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Seven Steps of Highly Effective Manipulators | White Helmets, Avaaz, Nicholas Kristof & Syria No Fly Zone

Dissident Voice

April 9, 2015

You might think that after seeing the consequences of their campaign for “freedom and democracy” in Libya, journalists like Nicholas Kristof and “humanitarian campaigners” like Avaaz would have some qualms.

Unfortunately they have learned nothing. They have generally not been held to account, with a few nice exceptions such as this Greenwald/Hussain article. And now they are at it again. Many well-intentioned but naive members of the U.S. and international public are again being duped into signing an Avaaz petition based on fraud and misinformation. If the campaign succeeds in leading to a No Fly Zone in Syria, it will result in vastly increased war, mayhem and bloodshed.

The following illustration shows the sequence and trail of deceit leading to Avaaz’s call for a No Fly Zone in Syria.

unnamedFollowing is a brief description documenting the flow of misinformation and deceit, beginning at the Source and ending with Avaaz’s campaign for NATO/US attack on Syria.

Source

The “Source” is unknown at this time. It might be some US agency with or without the approval of the Obama administration. Or it might be another foreign government which seeks, in plain violation of international law,  the overthrow the Syrian government.  In addition to the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, Britain and Qatar have each spent hundreds of millions and even billions in heavy weaponry plus 3,000 tons of weapons via Croatia plus arming, training, supplying and paying the salaries of thousands of domestic and international mercenaries sowing mayhem and destruction in Syria.

At this point we do not know but there is a REWARD:  $100 finders fee to the first person who can provide credible evidence identifying the SOURCE.

PURPOSE Inc.

This is an international PR firm. CEO is Jeremy Heimans, a co-founder of Avaaz.

President is Kevin Steinberg, previous CEO of World Economic Forum USA (antithesis of World Social Forum).  Their website describes their goal:

“Purpose builds and accelerates movements to tackle the world’s biggest problems.”

In this case the “problem” is reluctance to take over Syrian skies and land.

For a hefty fee, “Purpose” will dupe the public and break down that reluctance.

Toward that end,  Purpose created “The Syria Campaign”.

The Syria Campaign 

The Syria Campaign began in spring 2014. One of their first efforts was to work to prevent publicity and information about the Syrian Presidential Election of June 2014. Accordingly, “The Syria Campaign” pressured Facebook to remove advertisements or publicity about the Syrian election.  Since then Syria Campaign has engineered huge media exposure and mythology about their baby, the “White Helmets” using all sorts of social and traditional media. The campaigns are largely fact free. For example, the Syrian election was dismissed out of hand by them and John Kerry but taken seriously by many millions of Syrians.

The Syria Campaign is managed by Anna Nolan,  who grew up in northern Ireland and has very likely never been to Syria. In addition to promoting the White Helmets,  Syria Campaign promotes a new social media campaign called “Planet Syria”. It features emotional pleas for the world to take notice of Syria in another thinly veiled effort pushing for foreign intervention and war.

According to their website, The Syria Campaign received start-up funding from the foundation of Ayman Asfari, a billionaire who made his money in the oil and gas services industry.

White Helmets

White Helmets is the newly minted name for “Syrian Civil Defence”. Despite the name, Syria Civil Defence was not created by Syrians nor does it serve Syria.  Rather it was created by the UK and USA in 2013. Civilians from rebel controlled territory were paid to go to Turkey to receive some training in rescue operations. The program was managed by James Le Mesurier, a former British soldier and private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.

The trainees are said to be ‘nonpartisan’ but only work in rebel-controlled areas of Idlib (now controlled by Nusra/Al Queda) and Aleppo. There are widely divergent claims regarding the number of people trained by the White Helmets and the number of people rescued.  The numbers are probably highly exaggerated especially since rebel-controlled territories have few civilians. A doctor who recently served in a rebel-controlled area of Aleppo described it as a ghost town. The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria). Video of the recent alleged chlorine gas attacks starts with the White Helmet logo and continues with the logo of Nusra. In reality, White Helmets is a small rescue team for Nusra/Al Queda.

But White Helmets primary function is propaganda. White Helmets demonizes the Assad government and encourages direct foreign intervention.  A White Helmet leader wrote a recent Washington Post editorial.  White Helmets are also very active on social media with presence on Twitter, Facebook etc.  According to their website, to contact White Helmets email The Syria Campaign which underscores the relationship.

Nicholas Kristof/New York Times

The “White Helmets” campaign has been highly successful because of uncritical media promotion.  Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times was an advocate of the NATO/US attack on Libya. According to him, villagers who had been shot, injured and their homes destroyed were not bitter, they were thankful! . “Hugs from Libyans” is how he viewed it.  It was, of course, nonsense, helping to pave the way in the invasion and destruction of the country.

Now Kristof is uncritically promoting the White Helmets, aiding and abetting their political and propaganda message seeking foreign intervention in Syria.

Avaaz

Avaaz is an online lobby organization founded in 2007 by Jeremy Heimans (now CEO of Purpose) and others. Start-up funding was provided by George Soros’ foundation.  While Avaaz has promoted some worthy causes, they have been prominent in promoting neoliberal foreign policies in keeping with the U.S. State Department. Accordingly, they had a major disinformation campaign against Venezuela last year.

Avaaz very actively promoted a No Fly Zone in Libya. They are now very actively promoting the same for Syria.

In-depth research and exposure of Avaaz can be found here. The titles give some indication: “Faking It: Charity Communications in the Firing Line”, “Syria: Avaaz, Purpose & the Art of Selling Hate for Empire”, “Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps for Militarism”.

Avaaz justifies its call for No Fly Zone in part on White Helmets. Given the close interconnections between Avaaz and Purpose, they are surely aware that White Helmets is a media creation. This calls into question their sincerity.

Conclusion

The manipulators rely on emotional images and messages, not facts. They depend on willing partners in the mainstream media who amplify the easy and glib characterizations of who and what is good and bad.  The manipulators depend on their audience not asking questions or investigating on their own. In these times of rapid spread of visual and text information via social media, the potential for deceit is huge.

Snapshots

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Avaaz Petition for Libya No Fly Zone — 2011

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Avaaz Petition for Syria No Fly Zone — 2015 (Syria Campaign Posting)

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Kristoff/New York Times/2011

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Kristoff/New York Times/2015

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The Real White Helmet Purpose:  Propaganda

[Rick Sterling is active with the Syria Solidarity Movement and Mt Diablo Peace and Justice Center. He can be emailed at: rsterling1@gmail.com.]

 

 

Argentina: la CIA y el Mossad en un intento de “golpe blando”

Buenos Aires, Argentina

por Stella Calloni

Estadounidenses e israelíes manipularon desde un inicio la investigación de un cruento atentado en Argentina en 1998. Por casi 2 décadas buscaron acusar a Irán, pero ni una sola prueba pudieron ofrecer. El último fiscal del caso reportaba secretamente a la inteligencia estadounidense los avances en la investigación y le consultaba el rumbo que tomarían las pesquisas. Con la muerte de este funcionario argentino, ahora Estados Unidos busca hacer una jugada de tres bandas: además de implicar al siempre incómodo Irán, ahora ha orquestado un “golpe blando” contra la presidenta Cristina Fernández. De prosperar esa maniobra, seguiría Venezuela, para debilitar el bloque de países suramericanos que han puesto dique a las ambiciones de Estados Unidos en la región.

 

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El pasado 18 de enero de 2015, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la Unidad Especial que investigaba la causa sobre el cruento atentado contra la Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) el 18 de junio de 1994, fue encontrado muerto con un disparo en la cabeza, en el baño de su departamento y con todas las puertas de su casa cerradas por dentro. Cuatro días antes había presentado una denuncia, sin prueba alguna, mal redactada y con serias contradicciones, en la que acusaba a la presidenta de la nación, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, al canciller Héctor Timerman, y a otras personas, de intentar encubrir a funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– de ser culpables del atentado. En días se había puesto en marcha un golpe encubierto de origen externo.El fiscal había sido colocado al frente de la investigación en 2004, después de 10 largos años, cuando se cerró el más escandaloso e irregular juicio de la historia sin lograr encontrar a los culpables del atentado que dejó 85 muertos y centenares de heridos. Este hecho aparece como un eslabón más de un golpe en desarrollo, en el que participan un sector del aparato judicial argentino, la oposición, los medios masivos de comunicación junto a la CIA (Agencia Central de Inteligencia, siglas en inglés) y el Mossad, de Estados Unidos e Israel, respectivamente.

Para entender esto hay que entender de qué se trata el caso AMIA y conocer las graves irregularidades cometidas con la entrega en la década de 1990 de laa investigación a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses e israelíes, que operaron conjuntamente con el grupo de la Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado (SIDE) de Argentina.

Investigación bajo control externo

El cruento atentado conmovió al país; el juez que quedó a cargo de la investigación en julio de ese año fue Juan José Galeano, quien comenzó su actuación bajo una presión muy evidente.

En sólo 24 horas, la inteligencia israelí –que envió sus hombres a colaborar desde las primeras horas del hecho– y la CIA acusaron a la República Islámica de Irán y al Hezbolá de Líbano, sin pruebas.

Sin haber iniciado la investigación, ofrecieron un testigo importante al juez argentino Galeano, quien viajó a Venezuela para entrevistarlo.

El hombre se llamaba Manouchehr Moatamer y se presentó como un ex funcionario iraní, que había huido de su país y que acusaba al gobierno de Irán de ser responsable del atentado, sin ninguna prueba. Sus declaraciones erráticas se derrumbaron en poco tiempo. Es decir, la CIA y el Mossad habían vendido a la justicia argentina un testigo falso.

Moatamer se había ido de Irán con su familia en 1993. Falta saber cómo llegó a Venezuela en 1994, y cómo terminó al final en Los Angeles, Estados Unidos, como «testigo protegido de la CIA».

La causa de Galeano siguió navegando en un mar de irregularidades. Pero aún en 1997, el juez fue nuevamente a ver a Moatamer, en Estados Unidos, quien nada agregó a su testimonio anterior. En 2008, Moatamer finalmente confesó que había mentido para obtener la visa estadounidense.

En 1998, nuevamente la CIA y el Mossad ofrecieron otro supuesto testigo, en este caso radicado en Alemania, Abolghasem Mesbahi, llamado el “testigo C”. Mesbahi había sido desplazado en 1989 de algunas tareas menores para la inteligencia iraní, sospechoso de ser agente doble. Se dedicó a la actividad privada y realizó una serie de estafas, tras lo cual se fue a Alemania donde se radicó desde 1996.

En ese tiempo, Mesbahi acusó a Irán de cada uno de los “atentados terroristas” que no se esclarecían en el mundo –lo que siempre sucede con los atentados de falsa bandera– como el de Lockerbie, Escocia, y otros.

El “testigo C”, que ganó fama por el misterio que rodeaba su nombre, vio una nueva oportunidad acusando a Irán, con la anuencia de los servicios alemanes, estadounidenses e israelíes de la voladura de la AMIA.

Sin pruebas, contó su versión en Alemania ante un juez nacional y el juez argentino Juan José Galeano, que viajó a ese país en 1998.

«Mesbahi declaró 5 veces bajo juramento en la causa, y en los puntos esenciales dio 5 versiones distintas y contradictorias de éstos, que no podrían servir nunca como prueba. Sólo dichos y palabras, y por supuesto, conjeturas y deducciones de inteligencia», resume el abogado Juan Gabriel Labaké en su libro AMIA-Embajada, ¿verdad o fraude?

El abogado Labaké, por cierto no oficialista, viajó a Teherán, Europa y Estados Unidos, reuniendo datos y entrevistándose con fuentes importantes, y finalmente llegó a la conclusión de que no existían pruebas contra Irán en el juicio de AMIA, ni bajo la dirección de Galeano, ni bajo la del fiscal Nisman, quien sólo recopiló y reescribió los expedientes de su predecesor, y les dio cierto orden pero siempre acusando a Irán, como ordenaron Washington y Tel Aviv.

El periodista Gerth Porter, de The Nation, escribió en una nota el 16 de mayo de 2010 que el embajador de Estados Unidos en Argentina en el momento del atentado a la AMIA, James Cheek, le dijo en una entrevista:

«Que yo sepa no hay ninguna evidencia real de la participación iraní. Nunca probaron nada.»

Lo extraño es que cuando Nisman acusa a Irán en 2006 ya se sabía que ambos testigos no eran creíbles y la justicia británica incluso había rechazado, por falta de pruebas, un pedido de extradición contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour. El diplomático iraní estaba haciendo un curso en Londres cuando lo detuvieron en 2003 hasta que llegara el exhorto de extradición. Pero hubo que liberarlo en 2004 y pagarle una indemnización de 189 000 libras esterlinas.

También la Organización Internacional de Policía Criminal (Interpol) devolvió un primer pedido de alerta roja por falta de pruebas, y el segundo pedido en 2013, y que esta hasta estos días, por especial pedido del gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner y el canciller Héctor Timerman, tampoco tiene aún el fundamento de las pruebas que el juez Rodolfo Canicoba Corral le pidió a Nisman que investigara. Ahora se sabe que Nisman no había cumplido con reunir pruebas, sino solamente simples deducciones de inteligencia que no sirven a la justicia ni a la verdad.

El primer juicio de la AMIA debió ser cerrado por escándalos e irregularidades graves, una de las cuales consistió en que el juez Galeano, con apoyo del entonces presidente de la Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas-Argentinas (DAIA), Rubén Berajas, pagó 400 mil dólares a un reducidor de autos robados, Carlos Telledín, para que acusara a diplomáticos iraníes y a policías de la provincia de Buenos Aires.

Estos últimos estuvieron 5 años detenidos y debieron ser liberados por absoluta falta de pruebas, sin vinculaciones con la causa. Así escandalosamente terminó ese juicio.

La enmarañada red de falsedades y mentiras, presiones e intereses que eran los expedientes de la causa del cruento atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA obligó a terminar con el juicio en 2004, y el entonces presidente Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) exhortó a la justicia a avanzar, profundizando en la causa hacia la verdad.

Se creó entonces la Unidad Especial de la Causa AMIA, que quedaría por decisión de la Procuraduría en manos del fiscal Alberto Nisman, lo que sorprendió, ya que el propio Nisman también había sido parte del fracaso del juicio iniciado en julio de 1994 y cerrado 10 años después, sin haber logrado nada.

El caso Nisman

Nisman había comenzado en 1997 su camino hacia la actual Fiscalía, en Morón, provincia de Buenos Aires. En su historia hay un caso que marcó su camino y fue la investigación sobre el destino de Iván Ruiz y José Díaz, dos de los participantes en el fracasado ataque al cuartel de la Tablada en enero de 1989, dirigido por el ex jefe guerrillero Enrique Gorriarán Melo, durante el gobierno democrático de Raúl Alfonsín. Ambos detenidos, después del cruento enfrentamiento que dejó varios muertos y heridos, fueron vistos por última vez brutalmente torturados y llevados por militares y policías en un automóvil Ford Falcon.

Hasta ahora están desaparecidos, pero Nisman y un juez que lo puso a cargo de la investigación apoyaron la versión oficial del Ejército de que «habían muerto en combate» a pesar de las evidencias de su desaparición forzada.

En julio de 1997, el entonces procurador general Nicolás Becerra lo convocó para sumarse a los fiscales que investigaban el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA, José Barbaccia y Eamon Mullen, por pedido expreso de ambos.

De acuerdo con Infojus Noticias de Argentina «el equipo de Nisman, Barbaccia y Mullen trabajó hasta el juicio oral, pero no terminó bien». Durante ese juicio por la llamada «conexión local», muchos testigos dijeron que ellos y el juez Juan José Galeano habían cometido una serie de irregularidades que se comprobaron.

