After losing another free and fair election the far right forces of Venezuela repeated what they did in 2002, 2003, and 2004 - they rioted in hopes of destabilizing the democratically elected government. And like before they found suckers in US media and elsewhere to buy the freedom fighter story mostly it seems out of laziness. Even the – demonstrably false – claim that the Venezuelan government controls all media has been picked up. Somehow rioting to restore a far right racial oligarchy is about press freedom.
But how are the “protesters” treating journalists? According to the Committee To Protest Journalists the opposition rioters are not exactly fond of journalists, in fact, they shot one.
At least one journalist was injured by gunfire on February 12. State media reported that Mayra Cienfuegos, an employee of the state television network VTV, was shot–allegedly by opposition protesters–while covering protests around the network’s headquarters in Caracas. She underwent surgery at a local hospital and was later discharged, according to news reports.
Hard to believe people trying to violently overthrow a democratically elected government because they lost an election would do such a thing.
Meanwhile increased attention is being focused on the US State Department’s role in funding the rioters. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) have been caught funding opposition groups – organizations whose stated purposes is to advance US interests around the world. NED was founded as an alternative to the CIA to advance US interests during the Cold War. The US government’s involved in the 2002 coup attempt against the Chavez government was facilitated in part by these organs of US interests.
These actions by the US in Venezuela have already led other Latin American countries to cry foul and condemn the US government for interfering (again) in Venezuela. If the shoe were on the other foot it’s hard to believe the US would find it acceptable for Venezuelan government institutions to give money to anti-government groups to start riots demanding President Obama resign.
Hard to believe that many in the US media would cover that so approvingly.