The failed coup in Brazil is the latest CIA stunt, just as the country is forging stronger ties with the east.
January 11, 2023
According to the US source, the reason for staging the operation – which bears visible signs of hasty planning – now, is that Brazil is set to reassert itself in global geopolitics alongside fellow BRICS states Russia, India, and China.
CIA chatter was intercepted at Fort Gordon since mid-2022. The main theme then was the imposition of the widespread narrative that ‘Lula could only win by cheating.’
By Pepe ESCOBAR
A former US intelligence official has confirmed that the shambolic Maidan remix staged in Brasilia on 8 January was a CIA operation, and linked it to the recent attempts at color revolution in Iran.
On Sunday, alleged supporters of former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential palace, bypassing flimsy security barricades, climbing on roofs, smashing windows, destroying public property including precious paintings, while calling for a military coup as part of a regime change scheme targeting elected President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva.
According to the US source, the reason for staging the operation – which bears visible signs of hasty planning – now, is that Brazil is set to reassert itself in global geopolitics alongside fellow BRICS states Russia, India, and China.
That suggests CIA planners are avid readers of Credit Suisse strategist Zoltan Pozsar, formerly of the New York Fed. In his ground-breaking 27 December report titled War and Commodity Encumbrance, Pozsar states that “the multipolar world order is being built not by G7 heads of state but by the ‘G7 of the East’ (the BRICS heads of state), which is a G5 really but because of ‘BRICSpansion’, I took the liberty to round up.”
He refers here to reports that Algeria, Argentina, Iran have already applied to join the BRICS – or rather its expanded version “BRICS+” – with further interest expressed by Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Indonesia.
The US source drew a parallel between the CIA’s Maidan in Brazil and a series of recent street demonstrations in Iran instrumentalized by the agency as part of a new color revolution drive: “These CIA operations in Brazil and Iran parallel the operation in Venezuela in 2002 that was highly successful at the start as rioters managed to seize Hugo Chavez.”
Enter the “G7 of the East”
Straussian neo-cons placed at the top of the CIA, irrespective of their political affiliation, are livid that the “G7 of the East” – as in the BRICS+ configuration of the near future – are fast moving out of the US dollar orbit.
Straussian John Bolton – who has just publicized his interest in running for the US presidency – is now demanding the ouster of Turkey from NATO as the Global South realigns rapidly within new multipolar institutions.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his new Chinese counterpart Qin Gang have just announced the merging of the China-driven Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Russia-driven Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). This means that the largest 21st-century trade/connectivity/development project – the Chinese New Silk Roads – is now even more complex, and keeps expanding.
That sets the stage for the introduction, already being designed at various levels, of a new international trading currency aimed at supplanting then replacing the US dollar. Apart from an internal debate among the BRICS, one of the key vectors is the discussion team set up between the EAEU and China. When concluded, these deliberations will be presented to BRI-EAEU partner nations and of course the expanded BRICS+.
Lula at the helm in Brazil, in what is now his third non-successive presidential term, will offer a tremendous boost to BRICS+, In the 2000s, side by side with Russian President Putin and former Chinese President Hu Jintao, Lula was a key conceptualizer of a deeper role for BRICS, including trade in their own currencies.
BRICS as “the new G7 of the East,” as defined by Pozsar, is beyond anathema – as much for Straussian neo-cons as for neoliberals.
The US is being slowly but surely expelled from wider Eurasia by concerted actions of the Russia-China strategic partnership.
Ukraine is a black hole – where NATO faces a humiliation that will make Afghanistan look like Alice in Wonderland. A feeble EU being forced by Washington to de-industrialize and buy US Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) at an absurdly high cost has no essential resources for the Empire to plunder.
Geoeconomically, that leaves the US-denominated “Western Hemisphere,” especially immense energy-rich Venezuela as the key target. And geopolitically, the key regional actor is Brazil.
The Straussian neo-con play is to pull all stops to prevent Chinese and Russian trade expansion and political influence in Latin America, which Washington – irrespective of international law and the concept of sovereignty, continues to call “our backyard.” In times where neoliberalism is so “inclusive” that Zionists wear swastikas, the Monroe Doctrine is back, on steroids.
All about the ‘strategy of tension’
Clues for Maidan in Brazil can be obtained, for instance, at the US Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon, where it’s no secret the CIA deployed hundreds of assets across Brazil ahead of the recent presidential election – faithful to the “strategy of tension” playbook.
CIA chatter was intercepted at Fort Gordon since mid-2022. The main theme then was the imposition of the widespread narrative that ‘Lula could only win by cheating.’
A key target of the CIA operation was to discredit by all means the Brazilian electoral process, paving the way for a prepackaged narrative that is now unravelling: a defeated Bolsonaro fleeing Brazil and seeking refuge at former US president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion. Bolsonaro, advised by Steve Bannon, did flee Brazil, skipping Lula’s inauguration, but because he’s terrified he may be facing the slammer sooner rather than later. And by the way, he is in Orlando, not Mar-a-Lago.
The icing on the stale Maidan cake was what happened this past Sunday: fabricating a 8 January in Brasilia mirroring the events of 6 January 2021 in Washington, and of course, imprinting the Bolsonaro-Trump link on people’s minds.
The amateurish nature of 8 January in Brasilia suggests CIA planners got lost in their own plot. The whole farce had to be anticipated because of Pozsar’s report, which everyone who matters has read across the New York-Beltway axis.
What is clear, is that for some factions of the powerful US establishment, getting rid of Trump at all costs is even more crucial than crippling Brazil’s role in BRICS+.
When it comes to the internal factors of Maidan in Brazil, borrowing from novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, everything walks and talks like the Chronicle of a Coup Foretold. It is impossible that the security apparatus around Lula could not have foreseen these events, especially considering the tsunami of signs on social networks.
So there must have been a concerted effort to act softly – without any preventive big sticks – while just emitting the usual neoliberal babble.
After all, Lula’s cabinet is a mess, with ministers constantly clashing and some members supporting Bolsonaro even a few months ago. Lula calls it a “national unity government,” but it is more like a tawdry patchwork job.
Brazilian analyst Quantum Bird, a globally respected physics scholar who has returned home after a long stint in NATO lands, notes how there are “too many actors in play and too many antagonistic interests. Among Lula’s ministers, we find Bolsonarists, neoliberal-rentiers, climate interventionism converts, identity politics practitioners and a vast fauna of political neophytes and social climbers, all well aligned with Washington’s imperial interests.”
