People noticed something very odd about a BBC story on Venezuela’s latest ‘threat’

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Tracy Keeling

BBC News ran a story titled US ‘will respond to Venezuelan threats’ on 28 January. But people noticed something rather odd after delving into the broadcaster’s article. Namely, that Venezuela has made no “threats”. In fact, the BBC only details threats made by the US to possible (and at this stage imagined) aggression from Venezuela.

So there’s no story here. Or, if there is, it should be titled ‘US threatens Venezuela’. But that would get in the way of the propaganda narrative that the BBC, and other British outlets, are spouting on this issue.

No threats

The BBC News story details Nicolás Maduro’s decision to expel US diplomats from Venezuela on 24 January. Maduro initiated the expulsion order in response to Washington’s involvement in the current coup attempt. But the country’s Foreign Ministry has now withdrawn the order.

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So the BBC detailed Washington’s latest comments on that diplomatic stand-off. Its national security adviser, John Bolton, said any “intimidation” of US diplomats, or opposition leader Juan Guaidó, would meet with “a significant response”. Not that anyone would know that from the headline it originally ran with the story:

The BBC appears to have subsequently changed the article’s headline to Venezuela crisis: White House ‘will respond to threats against diplomats’. On the ‘Global News Podcast’, however, the US ‘will respond to Venezuela threats’ title remained.

Not alone

But the BBC is not alone in reporting on the Venezuelan situation in a way that reinforces the UK government’s case for supporting the coup. The Guardian, for example, is also facing criticism for its less than objective coverage on the situation:

In the people’s interest

Thankfully, though, the BBC is keeping up at least a veneer of impartiality. It’s invited on some guests, such as journalist Pablo Navarrete, who’ve provided a momentary challenge to the pro-regime change output in the British media:

Navarrete says the only solution to the current crisis in Venezuela is a political one, not “a military coup headed by the US”. And as The Canary previously reported, polling data shows that Venezuelan citizens overwhelmingly reject that sort of intervention.

Regardless, news coverage continues to blatantly boost the case for interference.

When it comes to war and imperialism, it seems the UK media never changes.

Featured image via BBC News/Wikimedia

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    1. *Dangerous precedents are being set in the Latin Americas. Consider the US/European policy of vi et armis with regards to Venezuela: I seem to remember six weeks of violent protest throughout the US after the presidential election of 2016, an election that the political class themselves claimed to have been invalidated by Russian interference. From this set of disconcertingly familiar circumstances, am I to assume that we, as Western Europeans, should have rejected the Trump presidency and officially acknowledged the leadership of Hilary Clinton instead? As previously stated, the Maduro administration is far from perfect, and is in fact at some level defined by corruption and economic ineptitude- but this does not deny the peoples of Venezuela the right to self-determination, a founding principle of Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points proclamation from 1918. Historically, is their even one example of a positive outcome after US interference in the political architecture of a sovereign nation? I’m no historian, and I may be wrong, but I can’t think of any.

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