Al final del debate, el Tribunal Oral absolvió al delincuente Carlos Telleldín, a quien el propio juez entregó 400 000 dólares para que acusara a funcionarios iraníes y a policías, con el visto bueno de Rubén Berajas, entonces presidente de la poderosa Delegación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas.

En los fundamentos del fallo se acusó a Galeano –quien terminó destituido y procesado–, a su equipo y a los fiscales Mullen y Barbaccia, también procesados.

«En el juicio oral quedó demostrado que no se investigó absolutamente nada» en la Causa AMIA , afirmó a Infojus Noticias el abogado Juan Carlos García Dietze, defensor de Ariel Nizcaner, quien fue absuelto de haber participado en la adulteración de la camioneta Traffic, que supuestamente fuera usada en el atentado.

«Siempre hubo un tema parádojico: Barbaccia y Mullen quedaron imputados, y Nisman siguió a cargo. Es extraño», reflexionó García Dietze.

En 2004 Nisman, ya a cargo de Unidad Especial para concentrar todas las investigaciones vinculadas al atentado, se acerca a un hombre clave de la entonces Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado, la antigua SIDE, Antonio Stiusso, alias “Jaime”. Éste había sido desplazado de la Causa AMIA por ser parte de las irregularidades del juicio, pero con Nisman recuperó un lugar de importancia. Ambos trabajaban con la CIA y el Mossad.

La Unidad Especial recibía importantes sumas de dinero para investigar. Pero Nisman sólo se dedicó a clasificar los expedientes de Galeano y continuó responsabilizando a los iraníes, sin haber producido, en los últimos 10 años, ninguna prueba para confirmar la acusación. Su primer pedido de alerta roja contra 12 iraníes, diplomáticos y funcionarios acusados, fue devuelto por falta de pruebas. Como sucedió con el pedido de extradición enviado a Londres contra el ex embajador iraní en Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour, cuando la justicia británica devolvió la solicitud por falta de pruebas, indemnizando al diplomático en 2004. Una vergüenza para la justicia argentina.

Nisman y la Embajada de Estados Unidos

Durante 10 largos años, los expedientes que investigaba Nisman siguieron incorporando «informes basados en deducciones y armados» sin prueba real, imposibles de comprobar, que proveían la CIA y el Mossad, al igual que hicieron al proporcionar los falsos testigos.

En 2010, cuando se publicaron en Argentina una serie de cables secretos referidos al caso AMIA, del Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos revelados por WikiLeaks, quedó en evidencia que el fiscal Nisman anticipaba las medidas que iba a tomar en esta causa a diplomáticos de esa Embajada.

Estos descubrimientos no dieron lugar a tomar una medida clave, la de separar al fiscal de esta causa ya que no se puede ser “juez y parte”, como sucedía en su relación de subordinación a Estados Unidos e Israel.

La pista iraní no lograba reunir pruebas concretas, pero sin duda favorecía los intereses geopolíticos de ambos países, que continúan intentando invadir Irán, enlazando esta situación con el anunciado plan imperial de un Oriente Medio ampliado, que significó invasiones y ocupaciones coloniales de varios países en esa región en el siglo XX. Jamás la inteligencia estadounidense o israelí debieron haber participado, monitoreado y armado la Causa AMIA.

En un despacho del 22 de mayo de 2008, desde la sede diplomática estadounidense en Buenos Aires, se especificaba: «Los oficiales de nuestra Oficina Legal le han recomendado al fiscal Alberto Nisman que se concentre en los que perpetraron el atentado y no en quienes desviaron la investigación.»

Eso fue precisamente cuando el entonces juez federal Ariel Lijo ordenó la detención e indagatoria del ex presidente Carlos Menem, de su hermano Munir –ya fallecido–, del entonces titular de la SIDE Hugo Anzorreguy, y otros, como el magistrado Juan José Galeano y del ex comisario Jorge Palacios, por encubrir el atentado.

Nisman no había informado de esa medida a la Embajada estadounidense como lo hacía normalmente. Otros cables de WikiLeaks demostraron que el fiscal de la Causa AMIA se había disculpado con los oficiales estadounidenses por no haber anticipado los pedidos de detención. Hay varios cables referidos al tema, publicados por el periodista Guillermo O’Donell.

Ya en 2013, Memoria Activa y familiares y amigos de las víctimas del atentado de julio de 1994 se pronunciaban por un alejamiento de Nisman de la Causa AMIA. En noviembre de 2013, en una carta abierta al fiscal, los familiares respaldaron el Memorándum de Entendimiento entre Argentina e Irán y cuestionaron «la falta de compromiso de Nisman y la inacción en la causa», por considerarlo «funcional a los intereses de los que siempre nos quieren alejar de la verdad».

El Memorándum de Entendimiento con Irán es un verdadero documento de política exterior que podía sentar precedentes en la resolución de conflictos sin salida, como era el caso AMIA. Se trataba de que los jueces de la Causa AMIA pudieran ir a Teherán a indagar, ante la presencia de una Comisión de personalidades reconocidas y neutrales, a los altos funcionarios iraníes acusados –sin pruebas– del atentado. Por primera vez se podría saber la verdad, fuera la que fuera.

Al cumplirse 20 años del atentado, el 19 de julio de 2014, los familiares de las víctimas no sólo reclamaron una vez más el esclarecimiento del hecho, sino que solicitaron formalmente que se apartara a Nisman del caso por «haber mostrado su total incapacidad para investigar en esta Causa», como denunció entonces Diana Malamud de Memoria Activa.

Irán siempre ofreció su cooperación, pero la CIA y el Mossad rechazaban toda posibilidad. Ningún país soberano en el mundo iba a entregar a un grupo de funcionarios acusados sin que se presentaran las pruebas necesarias a la justicia de terceros países. Incluso surgió de Irán una propuesta de crear una Comisión mixta, argentina-iraní, para investigar el tema AMIA.

En Irán no existe extradición y por eso el gobierno de Cristina Fernández de Kirchner trató de hallar un camino, que fue rechazado incomprensiblemente por el gobierno de Israel.

La DAIA y la AMIA, que habían apoyado en principio el Memorándum debieron plegarse al mandato israelí. La oposición argentina rápidamente se alió a este rechazo y surgieron jueces que declaraban la inconstitucionalidad de la ley, lo que era una aberración jurídica.

Irán quedó a la expectativa frente a esta situación. Lo que nadie sabía es que, con base en falsas denuncias, convertirían este tema en una maniobra golpista contra el gobierno de Fernández de Kirchner, el que más trabajó a favor de la verdad, como se puede constatar en los esfuerzos ante la Organización de las Naciones Unidas y en el propio Memorándum.

El 12 de enero de 2015, en plena Feria Judicial, e interrumpiendo un viaje que lo había llevado a recorrer Europa para festejar el cumpleaños 15 de una de sus hijas, el fiscal Alberto Nisman, al frente de la investigación sobre el atentado contra la mutual judía AMIA decidió regresar imprevistamente a Argentina, según él mismo comunicó a las amistades más allegadas en un mensaje de WhatsApp.

Sólo 1 día después de llegar a Buenos Aires, Nisman anunció que iba a presentar una denuncia contra la presidenta de la nación, el canciller, el diputado Andrés Larroque, dirigente del movimiento juvenil La Cámpora y contra 2 dirigentes sociales, Luis D’Elía y Fernando Esteche, por intento de presunto encubrimiento de los iraníes acusados mediante un pacto secreto con Irán por «intercambios comerciales», un pacto que nunca existió,.

Trama de guerra sucia

El 18 de enero, Nisman fue encontrado muerto, como se conoce, en su departamento. Y la rigurosa investigación fiscal continúa para no dejar ningún espacio de duda en su conclusión final.

La Feria Judicial permitía a Nisman elegir el juez, y buscó a Ariel Lijo, quien lleva causas creadas contra funcionarios gubernamentales por denuncias basadas en informaciones periodísticas y sin pruebas. El 14 de enero Nisman presentó la denuncia, generando un gran escándalo, sin aportar pruebas de sus incriminaciones, pero tampoco nada sobre el atentado que mató a 85 personas en 1994.

De inmediato la dirigencia opositora salió a respaldarlo, porque esta noticia les permitía montar un ataque brutal contra el gobierno en año electoral.

Prometía Nisman dar a conocer escuchas telefónicas (ilegales hasta ahora) para justificar su acusación, y el 19 de enero iba a hablar de su denuncia ante la Comisión de Legislación Penal de la Cámara de Diputados, citado por la oposición, aunque iba a asistir también el oficialismo, que pedía hacer público este evento, y no cerrado.

Las escuchas trasmitidas ilegalmente por un canal de televisión opositor de conversaciones entre dirigentes sociales y una persona de la comunidad islámica jamás podrían ser pruebas de nada. Pero el 19 de enero, la muerte de Nisman conmocionaba al país, atrayendo la atención también fuera de Argentina.

En las declaraciones que hizo ante la fiscalía, la ex esposa de Nisman, la jueza Sandra Arroyo Salgado, quien estaba en Barcelona, España, con otra de las hijas del matrimonio, señaló que Nisman la llamó el 12 de enero desde el Aeropuerto de Barajas, en Madrid, para decirle que debía regresar urgentemente a Buenos Aires porque su madre se iba a operar de un brazo y que luego iba a volver a Europa para continuar su viaje.

Arroyo Salgado dice haber discutido porque se negó a que Nisman regresara con su hija a Buenos Aires y convinieron en que la dejaba en el aeropuerto para que su madre llegara a recogerla desde Barcelona.

Se agrega a esto que la propia madre de Nisman, Sara Garfunkel, declaró en la causa que ella ya se había operado del brazo antes. Nisman había mentido a su familia en un regreso muy apresurado.

Por eso la pregunta es:
- ¿Quién llamó a Nisman tan urgentemente para presentar una denuncia sólo 2 días después de su regreso, nada menos que contra la presidenta?

La fiscal que ahora investiga la muerte de Nisman, Viviana Fein, a todas luces bajo intensa presión, dijo que el occiso había comprado el pasaje de regreso del día 12 de enero desde el 31 de diciembre. Esto abre entonces otra interrogante:
- ¿Por qué envió un mensaje de WhatsApp a sus amigos más cercanos, según transmitió la propia prensa opositora antes que la fiscal revelara la compra anticipada del boleto, de que tenía que regresar de forma intempestiva? ¿O era una trama ya urdida de antemano?

La incriminación fue la noticia bomba de comienzos de un año electoral y la diputada derechista Patricia Bullrich, de Unión Por Todos-Propuesta Republicana, organizó rápidamente que Nisman explicara la denuncia a una Comisión del Congreso.

Bullrich, quien habló varias veces con el fiscal antes de su muerte, está vinculada a varias fundaciones estadounidenses en Argentina, y de la misma manera la diputada Laura Alonso, destacadas ambas por apoyar a los sectores más fundamentalistas de Estados Unidos contra Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina o cualquiera de los países claves en la integración latinoamericana.

El domingo 18 de enero por la tarde, el fiscal Nisman fue encontrado sin vida, por su madre, llamada por dos custodios ante la falta de respuesta de éste. El departamento estaba cerrado por dentro, incluyendo la puerta de servicio, que tiene dos cerrojos; el de arriba, que podía abrir la madre, pero el de abajo tenía una llave trabada por dentro y debieron llamar al cerrajero para que la abriera.

El cuerpo de Nisman obstaculizaba abrir la puerta del baño. Tenía un disparo en la cabeza, una pistola y un casquillo de bala calibre 22 estaban en el piso a su lado. Una imagen desoladora. Tenía 51 años. Y los primeros resultados de la autopsia realizada por reconocidos forenses con presencia de expertos peritos determinaron que «no habían intervenido terceros».

Toda la información, incluyendo lo que se conoció después, mencionaba un disparo sólo a poco más de 1 centímetro de la sien derecha, lo que llevaba a pensar en un suicidio. La muerte se clasificó como «dudosa» hasta que se terminen las pericias, algunas repetidas para que no queden dudas.

La presidenta Fernández de Kirchner, en su primera carta en Twitter, nunca dijo que fuera un suicidio. Incluso lo puso en duda al escribir la palabra entre signos de interrogación. Y en su segunda carta sostuvo con mayor precisión que no creía en un suicidio. En todo caso en un suicidio inducido, y no precisamente por el gobierno, ya que en realidad es el gobierno el único afectado en este juego de servicios de inteligencia extranjeros y locales y de la oposición interna, mayoritariamente dependiente de Washington y sus fundaciones.

Desde Bolivia, el presidente Evo Morales definió certeramente esta situación: le pusieron una emboscada a la presidenta argentina, dijo al denunciar los sucesos.

Es de un simplismo aterrador pensar que a un gobierno a cuya presidenta se acusa sin prueba alguna, con una denuncia tan deficiente que ni siquiera parece redactada por el fiscal, podría convenirle la trágica muerte de éste.

La oposición política local, que ya armó varios escenarios golpistas en el país, se tomó el hecho como una bandera para acusar al gobierno. Los medios de comunicación y especialmente el Grupo Clarín, que se niega a cumplir con la Ley de Medios Audiovisuales que debe terminar con los nefastos monopolios mediáticos, comenzaron a especular confundiendo a la población, cautiva de ese enorme poder desinformador.

Es tal la intoxicación informativa, que nadie sabe distinguir entre el informe de la Fiscalía investigadora y los “juicios paralelos” que se escenifican en televisión.

Fue el gobierno el que insistió para que la reunión en el Congreso fuera pública, es decir, para que todo el mundo pudiera ver lo que se iba a debatir allí, lo que curiosamente la oposición rechazaba. Los legisladores del oficialismo desde el primer momento que Bullrich convocó la audiencia especial, afirmaron que concurrirían para interrogar profundamente al Fiscal con la determinación de llegar al fondo del asunto. La muerte del fiscal se lo impidió.

La muerte de Nisman está siendo utilizada de una manera perversa por los medios de comunicación opositores y por toda la red de desinformación mundial al servicio del poder hegemónico, intentando responsabilizar al gobierno en una de las campañas más duras que se recuerde.

El golpismo encubierto está siendo desarrollado por un sector del Poder Judicial, una estructura decadente que nunca se democratizó, y por los medios de comunicación masiva, la oposición y la acción de los servicios de inteligencia locales que fueron desplazados por el Ejecutivo y venían desde la pasada dictadura y antes de ésta. Pero, indudablemente, también por Estados Unidos e Israel.

El Estado israelí publicó en Estados Unidos un breve comunicado en la mañana del 19 de enero de 2015 sobre «la trágica circunstancia» de la muerte de Nisman, término que se utiliza para describir un suicidio; y el mismo día el secretario general de la DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, dijo a los medios argentinos –como está registrado– que «creían que era un suicidio» y que esa entidad estaba preocupada por el destino de la Causa. ¿Por qué luego cambiaron de rumbo?

Siguiendo el lineamiento del Estado israelí, exhortaban a continuar con la Causa –como si alguien hubiera hablado de abandonarla– y además a llevar a la justicia a los culpables del hecho y continuar con lo que estaba actuando Nisman. Es decir –y esto no puede perderse de vista– mantener la acusación contra Irán, lo que significa continuar en el cerrado círculo que comenzó en julio de 1994 con pistas y testigos falsos. ¿Qué hay en las sombras de esta Causa?