CIA-stoked ‘militants’ on the prowl
One plausible scenario is that powerful sectors of the Brazilian military – at the service of the usual Straussian neo-con think tanks, plus global finance capital – could not really pull off a real coup, considering massive popular rejection, and had to settle at best for a “soft” farce. That illustrates just how much this self-aggrandizing and highly corrupt military faction is isolated from Brazilian society.
What is deeply worrying, as Quantum Bird notes, is that the unanimity in condemning 8 January from all quarters, while no one took responsibility, “shows how Lula navigates virtually alone in a shallow sea infested by sharpened corals and hungry sharks.”
Lula’s position, he adds, “decreeing a federal intervention all by himself, without strong faces of his own government or relevant authorities, shows an improvised, disorganized and amateurish reaction.”
And all that, once again, after CIA-stoked “militants” had been organizing the “protests” openly on social media for days.
The same old CIA playbook though remains at work. It still boggles the mind how easy it is to subvert Brazil, one of the natural leaders of the Global South. Attempted old-school coups cum regime change/color revolution scripts will keep being played – remember Kazakhstan in early 2021, and Iran only a few months ago.
As much as the self-aggrandizing faction of the Brazilian military may believe they control the nation, if Lula’s significant masses hit the streets in full force against the 8 January farce, the army’s impotence will be graphically imprinted. And since this is a CIA operation, the handlers will order their tropical military vassals to behave like ostriches.
The future, unfortunately, is ominous. The US establishment will not allow Brazil, the BRICS economy with the best potential after China, to be back in business with full force and in synch with the Russia-China strategic partnership.
Straussian neo-cons and neoliberals, certified geopolitical jackals and hyenas, will get even more ferocious as the “G7 of the East,” Brazil included, moves to end the suzerainty of the US dollar as imperial control of the world vanishes.
There is an important element omitted from the emerging narrative on Brazil and the attack on the elected government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
First, though, let’s take a look at the current situation in Brazil. According to the establishment “newspaper of record,” The New York Times,
Thousands of supporters of Brazil’s ousted former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices on Sunday to protest what they falsely believe was a stolen election, the violent culmination of years of conspiracy theories advanced by Mr. Bolsonaro and his right-wing allies.
Jair Bolsonaro is characterized as the “Trump of the Tropics,” possibly an unfair comparison as Bolsonaro’s politics were far more radical and destructive than anything Trump could get past Congress or, for that matter, his own inner circle.
If we assume the election was fair, then it can be said the people of Brazil re-elected Lula, and the attack on Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential offices represent a coup attempt. Maybe Bolsonaro supporters organized the sacking on their own, and maybe they had help.
First and foremost, the USG is adamantly opposed to Lula holding office.
In 2021, the CIA was involved in removing Lula from Brazil’s political landscape. Brasilwire reported on June 3, 2021,
In a White House ‘Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on the Fight Against Corruption’, a Biden administration official admitted that the CIA and other parts of the U.S. intelligence apparatus were involved in assisting the “War on Corruption” which jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and elected Jair Bolsonaro.
Reading through an official White House transcript, we learn the State Department and USAID were involved in, as Antony Blinken put it, “anti-corruption work in all of our bilateral context, as well as in multilateral fora,” in other words, in plain speak, making sure political enemies, designated as corrupt, are removed from the political landscape.
USAID, as former director John Gilligan admitted, functions as “a graduate school for CIA agents,” and at any given time “many AID offices were infiltrated from top to bottom with CIA people… It was pretty obvious what they were up to… The idea was to plant operatives in every kind of activity we had overseas, government, volunteer, religious, every kind.”
Jair Bolsonaro is on excellent terms with the CIA. He is, after all, the first Brazilian leader to visit CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. “He was accompanied by his Justice Minister Sergio Moro who had jailed main opponent Lula da Silva before the 2018 election, on now annulled charges,” Brasilwire reported. “In contrast, Bolsonaro has never visited ABIN, Brazil’s moribund equivalent of the CIA.”
Moreover, the Atlantic Council supported collaboration with Brazilian prosecutors in the attempt to get rid of Lula, according to a Brasilwire report. The Atlantic Council is an influential think tank “staffed with military, CIA, and their attendant politicians; and CEOs from strategic industries, like oil and media. It has strong connections to NATO, and is a central part of the modern military-industrial congressional complex,” according to WikiSpooks.
All of this is either ignored or underplayed by the corporate propaganda media. For instance, it would be rare indeed for USG involvement in Operation Lava Jato, the ostensible “anti-corruption” project in Brazil, to be mentioned, let alone investigated by the likes of The New York Times or The Washington Post, both hardly strangers to CIA misinformation campaigns.
A petition filed with the Federal Supreme Court (STF) by the defence of ex-president Lula presents such new evidence that ex-judge Sergio Moro colluded with foreign authorities in conducting the process which led to the arrest of the Workers Party leader, and his subsequent barring from a run for the presidency in 2018.
So, now we have “right-wing protesters” storming government offices, violently agitating for the overthrow of Lula. Considering the above, it is fair to say the USG and USAID (now doing much of the CIA’s dirty work) are involved behind the scenes in the storming of government offices.
I don’t know this for a fact. It is speculation based on history.
More to the point, the 1964 coup in Brazil was organized by JFK and the CIA. For all the lionization of Kennedy, it should be remembered he was an ardent anti-communist. Kennedy believed Brazilian President Goulart was too chummy with anti-colonial and anti-American activists in Latin America, many of them undoubtedly communists, such as Che Guevara, killed in Bolivia with CIA assistance in 1967.
In 1823 the Monroe Doctrine declared South and Latin America, indeed the entire western hemisphere, as USG property not to be claimed or occupied by other nations and empires. It later became the exclusive domain of US agricultural corporations and that domain was protected by USG Marines, as Major General Smedley Butler described in his short book, “War is a Racket.”
Considering the history of the USG, in collision with US corporations, and the “racket,” as Butler described it, we can assume this latest outbreak of violence in Brazil is designed to once again get rid of a politician not following neoliberal orders.
Lula’s Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores) was formerly described as a straight-up socialist party but is now viewed as middle-of-road social democratic by many observers. In 1998, Lula cut all mention of socialist proposals from his political rhetoric. Despite his professed distance from socialism and the ideology of the Workers Party, it was decided by the financial elite in New York and London that Lula had to go.
This is Bolsonaro’s last hurrah, even if he said previously that he accepted the result of the election, and even though he may not be involved in the current effort to shock and awe the Lula government. Like so many other autocrats and psychopathic leaders and dictators before him, Bolsonaro and his supporters are being manipulated by the USAID, CIA, and the Biden State Department.
