Agitprop Capital of the World
Exports Its Poison to Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
www.zmag.org, November 6, 2006
Agitprop, electoral fraud and dirty tricks may not have been invented
in the US, but they certainly were perfected in "the land
of the free and home of the brave" that no longer is except
in the mind's eye of a diminishing number of diehards, true-believers
and others still unaware of the real state of things in America.
The clearest evidence was the theft of the last two presidential
elections through a process of massive voter disenfranchisement,
black and Latino intimidation in the inner cities, assorted other
dirty tricks and rigged electronic voting machines programmed
and operated by major corporations to assure the final count gave
their man, George Bush, a manipulated electoral victory both times,
with a little help from five corrupted Supreme Court justices
who decided their votes counted more than those of the public
The same fraud was also rampant in recent
congressional elections guaranteeing both houses of Congress stayed
in Republican hands allowing the interests of capital their divine
right to rule the world with their political partner of choice.
On the eve of another US election on November 7, the manipulators
of electoral mischief are at it again, and it hardly matters how
things turn out. Systemic corruption is so entrenched in Washington,
it'll be business as usual in the Capital whichever party prevails.
Little will change when members of the 110th Congress are sworn
in on January 3, 2007, assuring only disappointment for those
believing a new day may dawn.
It's called democracy, American-style
that's now a staple at home but doesn't stop at the border. For
many years, whatever administration's been in power, the US believes
it has a prerogative to decide who holds office anywhere in the
developing world where it routinely meddles in the electoral process
through intimidation, bribery, black propaganda and direct funding
of the candidates of its choice. Those activities are illegal
in the US, and it's unimaginable how loud the wails of protest
and outrage would be if it was learned another country or foreign
corporation funded political candidates at any level here or interfered
in any way in this country's electoral process.
Whatever the rules are for others, it
doesn't deter what Washington claims as its divine right anywhere
in the world. It's done it for decades as it's now been interferring
for months in the run-up to the December 3 election in Venezuela
when the people of the country will decide who will lead them
for another six years. There's no suspense who that will be as
the majority of Venezuelans will never allow anyone but Hugo Chavez
to be their president as long as he wants the job.
So with US meddling now in high gear,
the strategy becomes if you can't beat 'em, first discredit 'em
in the run-up to election day, then be ready to roll out whatever
scheme is planned to prevent the people's overwhelming choice
from serving another six years in office. Observers need only
watch and read the daily news reports to follow the scripted made
in Washington dirty tricks campaign as it plays out. Here's a
sampling of the agitprop poison spewing from Washington.
With the US corporate media as lead agitator
and following months of rumors, it was learned the Bush administration
is investigating the privately owned Venezuelan Smartmatic Corporation's
takeover of a leading US electronic voting machine manufacturer,
Sequoia Voting Systems, to learn if the parent company has links
to Hugo Chavez and his government. The Venezuelan government
contracted with Smartmatic to replace the country's election machinery
ahead of the August, 2004 recall referendum but has no ownership
stake in it. That was confirmed by its CEO, Antonio Mugica, who
called the rumors "baseless allegations and conspiracy (that)
will be put to rest" once the investigation is complete,
but while it continues and is in the news is part of the black
propaganda campaign to attack Hugo Chavez as part of Washington's
strategy to delegitimize a Chavez victory in preparation for whatever
scheme is planned post-December 3.
The London Independent reports another
Bush administration accusation denouncing the Chavez government
along with Myanmar (formerly Burma) for "failing demonstrably
to make substantial efforts" to meet its international anti-narcotics
agreements obligations to eliminate drugs trafficking. It's another
made-in-America phony anti-Chavez pre-election smear that holds
no water when held to the light. A separate US State Department
report shows that from 1998 to 2004, Venezuelan drug seizures
rose from 8.6 to 19.1 tons, and Caracas claims in 2005 the number
rose to 58.5 tons of cocaine, 18.3 tons of marijuana, 869 pounds
of heroin and 1600 pounds of crack cocaine. A little egg on the
hegemon's face is noticeable, and it looks like its neocon right
hand better check what its State Department left hand is doing
and saying before it makes a bloody fool of itself which it did.
