Labour MP Chris Williamson has embarrassed Channel 4 anchor Jon Snow for making a nasty error, live on the news. The presenter and MP were discussing whether Donald Trump and other world leaders were right to recognise Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president instead of sitting president Nicolás Maduro.
Your case is supported by Russia, China – you would hardly want to go to the wire on trying to defend them on human rights or anything else… You and Mr Corbyn are in a very nasty corner now.
But Williamson called him out on it, insisting:
The media, including Channel 4… has been a bit one-eyed in its reportage of what’s happened in Venezuela. I’ve seen footage of government supporters who have been beaten to death, set on fire, been decapitated. And these things need to be called out as well. And this has been supported tacitly by the United States, who are financing this kind of abuse.
UK government officially joins regime-change effort
Along with other EU countries, Britain’s Conservative-led government joined the US and Canada and recognised Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s president on 4 February. Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt cited a lack of “credible presidential elections” to justify the move. But on Channel 4, Williamson also challenged the false claim that Venezuelan elections are not legitimate:
The government’s decision to recognise Juan Guaido is a democratic outrage. The truth is he’s never been elected as president of the national assembly… The four groups who are actually in control in the national assembly take it in turns… He didn’t stand against Maduro in last year’s election. And contrary to your previous contributor, who alleged that the elections were rigged, I’ve spoken to election observers on the ground and there were observers from 86 countries who say that that simply isn’t true.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
With a low turnout of just under half the eligible voters, Maduro won 68% of the vote in May 2018. The closest runner-up was Henri Falcón with 21%. Other right-wing opposition leaders such as Guaidó boycotted the election (even though they could have won if they’d united). Instead, they apparently opted to try and force the collapse of Maduro’s government through a combination of US sanctions, protests, and propaganda.
‘Rather than behaving like Trump’s poodle…’
Williamson also gave his view on the way forward, saying:
The United Kingdom, rather than behaving like Donald Trump’s poodle, should be calling on him to withdraw the sanctions and to use their good offices to bring the different factions around the table and reach an amicable solution.
Meanwhile, Trump, Theresa May’s administration, and the Western corporate media have simply announced that Guaidó – a person whom only one in five Venezuelans had heard of before the coup attempt – is Venezuela’s rightful president. And Trump’s national security adviser has been clear about why the US has backed Guaidó. John Bolton outright said that taking control of Venezuelan oil is one of their motives:
It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies really invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.
Given that Venezuela has free elections, it’s down to the Venezuelan people to decide who should be their president. On Channel 4, Williamson took Snow apart for his disappointing defence of modern colonialism.
Featured image via Channel 4
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?