I seriously doubt this latest act of violence was cooked up entirely by outraged Bolsonaro supporters.
Days before the deal was finalized, however, Brazil’s former president, the left-wing labor organizer Lula da Silva, spoke out vociferously against U.S. meddling in Latin America, harshly criticizing Washington’s putsch against Evo Morales in Bolivia and its ongoing coup attempt against Venezuela.
“Europe and the United States can’t recognize a fraud who declares himself to be president,” Lula said, referring to Guaidó. “It is not right. Because if fashion takes over democracy, it is thrown in the garbage, and any scammer can declare themself president. I could declare myself president of Brazil, but where would democracy go?”
Lula was interviewed by Folha de S.Paulo, the most widely circulated Brazilian newspaper, which is owned by an elite family of billionaire media oligarchs.
When the paper pushed back against his comments, calling Maduro a “dictator,” Lula stressed that the Venezuelan president was elected, and has shown the kind of patience and restraint that no other leader would in similar circumstances.
“He [Guaidó] should be in prison,” Lula said. “And Maduro was so democratic and did not arrest him when he went to Colombia to try to instigate an invasion of Venezuela.”
“The one who is taking the initiative to talk is Maduro, not Guaidó,” Lula stated. “Guaidó would like the Americans to invade Venezuela — in fact, he even tried to force it.”
The newspaper pushed back again, saying Maduro has presided over an economic crisis in Venezuela.
“Whether his government is doing well or not, that’s another story. But you aren’t going to attack all of the countries that aren’t doing well,” Lula responded.
“People can’t criticize Maduro and not criticize the blockade. The blockade doesn’t attack soldiers, it doesn’t kill the guilty, the blockade kills innocents,” the former Brazilian president said.
These remarks from Lula received virtually no coverage in the English-language press, although they were widely covered in Portuguese- and Spanish-language media.
Lula defended Morales and his government against the newspaper’s claims that the Bolivian election was marred by supposed “complications.”
“Wasn’t George Bush complicated in his election against Al Gore? It was complicated, Bush took control of the government for eight years,” Lula replied.
“Was Trump not complicated? It was complicated, and he took power,” he said.
“Was Bolsonaro not complicated? Everyone knows the farce of ‘fake news.’”
US Coups Usher Extreme-Right into Power in Brazil
Remarks like these illustrate why Washington has backed coups and meddled in Brazil’s internal politics in order to overthrow Lula and his left-wing Workers’ Party and prevent them from returning to power.
Lula has not only been one of the most popular politicians in Brazil, he represents a regional buffer against U.S. hegemony. When he left office in 2010, after completing his second term as head of state, he had a staggering 87 percent approval rating — one of the highest in the entire world.
Lula’s successor from the Workers’ Party, President Dilma Rousseff, was ousted in 2016 in a parliamentary coup led by Brazil’s right-wing opposition and a collection of oligarchs that was backed behind the scenes by the United States.
“The U.S. created the Lava Jato investigation,” Lula added, referring to the supposed “anti-corruption” operation that was used to oust the Workers’ Party and install the far-right administration of Jair Bolsonaro, an extremist who has called for restoring the military dictatorship.
In 2018, Lula was campaigning again for the presidential election, and leading the polls by a huge margin. It was only then that he was imprisoned on false charges of corruption, providing an opening for Bolsonaro to take power.
The judge who oversaw Lava Jato and imprisoned Lula, Sergio Moro, was subsequently rewarded by Bolsonaro with a post as minister of justice.
“No Brazilian president had ever paid a visit to the CIA,” commented Celso Amorim, who served as Foreign Minister under Lula. “This is an explicitly submissive position. Nothing compares to this.”
Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone, and the producer of the “Moderate Rebels” podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com, and he tweets at @BenjaminNorton.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido argues for National Guards to let him and all opposition lawmakers into the National Assembly, outside the legislature in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 7, 2020. (Matias Delacroix/AP)
A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to be offered a preview of Haiti Betrayed, a documentary by filmmaker and photographer Elaine Brière. The film, which concerns the lengthy history of interference, subversion and outright invasion by developed nations to undermine Haitian sovereignty, begins with a cri de coeur against one of the countries most responsible for Haiti’s current state of immiseration: Canada.
In the opening scene, a Haitian man, standing across the street from the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince, screams remonstrations against the edifice in Haitian Creole: “We don’t have anything against Canada! Why are you against us?”
The film makes a damning case for Canada’s role in facilitating the ousting of Haiti’s democratically elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. This coup-from-without enabled the military regime that followed his overthrow; Canada has never apologized for the horrific violence committed by the RCMP-trained National Police against the Haitian protesters who rose up in response.
The film arrives at a rather fortuitous time, as today’s Liberal government continues the tradition of undermining the ability of oppressed people in foreign nations to achieve self-determination, while covering its actions in the gossamer-thin ruse of actually supporting those human rights abroad.
In late January, Juan Guaidó, the disputed leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly and self-declared “interim president,” embarked on a global tour to garner support for his year-long bid to militarily oust President Nicolás Maduro. He was received warmly by Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who addressed him as “interim president.” It bears mentioning that Guaidó did not run as a presidential candidate in the 2018 Venezuelan elections. Even if he had wanted to, he does not lead a political party, nor does he belong to one (Guaidó resigned from Voluntad Popular last year to “focus completely on the freedom of Venezuela”).
In fact, prior to Guaidó’s appointment as the head of the National Assembly in January 2019, he was practically unknown. And yet there he was in Ottawa, with our government lending support to another would-be coup regime…
“We like to think of journalists as plucky truth-tellers standing up to power. But this notion is horribly antiquated; in reality, most journalists are parts of enormous corporate machines with their own political interests and agendas, often directly linked to those of the US government.”
Journalists revealed to me the tactics they use to sell stories painting Venezuela as a socialist dystopia. One described himself as a “mercenary,” explaining how he aims to please his employer’s funders.
It is clear that mainstream US media correspondents are no fans of the Venezuelan government. But rarely do you hear them speak so openly about their biases.
One Caracas-based correspondent now working for the New York Times told me on the record that he employs “sexy tricks” to “hook” readers on dubious articles demonizing the socialist government of Venezuela.
Anatoly Kurmanaev made this revealing comment and many more to during an interview I conducted with him for my PhD and book on the media coverage of Latin America.
Describing himself and his colleagues as “mercenaries,” Kurmanaev was unabashed, boasting on tape that he essentially grossly exaggerates stories in the media.