Venezuela's Minister of Interior and Justice,
Jesse Chacon, slapped down the false accusation and flatly stated
his country is neither a major producer or consumer of drugs although
it's true Venezuela suspended cooperation with the US Drug Enforcement
Agency (notorious for being corrupted as exposed by former agents
who left for that reason) but not because the Chavez government
isn't committed in the "war on drugs." Rather it's
because the DEA routinely breached Venezuelan law acting as a
front for CIA covert mischief to destabilize the Chavez government
- another stunt CIA operatives have been pulling for decades in
their role as hired assassins and masters of strong-arm manipulation.
It's also an open secret the CIA, since
its inception in 1947, has actively participated in drugs trafficking
worldwide as an important source of its revenue and has now partnered
with the Northern Alliance warlords in Afghanistan to turn the
country into a narco-state. This year alone it brought to harvest
a record 6,100 tons of opium, or 92% of the total world's supply,
in contrast to the Taliban who wiped out practically the entire
According to Washington-think, drug trafficking
is fine as long as their operatives control it, but electoral
politics is bad when Hugo Chavez does it in ways like handing
out $3 billion in Christmas bonuses to one million public workers
6 weeks in advance. That's the charge, and Chavez opponents spoke
of his "spending spree" that included free commuter
train rides, a free rock concert and free T-shirts with pro-Chavez
slogans. Heavens - send the man to the gallows.
What was left out of the Washington report
is that these tactics and much more are routinely done in the
US along with improper and illegal electoral activities hidden
from public view. They include billions of corporate dollars
to buy influence, slush funds for under-the-table handouts, lush
jobs for political relatives who needn't even show up for work
and plenty more. But most important and unmentioned is that Venezuela
doesn't interfere in US or other countries' elections while the
US always does it with a heavy hand as it's now doing in Venezuela.
It's poured millions of dollars into the country funding the
opposition, chose the candidate it wanted to oppose Chavez, and
has serious mischief planned ahead to destabilize the country
and likely try again to oust Hugo Chavez after his reelection
and assassinate him to assure he never runs again.
Imagine how Washington would react if
another country meddled in the electoral process here in any way.
It would be condemned as an act of terrorism and likely dealt
with harshly to include economic sanctions or worse - a little
"shock and awe" maybe.
Now the latest Chavez smear is the phony
accusation that the PDVSA state oil company president and Minister
of Energy and Petroleum, Rafael Ramirez, improperly told company
managers to back Hugo Chavez in the December election. A surreptitiously
recorded and leaked video suddenly emerged and was presented by
opposition candidate Manuel Rosales' spokesperson Gerardo Blyde
claiming what Mr. Ramirez said violates the constitutional provision
prohibiting state employees from any involvement in political
Mr. Blyde has good reason to spew anti-Chavez
vitriol because, as VHeadline.com commentator Patrick O'Donoghue
reported on November 4, he was involved in the 2002 US-staged
coup d'etat ousting Hugo Chavez for two days and stood to become
Venezuela's Attorney General in the Pedro Carmona government had
it prevailed. He was also involved in the 2002-03 crippling oil
strike that devastated the country's economy and by those actions
committed acts of treason against a democratically elected government.
Despite that, he's a free man and now has resurfaced as a key
player in the opposition's campaign. Like Carmona, he's a criminal
and stooge for Washington and the oligarchs who'll resort to any
underhanded and illegal means to discredit Hugo Chavez and try
to prevent his serving another term in office.
It's didn't work before and won't this
time either. Mr. Ramirez is a high-level state minister and head
of the state-owned oil company. He broke no law and did what
anyone loyal to his government and president should do - support
them and ask his employees to do the same thing in a show of solidarity
and loyalty to him and the "Bolivarian project" the
Venezuelan people voted for and rightfully demand. That's how
things are supposed to work in a democracy. Hugo Chavez supports
Mr. Ramirez and told him "to repeat the same message a hundred
times in PDVSA" affirming Venezuela is living a revolution
and the state-owned oil company is a revolutionary institution.
Thousands of PDVSA workers feel the same
way and rallied in support of Mr. Ramirez right after the video's
release. Venezuelan parliamentarians in the National Assembly
agree and announced they would endorse a resolution supporting
the minister, rejecting any Washington and oligarch-directed efforts
to destabilize the country's oil industry.
Mr. Blyde feels otherwise and said he'll
complain to the country's National Electoral Council (CNE), the
Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union (EU),
and unmentioned, his puppet and paymaster in Washington who had
to have put him up to this stunt that hasn't worked. Still Mr.
