Venezuela's Coup: The Ongoing Lessons
By Meri Ranut
April 14, 2002
Were it not for independent Internet news sources the developing story in Venezuela would not have been made public. Without the Internet Vanguards, the coup in Venezuela and the coup of information would have gone unchecked or buried below the prejudices of many with the attitude of "Another Central American Coup, what's new".
For 48 hours the mainstream media e.g. BBC, CNN gave very little news about the grassroots support for Chávez that had taken to the street demanding his reinstatement. They did not keep the public updated as to the fact that there were three changes in leadership. Instead they tried to hammer home that Chávez (the Democratically elected leader) 'resigned', a resignation that they did not confirm as Chávez was not allowed media access. A resignation at the barrel of a gun cannot be considered valid. This was another clear case of distorted propaganda.
I guess it served these Media and American interest to keep the world feeling that the coup/resignation was indeed supported by the masses. The price of fuel dropped immediately in the U.S. once word came out of the 'undemocratic' removal of Chávez. The price of oil also fell worldwide. So as usually it is about the dollars not the reality of the situation. It certainly was not about democracy.
Now that the independent Internet medias have done their duty to inform the public, the mainstream media has no choice now but to start bringing out the bits and pieces they have been hiding. Suddenly they are showing the Pro-Chávez supporters on the streets demanding his re-instatement and as we can see it is not hundreds but thousands, many thousands more than they were showing that called for his removal. Only after the true pictures started going out to the world they spoke of troops loyal to Chávez at the presidential palace that did not want to give up their arms until they saw and heard Chávez say that he had indeed resign. The troops apparently have an idea of how the propaganda machine (the established world media) can be used to spew out disinformation on the public.
Many are still not exposed to the information via the established media of America's covert operations and the many deceptions that are orchestrated in the boardrooms of the CIA and the Oval Office. The connection has not been shown where the U.S. needed to ensure that their supply of fuel was guaranteed from an alternative source (Venezuela is the 4th leading oil producer) to the Arab states given that they are currently waging and intend to expand their war on oil states, under the disingenuous label 'War on Terrorism'.
The lessons of the hypocrisy of the American and other European Powers are being learnt quickly because the Internet is proving to be the largest pressroom ever established. The U.S. cannot shut down all the websites in the World at once; they may bomb independent media buildings or support their big businesses in gobbling up these smaller media, but the small non-commercial activists Websites are the real challenge.
The Internet shows you do not need a building that can be bombed or any easily identifiable structure to provide alternative news and views. You just need a computer, a phone line and information, and guess what, you don't have to own it. Just check your local library or Internet cafe.
The coup in Venezuela has been foiled with the aid of small independent media outlets in support of the rights of ordinary people. People must always remember this.
Venezuela's Press Power -- ZMag
by Maurice Lemoine, Le Monde Diplomatique
The Coup Master -- Counterpunch
Otto Reich named to the Board of Visitors at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA). Reich has a history of aiding coups and known terrorists.
A Coup Signed by Otto Reich -- Counterpunch
The disgraceful disinformation campaign carried out by the private Venezuelan media bears the stamp of Otto Reich.
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