“A couple of times from my experience you try to use, I wouldn’t call them ‘cheap tricks’, but yeah, kind of sexy tricks. Just last week we had a story about condom shortages in Venezuela. At the official exchange rate condoms were at like $750 dollars or something and the headline was something like ‘$750 dollar condom in Venezuela’ and everyone clicks it, everyone is like ‘Jesus, why do they sell it for like $750?’” he said.
Kurmanaev emphasized that his goal was to “hook” readers into a larger story about Venezuela’s purported demise under socialism.
The New York Times’ Anatoly Kurmanaev discussing Venezuela on France 24
“Once you click,” the reporter said, “the average reader is hooked and he’ll read about really important issues like HIV problems in Venezuela, teenage pregnancies, the social impact of lack of contraception, the public health impact, things that I do feel are important to tell the world. But you have to use sexy tactics for it.”
We like to think of journalists as plucky truth-tellers standing up to power. But this notion is horribly antiquated; in reality, most journalists are parts of enormous corporate machines with their own political interests and agendas, often directly linked to those of the US government.
And where Washington has skin in the game, a way to quickly advance in the field is to parrot American government positions, regardless of the facts.
One example of this is Venezuela, where the embattled socialist government of Nicolás Maduro is attempting to govern in the face of crushing US sanctions that are estimated to have killed more than 40,000 civilians from 2017 to 2018 alone.
The corporate media has dutifully ignored the US role in the country’s economic woes, laying the blame squarely at the feet of Maduro, omitting crucial political context on Venezuela’s economic crisis while keeping up a constant flow of content presenting the country as a socialist hellhole.
That latter piece of pseudo-news is based on deliberate distortions of the country’s admittedly byzantine currency regulations and has the effect of demonizing the government and socialism in general, advancing the idea that “something must be done” to help them.
Are we to believe that the journalists who deploy these “sexy tricks” don’t know exactly what they are doing?
From Venezuelan prophylactic to whitewashing Bolivia’s coup
On the back of his coverage of Venezuela, Anatoly Kurmanaev has risen rapidly through the ranks of his industry to a post at the supposed newspaper of record, the New York Times, whose editorial board recently applauded the US-backed military coupin Bolivia that ousted Evo Morales.
In the New York Times, Kurmanaev soft-pedaled those events as Morales’ “resignation” – not the military coup that had unfolded in plain sight. According to the correspondent’s narrative, which conveniently echoed Washington’s official line, the ouster of Morales left a “power vacuum” that a reluctant Añez was forced to fill with a “transitional government.”
As the Bolivian junta cuts down and jails its opponents in droves, the Times has resorted to increasingly contorted language to avoid using the apparently forbidden term: “coup.”
“Violent protests over a disputed election that he claimed to win, and after he had lost the backing of the military and the police,” was the reporter’s most recent attempt to characterize the events that forced Morales from power.
In whitewashing a putsch and subsequent campaign of repression waged by avowedly racist, right-wing forces, Kurmanaev was far from alone. Across the mainstream spectrum, media outlets have welcomed the coup, framing the military’s ouster of an elected head of state as a “resignation” while downplaying the massacres as merely “clashes.”
As The Grayzone contributor Wyatt Reed reported from La Paz, a crowd of journalists harassed and detained an independent reporter, handing him over to the death squads that have been terrorizing the country for the last two weeks, in retaliation for his refusal to tow the junta’s line.
Reed called this “a complete betrayal of what it is supposed to mean to be a journalist.”
The whole time I’ve been in Bolivia I’ve heard about the “prensa vendida,” aka the sellout press. Watch here as they harass an independent journalist, keep him from doing the job they *should* be doing, then hand deliver him to the army!
Anyone who shows this gets shut down.
The whole time I’ve been in Bolivia I’ve heard about the “prensa vendida,” aka the sellout press. Watch here as they harass an independent journalist, keep him from doing the job they *should* be doing, then hand deliver him to the army!
Anyone who shows this gets shut down. pic.twitter.com/wY5dwgu4lS
In Venezuela the local media actually led the coup attempt against President Hugo Chávez in 2002. “Not one step backwards!” read the front page headline of El Nacional, one of the country’s most important newspapers. The headquarters of the putsch was at the mansion of Gustavo Cisneros, owner of the Venevisión TV network.
One coup leader appeared on television after what appeared to be a successful operation saying, “We were short of communications facilities and I have to thank the media for their solidarity and cooperation.”
“We had a deadly weapon: the media. And now that I have the opportunity, let me congratulate you.”
How US media recruits opposition activists
Due to budget cuts, the corporate press has outsourced their Latin America reporting to a collection of unabashed opposition activists.
Francisco Toro, for example, resigned from the New York Times claiming, “Too much of my lifestyle is bound up with opposition activism” that he “can’t possibly be neutral.” Yet Toro is now charged with providing commentary on Venezuela and Bolivia for the Washington Post.
Another local Washington Post contributor was Emilia Diaz-Struck, who founded the website Armando.info, an investigative news outlet that runs a constant stream of stories slamming the socialist government and advancing the opposition’s line.
These local reporters, who act as anti-government activists first and journalists second, greatly color the atmosphere of the newsroom, leading to a highly partisan hive mind where supposedly unbiased and neutral journalists unironically refer to themselves as the “resistance” to the government.
Those who do not run with the pack are generally made to feel unwelcome. Bart Jones, who covered Venezuela for the Los Angeles Times, told me that he felt he had to temper what he wrote because he knew exactly what his editors wanted.
“There was a clear sense that this guy [Chávez] was a threat to democracy and we really need to be talking to these opponents and get that perspective out there,” Jones recalled. One even told him “we have to get rid” of the government.
Matt Kennard, who covered Bolivia and Venezuela for the Financial Times (FT), explained how the political slant imposed by mainstream outlets forced even critical-minded journalists into submission:
“I just never even pitched stories that I knew would never get in. What you read in my book would just never, ever, in any form, even in news form, get into the FT. And I knew that and I wasn’t stupid enough to even pitch it. I knew it wouldn’t even be considered. After I got knocked back from pitching various articles I just stopped… It was complete self-censorship.”
‘You are a mercenary in a sense’
“Every journalist has an audience he caters for and in my case, it’s the financial community,” Anatoly Kurmanaev explained. “You are a mercenary in a sense. You’re there to provide information to a particular client that they find important and it’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is.”
With pressure from all sides to serve as stenographers for right-wing opposition movements, many Western correspondents exist in a cultural bubble, almost entirely isolated from the poor and working-class populations that support leftist governments across Latin America.
