9 March 2021 — Moon of Alabama
U.S. President Joe Biden continues Donald Trump’s regime change policy towards Venezuela. From yesterday’s press briefing by the State Department:
QUESTION: Staying in Latin America, is it fair to say that the Biden administration is pursuing regime change in Venezuela?
MR PRICE: It is fair to say that the Biden administration supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. Our overriding goal is to support a peaceful democratic transition in Venezuela through free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, and to help the Venezuelan people rebuild their lives and their country.
We know at the root of much of the misery and the suffering of the people of Venezuela stands one individual, and we have been very clear that Nicolas Maduro is a dictator. His actions have not been in the best interests of the people of Venezuela. It hasn’t just been the United States that has been saying that. It has been the United States and many of our closest partners both in the region and well beyond.
QUESTION: So it’s basically – it’s basically a nicer way of saying Maduro must go?
MR PRICE: We believe and we support the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela. That is why we are committed to supporting the people through humanitarian measures and also targeting regime officials and their cronies involved in human rights abuses and corruption.
The New York Times is, as usual, supportive of such illegal policies. It continues to disinform its readers about economic problems caused by these. Today it reports on a minor measure Biden took with regards to Venezuelans in the United States:
As many as 320,000 Venezuelans living in the United States were given an 18-month reprieve on Monday from the threat of being deported, as the Biden administration sought to highlight how dangerous that country has become under President Nicolás Maduro.
The fourth paragraph is supposed to describe Venezuela’s current ‘danger’:
Venezuela is mired in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises under Mr. Maduro, who, through a mix of corruption and neglect, oversaw the decay of the country’s oil infrastructure that had propped up its economy. The United Nations has estimated that up to 94 percent of Venezuela’s population lives in poverty, with millions of people bereft of regular access to water, food and medicine.
Isn’t there something missing in the above? Was the ‘decay of the country’s oil infrastructure’ really caused by Maduro? Or did the U.S. have something to do with that?
Six paragraphs further down we learn what really is causing Venezuela’s problems:
[O]ne of the officials who briefed reporters on Monday on condition that he not be identified said the Biden administration was reviewing whether to lift
a raft of economic sanctions
that experts believe
have cost Venezuela’s government has much as $31 billion since 2017.
The official said that review would assess whether the economic pressure exacted against Mr. Maduro and his government was worth the risk of exacerbating the dire living conditions for Venezuelans.
So it was Maduro’s ‘corruption and neglect’ plus the minor issues of $31 billion practically stolen by the U.S.
We can be sure that the outcome of the sanction review will be negative. If there will be any lifting of sanctions it will only be on the margins.
A similar pattern of NYT disinformation could be observed with regards to regime change in Brasil. As FAIR notes today:
The Brazilian Supreme Court on March 8 dismissed all charges against former President Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva made during the Lava Jato investigation, a little over a month after the investigation was officially ended. The termination came shortly after the Supreme Court admitted 6 terabytes of leaked Telegram chats between public prosecutors and judges as evidence in the case.
The Times rarely applied any scrutiny to the investigation until Lula’s political imprisonment was imminent. Serious crimes committed by [judge] Moro and the taskforce, such as the 2016 wiretapping of Lula’s defense team’s law offices, were either glossed over or not mentioned at all. In article after article, the Times failed to share important information on the investigation. This helped normalize the 2016 coup and the removal of Lula from the 2018 presidential elections, which in turn opened the door for a neofascist/military takeover of Brazil.
The Times also failed to note the heavy U.S. involvement in the case:
Due to the Telegram leaks, everyone now knows Lula is innocent, but long before this, there was ample evidence of a political witch hunt. By ignoring or downplaying issues that raised doubts about Lava Jato, while giving the hero’s treatment to Sergio Moro,
the Times became an active participant in this witch hunt.
Years of censorship by omission, one-sided reporting and lionizing far-right prosecutors as they worked closely with the FBI, helped to destroy the image of a political party that, among other things, moved 26 million people above the poverty line, was the world leader in greenhouse gas reduction, and implemented one of the most ambitious affirmative action programs in history.
But Lula is free and we are happy to hear that he feels well:
In a conversation recorded before the justice’s decision, but with the possibility it created already in mind, I talked with Lula about what he learned in prison, how he reads the rise of fascism around the world, what he thinks progressives must do to win national elections as he did, and whether he is ready for another go at the presidency.
“I say every day that I am 75 but I feel that I have the energy of a 30-year-old,” he told me. “And I am as horny as a 21-year-old, so I can say to you that I’m alive, fighting for democracy.”
There is more from Lula at this link.