PARLIAMENT played host to a particularly sordid spectacle yesterday, with a mob of MPs who have previously shown zero interest in Venezuela showing up to spout off regarding developments about which they are impressively ill-informed.
Both the Tories and the Labour right see Venezuela as a weapon with which to attack Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has quite rightly celebrated the achievements of the country’s government since socialist Hugo Chavez won the presidency in 1998.
But in order to do so they must distort what is occurring, painting a rabble of violent right-wing groups bent on regime change as peaceful protesters struggling to be free against a tyrannical “regime.”
That this bears little relation to the situation in the country, which has seen repeated attempts over the past 20 years by the right to violently overthrow the progressive government, is neither here nor there.
Aside from these MPs’ game-playing domestically, this kind of faux concern only serves to increase suffering in the world in the service of powerful interests.
It is a pattern seen over and over, where the Establishment puts forward a picture of an issue or a country that allows its self-serving actions to be painted as trying to do the right thing, even noble.
So in Venezuela, in short, the Establishment just wants to protect these poor peaceful protesters from a brutal regime.
The murderous violence of the rightwingers — and the repeated government attempts at peaceful dialogue — conveniently airbrushed out to allow for heroic action.
The experience in Brazil since last year’s coup gives a flavour of the misery we can expect if the rightwingers are able to achieve their aim.
Another good example of Establishment distortion is the “debate” — such as there is one — over “what to do” about North Korea and its nuclear weapons.
The North is portrayed as irrational, acquiring and testing nukes for no reason other than to menace the world. So it is up to us, the “good guys,” to step in.
Never mind that the North was totally obliterated by the United States, its South Korean puppet, Britain and several other countries during the war from 1950-53.
Nor that, ever since, the US has continued to threaten the North with its own nuclear weapons, bases, thousands of troops and regular provocative military exercises.
These facts are simply excluded, not fit for discussion. So too are the repeated calls, particularly from China but also Russia, for all parties to hash out a peaceful solution through negotiations.
Why entertain a peaceful and amicable agreement when you can kill a lot of people, wreck a country and the Establishment can achieve its strategic aims of control and profit?
Witness too as the DSEI arms fair passes almost without comment as all manner of death-dealing equipment is flogged off to some of the world’s most unsavoury militaries with the keen assistance of our own blood-soaked government.
It shows once more the need for our own culture and media, such as our paper, to demand peace and justice where the powerful want war and conquest.