Western reporters almost universally live and work in the richest areas of capital cities from Venezuela to Mexico, often in gated communities surrounded by armed guards, and rarely venture into the poorer areas where the majority of people live.
Some of the corporate media’s top correspondents confided to me that they could not even speak Spanish for months after they got there, and were therefore unable to converse with the bottom 90 to 95 percent of the population. They are essentially parachuted in to opposition strongholds to work with opposition activists and naturally take that side in the debate.
With all of these factors in mind, the cheerleading across the US press for regime change in Bolivia and Venezuela can hardly be seen as an accident. Too many journalists at corporate media outlets tend to see themselves as the ideological shock troops in an information war against supposedly tyrannical socialist governments.
Passing off regime-change propaganda as unbiased news is all in a day’s work for those embracing their role as servants of the empire.
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Alan MacLeod is an academic and journalist. He is a staff writer at Mintpress News and a contributor to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is the author of Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting.
Almost a year on from the Trump administration’s failed bid to oust Venezuela’s socialist leader, the media is scrambling to make sense of where it all went wrong – and finally admitting that Nicolas Maduro is going nowhere.
When the “virtually unknown” US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido declared himself “interim president” in January, he won instant support from Washington’s global allies as the “legitimate” leader of Venezuela. Western media was soon consumed with a sense of hopeful anticipation that Washington was on the verge of overthrowing another ‘bad actor’ and preparing to pat itself on the back for supporting the cause of “democracy” and “human rights.”
Change of tune
Now, nearly a year later, the sense is one of reluctant resignation and an admission that, despite best efforts, another attempt at ‘regime change’ has failed – and that Guaido’s opposition was not all it was cracked up to be.
In a recent lament for the failed coup, the Wall Street Journal admits that Maduro appears to be “in firm control” and bemoans that the Trump administration had predicted his “imminent downfall” too early. The WSJ admits that the White House showed “excessive optimism” and suffered from what critics called “unrealistic expectations that [US] pressure tactics” would easily force Maduro from power. The newspaper acknowledges that Maduro’s position is secure despite debilitating US oil sanctions and attempted international isolation.
It’s a common pattern and one analysts watching US regime-change efforts around the world know all too well. The same script played out in Syria as Washington and its allies predicted the swift downfall of President Bashar Assad as early as 2012, but are still waiting today, causing Foreign Policy magazine to admit recently that he is now Syria’s “best case scenario” after US efforts to install “moderate” jihadis into power failed.
What went wrong?
In Venezuela, US media is even starting to admit that the troubled economy is showing signs of improvement under Maduro, thanks to an uptick in oil exports and increased dollarization, while the Guaido-led opposition grapples with its own corruption scandal, proving to Venezuelans that it may not be an “honest alternative” to Maduro at all.
The WSJ points to the removal of former national security adviser John Bolton (one of Maduro’s “staunchest adversaries”) as part of the reason why US efforts failed. It also points to the eruption of anti-government protest movements across the region, in Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile, which it says allowed Maduro to distract from his own “misrule” and food and medicine shortages. Though there is no mention of how crippling US sanctions directly impacted the lives of ordinary Venezuelans, despite a study showing that they’ve caused “very serious harm to human life and health” including an estimated 40,000 deaths.
Determined not to admit defeat, top US envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, whose career has been defined by repeated efforts to topple uncooperative leaders in Latin America, told the paper that it was “flatly wrong” to assume things were improving for “precarious” Maduro – but reality seems to tell a different story.
What to do next?
A recent piece published by Bloomberg gives an indication of where US policy on Venezuela may be headed next – and it’s another familiar road. When all options are exhausted and failed, it seems the next step is always to look to Russia for help.
Sources “familiar with the matter” told Bloomberg that the Trump administration is “losing confidence” that Guaido can ever topple Maduro and, as such, is considering “new and more aggressive strategies.” One of those strategies, they said, would be “an attempt to partner with Russia” –an ally of Maduro– in order to “ease out” the leader.
This has echoes of US policy in Syria, too, where Washington repeatedly demanded that Moscow change its strategy and abandon its support of Assad – before eventually seeming to admit that ousting him should no longer be a top priority.
Indeed, there was a time when Western media were suggesting that, under US pressure, Moscow could help push Assad out, too. There were even reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin had asked the Syrian leader to step down. Nothing came of that pipe dream and a US effort to partner with Russia to push out Maduro seems equally likely to fail, since Moscow has remained supportive of the democratically-elected leader and shown no indication that it takes “interim president” Guaido very seriously.
While US media is still largely reluctant to offer the perspective of pro-Maduro Venezuelans or analysts who point out that Washington’s policies have wreaked havoc on Latin America for decades – they are at least finally painting a picture closer to reality.
“It’s really scary that someone could be hauled out of his house by a team of cops, listed falsely as ‘armed and dangerous,’ and then jailed for two days and possibly put on trial because someone who doesn’t like their political views decides to level a false allegation against him,” he said. “There has to be some deterrence against this happening again.” Max Blumenthal
Journalist Max Blumenthal says assault charges against him have been dropped by the US government partially because the case would have turned into a great embarrassment for the Secret Service.
Blumenthal was subjected to an early morning arrest in October on a five-month-old warrant, which stemmed from an accusation against him and fellow activist Ben Rubinstein. A Venezuelan opposition activist said they attacked her when they were delivering food to people who took cover in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC trying to prevent supporters of US-backed self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido from taking over the place.
The journalist says the charge was bogus from the start, but his defense took a surprising turn when Blumenthal’s lawyer requested exculpatory evidence in the form of logs from the US Secret Service, whose agents were present at the scene. If agents failed to call an ambulance after a violent incident resulting in an injury, a lack of such call would indicate that the allegations were false, he reasoned.
However, the logs for the day were completely missing. Blumenthal believes the Secret Service obstructed the request because the logs would confirm that they were acting hand-in-glove with the crowd trying to take over the diplomatic mission, he told RT.
“What I think could be the case here is that they are concerned that their collusion with this right-wing band of hooligans, who were used to do what the Secret Service was legally forbidden from doing, which is prevent food and medicine from getting into the embassy,” would have been exposed, he said.
[Releasing the logs] would have exposed that collusion and embarrass the Secret Service.
The Grayzone journalist said he was obviously targeted with a false accusation because he personally and his colleagues were vocal opponents of Guaido and his Washington-backed attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government. The opposition activists simply used the friendly US government to harass their critics, and there needs to be a push-back against such malpractice, he believes.