Ramirez, in a show of magnanimity, said he'll respect and abide
by any ruling of the CNE which is far more than US-oligarch-controlled
Blyde and his candidate would do. The only rule of law for them
is what they say it is. It's the same way things now work in
Washington - the HQ of the Venezuelan branch of the Bush cabal.
Much more is going on besides what's covered
above, most of which is sub rosa, unknown so far and very sinister
and threatening to the "Bolivarian project." One thing
that is known came out in an accusation by the corporate-controlled
Inter American Press Association (IAPA) that the Chavez government
restricts press freedom. It's a resurfaced echo of many similar
past oligarch-directed complaints that are as much bunk now as
in the past. Venezuelan Information and Communication Minister
William Lara righteously denounced it and rightfully said his
country is in the top rankings among the nations of the world
with the most press freedom.
The minister got it right, but might have
gone further to contrast how free the press is in Venezuela compared
to the US where the dominant corporate-controlled media function
as a de facto collective state-controlled ministry of information
and propaganda suppressing all information vital to the people
and reporting only what's friendly to a criminal Bush cabal enterprise
posing as a legitimate government.
Reports are also emerging of Chavez slipping
in the polls - at least the easily rigged ones run by the oligarch
opposition in preparation for one of their likely transparent
schemes to be hatched right after Chavez wins big again. An example
is one released by Alfredo Keller's AKSA Partners and reported
by that most reliable of sources - Bloomberg.com run by the same
man who's also mayor of New York and suppressed the information
he had after succeeding former mayor Rudolph Giuliani in 2002
about how contaminated and dangerous many square blocks were around
the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attack and likely still
are as he's done little to remediate them.
The Keller poll shows Rosales' support
miraculously rising (like the mythical phoenix) to 48% against
Hugo Chavez who overnight mysteriously plummeted to just 52%.
Anyone believing this also likely thinks the US financial markets
Mr. Bloomberg reports on with religious reverence are free from
manipulation, there really are WMDs in Iraq not yet found, Saddam
brought down the twin towers and the Bush administration supports
democracy, human rights and the rest in the Middle East and everywhere
else. Incredibly some independent polls in the US still show
a substantial percent of the public believes all that which says
a lot about how uninformed and misinformed people in the country
are and how dangerous that is to their own welfare.
What's really going on with the Keller
poll is a set-up plot to cry foul on December 4 when the election
results are tabulated showing Hugo Chavez won another convincing
victory. He'll probably do it with about the same 60% or so majority
he got in 2000 which most independent consensus poll numbers now
show him at, but wait for the protest wails to emerge as soon
as the results are announced along with whatever scheme Washington
has cooked up to prevent another Chavez term in office. This
is when the rubber will meet the road and the fate of President
Chavez will be decided in the next round of Hugo Chavez vs. the
Bush neocon cabal determined to oust him by any means._ _And then
there's Aleksander Boyd who's built a career out of spewing hate
and lies and never found an indisputable fact about the Chavez
government and Bolivarianism he didn't denounce and try to discredit.
Boyd holds court on his VCrisis web site where any relationship
to what he and his fellow-columnists report and the truth is merely
in the eyes of his jaded beholders. Take a recent column denouncing
an October Zogby poll showing Chavez's approval just below the
60% level and agreeing with other independent poll results reporting
about the same number.
VCrisis calls the poll "fatally flawed"
and that Zogby's client list includes.......are you seated and
prepared?......"Islamic fanatics and terrorists who are strategic
partners of Chavez - Yassir Arafat (the writer must have forgotten
he died in November, 2004), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbollah, the
Muslim Brotherhood, Iran, etc. (the "etc." is unidentified)."
What is evident is how racist Boyd and his crew are along with
spewers of hate, vitriol and lies. With this kind of reporting,
we'll breathlessly await VCrisis post-December 3 cries of fraud
claiming the interference of those organizations put Hugo Chavez
over the top, or something like that.
All of the above adds up to a clear bottom
line. With the December election less than a month away, we're
slowly building toward a climax when Washington-orchestrated fireworks
are sure to erupt. _Expect them to be ugly and likely more determined
than in the previous three failed attempts to oust Hugo Chavez.
Chavez knows it's coming and is likely well insulated and prepared.
Proud supporters of his "Bolivarian project" stand
with him in a powerful alliance of solidarity, are ready to help
him take his revolution to the next level, and will resist any
forces trying to undermine him. It won't be long before we see
how things play out.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blogsite