors "unequivocal", yet the rumour that Venezuela supports the FARC is pure speculation, there have never been any hard facts or clear evidence of this. The right-wing media has clung to these fabrications ever since Mr.Chavez began mediating a diplomatic solution with the FARC for hostage release a few months ago. He has been very successful at this, securing releases on two seperate occasions thus far, something the Colombian government has been unable to achieve for a number of years because it always seeks a military solution to every problem. The media also forgets that it was Mr.Uribe in the first place who had asked for Mr.Chavez's intervention to help out with the FARC crisis.

They also claim that Mr.Chavez's alleged support for the FARC "partly explains his disproportionate reaction to Colombia's incursion into Ecuador." Yet, Mr.Chavez's reaction was hardly disproportionate considering Colombia, the US' military puppet on the mainland, militarily committed a violation of sovereignty against a much smaller and weaker Ecuador, a sister nation in the Bolivarian family of South America. And the article goes on to say that "Venezuela had no business in the bilateral incident between Colombia and Ecuador", in the typical greedy, selfish right-wing conception of every country for itself. But the Revolutions in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia are not individual isolated national movements, they are communal pieces of a larger continental, and eventually international Revolution for the mutual benefit and equality of all peoples. So for these reasons the Colombia-Ecuador flare-up was not simply a "bilateral incident", and Hugo Chavez was entirely justified in condemning the unacceptable actions of the Colombian government and of temporarily cutting off diplomatic relations, and of deploying troops to the broder with Colombia to defend its territorial sovereignty and to ensure the security of his people. Unlike Colombia, Venezuela did not launch an offensive military incursion into a neighbour country, and it is absolutely absurd and infuriating that the media is trying to make Chavez look like the bad guy.

The Globe and Mail article also goes on to say that "Colombia says it has uncovered evidence of Mr.Chavez's involvement with the Colombian guerrillas on Mr.Reyes' computer. Documents and letters showcase the guerrillas' tight links with the Venezuelan regime, including strategizing discussions, payments for as much as $ 300 million, code references to airplanes and "kilos", and direct contact and negotiations between Ivan Marquez, one of the seven members of the FARC's high command, and Venezuela's interior minister." The Colombian government which claims to now posses Mr.Reyes' computer says it will take this evidence to the International Criminal Court. Yet, dirty lies and allegations, allegations, allegations have been thrown at Venezuela ever since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999, and nothing has ever materialized or been proven. The most recent incident prior to the Colombia-Ecuador flare-up were allegations in early January which surfaced around the time of Argentina's presidential election, that Venezuela had provided $ 800,000 cash to boost Cristina Fernandez's campaign. Where this story falls apart, however, is why the Venezuelan government would have gone through the trouble of sending such a negligable amount of money for something as large as a presidential election, one which was almost guranteed to be a landslide victory for the Kirchner's in any event? Two, why they would have sent the money in cash concealed in a suitcase when they could have simply channeled it through secret accounts? And three, why the Argentinian government which obviously would have been aware of the plan, would have allowed the money to be discovered and declared publicly? Like all other allegations, these accusations never went anywhere, the charge was never brough to court, it was mentioned for a week and a half and the issue died, because the reactionaries of course have no case. So, these latest accusations linking the FARC with Venezuela are in all likeliness nothing but more lies, and it would come as a huge surprise if the Colombian government actually went forward with unfounded slander as the basis for "legal" action against Venezuela. But it looks like the imperialists might be gearing up for a bigger showdown this time, perhaps even militarilly, trying to take down Venezuela and to bring other countries along with it.

Probably the most ludicrous and far-fetched tale that the media has come up with so far, and this has been repeated in The Globe and Mail, The Economist, and many other neo-liberal and right-wing newspapers, is that Hugo Chavez is chasing an external war to alleviate Venezuela's alleged domestic shortfalls. The Globe and Mail wrote that "Mr.Chavez's belligerence...has more to do with his domestic political problems than with the Colombia-Ecuador dispute", and that president Chavez is chasing a war because "his support has fallen considerably since losing a referendum in December to change the country's constitution. Despite record oil prices, Venezuela is facing food shortages, as imposed controls are taking their toll on the economy." First of all, Revolutionaries who are human beings first and politicians second only out of necessity, and who regard their public as people rather than simply as constituencies, do not play these sorts of dirty political games. They do not engage in dishonest ploys to dupe their own people, and they do not need to tell duplicitous lies because they are up front and open with the nation, through speeches, forums, and assemblies. The reactionary media will try to make people believe that President Chavez's weekly broadcast "Alo Presidente" is egocentric and dogmatic, but in reality it is just his creative way of letting the Venezuelan people know what is going on with their government and their country. In fact it is not always only political issues being talked about, but he often goes into details about his personal thoughts, the life of the country in general, from cultural initiatives to municipal projects, from historical anecdotes to ideology, so that the people of the country know exactly what they're getting, and how and why national decisions are being evaluated in a certain way. So no, President Chavez does not need to create external conflicts to distract attention away from the domestic situation. Secondly, the claim that support for President Chavez has fallen siginificantly in the last few months is either an ill-informed assumption, or a convenient lie for the media since it connects nicely with the referendum defeat. And, to link food shortages with economic mismanagement because of the price controls is completely inaccurate, because the shortages are in fact caused by greedy corporate producers who stockpile in order to cause a supply crisis in protest against the price controls. Furthermore these tactics are nothing new. Depriving and even starving people of food and medicine to express their dissatisfaction with diminished profits is something the imperialists and transnationals have been doing for decades for economic and political gains. And, to say that the population is unhappy with the food shortages is true only for those Venezuelans who are less informed about the political complexeties of the situation. The Cuban people for example have dealt with food and medicine shortages for almost 50 years, but they continue to patriotically support the Revolutionary stance of their government. The consequences and reasons of the food shortages that Venezuela is currently experiencing, and suggestions on how to resolve it, are being discussed weekly in communal councils all over the country, with the help and involvement of the government at all levels.

As if the inaccurate and unenlightened assumption that Chavez is creating an external conflict to "galvanize internal support" and "distract attention" wasn't outlanidsh enough, they add on extra accusations that he could use the war with Colombia as a way to "create a state of emergency and disqualify opposition voices as traitors". This is so typical of the right-wing media, to contrive the most extraordinary defamation fables without any proof or substance, in order to slander the rebellious third world countries who refuse to serve their markets and resources to capitalism on a silver platter. The media attempts to suggest that Venezuela is an undemocratic autocracy, but a country where popular participatory democracy governs, where constitutional changes are discussed and ammended by communal councils in neighbourhoods, then municipally, regionally, and nationally for months on end, and then put to a nationl referendum where the president graciously concedes victory to his opponents, is actually a shinning example of genuine democracy compared to the two-party system of western neo-democracy, where constitutional changes would merely be discussed by 300 or so of the country's richest people and passed without any input from the powerless token public. So Hugo Chavez's imaginary iron fist is actually the last thing the Capitalists need to worry about.

The answer to the malicious lies of imperialism must be the integrity of The Battle of Ideas, the fight for Truth to prevail over evil.