“It’s really scary that someone could be hauled out of his house by a team of cops, listed falsely as ‘armed and dangerous,’ and then jailed for two days and possibly put on trial because someone who doesn’t like their political views decides to level a false allegation against him,” he said. “There has to be some deterrence against this happening again.”
The confrontation at the embassy happened between April and May, and resulted in the pro-Guaido crowd taking over the building. Two Grayzone journalists were covering the tense standoff from inside the embassy.
On November 11th, the very disturbing but clearly true “Lessons To Learn From The Coup In Bolivia” was posted to the Web. That anonymous author (a German intelligence analyst) documented the evilness of the overthrow of Evo Morales in Bolivia, and the threat now clearly posed to the world by the US regime — a spreading cancer of expansionist fascism, led from Washington. But, even more than this, he indicated that unless the individuals who are responsible for the advancing fascism are executed, there won’t be any real hope for democracy anywhere in the world. Either this impunity will stop, or else the spread of the US international dictatorship — not only by CIA coups such as this, but by illegal international invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, and Yemen 2015-, — will continue and will engulf in misery ultimately the entire world. He makes clear the complicity of US ‘news’-media in the lies that ‘justify’ this coup (and ‘justified’ those invasions). It’s, by now, clearly the way the US regime functions. Of course, none of those media will publish any such truth; they all cover-up constantly for the regime, because they actually are an essential part of it. (All of these invasions and coups are based on nothing but lies, and the media are a necessary part of that.) Censorship in America is thus actually extreme, and constant.
For example: how many US-and-allied media have even reported that fascists took over in Bolivia? Instead, we’ve got newspaper editorials such as the New York Timesblaming the extraordinarily successful and popular democratically elected President of Bolivia for the coup which overthrew him and replaced him by fascists (and never using the word “coup,” except once derisively, by saying that “British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, cried ‘coup’” — as if it weren’t a coup — and making no mention whatsoever that it had been done by committed fascists). This ‘news’-paper’s ‘news’-report the prior day had been headlined with the ridiculously anodyne “Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down”, and it asserted that “Mr. Morales was once widely popular,” as if he weren’t still so, and as if all of the polling as well as the last Presidential election showed him still to be “widely popular”, but the CIA-and-oligarchs’ organized fascist mob hated him, and brought him down. Will the CIA and generals, and Bolivia’s oligarchs, be executed for that? Of course, they should be. If they aren’t, then how can democracy ever be restored there? It’s one, or the other — it’s continuation of the dictatorship, or else it will be restoration of the democracy — at this stage. There can be no ‘reconciliation’, now. This is an irreconcilable state of war that exists between the coupsters and the Bolivian people. There will be bloodshed — and the more so as the coupsters remain in power and Morales not be quickly restored fully to the powers to which he had repeatedly been popularly elected. However, he won’t be able safely to return to his home and his homeland, unless and until the coupsters are executed, because, otherwise, they certainly would execute him first, and he would never be able to feel safe there.
Because of what the coupsters did, this will inevitably be a war to the death — and not only for the principal persons on each side, but for hundreds, or probably thousands, of their followers. What the coupsters did has thus precipitated, inevitably, massive future bloodshed in Bolivia. And yet the US regime’s lying press supports what was done. The truths that they know they hide from the public. This constant lying will be necessary in order for the US regime’s extensions such as the OAS and the IMF to provide the coupsters the public support that will enable the Bolivian coup-regime to be granted international ‘legitimacy’, which will be necessary in order for that regime’s actions to be treated as legally valid and binding in international business.
Unfortunately, the only global solution would be a second American Revolution, but, this time, the news-media are far less honest, and so almost no support exists amongst the US population for doing that. Consequently, the outlook for the future, worldwide, is grim. If the warning (hidden by the media as it is), this time from Bolivia, is not heeded, how can this cancer ever be stopped from engulfing the entire world?
“It is a mystery why any Latin American country or any country that hopes to be independent would permit any US presence in the country. US presence in a Latin American country or any country precludes any independence on the part of the country’s government. I suppose it is the money.”
“What has happened everywhere in the world is that nothing is any longer important but money. Therefore, everything is sacrificed for money. There is no shame, no honor, no integrity, no truth, no justice.”
Jeanine Anez, one of the Bolivian Spanish elite, has declared herself the President of Bolivia. She is one of the elite allied with Washington who accused Evo Morales of rigging his reelection. But the CIA’s Bolivian lackeys who forced Morales to resign his presidency don’t bother with elections. They just declare themselves president like Juan Guaido, the CIA creep in Venezuela, who hoped to unseat Maduro, the elected president, by declaring himself president. Neither Anez nor Guaido ran for the office. They just self-appointed themselves president. The organization of American States, a CIA front organization, accepted the unelected presidents as rightful rulers. President Trump declared the CIA coup to be an increase in freedom and democracy.
As Trump approves of the attempted coup against Venezuela’s Maduro and the successful coup against Bolivia’s Morales, how can he complain about the CIA/DNC ongoing coup against him?
Live by the sword and die by the sword.
The whores that constitute the Western “media” pretend that self-declared “presidents” are the real presidents, and those elected by the people are not. Every Latin American election that does not elect Washington’s candidate is reported by the Western presstitutes as a “disputed election.” It doesn’t matter if the winning candidate gets 85% of the votes. As he is the wrong candidate from Washington’s standpoint, his election is disputed and illegitimate.
Washington paid the corrupt Bolivian military to unseat Morales, the elected president. This has always been the way Washington has ruled the entirety of Latin America. Buy the corrupt military. They will prostitute their wives for money.
In Latin America everyone is accustomed to being bought. Only Cuba and Venezuela and perhaps Nicaguara have avoided this subservience to Washington. With the pressures on them mounting, how long these three progressive regimes can hold out against Washington remains to be seen. I wouldn’t bet my life on their survival as independent countries. Even Russia and China are threatened by regime change, and both governments seem to be in self-denial about it.
It is a mystery why any Latin American country or any country that hopes to be independent would permit any US presence in the country. US presence in a Latin American country or any country precludes any independence on the part of the country’s government. I suppose it is the money.
Latin Americans would rather have Washington’s money than their independence.
In order to have an American presence in Russia, the Russian government accepts all sorts of humiliations. China is the same. Look at what Washington has done to China in Hong Kong. It is extraordinary that the Chinese government was so insouciant that China set itself up for this embarrassment.