En la escena del crimen

El colaborador cercano del fiscal fallecido, Diego Lagomarsino, “experto en informática”, contratado por Nisman con un salario inusualmente altísimo, fue a ver al fiscal el sábado 17 de enero. Él mismo se presentó espontáneamente a la justicia para decir que le había llevado un arma vieja, la pistola calibre 22 con la que luego se “suicidó” el fiscal.

Primero dijo que Nisman le pidió la pistola para defenderse. Pero en realidad Lagomarsino estuvo 2 veces al edificio donde vivía el fiscal, supuestamente seguro y altamente vigilado, como se ofrecía a los compradores de departamentos en ese lugar. De la última visita en la noche no hay registros de salida. La investigadora Fein dijo que, según lo registrado, Lagomarsino salió el domingo en la mañana, es decir, al día siguiente de la muerte de Nisman.

La denuncia publicada íntegra el día 20 de enero es absolutamente una pieza sin valor jurídico, por su redacción, sus contradicciones y la falta de pruebas. Las escuchas telefónicas ilegales, que un canal de televisión opositor dio a conocer también violando toda norma, no agregan nada, al contrario, resultan hasta pueriles. Reconocidos juristas señalan que aunque todo lo que se dice fuese cierto no constituye delito porque nada de eso se realizó.

El curioso –y desconocido en el medio– periodista colaborador en el sitio de internet del Buenos Aires Herald, Damián Pachter, quien en la noche del 18 de enero dio, por Twitter y sin avisar a su medio, la primicia de que se había encontrado muerto al fiscal Nisman, decidió irse del país argumentando «miedo». Primero sacó un boleto de ida y vuelta a Uruguay, pero de pronto apareció en Tel Aviv.

Pero lo extraño es que sale hacia Uruguay y sigue hasta Israel, donde dice que pidió refugio. Luego se sabe que Pachter es argentino-israelí y que viajó con su pasaporte de Israel.
- ¿Por qué pidió asilo, si era ciudadano israelí y estuvo 3 años en el ejército de ese país?

Lagomarsino también estaba gestionando la actualización de su pasaporte, para lo cual concurrió a las oficinas pertinentes el mismo día 12, cuando Nisman hizo pública su imputación. Inmediatamente tras la muerte del fiscal, las autoridades le retuvieron el documento y se le prohibió salir del país.

La sospecha sobre Pachter aumentó cuando dio a medios europeos varias entrevistas hablando de la persecución de periodistas en Argentina, donde los medios opositores publican notas insultantes contra la presidenta y otros funcionarios sin ningún problema.

Otro dato importante a registrar. El fiscal Nisman utilizaba un automóvil de alta gama, un Audi, de un yerno de uno de los denunciados como encubridor local en el caso AMIA, Hugo Anzorreguy, el ex jefe de la SIDE en el momento de la voladura de la AMIA. Y además ligado al ex agente de la CIA Frank Holder, de oscura historia en Centroamérica, que como tantos ex agentes de otros países manejan agencias de seguridad locales.

En Estados Unidos, los sectores más recalcitrantes como el republicano Marcos Rubio, Bob Menéndez y otros, acusan a la presidenta y al gobierno de Argentina sin prueba alguna, lo cual es una amenaza y una presión sobre la justicia local, la misma que ejercen los medios masivos de comunicación argentinos, que de diversas formas advierten a fiscales y jueces que esta causa, como la de la AMIA, tienen que tener los “culpables” que ellos determinen. Los llamados de esos legisladores, además, evidencian su conexión con la derecha argentina.

Quieren una destitución aparentemente “institucional” del gobierno, un golpe blando, pero con muertes. No quieren la verdad.

Además de golpear a Argentina en el mismo momento en que se acrecienta el golpismo en Venezuela contra el presidente Nicolás Maduro, intentan debilitar a los organismos de unidad e integración que se consolidan en América Latina.

Si algo faltaba al terminar esta serie, se conoció que el ex presidente, de Uruguay, José Mujica desmintió la versión de que un diplomático de la Embajada de Irán en Montevideo fuese expulsado 2 semanas antes por estar vinculado a la colocación de un aparente artefacto explosivo en las inmediaciones de la Embajada israelí en esa ciudad. Esa versión la publicó el diario israelí Haaretz y la retomaron varios medios en el mundo.

Queda entonces la pregunta que puede tener una rápida respuesta: ¿qué están preparando los expertos en atentados de falsa bandera en nuestros países?

- «Causa AMIA: el atentado de 1994 fue problablemente fomentado por un ex ministro argentino del Interior», Red Voltaire , 3 de julio de 2013.
- “Argentina’s President slams Israel Lobby”, Voltaire Network, 18 February 2013.
- « Mensaje de Cristina Fernández sobre el Memorandum entre Argentina e Iran», por Cristina Fernández de Kirchner , Red Voltaire , 8 de febrero de 2013.
- «Ataques terroristas en la Argentina 1992 y 1994: no fueron de origen islámico», por Adrian Salbuchi, James Fetzer, Red Voltaire , 28 de octubre de 2009.
- “Iran and the AMIA Bombing in Argentina”, by Belén Fernández, Voltaire Network, 26 July 2009.
- «El AJC acusa al Hezbollah de los atentados de Buenos Aires a pesar del fallo de la Corte Suprema argentina», Red Voltaire , 16 de agosto de 2006.
- «Fuga documentación clasificada de inteligencia sobre atentado terrorista», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Tango, Red Voltaire , 27 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Se acusa a los musulmanes de los ataques a AMIA y la embajada de Israel sin pruebas», por Juan Gabriel Labaké, Red Voltaire , 4 de septiembre de 2006.
- «Investigando la bomba en la Asociación Mutual Israelita», por José Petrosino, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «¿Musulmanes o pista israelí?», por José Petrosino, Oscar Abudara Bini, Red Voltaire , 22 de julio de 2006.
- «Washington pretende rescribir la historia de los atentados de Buenos Aires», por Thierry Meyssan, Red Voltaire , 20 de julio de 2006.
- «Kirchner y el sistema de inteligencia argentino», por Jorge Serrano Torres, Red Voltaire , 26 de septiembre de 2004.
- «Nota del ministerio de las relaciones exteriores de Argentina, 25 de Agosto de 2003», Red Voltaire , 25 de agosto de 2003.

As Empire Froths at the Mouth, Avaaz Eyes Venezuela

March 5, 2015

RacistAvaazAd

Above: The Avaaz “Good Versus Evil” campaign for the June, 2012 Rio Summit. Above: A downloadable poster as found on the Avaaz Press Centre published in the Financial Times. Vilification: Note the dark cast/ugly sky behind the leaders Avaaz would wish you to believe are “evil,” versus the light and sun shining through over the Imperialist, obstructionist “leaders” that Avaaz is attempting to convince you are “good.” [Further reading: Rio Summit “Good Versus Evil” Advert Displays Blatant Racism and Imperialism at Core of Avaaz]

Via @Karol_en_Red: “As with Libya & Syria, Avaaz sets out for a massive campaign against Bolivarian Venezuela: 1st email circulating”

Twitter March 4 2015

Those at the helm of Avaaz (and Purpose Inc.) possess a deep understanding of the behavioural economics of hatred. They execute it brilliantly, albeit, cautiously:

Avaaz petition, February 12, 2015:

“Currently Venezuela has the highest rate of HIV infection and teenage pregnancy in South America. So health agencies are alarmed because condoms are needed to prevent these cases are triggered. While the President replied evasively, the local office of the World Health Organization (PAHO) can enact emergency and build international support for massively providing condoms and reasonably priced.”* [Read the full text here.]

Avaaz Screenshot Full March 5 2015

Note the framing/language: “while the president replied evasively“. President Maduro is anything but evasive. Evasive is the Avaaz petition itself which deliberately omits the economic warfare, economic sanctions, and an ongoing coup attempt waged upon the Maduro Government, all led by the United States.

Yet none of this is surprising considering Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello is a pro-war former U.S. Representative under the Obama Administration. Nor is it surprising considering Avaaz’s role in the annihilation of Libya and their (failed) attempt to impose of a no-fly zone on Syria. Purpose Inc. (a public relations firm established by Avaaz co-founders) continues multiple campaigns intended to build acquiescence for a war on Syria. [Further reading: SYRIA: Avaaz, Purpose & the Art of Selling Hate for Empire | Wag the Dog: Campaigns of Purpose | Avaaz: the World’s Most Powerful NGO]

 January 20, 2015: Venezuelan Right-Wing Wants to “Make the Economy Scream”

“As Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro warns that the opposition’s economic war is part of the overall attempt to oust his government, teleSUR English interviews Dr Franciso Domiguez to look at the how this strategy has been previously used against progressive governments in Latin Ameirca in the past.”

 

Jan 24, 2015: Maduro cites ongoing economic coup d’état in Venezuela

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro affirmed that there is an ongoing economic coup d’etat in Venezuela orchestrated by the country’s radical right-wing opposition. Maduro called on the National Assembly of Venezuela to launch an investigation to bring those responsible for the economic destabilization offensive to justice.”

 

 

January 29, 2015: CELAC summit ends with declaration in support of Venezuela:

“The summit of the Community of Latin and American States (CELAC) concluded in Costa Rica today with a declaration in solidarity with Venezuela. Various Latin American presidents declared their support for the Venezuelan government in the face of destabilization efforts.”

 

 

March 4, 2015: Venezuela exposes opposition involvement in coup attempt

“Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro revealed new evidence concerning February’s failed coup. During his weekly television show on Tuesday. Maduro played audio recordings of a New York based Venezuelan opposition leader’s declaration to be read had the coup succeeded. Meanwhile, a delegation from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) is scheduled to arrive in Caracas to mediate tensions between the Venezuelan government and the opposition. Participating in the delegation are representatives of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and UNASUR Secretary General Ernesto Samper.”

 

 

February 25, 2015: Why the CIA Won’t Give Up on Venezuela:

Interview with Eva Golinger

 

 

[*Original in Spanish: Actualmente Venezuela tiene la tasa más alta de infección por VIH y embarazo adolescente en Suramérica. Por eso las entidades de salud están alarmadas, pues se necesitan preservativos para evitar que estos casos se disparen. Mientras el Presidente responde con evasivas, la oficina local de la Organización Mundial de la Salud (PAHO) puede decretar la emergencia y conseguir apoyo internacional para proveer condones de forma masiva y a precios razonables.] Read the full text here.

Further reading:

February 23, 2015: Venezuelan Health Ministry to Distribute 18 Million Free Condoms: “The Venezuelan Health Ministry announced on Friday that the National Public Health System will distribute 18 million condoms for men and women free of charge over the course of 2015. The move comes amidst artificial scarcities of contraceptives generated by private producers and distributors as part of an economic war against the government of Nicolas Maduro.” http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/11226

February 17, 2015: What is Inexcusable is Venezuela’s Political Independence by John Pilger: “There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of U.S. designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious U.S.”

March 3, 2015: What Is Happening in Venezuela? “Coups and countercoups. Crackdowns. Economic crackups. Seven cents for a tube of toothpaste and $755 for a box of condoms. Falling oil prices. The arrest of an opposition leader. Washington plots. Human Rights Watch tweets. South America rallies…. Greg Grandin talks to a panel of experts to find out what really is going on in Venezuela.” http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/11246

• Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section I
• Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section II
• Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section III
• Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I
• Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section II
Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz
• Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section III
The Grotesque and Disturbing Ideology at the Helm of Avaaz

conformity-is-unity-3

Image courtesy of Mark Gould

 

Allende was Wrong: Neoliberalism, Venezuela’s Student Right and the Answer from the Left

Venezuela Analysis

February 10, 2015

By Lucas Koerner 

P1040903

“Defend university autonomy for a true popular democracy.” “Freedom and Autonomy.” “Movement 13 welcomes you to study, struggle, and love.” 

No, these slogans I saw adorning the walls were not copied from the University of Chile, where I studied in 2012-2013, researching and struggling alongside the Chilean student movement that is militantly fighting to overturn the neoliberal educational regime imposed under Pinochet. But they very easily could have been. No, I was not at a militant Leftist public university; I was in Mérida, at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Los Andes (ULA), which is regarded as the principal recruiting ground for Venezuela’s rightwing student movement.

On Friday, January 23, the ULA erupted once again in violent student protests in which masked students temporarily set up barricades and attempted to forcibly enter several local stores. For local residents, these protests represented a bitter reminder of the “Guarimba,” the several months of violent opposition demonstrations in which rightwing students together with Colombian paramilitaries shut down major avenues with barricades and assassinated police and Chavista activists in a desperate bid to force the salida, or exit, of President Nicolás Maduro.

What is most confusing and troubling is the fact that the discourse of “university autonomy” has always been a slogan of the Left, which young people from Chile to Greece have utilized to defend themselves from outright repression at the hands of dictatorial regimes as well as from the far more nefarious structural violence of neoliberal privatization. Moreover, the practices of donning the capucha, or mask, setting up street barricades, and hurling molotov cocktails in pitched street battles with police are tried and true Leftist tactics developed in the course of grassroots struggles against the authoritarian capitalist state in contexts as distinct as Venezuela, France, and Palestine.

Yet in contemporary Venezuela, these historically Leftist forms of struggle, encompassing discourses, symbols, and tactical repertoires, have been appropriated by rightwing students, but with an ideological content that could not be more radially opposed: far from rebels or revolutionaries, these rightwing students are reactionaries through and through, bent on reversing the gains of the Bolivarian Revolution and restoring the oligarchic order firmly in place for 500 years prior to the conquest of power by the revolutionary grassroots movements that comprise Chavismo.

Here we are confronted by the stone-cold realization that there is nothing inherently revolutionary about young people, or students for that matter. Sadly, we are forced to concede that Salvador Allende, who famously said, “to be young and not revolutionary is a biological contradiction,” was wrong.

In what follows, I will offer some cursory notes towards an explanation of this rightward shift among certain segments of Venezuelan students together with their paradoxical appropriation of historically Leftist modes of struggle, focusing on the gentrification of the Venezuelan university as well as the ascendancy of neoliberal ideology as two crucial conditions for this overall process of ideological mutation. I will conclude with an interview with Javier, a student of political economy at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, who currently put his studies on hold to pursue worker organizing in coordination with local communal councils. Javier will discuss the Bolivarian University as a radical pedagogical alternative from below as well as the struggles faced by revolutionary students in the face of a resurgent Right.

The Gentrification of the Venezuelan University

This dramatic ideological metamorphosis undergone by Venezuelan student movements cannot be explained outside the context of the neoliberal “gentrification” of the university. Nonetheless, this neoliberalization only came in the wake of the brutal repression of decades of radical student struggles that sought to bring down the walls that separate the “ivory tower” from the social reality of the poor, excluded majority.

At its height; the 1969 movement for “Academic Renovation” fought for a radical democratization of the university, whereby students, faculty, and university workers would have equal decision-making power; which George Ciccariello-Mahr terms a “radicalization of the very notion of autonomy itself, one that asserted autonomy from the government while insisting that the university be subservient to the needs of the wider society of which students and workers were a part.”1 As we will see later, it is precisely this more nuanced, dialectical notion of autonomy that is lacking among those presently claiming to speak on behalf of Venezuelan students.

The revolutionary Renovation movement was savagely crushed by the government of Rafael Caldera, who unceremoniously sent tanks to close down the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). Nonetheless, this outright repression was tame by comparison to the “more insidious… subtle, and long-term policy of ethnic cleansing within the public university [which was realized] by limiting popular access and returning the institutions to their previous status as refuges for the most elite segments of society.”2 This progressive embourgeoisement of the Venezuelan university prefigured a similar process that would occur globally in the context of the neoliberal turn of the subsequent decades, in which public universities from the University of California to the University of Chile saw ruthless cuts in public funding, privatization of services, dramatic tuition hikes, and creeping technocratization, all with profound implications for social class composition. That is, the youth filling the halls of Venezuelan public universities came increasingly from the ranks of the bourgeoisie and petty-bourgeoisie, which rendered them all the more vulnerable to the seductive appeal of neoliberal ideology.

