Thousands of Venezuelans queue to sign open letter ‘denouncing’ Western-backed coup

Max Blumenthal and Protesters denounce coup Western-backed coup
Mohamed Elmaazi

Award-winning investigative journalist Max Blumenthal recently travelled to Venezuela to report on the ongoing US-backed coup attempt there. And his reporting – along with that of other alternative news sources – exposes how the establishment corporate press is downplaying or ignoring important aspects of Venezuela’s situation. In particular, he detailed how thousands of Venezuelans had queued to sign an open letter denouncing US-led foreign intervention.

‘Denouncing US intervention’

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Blumenthal contrasts his observations on the ground to coverage from the “western corporate media”:

Max Blumenthal reports on contradictions with Western Reporting on Venezuela 929 x 804

On top of a recent poll showing that the vast majority of Venezuelans oppose foreign interference, tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of people in Venezuela have been mobilising against the coup attempt:

A complex picture

The UN estimates that, due to the country’s extremely difficult economic situation:

the number of Venezuelans in countries across Latin America rose from 700,000 in 2015 to over three million in November 2018.

But the situation is complex. And not everyone in Venezuela is experiencing deprivation:

Lawyer and journalist Dimitri Lascaris recently reported from an opposition stronghold in the wealthy district of Venezuela’s capital. He said tens of thousands of protesters were in the streets supporting the opposition calls for President Nicolás Maduro to be deposed by the military. But he saw “absolutely no evidence” of state “brutality” towards them.

But these aspects of the Venezuela ‘crisis’ are often lacking from ‘mainstream’ Western reporting. And people have been noticing:

The BBC is no exception.

Media blackout

Crucial information is also being ignored:

And the significance of the media blackout is truly disturbing:

This media blackout is not limited to reporting out of Venezuela. There were protests outside the Bank of England on 7 February, for example. People were denouncing the bank’s complicity in the strangulation of the Venezuelan economy. But there was next to no mention of this in the British media.

We must ask ourselves why establishment media outlets, with the budgets they have, are failing to do their jobs:

Twitter users had some ideas:

And Dr Alan MacLeod literally wrote a book on the subject:

‘It’s up to us to show the other side’

Perhaps one commentator summed it up best:

The ‘reporting’ on the US-led coup in Venezuela is further proof that media reform is not only desirable but necessary. Powerful elites benefit from distorted media coverage that protects the status quo. So fair and accurate reporting is crucial for any movement seeking to improve our societies. For that reason, we must all do our part to support genuine media reform.

Featured image via Max Blumenthal

Get involved

  • In UK: Read about UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s media reforms.
  • Tell your MP if you support Corbyn’s media reform proposals.
  • Support Max Blumenthal’s Grayzone independent news outlet.

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