Russia’s sizeable investments in Bolivia will now be lost. With the Spanish elite put back in control by the CIA, Russia’s investments will be appropriated by US firms. One wonders why Russia didn’t do more to protect Morales, the legitimate President. If Putin had sent Morales a regiment of Russian troops, the Bolivian military would have stood down, and democracy, instead of American Imperialism, would still exist in Bolivia.
What has happened everywhere in the world is that nothing is any longer important but money. Therefore, everything is sacrificed for money. There is no shame, no honor, no integrity, no truth, no justice.
Maybe the biblical prophecies are true, and Armageddon is our future. Who can say we don’t deserve it.
(CD) — Chanting “resign now” to Bolivia’s interim, self-declared president Jeanine Añez, protesters across the Latin American country on Friday made their displeasure with the overthrow of the government by right-wing Christian extremists last Sunday known.
Thousands of demonstrators marched through the cities of La Paz and El Alto. Friday’s protests follow days of unrest as the Bolivian people rejected Sunday’s coup, which forced democratically-elected President Evo Morales to resign and flee the country.
An Indigenous woman, in comment to RT Thursday, asked if the coup leaders thought the people of Bolivia were ignorant of what was happening in the country.
RT en Español
“¿Creen que somos ignorantes?”: El contundente discurso de una mujer indígena a lo que sucede en Bolivia https://es.rt.com/75lo
Friday’s demonstrations were a show of force by the Bolivian people against the coup government. Video and photographs from the country showed long stretching lines of people waving the Indigenous wiphala flag and calling for Añez to step down.
“Evo Morales has been a good man,” a supporter identified as Sonia toldDemocracy Now! Thursday. “He worked for the people. He didn’t rob from us like these thieves who want to shake up the state and kill us like dogs, as if we’re not humans.”
“US politician Lee Carter recently noted. “The US has a law preventing us from sending foreign aid to a new government if it was installed by a coup. So they come up with absurd claims that the military forcing Evo out somehow isn’t a coup.”
“Bolivia’s caretaker government isn’t wasting any time overhauling its foreign policy, announcing Friday that it will expel hundreds of Cuban officials and break ties with longtime ally Venezuela,” The Miami Herald reports. “In a series of statements, Bolivia’s new foreign minister, Karen Longaric, told local media that about 725 Cubans — including doctors and medical staff — would begin leaving Bolivia on Friday.”
“In that same interview she also said she’d be recalling Bolivia’s diplomatic staff from Venezuela,” Miami Herald adds. “Later, asked if she would maintain ties with Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, she said, ‘Of course we’ll break diplomatic relations with the Maduro government.’”
Of course they will.
In more it’s-totally-not-a-coup news, the self-proclaimed “President” of Bolivia – after seizing power as the left-wing President was sent into exile & warning him he’d be arrested if he returned – cut off relations with Venezuela & expelled Cuban doctors https://t.co/ovXx0J57ai
This news comes as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention. US foreign policy is essentially an endless war on disobedience, in which governments that refuse to bow to US interests are toppled by any means necessary and replaced by governments who will.
International affairs are much easier to understand once you stop thinking in terms of separate, sovereign nations and start thinking in terms of alliances and empire. What we are witnessing can best be described as a slow-motion third world war between what amounts to an unofficial globe-spanning empire centralized around the United States and its military on one side, and all the nations which have refused to be absorbed into this empire on the other. Nations which allow themselves to be absorbed are rewarded with the carrot of military and economic alliance with the empire, and nations which refuse are punished with the stick of invasions, sanctions, trade wars, and coups, with the ultimate goal being total unipolar global domination. The bigger the imperial blob grows, the stronger and more effective it becomes in undermining the interests of unabsorbed nations like Venezuela and Cuba.
The narrative managers at The New York Times are reporting on the events in Cochabamba with the obnoxious insinuation that it may actually be Morales and Bolivia’s Indigenous population who are to blame for current tensions. Here are a couple of excerpts from NYT’s latest contribution to the narrative matrix titled “Ethnic Rifts in Bolivia Burst Into View With Fall of Evo Morales” (emphases mine):
Mr. Morales’s nearly 14 years in power represented a breakthrough for the three-quarters of Bolivians who are either of Indigenous descent or identify as members of Indigenous groups. But he also reinforced his base of support with explicit appeals to racial identity that many Bolivians found threatening and polarizing.…
“Racism exists in Bolivia; it existed before Evo, and it will never disappear,” said Michelle Kieffer, an insurance broker, as she sipped a cappuccino in an upper-middle-class neighborhood of the country’s administrative capital, La Paz.
“While Evo started an important discussion,” she added, “he also manipulated the race issue, and that has caused disunity. And now people of different races look at each other with suspicion.”
Right. Gotcha. Maybe it’s the impoverished brown-skinned people who are in fact the real fascists, and not the literal Christian fascist coup mongers whose US-backed government takeover they are protesting. Thanks, NYT.
Morales won re-election by over ten percentage points last month, and his previously-elected term wasn’t scheduled to end until January. He was commanded to resign during a current term by the military despite fully acquiescing to demands for a new internationally supervised election. Now it’s being reported that the popular leftist party to which he belonged, MAS, may be banned by the Jeanine Añez-led interim government from participating in the next elections.
“Supporters of the coup in Bolivia can’t call it a coup,” US politician Lee Carter recently noted. “The US has a law preventing us from sending foreign aid to a new government if it was installed by a coup. So they come up with absurd claims that the military forcing Evo out somehow isn’t a coup.”
And the western mass media are falling right in line with the government forces in refusing to use this word, despite the ousting of a government by the military being exactly the thing that a coup is. This is because in a plutocracy, plutocrat-owned media is functionally the same as state media. Reporters for plutocratic media know what they are and are not permitted to say without being told, so they advance narratives which favor the status quo upon which their plutocrat employers have built their respective kingdoms. This is the status quo of the US-centralized empire, which just absorbed Bolivia and pivoted its foreign policy against the unabsorbed governments of Venezuela and Cuba.
“Morales became a hate-figure for the oligarchs and their business patrons in Washington. His nationalization of the energy industry and his growing trade and investment ties with China and Russia made him a target for regime change for Washington and the multi-millionaires in Bolivia who despised his socialist policies and elevation of indigenous people’s rights.”
With Bolivia’s former President Evo Morales fleeing for his life to Mexico, the Andean country is on the brink of escalating civil strife and a potential take-over by military rulers. Reports of lawmakers belonging to Morales’ socialist party being attacked by riot police and shut out from parliament, where they still hold a majority of seats, raises fears that Bolivia is descending into the anarchy and dark past of former military dictatorships.