Unfortunately, this tendency has not been entirely reversed under the Bolivarian governments of Chavez and Maduro. While the Bolivarian Revolution has seen the creation of a new system of Bolivarian universities in an effort to outflank the traditional public universities as we will see below, the government and the array of radical social forces driving it from below have thus far been unable to launch a frontal assault.

In other words, whilst these traditional universities are “public” in name and nominally free for all students, historic public universities such as the UCV nevertheless retain all kinds of classist filtering mechanisms, such as entrance exams and additional fees for registration, books, etc., that serve to effectively bar working class students from attending. Most egregious in this respect are the so-called “autonomous universities” such as the ULA, which are conferred unquestioned authority over internal decision-making, while at the same time receiving full state funding, amounting in some cases to the budget of a Caribbean nation, for which they are obligated to give little in the way of formal accounting.

Moreover, this lingering bourgeois form of education in the traditional universities is matched by a thoroughly technocratic content, in which education is conceived as the production of upwardly-mobile experts insulated from the daily struggles of the masses, who are destined to serve the bureaucratic state or capital. As Javier, a student of political economy at the recently founded Bolivarian University succinctly put it, this capitalist model of education is about getting you to subscribe to the bourgeois careerist fiction that you need to study in order to “be someone,” fetichizing education as a sterile commodity purchased like any other in order to augment one’s “human capital,” as consistent with neoliberal logic.

Given this disproportionately elite class composition and thoroughly bourgeois educational paradigm, it is no wonder then that the student federations of public universities like the UCV and the ULA are now governed by the Right.

Neoliberalism: The Illusion of Subversion

While the changing class composition of Venezuelan universities over previous decades represents an important structural factor behind the rise of Venezuela’s rightwing student movement, we cannot neglect the particular characteristics of neoliberal ideology, namely its seductive capacity for passing as radical or revolutionary. But first, what is neoliberalism?

Neoliberalism might be defined as “historical, class-based ideology that proposes all social, political, and ecological problems can be resolved through more direct free-market exposure, which has become an increasingly structural aspect of capitalism.”3 Emerging as the political response on the part of the capitalist state to the economic crisis of the 1970s, neoliberalism sought to roll back the “democratic gains that had been previously achieved by the working classes, and which had become, from capital’s perspective, barriers to accumulation.”4 It was in this context of the ‘68 revolt that the revolutionary Left and the neoliberal Right would share a proclaimed common enemy, namely an overbearing, bureaucratic state engaged in bloody imperialist wars abroad and fierce repression at home, although the anti-statism of the latter was pure rhetoric, as neoliberal politicians were content to use the state to implement their class project.5

In what followed, the post-’68 demands leveled against the capitalist state for formal individual rights by the hegemonic variants of the feminist, LGBT, civil rights, etc. movements were perfectly compatible with the neoliberal agenda, which in turn spawned the “NGOization” of Leftist politics whereby non-profits progressively took over the leadership of social movements and channeled them in a de-radicalized, localized direction.In what followed, the post-’68 demands leveled against the capitalist state for formal individual rights by the hegemonic variants of the feminist, LGBT, civil rights, etc. movements were perfectly compatible with the neoliberal agenda, which in turn spawned the “NGOization” of Leftist politics whereby non-profits progressively took over the leadership of social movements and channeled them in a de-radicalized, localized direction. These developments gave rise to the normalization of petty-bourgeois lifestyle politics, especially in the newly gentrified universities, wherein demands for “diversity” and “inclusion” of underprivileged minorities could safely be made without ruffling any feathers. Thus, the dangerous lure of neoliberal ideology lies in its ability to render individualistic lifestyle politics, i.e. demanding access to consumer items, as cathartic acts of authentic revolt and resistance. Even as critical a thinker as Michel Foucault was seduced by neoliberalism’s apparent radicalism, joining in its chorus against the welfare state and praising it as a vehicle to promote the rights of the “excluded” (prisoners, LGBT people, women, those deemed “mentally ill,” etc.).6

We should not, therefore, be surprised by the fact that a segment of Venezuelan students don the traditional clothing of the Left and actually consider themselves revolutionaries facing down what they consider an oppressive dictatorship. But we must not be fooled. What the Venezuelan Right is attempting to do is appropriate the historic slogans, symbols, and tactics of the Left, but strip them of all collective emancipatory content, which is replaced with bourgeois individualist demands for consumer choice. Thus, the “freedom” that they demand has nothing to do with the plethora of social rights conquered under the Bolivarian Revolution, but here connotes unregulated access to dollars, weekend getaways to Miami, the “right” to own and exploit.

The “autonomy” that they clamor for amounts to nothing short of total unaccountability to the rest of society, while continuing to lay claim to the latter’s resources. The militant tactics of the street barricade, the capucha, and the Molotov do not figure here as legitimate forms of mass resistance or revolutionary intervention, but represent instances of fascist, paramilitary violence enacted by individuals against a government of the people. Nonetheless, it is precisely the apparently “anti-authoritarian” character of neoliberal ideology that enables the Venezuelan student Right to retrofit traditionally Leftist forms of struggle with reactionary bourgeois content, effectively disguising their shrill cries for individualist consumer choice as a righteous chorus of social rebellion.

However, this rightwing appropriation does not go uncontested. If symbols like the capucha and the barricade ultimately constitute what Ernesto Laclau terms “empty signifiers” that can be filled with any ideological content, then their meaning is perpetually disputed in the heat of social struggle. In other words, the Right’s usurpation can and must be reversed by new generations of revolutionary young people, struggling to at once reclaim the past and win the war for a socialist future.

The Bolivarian University of Venezuela: The Answer from the Bolivarian Left

The flagship of the Bolivarian government’s revolutionary initiative for higher education, the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) was founded in 2003 as part of the Mission Sucre, which has saw the radical expansion of access to quality public education among the popular classes historically excluded from the Venezuelan educational system. Today, the UBV annually graduates more students than any other institution of higher education in the country. Apart from rupturing with the traditionally oligarchic form of Venezuelan higher education, which has historically been the province of the elite, the UBV also proposes a revolution in the practical content of education, which it defines as “liberating, with criteria of social justice, inclusive, free and quality.”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Javier, a student of political economy at the Bolivarian University, who has temporarily frozen his studies in order to take on worker organizing in his community in 23 de Enero, located in the vast working class area in the west of Caracas known as Catia. He also works as a facilitator in the Bolivarian University for Workers “Jesus Rivero” in the Capital District government, which aims to raise political and class consciousness amongst public workers and prepare them for “assuming the direct and democratic management of the social process of work”. All facilitation sessions take place at the workplace itself.

His words paint a provisional picture of the depth of the revolution in educational praxis currently underway in Venezuela.

Q: Can you speak about the popular pedagogical project of the Bolivarian University?

A: Well if I were to talk about a popular project towards the structural transformation of the state and also the structural transformation of our thinking that we have currently, I would openly uphold [the example of] the Bolivarian University of the Workers, because, it’s a university that breaks with the top-down, positivist framework of education. The worker or compañero takes on the process of self-education in the space of work itself. This leads to the complete reevaluation of the education I have in my mind that I reproduce in practice, and this critical reevaluation of thought and practice lets me reinvent myself. The thinking that I have is a different kind of thought pattern that breaks with the frameworks of the capitalist system.

Moreover, our university sets down [the model of] self-education through reading, debate, and writing. This means that we don’t deny existing theories. We read the current theory, which is the systematization of struggles, for theories are the systematization of the struggles of the people, of the experience of the people. We debate this systematization, and we see if it can be adjusted to our present moment in order to not be dogmatic, but rather dialectical. Continuous, collective, integrated, and permanent self-education, that is the strategy. It is collective, because we all educate ourselves through the exchange of knowledge. It is continuous and permanent, because it never stops and we are always educating ourselves. It is integrated: We can specialize in an area, but we truly have to also know a little about everything, because labor is not an individual process, but a social one, where we all participate and we are all important in the development of the nation.

We also address the question of the management of the social labor process in order to be able to bring about structural transformations. When we talk about taking on the management of the social labor process, it’s the whole process. We realize this when we look at the arepa: the person who sows the corn, the person who harvests the corn, the person, who transports the corn, the person who processes the corn. In other words, the arepa comes out of a process in which there are very many people participating, the truck driver, the compañero in the factory, the compañera amassing the cornmeal; it’s all important work. So we propose that we take on the whole process and view ourselves as equals in struggle. This then is what permits us to truly form a culture of work that is not the competitive culture of work of the capitalist system, but rather a culture of work that guarantees the happiness of our people, we ourselves taking over the organization of what is truly socialism, the structural transformation of the state that we have.

Q: I want to follow your last point to a more macro level. How do you place the Bolivarian University in the context of the socialist struggle more broadly in society, particularly in terms of struggles over education?

A: Many of the universities teach the students a [large] number of lies that we at the Bolivarian University of Workers work to dismantle. We therefore have to dismantle the [large] number of lies that the capitalist system has sold us. One of these things that that they sell you in the universities is that you have to study to be someone. But they don’t explain to you that from the moment that you are in your mother’s womb, you already are someone, someone important. If you were to lose vital signs in the womb, your, mother would feel a great pain, and not only your mother, but your father, your closest family members. So, we are headed towards breaking with this framework of education, this deceitful education that continues to view you as labor-power.

[In contrast], the Bolivarian University of the Workers teaches, which is fundamental and essential, the review of the development of struggle in our society from the perspective of labor. How did our society undergo transformations? How were the instruments of labor forged, and how also how were the mechanisms of social division created? How did this social division take us to the point of creating systems of domination? In one moment, we lived under what was primitive communism, then we lived under slavery, and then what was feudalism, and now we are living under a system that continues to be slavery, that is the capitalist system, where they continue to dominate us with miserable wages and there’s no just distribution of wealth.

In our revolutionary Bolivarian process guided by our President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, he addressed all of these historic struggles, but he also set down the important and timely objective in our Constitution and organic law of the just distribution of wealth. And if a compañero has a great factory bought with what he says is the product of his labor, we don’t believe him above all because the amount of property that he has is the product of alien labor and he pays [his workers] a miserable portion of the wealth that he receives from their labor. So, we are going to rupture with this system, go about rethinking, to understand that we can have other forms of organization for managing public administration. It could be a counsel administration, of counsels with revolutionary leadership, where the most dedicated compañeras and compañeros are vindicated and recognized. In this dynamic, we are not saying that we [the workers] are the only historic subject of our Bolivarian process, but rather that the campesino, the fisherman, the transport worker are also important. The path of communal [organizing] is also important, and so is the struggle of the compañeras and compañeros in the student centers, who keep on despite being pounded by this education of the capitalist system. For us, it is the recognition of all of the compañeras and compañeros in our struggles that matters.

We have also proposed that this process of collective, continuous, integral, and permanent self-education has to reach the communal councils, the communes, the colectivos, the social movements, whatever organizational expression that they might have. It has to reach [these spaces], because, we have to break with and decentralize the [traditional] conception of the university. It’s a great struggle we all have to take on, because what is the university, but the universalization of knowledge. You, I, all of  the compañeros here, the bus driver, all of the people who are here in this medium of transport possess knowledge.7 What we have to do is create the spaces where we can expound the amount of knowledge that we have and expound as well the amount of needs that we have, and in function of this, begin planning [society, especially the economy] ourselves.

Q: Many young people in this society, in the universities, have been deceived, and there’s a struggle for hegemony among young people in this country. For instance, we have a rightwing student movement that is producing openly violent and fascist leaders. How do you view the role of these alternative pedagogical projects in this struggle with the Right?

A: For us, the fact that the compa is young does not mean that he is revolutionary, that he is for structural transformation. The Right has many young people, but they are old in their thinking, because they continue upholding capitalist thinking. One has to be young in different areas, physically, but above all in one´s thinking. If there is a man who we could say marked a watershed in our history, not just for decades, but for centuries, it is Hugo Rafael Chávez Frias, because he shattered the framework, he imploded the schema of the bourgeois state. He imploded a space of great domination with new thinking. With liberating thinking, he imploded the space of the army, of our armed forces, a repressive organ that was directed against its own people on February 27th and 28th, 1989.8 He had a reflexive capacity, because Comandante Hugo Chávez Frias had already been doing this work. It’s continuous, it’s work that is going to take a long time, and we have to dedicate our heart and soul to the work that we are called to do and not neglect a single area.

The other task is to recognize our advances. The fact is that we have graduated an amount of compañeras and compañeros who have not graduated in forty years during which they didn’t have access to education. Yes, we can and must deepen our revolutionary process to advance towards socialism, but it’s also important to recognize all of the advances that we’ve had thus far.

Q: I went to the ULA last week and I fascinated by the discourse of autonomy and freedom appearing in their murals, the capucha that they use, all of which is an appropriation of the discourse and symbolism of the Left. How do you respond to this?

A: They have always tried to take our symbols away from us. For us, the capucha is a symbol of struggle. It’s ours. It was us who had to mask our faces [and protest in the streets], because we didn’t have an adequate education, above all in high school, but also in the university. We had many problems during the Fourth Republic, and we had to take to the streets, because they raised the student transportation fare. We had take to the streets, because we had to have class on the floor, because there were no chairs, because the roof was leaking. We lived through all of this, and for those reasons, we went out into the streets.

Today, there is a movement that is trying to take the streets, but responding to the interests of the private companies and the private media, which regrettably under our revolutionary process continue to have an economic power, which is expressed in the media, in the rumor campaigns. What we have to do is dismantle this vast amount of lies, but these rumors have an effect, because there’s a number of lies that we still have in our heads, that we have not yet dismantled. It’s a great challenge.

Evidently, many groups there [at the opposition marches] are paid, many groups that don’t truly represent our people. You can ask them. There were some compañeros of the people interviewing  some of the people who participated on January 24th in the “March of the Empty Pots,” which we might rather have called the “March of the Empty Heads,” because they don’t think. So they interviewed them and asked them if they were poor, to which they quickly respond, “I’m not poor.”

Besides, this is an example of them trying to steal our symbols, the pots, which our people took out to the streets before the Caracazo and after the Caracazo, because the pots were truly empty, there was nothing to eat. Today no, it’s an economic war, they are hoarding everything, and everyone has seen the amount of food that we have. They tell us that there is no flour, but there’s not a single arepera closed. They say that that there’s no milk, but there’s no shortage of yogurt. So they are trying to escape from the regularization of the sale of these products in order to reap greater profits, but not only to reap greater profits, but also to boycott the revolutionary government and that this unrest be directed against the revolutionary government of Nicolás Maduro.

From here, we have to go out in the streets with an alternative popular communication that engages face-to-face with our people and dismantles the large amount of lies, but we also must develop the productive forces. Beyond a crisis, well there is a crisis, but it´s a crisis of their system, a crisis of capitalism, because the socialist system still doesn’t exist yet. So we have to take advantage of this crisis of the capitalist system and come out of it advancing ahead with the development of our productive forces, evidently organized according to a distinct logic of work, a new culture of work that is liberating: labor that truly educates you to build this new republican order envisioned by our philosopher and pedagogue Simon Rodriguez, the teacher of Simon Bolivar.

 

 

Notes

1 Ciccariello-Maher, G. (2013). We created Chávez: A people’s history of the Venezuelan revolution. Durham; Duke University Press, p. 113.

2 Ibid., p. 112.

3 Marois cited in Weber, J.R. (2011). Red october: Left-Indigenous struggles in modern Bolivia. Brill: Boston, p. 30.

4 Panitch, L., & Gindin, S. (2012). The making of global capitalism: The political economy of American empire. Verso: London, p. 15.

5 Harvey, D. (2005). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press: New York, p. 42.

6 See Zamora, D. (2014). “Can we criticize Foucault?” Jacobin, 10 December 2014. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/foucault-interview/

7 Note: This interview was conducted on a public metro bus en route from Ciudad Caribia to Metro Gato Negro in Catia.

8 February 27 and 28, 1989 refers to the Caracazo, the explosion of mass social mobilizations rejecting neoliberal measures imposed by the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez, under whose orders the army occupied the streets of Caracas and proceeded to gun down anywhere between 300 and 3000 people.

Social Media Coup? The Vile Virality of Venezuela’s Opposition

TeleSUR

February 11, 2015

by teleSUR / Heather Gies and Cyril Mychalejko

“But it’s no coincidence that social media has become a key instrument of opposition propaganda. Rather, it’s a concerted strategy that has at least partial roots in the U.S. attempt to foment chaos and instability in Venezuela. U.S. sources such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) heavily fund Venezuelan opposition forces and provide “democracy” training for opposition student groups, which has included training in social media use. In 2013, NED provided a total of $1,752,300 in grants to Venezuela in various program areas including $63,000 for “Emerging Leadership, Communication, and Social Networks” and another almost $300,000 for “Training and Communication Skills for Political Activists,” including training in the use of ICTs, or internet communication tools.”

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Venezuela’s opposition took to social media to manipulate the international media into portraying right-wing protesters as victims of violence, rather than the perpetrators. | Photo: AVN

On the anniversary of the outbreak of violent right-wing protests, teleSUR examines the role of social media in fomenting violence and misinformation.

Last February the world recoiled in horror after photos and testimonies allegedly showing and describing Venezuelan state violence against opposition protests spread through Twitter and Facebook. One viral article even declared a “tropical pogrom” was underway in the South American nation.

The Twitter hashtag #SOSVenezuela immediately emerged as a cry for help to the world to intervene.

The international media, especially in the United States, jumped at the opportunity to paint Venezuela in a negative, albeit misleading, light. And even some well-meaning folks on social media, without a comprehensive knowledge of Venezuelan politics, were seduced by the dramatic images and descriptions that seemed to chronicle peaceful protesters being repressed by Venezuelan government forces.

Except it didn’t happen.

Some of the most egregious and gruesome photos were fakes; they were photos taken from other parts of the world and passed off as being from Venezuela. A few others were indeed from Venezuela, but from a different year and different context.

“The opposition protests of 2014 were really decisive proof of both the strategic usefulness and the powerful dangers of social media,” George Ciccariello-Maher, Professor of Politics at Drexel University and author of “We Created Chavez,” told teleSUR. “False images and manipulated claims spread and circulated like wildfire, and while it was possible to discredit some – for example, images from other countries, other periods in history – by the time one was debunked, a dozen had emerged in its place.”

One example is a photo that showed a police officer roughly pulling a protester in a headlock. An accompanying tweet with the photo said “SOS repression in Venezuela URGENT that this photo go around the world.” However, the photo was a fake, dating back to 2011 student protests in Santiago, Chile.

Another particularly odious example claimed to show a Venezuelan police officer forcing a protester to perform oral sex on him. However, the photo, which was posted by Venezuelan actress Amanda Gutierrez, was from a U.S.-based porn site, something the actress later apologized for doing to her 228,000 Twitter followers. Her apology setting the record straight didn’t receive near as much attention as the original misinformation she posted with the photo.

A less inflammatory and more humanizing photo showed a young woman with her hands on the arms of an officer in line of riot police, her face obviously distressed as if crying and pleading with the officer. The photo was tweeted with the text, “You and I are both Venezuelan my buddy.” However, the heartwarming photo, purportedly showing the humanity of opposition protesters, was a complete farce. The photo was actually from protests in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2013.

As Ciccariello-Maher explained, “In a place as politically divided as Venezuela, where the opposition exists in a sort of echo chamber that always repeats the same mantras about electoral fraud, dictatorship, etc., this (social media use) proved to be powerfully dangerous, since it mobilized the extremists who simply took to the streets on the basis of something they already believed to be true.”

So why was the corporate media so willing, if not incautious, to use these and other tweets as fact in their reporting? As Steve Ellner, long time analyst of Venezuelan history and politics and author of “Latin America’s Radical Left: Challenges and Complexities of Political Power in the Twenty-First Century,” told teleSUR: “The international corporate media are experts in presenting unreliable information disguised as viewpoints. By doing so they promote opinions, or at least doubts, among millions of people who do not have ready access to more reliable information.”

According to Ellner, using Twitter as a journalistic source is a “useful tool” for corporate and international media, and quoting right-wing tweets as insider opinions to present an on-the-ground and supposedly balanced view “has been applied to the Venezuelan case in a big way.”

The narrative in much international mainstream news coverage during this wave of extreme right-wing political violence was that the opposition was forced to take to social media as a result of a dictatorial media blockade in Venezuela that prevented opposition voices and views being heard in traditional media. But analysts argue that this is not the case.

“The opposition protests of 2014 were really decisive proof of both the strategic usefulness and the powerful dangers of social media.”

Ciccariello-Maher explained that the Venezuelan government “has successfully reined in some of the most extreme elements” of the press since private media helped orchestrate the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002, but “there is no media blockade in Venezuela.” Rather, he characterized it as “a nuanced debate around the right of people to accurate media and the responsibility of the private sector in providing this.”

Julia Buxton, Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest, understands the Venezuelan media context similarly. With this backdrop, she said in an interview with teleSUR, “The lack of an articulated (opposition) platform has less to do with media censorship and restriction than the simple fact of the absence of a plan.” Buxton observed that “opposition supporters have not used Twitter to discuss or disseminate ideas, but to abuse and insult.”

But one plan the opposition did have was to use all of its media and social media platforms to frame the narrative of what was happening in Venezuela internationally. In a Feb. 20, 2014, article that went viral, “The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch,” writer Francisco Toro, founder of the right-wing opposition blog Caracas Chronicles, called on international media to pay attention to the “state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents” in Venezuela. Toro’s article received hundreds of thousands of Facebook likes and shares and tens of thousands of tweets. Toro, a former New York Times stringer who resigned after being outed as an active opposition member, yet who afterward was still afforded regular columns and blog posts with the same paper, wrote about “state-sponsored paramilitaries” who were “shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting” that he claimed resulted in what amounted to a “tropical pogrom” the previous evening.

This “pogrom” resulted in the death of one person – not that night mind you, but four days later as a result of injuries.

When pressed by media critics Keane Bhatt and Jim Naureckas on Twitter, Toro admitted to “overstatement in the heat of the moment.” He even took to the pages of his website to write that “it has since become clear that the violence that night left … just one fatality, and so did not rise to the commonly understood definition of a ‘pogrom’.”

A pogrom by definition is an organized massacre.

However, the damage was done. In contrast to the hundreds of thousands of people his original piece reached, his correction was shared 14 times on Facebook and 12 times on Twitter. Such is the norm on social media, where sensational misinformation seems to consistently attract more attention than corrections.

Another example of strategically viral content was a YouTube video called “What’s going on in Venezuela in a nutshell,” made and narrated by a young Venezuelan college student living in the U.S. Despite the fact that the video was rife with false and misleading information, the deceptively innocent cry for help made good fodder for social media “clicktivism” and quickly reached viral proportions. It garnered over 3 million views on YouTube and was widely shared on other social media platforms. In addition to exaggerating statistics, such as “millions of homicides” occurring in the country each day, which would have wiped out the whole population of Venezuela within a month, she also lied about protesters being killed, protesters being peaceful, and that there is press censorship in the country. Nevertheless, the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper featured the video on its website, lauding it for bringing “the plight of student protesters in Venezuela to global attention.”

What doesn’t go viral on Twitter can obviously be just as important as what does.

Another example, in addition to Toro’s retraction, would be an article in the New York Times which offered a rare case of honest reporting. The article “Crude Weapons Help Fuel Unrest in Bastion of Venezuelan Opposition” (02/25/2014) reported that anti-government student protesters had “a variety of homemade weapons — mortars to lob small, noisy explosives, miniature firebombs, slingshots, clubs and nasty-looking things called Miguelitos made from hoses festooned with nails.” The article quoted 19-year-old Andryth Niño admitting that, “We’re not peaceful here.”

Unmasking Social Media – Digital Democracy without Guarantees

While opposition forces have maintained an ongoing presence on social media, renewed mobilization and destabilization campaigns characterize the lead-up to the anniversary of last year’s wave of violence. The opposition is mobilizing its bases, calling supporters to the streets for the Feb. 12 anniversary protests.

Supporters use the hashtags #12F and #YoSalgoEl12F to announce their participation in the right-wing opposition protests. Perhaps more interesting is the hashtag #YoSalgoPor (I’m going out for), which opposition supporters use to express their reasons and motivations for joining the Guarimba anniversary marches.

The majority of these #YoSalgoPor tweets say that the protesters will go to the streets for “all the fallen heroes” of the opposition struggle, or for “justice for the fallen ones” who cannot attend the marches this year. These tweets commemorate the apparent victims of government violence in the first round of Guarimbas last year. However the overwhelming majority of the 43 fatalities died as a result of the violent opposition protests and destabilized conditions the opposition helped provoke. At least 10 individuals were killed at opposition barricades alone, and several government security personnel as well as others were also killed, according to data collected by the U.S.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Maria Corina

María Corina Machado is a leading figure of the Venezuelan opposition, was involved in the 2002 failed coup attempt, and was a main organizer of opposition protests last year. Her civil society organization, Súmate, accepted funds from the mainly U.S. Congress funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) .

As is the nature of social media, providing merely a snapshot without a broader context, these #YoSalgoPor tweets of course do not allude to the violence and fatalities caused by the right-wing opposition violence themselves. The most horrific among these fatalities included a woman being decapitated by barbed wire intentionally strung at the barricades by opposition extremists to cause danger to pro-government motorcyclists. A number of motorcyclists were indeed decapitated, several others motorists died crashing into barricades. At least three people were shot dead while attempting to clear away barricades. Six members of the National Guard were also killed.

These actions lived up to the goals of a strategic destabilization plan developed in 2013 by Colombian and U.S. organizations, including USAID, in collaboration with Venezuelan opposition leaders. As detailed in the leaked strategic plan published online by lawyer and journalist Eva Golinger, the opposition strategy was to “create situations of crisis in the streets that will facilitate U.S. intervention, as well as NATO forces, with the support of the Colombian government. Whenever possible, the violence should result in deaths or injuries” (emphasis added).

With disregard for their violent actions, #YoSalgoPor tweets portray the opposition as the victims of violence, rather than the perpetrators.

“The focus on youth has been a long running strategy, while the social media element is a more recent (and cheaper) instrument of soft power, which is … wholly deleterious to the interests of genuinely pluralistic and democratic voices.”

But it’s no coincidence that social media has become a key instrument of opposition propaganda. Rather, it’s a concerted strategy that has at least partial roots in the U.S. attempt to foment chaos and instability in Venezuela. U.S. sources such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) heavily fund Venezuelan opposition forces and provide “democracy” training for opposition student groups, which has included training in social media use. In 2013, NED provided a total of $1,752,300 in grants to Venezuela in various program areas including $63,000 for “Emerging Leadership, Communication, and Social Networks” and another almost $300,000 for “Training and Communication Skills for Political Activists,” including training in the use of ICTs, or internet communication tools.

“The focus on youth has been a long running strategy, while the social media element is a more recent (and cheaper) instrument of soft power, which is, in my opinion, wholly deleterious to the interests of genuinely pluralistic and democratic voices,” added Central European University’s Buxton. “As with all aspects of U.S. intervention in other countries, these forms of sovereignty violation – soft or hard, are most usually counter productive and as we see in other aspects of social media ‘wars’, they can lead to a more problematic blowback from even more radical oppositional forces and groups.”

In an era of extreme police brutality against political protest on a global scale, the equivocations that could be drawn based on this partial and misleading information are easy to make, particularly for those already poorly informed as a result of the mainstream media coverage of Venezuela.

Social media, particularly in a complex and poorly understood political context, can easily decontextualize events and perpetuate misinformation, often with the willing help of international media. Given historical tensions between Venezuela and the U.S. and other Western capitalist world powers, Venezuela is a particularly intriguing specimen for this kind of confirmation-bias reporting, and with the help of social media, misinformation abounds.

 

Further reading:

Pimping for Destabilizations: Shepard Fairey for Venezuela (USAID) | Banksy for Syria (Purpose Inc.) | Source

Retired General Calls on Venezuelans to Form Local Resistance Units: “Get Ready to Use your Firearms” | Source

Venezuela Coup Plotter, Leopoldo López Mendoza, Works for the CIA | Source

Psyops: Former Mandela lawyer to join defense of Venezuela’s jailed activist | Source

Pimping for Destabilizations: Shepard Fairey for Venezuela (USAID) | Banksy for Syria (Purpose Inc.)

Art as a Weapon for Destabilizations | MTV Glorifies Venezuela’s Barricade Protests in New Reality TV Show

“Exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century…. Those born into today’s ‘young world’ are indiscriminately lusted after and seduced by predatory marketing agencies bankrolled by the world’s most powerful corporations and oligarchs, via their foundations. Thus, in stealth synchronicity, the brilliant (albeit pathological) sycophants have created a world where corporate pedophilia runs rampant and indoctrination of youth is perfected and normalized. One cannot deny such a virtuoso performance. Nor can one deny the profound repercussions of such vulturesque exploitation.” – Cory Morningstar, Excerpt from the Divestment Series

WKOG admin: On September 17, 2015 WKOG published the article SYRIA: Avaaz, Purpose & the Art of Selling Hate for Empire. From the article:

“Utilizing the consumer culture’s celebrity fetish to sell war (and the illusory “green economy“) is a vital marketing strategy of Purpose. In the case of #withSyria, famed street artist Banksy has reworked his “Young Girl” famed graffiti stencil in support of the campaign.”

Let the pattern be duly noted. Of critical significance is that Rebel Music appears to brilliantly utilize/co-opt Indigenous voices to legitimize it’s brand.

Informacional Desnudo

December 19, 2014

By Z.C. Dutka

 

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Santa Elena de Uairen, December 18th, 2014. (Venezuelanalysis.com) – US entertainment channel MTV has signed a contract with a Venezuelan media group to purchase extensive footage of the violent anti-government protests that wracked the South American nation earlier this year, to be featured in the new reality series Rebel Music.

The footage, captured by citizen reporters with GoPro cameras, show masked and shirtless men throwing handmade grenades and wreaking general havoc in a coordinated effort to force president Nicolas Maduro’s resignation that lasted from February to May this year.

43 people were killed during that time, the majority while trying to clear rubbish from or cross the barricades set up by demonstrators. Numerous public institutions including hospitals, universities, and transportation agencies were also burnt down in protest.

Reporte Confidencial became known for editing the GroPro material nightly, adding in a pumping dubstep track befitting a London club scene, and posting the finished videos to YouTube, where they received thousands of views from around the world.

It is this material MTV now seeks to own.

The reality show Rebel Music claims to be inspired by young people who “are raising their voices to demand change for a better future…. often putting their lives on the line,” according to the show’s website.

With this premise, many Venezuelans fear the show’s narrative will grant hero status to those hardcore protestors- whose tactics were so violent they effectively drove away a majority of opposition supporters, according to polls.

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Image: Otpor in Venezuela, March, 2013

Video below: MTV presents OTPOR! with Free Your Mind Award at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards:

 

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Above: Veran Mati? wears Otpor! t-shirt during MTV Europe Awards, 2000

Furthermore, as the White House approves sanctions against Venezuelan government officials, others accuse the MTV program of dovetailing too neatly with US foreign policy.

 

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“The series seems to mix legitimate struggles of people who fight to keep their identities alive, or women who feel threatened by religious laws, in contrast with the protests of Venezuela and Iran, countries whose oil wealth the United States seeks to control,” Venezuelan political analyst Luigino Bracci wrote in an op-ed for Caracas newspaper Alba Ciudad last week.

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Above image: Facebook banner

The series, which first aired last month, will also feature voices of dissent in Myanmar, Iran, Senegal, Turkey and US Native American communities.

Bracci also opined that the segments seem carefully selected to avoid featuring any challenge to the United States government or the global capitalist system.

“To distract us from the protests of Ferguson, Mexico, Greece and Madrid, there is nothing better than directing our sights elsewhere,” he said.

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The US media has made no effort to hide its contempt of Venezuela’s socialist government since the Hugo Chavez’s election in 1999, while Chavez, in turn, repeatedly accused Washington of funding subversive movements to remove him from office.

Shepard Fairey and USAID

Bracci also pointed out the paradoxical use of red stars and other archetypal communist symbols, which he attributes to the show’s executive producer, Shepard Fairey.

Fairey is the pop art empresario behind the OBEY campaign and the red and blue stencil portrait of Barack Obama, which featured the word HOPE and was used universally throughout the US president’s initial campaign.

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MTV program show’s executive producer, Shepard Fairey

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Above: Shepard Fairey (right) with MTV World General Manager and Senior Vice President Nusrat Durrani (left). Image via Rebel Music

Though he calls himself apolitical, Fairey has been criticized for reproducing communist Cuban and Korean poster art with slight twists and selling them as his own. In a 2008 interview with the magazine Mother Jones, reporter Liam O’Donoghue also called the artist out on appropriating images from social movements, usually created by artists of color, and stripping them of their political messages.

In a promotional video, Rebel Music features Venezuelan reggae artist OneChot whose 2010 video for the English-language single “Rotten Town” generated controversy for its depiction of Caracas as an Inferno of crime and murder, replete with images of dead and dying children.

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Though the reggae singer also claims to abstain from politics, his music is more popular with Venezuela’s privileged class, the same sector that widely supports the opposition.

“You are not free of violence anywhere. That is why I fight for change in Venezuela,” OneChot says to the MTV cameras.

While many Caracas artists would be eager for such international exposure, some mistrust the pre-determined script many reality shows are known to possess, believing it may spell out further US defamation of Venezuela’s socialist leaders.

After being approached by MTV correspondents to represent the pro-Chavez version of events, underground hip hop artist Arena La Rosa announced her refusal on her Facebook page.

“My dignity and my ideas are worth more than a million [page] views, so I have wisely decided not to participate,” the chavista rapper said.

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Underground hip hop artist Arena La Rosa

On the same day La Rosa posted her response, the Associated Press released documents detailing the US government’s failed attempt at infiltrating the Cuban hip hop scene, by way of the developmental organization USAID.

According to the AP, Washington had sought to build a network of young people seeking “social change” to spark a resistance movement against the government of Cuban president Raul Castro.

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Incidentally, Maduro has accused numerous opposition leaders of attempting the same kind of subterfuge during February’s unrest. A committee of victims and their families has even assembled to seek justice from those public figures who they believe encouraged such extreme tactics.

Meanwhile, Venezuela will have to wait for the MTV segment to be released to understand how their high-stakes reality will be adapted to meet the lofty demands of broadcast entertainment.

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In similar fashion, Banksy has reworked his “Young Girl” famed graffiti stencil in support of the #withSyria campaign. [SYRIA: Avaaz, Purpose & the Art of Selling Hate for Empire]

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The Blankest Canvas: On Art, Opportunism, Erasure & Whiteness

Anti Social Media

October 7, 2014

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“An empty canvas is full.” – Robert Rauschenberg

 

1951 was a big fucking year for whiteness. The United States, the last scion of both Western Imperialism and the white supremacy at its core, would finally fight to a stalemate on the Korean Peninsula – beating back both the Red Menace and the new “yellow peril” to the 38th parallel. But threats to the fragile reign of white supremacy’s new champion abounded.

At home, The Man From Planet X  opened in US theaters, dramatizing the collective fear of an alien invasion that would grip white Amerikkka and menace its lily-white, Enid Elliot-like daughters for the remainder of 1951 and beyond. That white panic on the big screen, however, found two real world targets – rabble-rousing commies and the black people they had allegedly duped to serve their alien agenda.

The “Second Red Scare,” already raging in 1951, was weaponized by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, which launched its second investigation into Hollywood. Back then, “blacklists” weren’t just empty threats on Twitter made by intentional nobodies, but a reality imposed by power that threatened the livelihoods of some of our best artists. The year also saw Julius and Ethel Rosenberg tried, convicted and eventually executed for espionage. The “traitorous and disloyal” outside agitators the US was fighting in Korea, it seemed, would have to be fought at home, too.

White Supremacy, as always, reserved its most brazen terror for black people. 1951 was no different. Despite a valiant campaign led by Communist William L. Patterson, the grandson of a slave who had himself famously been arrested protesting the execution of Sacco & Vanzetti, seven black men were executed for raping a white woman in Martinsville, Virginia. Willie McGee, another black man railroaded on charges of raping a white woman, was also executed that year in Mississippi.

In Florida, Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall exercised his right to white vigilantism and summarily executed one black man and critically wounded another who were being transferred for reprosecution after their “Groveland” rape convictions were overturned by the US Supreme Court. Harry and Harriette Moore, who had organized for the NAACP in Florida and had boldly demanded charges be brought against Sheriff McCall for his crimes, were killed weeks later in a bombing at their own home that was never solved. This is, of course, why racist rumors started by a white woman that reduce a political opponent to a menacing black man isn’t a game, but that’s another story…

Ironically, the number one Billboard song of 1951 was “Too Young,” sung by Nat King Cole. Seriously. A black crooner singing about young love that others wouldn’t understand, while black men were being killed for looking at white women – that was the song on top of the charts. To end a year like that, then, could it have surprised anyone when Paul Robeson and William Patterson submitted a document called “We Charge Genocide” to the United Nations?

At last, in lesser-but-still-big-all-encompassing-whiteness news from 1951, Bette Nesmith Graham invented correction fluid in her own kitchen, making it easier for typists everywhere to “white out” their mistakes.  After all, whiteness adores erasure. Remember that. And while a dying Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote his Remarks on Colour, the coup de grâce to 1951 and its triumphant whiteness emerged when a pretentious asshole named Robert Rauschenberg began his White Paintings. Because, why the fuck not?

 

—–

 

Robert Rauschenberg was an insufferable, Neo Dadaist asshole. Neo Dadaists, it should be noted, are the folks who made us question not “what is art,” but rather, “are these fucking assholes joking?” In but one of many examples of his legendary assholery, when commissioned to do a portrait of Iris Clert, Raueschenberg instead sent a telegram that read “This is a portrait of Iris Clert if I say so.” He was that kind of precious asshole – the kind of precious asshole who inspired generations of other assholes to struggle to use a can opener to open a can of spaghetti-o’s in a room full of other precious assholes and then piss oneself, and then boldly call it “high art.” The kind of precious asshole who would inspire Yoko Ono to whitewash a chess set and uncritically title her racist work “Play It By Trust.”

As an asshole, Raueschenberg was surrounded by other, similarly-inclined assholes. Assholes tend to attract other assholes, it seems. His asshole friend, John Cage, “composed” the famous “4’33” – which is just four minutes and 33 seconds of utter fucking silence. The blank canvas, creating nothing but a void where anything could be projected (even a politics), was now itself considered substantive and important “art.”

Rauschenberg and his coterie, in short, clearly presaged today’s trolls. And I’m glad he’s dead. I wish he’d died sooner, before his brand of utter and irredeemable, detached cynicism became as popular as it is today – because this airy, unaffected distance is, of course, a pure manifestation of privilege, be it racial, class or otherwise.

In Creative Tyranny, Rob Horning explains how many artists often reveal their real class allegiance:

“Because artists, unlike wage laborers, have a direct stake in what they produce and face no workplace discipline other than what they impose on themselves, their political attitudes are structurally different from those of the working class, who know they are interchangeable parts in the machine of capitalism and must organize collectively to resist it. ;“The predominant character’” of the contemporary art scene, on the other hand, ‘“is middle class,’” Davis contends, referring not to a particular income or earning potential but rather to artists’ relation to their labor. Artists work for themselves, own what they make, and must concern themselves with how to sell it. Though art has often made a mission of shocking middlebrow taste and artists have often congregated in urban Bohemian enclaves in working-class neighborhoods, they are less vanguard proletarians than petit bourgeois.”

 

So it was that in 1951, a few years before taking a nod from Bette Nesmith Graham, erasing a drawing by Willem de Kooning and calling that erasure itself “art” – Rauschenberg set off on perhaps his most famous act of trolling, his White Paintings. What had started as a joke between above-it-all, petit bourgeois art school buddies – when actually taken seriously outside of their insular bubble – soon became serious art. It then had to be retroactively justified when it had really just been a joke.

Of course, it’s important to say that Rauschenberg’s White Paintings can’t rightly be called mere “blank canvasses.” They’re actually paint on canvas. But they’re painted monochromatically white in such a way as to reveal nothing. They are the nothing. They aren’t a state of blankness, of emptiness – they are the essence of whiteness – the void-of-anything space that must consume everything around it in order to give itself any meaning at all. Nothingness has to appropriate to have anything, which is what whiteness itself tends to do, isn’t it? Indeed, as Raueschenberg himself observed, “an empty canvas is full.”

—–

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“If you’re going to do something as passionate and idealistic as be a full time artist, you need to be the toughest, most cynical, most opportunistic street fighter around.”Molly Crabapple

 

“Artists are eager to identify themselves with—and even lay claim to—efforts like the Occupy movement, but their involvement, Davis argues, muddles protest and derails organizational efforts more often than not… But because artists are celebrated by capital for their seeming independence from it, they are liable to become confused about the social role they play. They think being above wage labor gives them automatic solidarity with those who want to abolish it. They think they are fellow travelers when really they are running dogs.” – Rob Horning, Creative Tyranny

In July, Emma Quangel explored The Weaponized Naked Girl, where she observed that Molly Crabapple is a self-described mercenary entrepreneur and former naked girl who seemed to earn her credentials on reporting the topic of Syrian “revolution” by way of her being an unofficial spokeswoman and artist for Occupy Wall Street.” To be sure, the fact that Molly Crabapple was once a burlesque dancer is the least interesting thing about her, to me. I’m far more concerned with the role she continues to play as a mercenary for White Supremacy. Again, in her own words, I’m more interested in her success as both an opportunist and a cynic.

In his recent offering at The New Inquiry, The White Women of Empire, which echoes many of the concerns raised in July by Quangel, Willie Osterweil poses a stark but important question: “what happens when the white woman is the protagonist of the imperialist story?” Osterweil elaborates:

“It is clear that the helpless and/or metonymic white woman of imperial fantasy will no longer do. The historical victories of feminism have forced empire to interpolate (mostly white) women as its agents as well as its objects.”

It’s apparently easy for some folks to continue to ignore Crabapple’s expressed, imperial politics – her repeated role as Osterweil’s “agent” of empire. However, from Syria to Venezuela, Crabapple – promoted as a reliable, political commentator after Occupy Wall Street – has consistently articulated a politics that serve the white supremacist power structure and its inheritor, US neocolonialism. Erasing an actual fucking Nazi’s misogynistic past is actually a part of her art. She has made the supremacist, eugenics argument herself, Beauty is survival, not distraction. Beauty is a way of fighting. Beauty is a reason to fight.”

Even before writing her paean to an avowed, white supremacist, the cynical, opportunistic and – by her own admission – “mercenary” Molly Crabapple had regularly oriented her politics to the unequivocated service of white power. Crabapple, then, has proven her art is anything but a blank canvas; instead, she has repeatedly espoused a politics that – like Rauschenberg’s White Paintings – are actually canvases slathered in whiteness. Her work isn’t emptiness, it is whiteness.

It’s actually my job as a white revolutionary race traitor, in constant struggle, precisely to criticize that. Always. To struggle with it. To destroy it. And I won’t apologize for it. As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” I believe Molly Crabapple is the petit bourgeois, “cynical,” “opportunistic” and “mercenary” white supremacist she herself says she is. No artistic flourish, no flair and certainly no vacuous, repeatedly-self-repudiated revolutionary gesturing can change that. After all, we have previously discussed – at some length – that liberals are fully capable of performing in revolutionary hats and that anyone can and will serve Nazis, for the right price.

Yet people continue to misapprehend whiteness and their own complicity in it. As Tamara K. Nopper observed in The White Anti-Racist Is an Oxymoron: An Open Letter to “White Anti-Racists”:

 

“people such as Malcolm X, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and many, many others who are perhaps less famous, have articulated the relationship between whiteness and domination…

 

Further, people such as Douglass and DuBois began to outline how whiteness is a social and political construct that emphasizes the domination, authority, and perceived humanity of those who are racialized as white. They, along with many other non-white writers and orators, have pointed to the fact that it was the bodies who were able to be racialized as “white” that were able to be viewed as rational, authoritative, and deserving.”

 

Nopper, perhaps presaging Molly Crabapple’s racialized whiteness and service to white supremacy itself, continues:

 

Don’t assume that when I see you get the attention and accolades and the book deals and the speaking engagements that this does not hurt me (because you profit off of pain).

 

Also, vis-a-vis Crabapple’s claim of proximity to whiteness – and to the authority whiteness itself conveys – I think it’s important to consider an amazing contribution by my comrade, Chris Taylor, who – in Whiteness Supreme: Towson University and Liberal Ironists – reminded us:

 

“Whiteness is a property, a possession, one unevenly distributed across the social terrain. White supremacists tend to have diminished access to the supreme property of whiteness. White supremacy is thus an aspirational politics, one that attempts sticking close to what it imperfectly is in order to become what it should be.”

 

How does Crabapple use her art to stake a claim to the authority vested in whiteness? In her most recent work, Scenes from Daily Life in the de Facto Capital of ISIS published yesterday in Vanity Fair, Crabapple inserts herself as the authority and interlocutor between her audience and a Syrian’s own experience and art. This is gatekeeping, plain and simple. After all, although Crabapple’s claim that “art evades censorship” may be true, it doesn’t seem to evade her editorializing. After all, Crabapple’s is “extremely editorial art” that “no one could look at…” and “not know what side [she is] on.” Whiteness. Empire. If the “who do you protect/who do you serve” chant so often levied at the police were levied at Molly Crabapple, we should know the answer.

If there is still doubt, then we should examine her famous work whitewashing Weev, a vile misogynist and avowed white supremacist, who Crabapple herself “cared for” so much so she wrote a lengthy hagiography about. And as any propagandist might, from Leni Riefenstahl to Shepherd Fairey, she went further and  “created an icon” of her “weevil one.”

What would Molly Crabapple say of Robert Rauschenberg, who joked with his Neo Dadaist buddies and trolled the art world, for his antediluvian “lulz?” Would she misjudge “sincere belief as trolling?” Would she think his White Paintings meant more than mere emptiness? Could she see the whiteness in them? Would she acknowledge that whiteness itself is domination, and that unexamined proximity to whiteness itself is what makes being friends with an actual fucking Nazi possible? I have a lot of questions, but Molly Crabapple isn’t interested in talking about anything that makes her uncomfortable. And I guess that’s her right. But it sure isn’t very revolutionary.

“Quinn Norton once advised me to write about what I loved,” Crabapple wrote. And she, who so loved empire and its foundational white supremacy (or the money and fame it afforded her), wrote words that flattered it, and urged us – as eugenicists often do – to “fight for beauty.” As many mercenaries before her, Crabapple has identified that she lives in a time when artists are brand bots, obediently self-plagiarizing from their last success“ and that journalism often feels like vampirism.” But it doesn’t have to be this way. It is this way because of whiteness itself.

We have an opportunity to have art that doesn’t reinscribe white supremacy and other ruling class values. We have an opportunity to communicate directly with each other, without intermediaries like Molly Crabapple – who refashion photos from Syria and reimagine them for us. Who editorialize them for us. We could see photos from Syria ourselves. We could hear stories from Syrians ourselves. We don’t need better intermediaries who may prove themselves so tempted by lucre and committed to brand management that, in their endless pursuit of being “New Yorker respectable. Museum of Modern Art respectable,” they paternalistically make an actual Nazi respectable for us.

However, if we insist on replicating power structures here – among them, in this space, white supremacy – we will lose. We have lost. And that’s why criticism of our faves matters, I guess. Because earnest criticism isn’t “trolling,” no matter what the white women of empire say.

—–

“When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, ‘Ours.’”‘ – Vine Deloria, Jr

The power of terministic control is a monopoly on the naming of things maintained by power. For example, as Paulo Freire wrote in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “there would be no oppressed had there been no prior situation of violence to establish their subjugation.” However, power, particularly in the discourse on public demonstrations against it, often makes a point to discern when “protests became violent.” The fact is, protests “become violent” whenever the armed enforcers of the state’s monopoly on violence – the police – arrive. Their presence itself is the violence that created and maintains an oppressed class. Terministic control, then, is what allows power to say otherwise.

Take the word, “trolling.” Crabapple has asserted that she mistook Weev’s retrograde, supremacist politics for mere “trolling,” or insincerity. As if insincere fascism is acceptable. Crabapple has also derided her critics as “trolls.” Does she think I am likewise insincere? Maybe, but consider that instead I have sincere complaints about her service to white supremacy. The naming of things, and controlling how those words take meaning, is terministic control. Crabapple, as an artist working under a pseudonym, knows more about this than she lets on.

One aspect of liberation has historically been seen as wresting back control over the power to name things, particularly oneself; to identify oneself instead of being identified. According to Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad in Message to the Black Man in America, if a black man doesn’t assert that power, he has “never gotten out of the shackles of slavery. [He is] still in them.” From the US Organization, the BPP and BLA’s eschewing of “slave names” to our trans comrades’’ struggle against being misidentified by “dead names”: asserting one’s own identity instead of being named by power is an important terrain of struggle.

So, then, what might it mean if an artist or celebrity changed their name to one that more closely identifies with power itself? What might it mean if one were to orient oneself, through their own naming, in closer proximity to whiteness – to assume a name that may very well be the ne plus ultra of whiteness itself? What would it mean if Assata Shakur decided she wanted to be called “Becky?” What does it mean if Jennifer Caban draped herself in gothic whiteness, stole other people’s art and stories and rebranded herself with a name unmistakable in its own white blandness?

Now, close your eyes and repeat after me: “Molly Crabapple.”

I’m done being trolled by insincere, whiteness-made Rauschenbergs and Crabapples. I want something real, directly from people who don’t need whiteness as authority, whitewashers, sanitizers and those who will labor to make their own friends respectable, even if they are actual fucking Nazis, as intermediaries. We can’t go back to 1951, and frankly, I question anyone who would want to.

Fuck fighting for beauty, or New York’s conception of it – those white women of empire. I want to be in solidarity with what whiteness says is ugly. I’m not trolling Molly Crabapple, and I don’t hate her. I disagree with her politics, her mercenary vision for the world and her near-constant insincerity. Please. She can keep her white paintings.

Update 2

Trolls of a cynical, fascist feather… In her AMA, Crabapple noted:

My art is extremely editorial. No one could look at my bulging insect cops, or my pictures of Weev’s prosecutors, and not know what side I’m on. I try to convey my truth, rather than a party line, but they are deeply subjective.

Well… US Government propaganda tool and otherwise state-sponsored troll@ThinkAgain_DOS, knows exactly what side Crabapple’s art speaks to:

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Crabapple, of course, feigned surprise:

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It’s probably a good time for your people (whoever they are) to collect you.

Update 1

As if on cue, Molly Crabapple’s “most cynical,” “most opportunistic” auteur persona reemerged today. Crabapple –who, like Robert Rauschenberg – occupies the rarified, insincere space where blank white canvasses are just “trolling,” published a middling, wanna-be “ACAB” article at Vice today (which I have dutifully archived to limit her clicks, here). After plodding through the inextricable viciousness of the police institution, name-dropping her pals and actually interviewing a prison abolitionist, Crabapple concludes her otherwise superfluous piece with a bit of fascist whimsy:

Or here’s another, if somewhat facetious, idea: America is vengeful and loves punishment, so why not create a police force whose sole job is to arrest the police?
These meta-cops could be given quotas of officers to arrest each month. They’d no doubt lean heavily on quality of life violations, arresting cops who made communities unpleasant by groping black teens or hassling street vendors. As cops do now, these meta-cops could be promoted based on their arrest numbers. They might sometimes detain cops for rudeness, or failing to present ID, but that’s to be expected. Their jobs would be stressful. They’d have to lay down the law.

I don’t know any revolutionaries who think the creation of an über-cop is worth even “facetious” consideration. Also: the Feds already exist. Again: Keep your white paintings, Molly.

CONFORMITY IS UNITY [DOWNLOAD the POSTER]

September 26, 2014

 

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Poster courtesy of Mark Gould

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Ex-CIA Agent Reveals how Venezuelan “Students” Get Putschist Training

Aporrea | News of  the Restless

March 25, 2014

By 

Entrevista a Raúl Capote

Who is this man, and why does the CIA fear him? Because they thought he was one of theirs, and it turns out he’s quite the opposite. And now he’s spilling the beans on them. Read on:

In a recent interview in Havana, a former CIA collaborator, Cuban Raúl Capote, revealed the strategy of the CIA in Venezuelan universities to create the kind of destabilizing opposition student movement the country is currently facing. He also discusses media manipulation, and alleges that one of the U.S. diplomats that President Maduro expelled from Venezuela last September was in fact a CIA agent. The following translation and notes were made by Sabina C. Becker. Original interview in Spanish here.

Raúl Capote is a Cuban. But not just any Cuban. In his youth, he was caught up by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). They offered him an infinite amount of money to conspire in Cuba. But then something unexpected for the US happened. Capote, in reality, was working for Cuban national security. From then on, he served as a double agent. Learn his story, by way of an exclusive interview with the Chávez Vive magazine, which he gave in Havana:

Q. What was the process by which you were caught up?

It started with a process of many years, several years of preparation and capture. I was leader of a Cuban student movement which, at that time, gave rise to an organization, the Saiz Brothers Cultural Association, a group of young creators, painters, writers, artists. I worked in a city in southern-central Cuba, Cienfuegos, which had characteristics of great interest to the enemy, because it was a city in which an important industrial pole was being built at the time. They were building an electrical centre, the only one in Cuba, and there were a lot of young people working on it. For that reason, it was also a city that had a lot of young engineers graduated in the Soviet Union. We’re talking of the last years of the 1980s, when there was that process called Perestroika. And many Cuban engineers, who arrived in Cuba at that time, graduated from there, were considered people who had arrived with that idea of Perestroika. For that reason, it was an interesting territory, where there were a lot of young people. And the fact that I was a youth leader of a cultural organization, which dealt with an important sector of the engineers who were interested in the arts, became of interest to the North Americans, and they began to frequent the meetings we attended. They never identified themselves as enemies, or as officials of the CIA.

Q. Were there many of them, or just always the same person?

Several. They never presented themselves as officials of the CIA, nor as people who had come to cause trouble, or anything.

Q. And who do you suppose they were?

They presented themselves as people coming to help us and our project, and who had the ability to finance it. That they had the chance to make it a reality. The proposal, as such, sounded interesting because, okay, a project in the literary world requires that you know a publisher, that you have editorial relations. It’s a very complex market. And they came in the name of publishers. What happened is that, during the process of contact with us, what they really wanted became quite evident. Because once they had made the contact, once they had begun frequenting our meetings, once they began to promise financing, then came the conditions for being financed.

Q. What conditions did they demand?

They told us: We have the ability to put the markets at your disposal, to put you on the markets of books or sculpture or movies or whatever, but we need the truth, because what we’re selling in the market, is the image of Cuba. The image of Cuba has to be a realistic one, of difficulties, of what’s going on in the country. They wanted to smear the reality of Cuba. What they were asking is that you criticize the revolution, based on anti-Cuba propaganda lines, which they provided.

Q. How big was these people’s budget?

They came with an infinite amount of money, because the source of the money, obviously, we found out over time from whence it came. For example, there was USAID, which was the big provider, the overall contractor of this budget, which channeled the money via NGOs, many of them invented just for Cuba. They were NGOs that didn’t exist, created solely for this type of job in Cuba, and we’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars. They weren’t working on small budgets. To give you an example, at one time, they offered me ten thousand dollars, just to include elements of anti-Cuba propaganda, in the novel I was writing.

Q. What year are we talking about?

Around 1988-89.

Q. How many people could have been contacted by these people, or captured?

In reality, their success didn’t last long, because in Cuba there was a culture of total confrontation with this type of thing, and the people knew very well that there was something behind that story of them wanting to “help” us. It was nothing new in the history of the land, and for that reason, it was very hard for them to get to where we were. In a determined moment, around 1992, we held a meeting, all the members of the organization, and we decided to expel them. They weren’t allowed to attend any more of our meetings. Those people, who were already coming in with concrete proposals, and also preconditioned economic aid they were giving us. What happened is that at the moment we did that, and rejected them, we expelled them from the association headquarters, then they started to particularize. They began to visit with me, in particular, and other comrades as well, young people. With some they succeeded, or should I say, they succeeded in getting some of them out of the country as well.

Q. What kind of profile were they looking for, more or less, if any kind of profile could be specified?

They wanted, above all at that time, to present Cuba as a land in chaos. That socialism in Cuba had not managed to satisfy the needs of the population, and that Cuba was a country that socialism had landed in absolute poverty, and which, as a model, no one liked. That was the key to what they were pursuing, above all, at that time.

Q. How long were you an agent of the CIA?

We were in this initial story until 1994. Because in 1994, I went to Havana, I came back to the capital and here, in the capital, I began to work for the Union of Cultural Workers, a union which represented the cultural workers of the capital, and I became more interesting yet to them, because I went on to direct — from being a leader of a youth organization with 4,000 members, to directing a union with 40,000 members, just in the city of Havana. And then, it gets much more interesting. Contacts followed. In that period there appeared a woman professor from a new university who came with the mission of kick-starting the production of my literary work, to become my representative, to organize events.

Q. Can you give her name?

No, because they used pseudonyms. They never used real names. And that type of work, promoting me as a writer, was what they were very interested in, because they wanted to convert me into a personality in that world. Promoting me now, and compromising me with them in an indirect manner. And then, in 2004, there arrived in Havana a person well known in Venezuela, Kelly Keiderling. Kelly came to Havana to work as Chief of the Office of Press and Culture. They set up a meeting. they arranged a cocktail party, and at that party I met with 12 North American functionaries, North Americans and Europeans. They weren’t only North Americans. All of them people with experience, some also inside the Soviet Union, others who had participated in training and preparation of the people in Yugoslavia, in the Color Revolutions, and they were very interested in meeting me. Kelly became very close to me. She began to prepare me. She began to instruct me. I began to receive, from her, a very solid training: The creation of alternative groups, independent groups, the organization and training of youth leaders, who did not participate in the works of our cultural institutions. And that was in 2004-5. Kelly practically vanished from the scene in 2005-6. And when I started to work, she put me in direct contact with officials of the CIA. Supposedly, I was already committed to them, I was ready for the next mission, and they put me in touch with Renee Greenwald, an official of the CIA, who worked with me directly, and with a man named Mark Waterhein, who was, at the time, the head of Project Cuba, of the Pan-American Foundation for Development.

This man, Mark, as well as directing Project Cuba, had a direct link to Cuba, in terms of financing the anti-revolutionary project, as well as being involved in working against Venezuela. That is, he was a man who, along with much of his team of functionaries of that famous project, also worked against Venezuela at that time. They were closely connected. At times it took a lot of work to tell who was working with Cuba, and who was not, because many times they interlocked. For example, there were Venezuelans who came to work with me, who worked in Washington, who were subordinates of the Pan-American Foundation and the CIA, and they came to Cuba to train me as well, and to bring provisions. From there arose the idea of creating a foundation, a project called Genesis.

Genesis is maybe the template, as an idea, of many of the things going on in the world today, because Genesis is a project aimed at the university youth of Cuba. They were doing something similar in Venezuela. Why? The idea was to convert universities — which have always been revolutionary, which have produced revolutionaries, out of those from which many of the revolutionaries of both countries came — and convert them into factories for reactionaries. So, how do you do that? By making leaders. What have they begun to do in Venezuela? They sent students to Yugoslavia, financed by the International Republican Institute (IRI), which was financed by USAID and by the Albert Einstein Institute, and sent them, in groups of ten, with their professors.

Q. Do you have the names of the Venezuelans?

No, we’re talking of hundreds being sent. I spoke with the professor, and watched one group and followed the other. Because they were working long-term. The same plan was also in place against Cuba. Genesis promoted, with in the university, a plan of training scholarships for Cuban student leaders and professors. The plan was very similar. Also, in 2003, they prepared here, in Havana, a course in the US Interests Section, which was called “Deposing a leader, deposing a dictator”, which was based on the experience of OTPOR in removing Slobodan Milosevic from power. And that was the idea, inside the Cuban university, to work long-term, because these projects always take a long time in order to reap a result. For that reason, they also started early in Venezuela. I believe as well — I don’t have proof, but I believe that in Venezuela it began before the Chávez government, because the plan of converting Latin American universities, which were always sources of revolutionary processes, into reactionary universities, is older than the Venezuelan [Bolivarian] process, to reverse the situation and create a new right-wing.

Q. Did the CIA only work in Caracas?

No, throughout Venezuela. Right now, Genesis has a scholarship plan to create leaders in Cuba. They provide scholarships to students to big North American universities, to train them as leaders, with all expenses paid. They pay their costs, they provide complete scholarships. We’re talking 2004-5 here. It was very obvious. Then, those leaders return to university at some time. They’re students. They go to end their careers. Those leaders, when they end their student careers, go on to various jobs, different possibilities, as engineers, as degree-holders in different sectors of Cuban society, but there are others who go on constantly preparing leaders within the university. One of the most important missions of the university leaders was to occupy the leadership of the principal youth organizations of the university. In the case of Cuba, we’re talking about the Union of Communist Youth, and the University Student Federation. That is, it was not to create parallel groups at that time, but to become the leaders of the organizations already existing in Cuba. Also, to form a group of leaders in the strategies of the “soft” coup. That is, training people for the opportune moment to start the famous “color revolutions” or “non-violent wars”, which, as you well know, have nothing to do with non-violence.

Q. What were they looking for in a professor, in order to capture them?

Professors are very easy. Identify university professors discontented with the institution, frustrated people, because they considered that the institution did not guarantee them anything, or didn’t recognize their merits. If they were older, even better. They didn’t specify. Look for older persons, so you can pick them. If you send a scholarship plan, or you send it and, first crack, they receive an invitation to participate in a great international congress of a certain science, they will be eternally grateful to you, because you were the one who discovered their talent, which has never been recognized by the university. Then that man you sent to study abroad, if you’re from his university, and participating in a big event, and publish his works, and constructing him a curriculum. When that person returns to Cuba, he goes back with a tremendous curriculum, because he has participated in a scientific event of the first order, has passed courses from big universities, and his curriculum reaches to the roof, then the influence he could have in the university will be greater, because he could be recognized as a leading figure in his specialty, even though in practice the man could be an ignoramus.

Q. And how effective were these types of captures, that type of missions they came to accomplish here?

In the case of Cuba, they didn’t have much of a result. First, because there was a most important reason, because I was the one directing the project, and I, in reality, was not an agent of the CIA, I was an agent of Cuban security, and so, the whole project passed through my hands, and they thought I was the one who would execute it. And the plan always passed through the work I was able to do, and what we did was slow it down as much as possible, knowing right away what was being planned. But just think, the goal of their plan, they were calculating for the moment in which the historic figures of the Revolution would disappear. They were figuring on a five- or ten-year term, in which Fidel would disappear from the political scene, and Raúl, and the historic leaders of the land. That was the moment they were waiting for, and when that happened, I was to leave university, with all the support of the international press and that of the NGOs, USAID, and all the people working around the CIA’s money, and that there would arise an organization which would present itself before the light of the public, as an alternative to what the Revolution was doing. That is what was to have happened with the Genesis Foundation for Freedom.

Q. What is that Foundation?

The Genesis Foundation for Freedom was to have a discourse, apparently revolutionary, but the idea was to confuse the people. The idea is that they would say they were revolutionaries, that what they wanted was to make changes in the government, but, when it comes to practice, when you get to the essence of the project, when you ask yourself “What is the project?” the discourse was, and the project was, exactly the same as those of the traditional right-wing. Because the changes they promoted, were the same that the right-wing, for a long time, has been promoting in the country. In practice, they almost had their big opportunity, according to their criteria, in 2006, when the news came out on TV that Fidel, for health reasons, was stepping down from his governmental responsibilities, and they have always said that the Cuban Revolution would die when Fidel died. Because the Revolution was Fidel, and on the day Fidel was no longer there, either by dying or leaving government, the next day the Revolution would fall. And they calculated that there would be internal confrontations, that there would be discontent with this or that. Calculations that I don’t know where they got them from, but they believed it. And in that moment, they believed that the time had come to act.

Q. We’re talking about 2006. What was the plan?

They called me automatically. We met, the CIA station chief and I, here in Havana. Diplomatic functionaries also showed up, and one of them said to me, we’re going to organize a provocation. We’re going to organize a popular uprising in a central neighborhood in Havana. There will be a person going there to rise up for democracy, and we’re going to execute a group of provocations, in different locations, in such a way that Cuban security forces will be forced to act against these people, and later we’ll start a big press campaign and start explaining how all of this will function. The interesting part of that, what really caught my attention, was this: How was it possible that a functionary of the US Interests Section could have the power to call upon the principal media, and that those people would obey with such servility? It was really attention-getting. The idea was — and I even told them this — what you’re telling me is just crazy. This man you mentioned to me, called Alci Ferrer — the guy they picked, a young agent, a doctor — they picked him to be the ringleader of the uprising. I told them, that guy won’t budge anyone. No one is going to rise up in the centre of Havana. The date they picked was none other than Fidel’s birthday, and they told me that day! And I said, Look, buddy, if that man, on that day, decides to go make proclamations, or to start some kind of uprising in the middle of Havana, the people are going to respond harshly. It’s even possible that they might kill him. Why, how could you put him in a humble working-class neighborhood to start those things, the locals…And he told me, flat out, the best thing that could happen for us is if they kill that man, it would be perfect, and they explained to me what would happen. All he had to do was provoke. They would go into the street, and there would be a clash there. If that happened, the press would do the rest, and they told me, we’re going to start a huge media campaign to demonstrate that there is chaos in Cuba, that Cuba is ungovernable; that in Cuba, Raúl is unable to hold the reins of government; that the civilian population is being killed; that students are being repressed in the street, and the people in the street, that the police are committing crimes. What a resemblance to Venezuela! It’s not a coincidence. It’s like that.

Q. So, what was supposed to happen in those circumstances?

Once all the opinion matrices were created, and all the media matrices had constructed that image, the whole world was supposed to have the image of Cuba as a great disaster, and that they’re killing the people, that they are killing them all. Then, my organization was to complete the final task.

Q. What was the final task?

Well, to gather the international press, in my capacity as a university professor, and as a writer, and as a leader of that organization, that I go out publicly to ask the government of the United States to intervene in Cuba, to guarantee the lives of the civilians and to bring peace and tranquility to the Cuban people. To speak to the country in the name of the Cuban people. Just imagine that!

That plan fell apart on them. It gave them no result, but as you could see, later, the way the war in Libya went, and the way it was set up. More than 80% of the information we saw, was fabricated. They’re doing the same in Syria, and they’ve done the same in Ukraine. I have had the opportunity to converse with a lot of Ukrainians, since they were in the bases. People in favor of uniting with Europe. I tried to talk with them these days. Trying to find out, what are those processes like? And they were surprised at the images which were transmitted around the world. What happened in Miami, and they themselves said so, but we’ve been protesting there, but those things that appear on TV, that was a group, or rather, there were sectors, there were places where there were right-wing groups, of the very far right, where there were incidents of that type, and where they burned things, but the greater part of the demonstrations didn’t have those characteristics. Or that this is, once more, the repetition of the scheme, using all the communication media.

Q. The relationship between the CIA and the embassies, in the respective lands, are they direct, then?

Yes, completely direct. In every embassy in Latin America, all the US embassies have CIA officials, working within them, using the façade of diplomatic functionaries.

Q. From what you know, is there a greater CIA presence in the region?

Well, at a certain moment, Ecuador was a major power in that, it had a strong concentration of them, and of course, Venezuela, because in 2012, when I attended the Book Fair in Caracas, all those people who had worked with me against Cuba, all the CIA officials, including Kelly Keiderling, were in Caracas at that time. And I was on a TV show, on VTV, where we talked about this subject, being very careful, because we were talking about two countries who have relations. That’s not the case with Cuba, or rather, Cuba has no relations with the United States. That’s a declared enemy. But we were talking about functionaries who had diplomatic relations, and it was very awkward to do it, without having concrete proofs you could present. However, the interview happened, and the denunciation was made of what was going on. Kelly Keiderling is an expert in this type of war. I have not the slightest doubt. When one follows the itinerary she has, in the countries where she’s been, and when I was in that type of conflict.

She has toured a series of countries in the world where very similar situations have occurred, like what she tried to do in Venezuela. And when you analyze Venezuela, and what has happened nowadays and the way in which she has acted, I think that in Venezuela, the characteristic that has been that they are tremendously aggressive in the manipulation of the information. Tremendously aggressive. To the point where you say it’s a blunder, because there are images which are so obviously not from Venezuela. I saw a very famous one, in which a soldier appears with a journalist, with a camera.They are Koreans. It’s an image from Korea. They’re Asian. They don’t look like Venezuelans at all. Also, the uniforms they wear. They’ve been very aggressive with that image which has projected what’s going on in Venezuela to the world. The greater part of the world’s people, this image is the one they’re seeing, of what they’re trying to say.

Q. They control the media. Do you know any case of any journalist which has been, as you have seen, known or unknown, which you have seen in the process of training?

No.

Q. CNN, for example?

No, there was a guy who had a lot of ties to me at the time here, who served as a link for meeting an official from the CIA., Antony Golden, of Reuters. But, all right, he was an element independent of Reuters. CNN has always been very closely linked to all these things. CNN, from its first moments of operation, above all this latest step, and above all, CNN en Español, has been an indispensable tool for these people, but the problem is that you have to understand one thing: to understand what’s going on, and to be able to mount a campaign, you have to understand that nowadays, there is no TV station that acts on its own. There are the conglomerates, and the communications conglomerates — who directs them? Because, for example, Time Warner and AOL, and all those big communications companies — cable TV, movie TV, TV in general — who is the boss, in the end? Here it’s Westinghouse, there it’s General Electric. The same who build warplanes, the same US arms industry, the same people who are the owners of TV networks, movie studios, publications, book publishers. So, the same guys who produce warplanes, the cookie you’ll eat at night, that presents an artist to you, are the same who rule the newspapers of the entire world. Who do these people answer to?

Q. When you see what’s happening in Venezuela, and you compare it with what you did here [in Cuba], what conclusion can you draw?

It’s a new strategy, which they’ve been developing based on the experience they’ve had all over the world, but I see, I’m convinced, that they’ve only gotten results when people in those places don’t support the revolution. They managed it with Milosevic, because Milosevic was a Yugoslavian leader whose image had fallen far, thanks to things that happened in Yugoslavia. The same happened in Ukraine, because Yanukovych was a man with very little popular support, and it has given results in other places where the governments had little support from the people. Wherever they have a legitimate government, a solid government, and people disposed to defend the revolution, the plan has failed on them.

Q. And what phase do they enter when the plan fails?

They’re going to keep on doing it, they’ll go on perfecting it. We are the enemy. That is, Venezuela, Cuba, everything going on in Latin America as an alternative. We are the dissidents of the world. We live in a world dominated by capitalism. Where that new capitalist way of being dominates, so that now one can’t even call it imperialist, it’s something new, something that goes way beyond what students of Marxism wrote in history years ago. It’s something new, novel. It’s a power, practically global, of the big transnationals, of those megalopolies they’ve created. Therefore, we are the enemy. We are presenting an alternative project. The solution that the world proposes to us, is not that. We know how to do it, and Cuba, Venezuela, the ALBA countries, have demonstrated that it can be done, that one or two days more are nothing. The Cuban revolution has been in existence for 55 years, and with political will, it has achieved things that the US government, with all the money in the world, has been unable to do. So that’s a bad example.

And I’ve told my students: Can you imagine that the Indignants in Spain, the thousands and millions of workers out of work in Spain, that the Greeks, that all those people in all the world, know what we’re doing? Can you imagine that these people get to know who Chávez is? Or who Fidel is? Or of the things we’re doing here? Or the things we’re doing with so few resources, only the will to make revolution and share the wealth? What will happen to capitalism? How much longer will capitalism last, which has to spend billions of dollars, every day, to build its image and fool the people? What would happen if the people knew who we really are? What is the Cuban Revolution, really, and what is the Venezuelan Revolution? Because, if you talked to a Spaniard and asked him about Chávez, and he gives you a terrible opinion of Chávez, because it’s what they’ve constructed in his mind/ And you meet an unemployed person who tells you that Chávez is a bad guy, because the media have convinced him of that, but if these people knew how things really were! So they can’t allow that such formidable enemies as ourselves should be there, at the door.

Q. From the viewpoint of the national sovereignty of our people, how can we stop the CIA? We’ve already talked about the consciousness of the people, which is fundamental in these types of actions, but, in the concrete, how does one foresee the CIA’s work? What can be done? What recommendations do you have?

I think of a thing that Chávez said, and that Fidel has always said, that is the key to defeating the empire, and that is unity. It’s not a slogan, it’s a reality. It’s the only way you have of defeating a project like that. A project that comes from the Special Services and from capitalism. One can only do it with the unity of the people.

Q. Are we talking about the civilian-military?

Yes, unity in all senses. Unity based in diversity, in the peoples, but unity as a nation, unity as a project. Wherever the people are divided, there is another reality.

Q. Where do they have to concentrate? In what area must they concentrate forces to defend us from this type of actions, this type of attacks?

The army to defeat that is the people. I believe that the Cuban experience has taught that very well. There are experiences in the world which mark you very clearly. What has happened in the world, when the people have not been protagonists in defence of the Revolution? And when the people have been protagonists, what happened? And there’s the case of Cuba. We have managed to defeat the CIA and the empire millions of times, because the people have been the protagonist.

Q. Does the CIA use the databases of the social networks, and that sort of thing, to define their plans?

They’re the masters. They’re the masters of that. Fine, there are the denunciations of Snowden and all that has come out of Wikileaks, and all those things that are no secret to anyone, because we suspected, but it’s been demonstrated. It’s been demonstrated that the servers, the Internet, are theirs. All the servers in the world, in the end, die in the North Americans’ servers. They are the mother of the Internet, and all the networks and services are controlled by them. They have access to all the information. And they don’t hesitate to record it. Facebook is an extraordinary database. People put everything on Facebook. Who are your friends? What are their tastes, what movies have they seen? What do they consume? And it’s a source of firsthand information.

Q. Have you been in contact with Kelly Keiderling, after what happened in Venezuela?

No, I haven’t had contact with her. I don’t know what was her final destination, after what happened (she was expelled from Venezuela for meeting with and financing terrorists).

Q. With the experience she has, how far was she able to penetrate into Venezuela, and Venezuelan universities?

I am certain that she got quite far. She’s a very intelligent agent, very well prepared, very capable, and very convinced of what she’s doing. Kelly is a person convinced of the job she is doing. She is convinced of the justness, from her point of view, of what she is doing. Because she is an unconditional representative of capitalism. Because she comes from capitalism’s elite. She is organic of the actions she is doing. There is no contradiction of any kind. And, based on the experience of her work, of her capability, I am sure that she managed to get very far, and gave continuity to a job which is not just for now, it’s a job she will go on doing for a long time, to reverse the process in Venezuelan universities. What’s going on is that up to whatever point they can reach, in the long term, that is what will show the Bolivarian process, in the measure of which the people are aware of what could happen. If that fascist right wing becomes uncontrollable, it could get into power again.

Q. What kind of person who has contacts, who could reach the people, such as by being an activist in a movement, could be captured by the CIA?

They will find them, they will try to do it. If it’s a young person and a leader, they will try to capture them for their interests. We have to train our leaders. We can’t leave that to spontaneity, we can’t leave that to the enemy. So, if we leave them to the enemy, those are spaces which the enemy will occupy. Any alternative project that we leave unattended, any alternative project that we don’t realize the necessity of getting close to, that is a project that the enemy will try, by all means, to take advantage of. Using the enormous amount of money they have for that, which has no limits, in terms of resources to be used, because they are playing with the future and, above all, the young are the key.

The good thing is that the young are the present of Latin America. The Latin American revolution which is there, which is everywhere, is of the young. If not, fine, it will never have results, and if you manage to make young people think differently, if you succeed in getting these youngsters to believe that savage capitalism is the solution to all their problems, then there will be no revolution for Latin America. It’s that simple.

WATCH: New Paths Require a New Culture on the Left [Spanish]

Discurso de Marta Harnecker al recibir el Premio Libertador al Pensamiento Crítico 2013

 

Published on Aug 15, 2014

“El libro Un mundo a construir (nuevos caminos), ganador del premio Libertador al Pensamiento Crítico 2014, no se hubiese podido escribir sin la intervención del líder de la Revolución Bolivariana, Hugo Chávez y su participación en la historia de América Latina, destacó este viernes la investigadora chilena, Marta Harnecker, autora de ese texto.”

 

[Full text in English courtesy of Monthly Review. Adapted from the translation by Federico Fuentes for Links.]

 

 

 

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