It seems stupendous denial to call the tumultuous events in Bolivia over the past week as anything other than a coup against democracy. But that is what Western governments and media are doing. Denying shocking reality.
With street protests by rightwing and neofascist groups mounting over the past three weeks since Morales won re-election on October 20, the military and police finally warned the president to step down. Morales did so on November 10. He said he wanted to “stop the bloodshed.” If that’s not a coup, then what is?
With incredible double-think, US President Donald Trump hailed the news of Morales’ forced resignation as a “great moment for democracy”. Trump’s celebratory remarks were echoed by other rightwing leaders across Latin America, including Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Columbia’s Ivan Duque, both of whom are close allies of Washington and its policy of hostility towards socialist governments in the region – a region which Washington considers its “backyard” and prerogative to intervene in at will under the aegis of the 19th century Monroe Doctrine.
In an unveiled menacing message to other Latin American governments whom Washington disapproves of, Trump said: “These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail. We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western hemisphere.”
To the list of Trump’s “illegitimate regimes”, we can add Cuba and the recently elected leftwing administration in Argentina, where Washington’s pro-business ally Mauricio Macri was voted out of office last month.
In many ways what happened in Bolivia was a repeat of Washington’s attempted regime-change operation in Venezuela carried out at the start of this year. An elected leader is smeared by an intensive media campaign as “illegitimate”, “authoritarian” and “undemocratic”. Then follows a campaign of orchestrated street violence to destabilize the targeted country. As usual, the people pulling the strings are connected to US government funding, such as USAID, and to Washington so-called “think-tanks”. In Venezuela’s case, the military remained loyal to the constitution and incumbent President Nicolas Maduro. Hence, US subversion of the oil-rich country seems to have failed. Not so Bolivia. Its military and attachés in Washington appear to have been successfully turned to serve US interests.
At stake are Bolivia’s prodigious natural resources of gas energy and minerals, in particular lithium. President Morales transformed the economy during 14 years of successive administrations to dramatically reduce poverty and increase living standards, especially for the indigenous majority who were previously marginalized by a ruling class descended from Spanish colonialists.
Morales became a hate-figure for the oligarchs and their business patrons in Washington. His nationalization of the energy industry and his growing trade and investment ties with China and Russia made him a target for regime change for Washington and the multi-millionaires in Bolivia who despised his socialist policies and elevation of indigenous people’s rights.
Admittedly, Morales caused controversy when he sought a fourth term as president, thus breaching constitutional term limits. But despite Western media claims and that of the Washington-funded Organization of American States (OAS), it seems Morales decisively won a free and fair election held last month. He won by a margin of 10 per cent ahead of his nearest rival.
We can debate the probity of Morales’ extended would-be fourth term, but what seems quite clear and unacceptable is the systematic US-fomented campaign to throw Bolivia into violent chaos and grossly interfere in the country’s democratic process. The irony of Washington complaining about alleged Russian interference in its elections is amplified by the blatant way the US has trashed the sovereignty of Bolivia to instal a militaristic, pro-oligarchic regime whom it desires for its geopolitical and economic objectives.
Amazingly, or perhaps not, the Western media have reacted to the sinister events in Bolivia with an attempt to whitewash and justify what is an egregious subversion.
A New York Times headline this week stated: “Bolivia’s Interim Leader Pledges to ‘Reconstruct Democracy’”. This is a reference to a pro-Washington opposition figure who has appointed a new cabinet.
The Washington Post in an editorial declared: “Bolivia is in danger of slipping into anarchy. It’s Evo Morales’ fault.
A curious distraction opinion piece by Leonid Bershidsky for Bloomberg made the convoluted analogy between Bolivia and Russia, contending that the Russian people and its military will eventually turn against President Vladimir Putin because of his allegedly similar “arbitrary rule.”
It is disgraceful that Western media should seek to cover-up what has happened in Bolivia. By denying that a coup took place, these media are complicit in giving Washington a license to attack or subvert other nations for regime change. Where is international law? Where is respect for sovereignty? Where is respect for democratic rights, peace and security? This is a green light of creeping fascism.
Here’s the crowning irony for Trump and the American corporate media. They can’t, or won’t, acknowledge illegal regime change and coups in Bolivia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria or elsewhere. Because the very same process of subversion is underway in the US itself against an elected president there.
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
I just keep tripping on how dumb this latest US-backed military coup is. It’s in Bolivia in case you’ve lost track, which would be perfectly understandable since US-backed coups have become kind of like US mass shootings — there’s so many of them they’re starting to blend into each other.
I mean, for starters the justifications for this one are so cartoonishly reachy and desperate it boggles the mind a bit. The main argument you’ll see in favor of the coup is that Evo Morales was elected after Bolivia’s high court ruled that he could run for a fourth term, but the (democratically elected) court ruled against a 2016 referendum on presidential term limits.
That’s it. That weird, pedantic appeal to a particular interpretation of bureaucratic technicalities is the whole entire argument in support of a literal military coup backed by the United States.
And make no mistake, that’s exactly what this was: the military ousting a government is precisely the thing that a coup is. The coup’s Christian fascist leader Luis Fernando Camacho openly tweeted that the military was actively pursuing Morales’ arrest prior to the ousted leader’s escape to Mexico, a tweet he later deleted presumably because the admission makes it much harder to call this military coup anything other than the thing that it is. The Grayzone has published an article documenting this coup’s many ties to Washington. Put it all together, and you’ve got a US-backed military coup.
So the only actual argument really boils down to “Well he ran for another term, and yeah he won, and yeah the democratically elected high court ruled he could run again, but a loud and violent minority of Bolivians don’t want him to be president. What choice do you have in such circumstances other than to support a literal military coup?”
Which is just so crazy. That’s how low the bar has sunk for supporting the toppling of a government today. They don’t have to claim he’s starving his own people. They don’t have to claim that he’s using chemical weapons. They don’t have to claim that he’s governing without the consent of the voting populace. Just “Yeah well some of us don’t like him and there’s some paperwork we disagree on.”
I mean really, how much lower can the bar get for when a US-backed military coup is justified? “Oh, that government needed to be toppled because the leader got a parking ticket once”? “Well the president wore white after Labor Day, and that’s a fashion atrocity”?
It’s absolutely amazing how many people all across the political spectrum have been sucked in by this ridiculousness. How lost do you have to be to believe that this US-backed military coup is different from all the others? How many times is Charlie Brown going to run up and try to kick Lucy’s football?
That bitch is never gonna let you kick that goddamn football, Charlie Brown. And this US-backed military coup isn’t going to be any more moral, legal or beneficial than all the others.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone