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Εγχειρίδιο χειρισμού κρίσεων λόγω πολιτικών ΔΝΤ από τη CIA! / Already confirmed: Civil liberties under attack! / Greece's creditors gone completely insane! / How the global financial mafia sucked Greece's blood / ECB's economic hitmen / Η Μέρκελ επιβεβαιώνει τα σχέδια των γραφειοφασιστών! /Greece: the low-noise collapse of an entire country/ How the neoliberal establishment tricked the masses again, this time in France / Ενώ η Γερμανία προετοιμάζεται για τα χειρότερα, η Ελλάδα επιμένει στο ευρώ! / Ένας παγκόσμιος "proxy" πόλεμος κατά της ελευθερίας έχει ξεκινήσει! / McCarthyism 2.0 against the independent information / Ο επικεφαλής του "σκιώδους συμβουλίου" της ΕΚΤ επιβεβαιώνει ότι η ευρωζώνη είναι μια χρηματοπιστωτική δικτατορία! / Venezuela case as an emphatic example of why the mainstream media propaganda in the West was so successful in previous decades / Δημοψήφισμα για Grexit: η τελευταία ευκαιρία να σωθεί η Ελλάδα και η τιμή της Αριστεράς / Populism as the new cliche of the elites to stigmatize anyone not aligned with the establishment / Δεν γίνεται έτσι "σύντροφοι" ... / Panama Papers: When mainstream information wears the anti-establishment mask / The Secret Bank Bailout / The head of the ECB “shadow council” confirms that eurozone is a financial dictatorship! / A documentary by Paul Mason about the financial coup in Greece / The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century / First cracks to the establishment by the American people / Clinton emails - The race of the Western neo-colonialist vultures over the Libyan corpse / Επιχείρηση Panama Papers: Το κατεστημένο θέλει το μονοπώλιο και στις διαρροές; / Operation "looting of Greece" reaches final stage / Varoufakis describes how Merkel sacrificed Greece to save the Franco-German banks / France officialy enters the neo-Feudal era! / The US establishment just gave its greatest performance so far ... / A significant revelation by WikiLeaks that the media almost ignored / It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists! / Οι αδίστακτοι νεο-αποικιοκράτες του 21ου αιώνα / How to handle political unrest caused by IMF policies! / Πώς το νεοφιλελεύθερο κατεστημένο ξεγέλασε τις μάζες, αυτή τη φορά στη Γαλλία / The international usurers return to the crime scene called Greece!

03 August, 2017

What the Media isn’t telling you about the jailing of opposition leaders In Venezuela

Western media have described Leopoldo López, a politician who has a dark history of inciting violent protests, as the “Venezuelan Nelson Mandela.” But they have ignored the facts surrounding his recent arrest, as well as that of fellow opposition leader Antonio Ledezma.

by Whitney Webb

Just days after Venezuela’s controversial vote to form a constituent assembly via free and open elections, the Western media – having summarily condemned the vote as “autocratic” and a step towards dictatorship – has once again been whipped into a frenzy following the late night arrests of two prominent figures from the Venezuelan opposition. Reuters led with an article titled “Venezuela Jails Opposition Leaders In New Crackdown On Opponents” while the New York Times tweeted “Masked government agents in Venezuela took away Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, 2 opposition leaders.”

Among independent media, a ZeroHedge story titled “They’ve Just Taken Leopoldo: Maduro Detains Opposition Leaders At Gunpoint” painted a dire picture of a “growing crackdown” by the Venezuelan government, just days after the mainstream media widely painted the government as a dictatorship hell-bent on clinging to power despite growing unpopularity.

While Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is by no means as popular as his predecessor Hugo Chávez, this latest effort by the press to condemn Venezuela is not entirely honest.

Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma were indeed taken at night by Venezuelan intelligence and returned to prison. However, the arrests came after the nation’s Supreme Court ordered that Ledezma and López’s house arrest be revoked, claiming that they had violated the terms of the house arrest.

Chief among these conditions were strict orders to not “proselytize” politically.

However, in the lead-up to their abrupt arrests, both politicians had been urging protests against Sunday’s vote from their homes via social media and YouTube addresses to supporters. Venezuelan intelligence has also charged that escape attempts were being planned by both figures.

López often receives praise in the Western press as a “prisoner of conscience,” “fiery leader” and the Venezuelan Nelson Mandela. He is widely perceived as the international face of the Venezuelan opposition.

But according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, even “for the opposition parties, Lopez draws ire second only to Chavez. The only difference between the two is that López is a lot better looking.” U.S. State Department officials have called López “arrogant, vindictive, and power-hungry.

López’s political past is quite dark, enough so that he himself has sought to distance himself from some of his past actions, namely his active role – while mayor of Caracas’ wealthiest district, Chacao – in the 2002 U.S.-backed failed coup against then-President Chávez.

Years later in 2014, López co-led the effort to opportunistically take advantage of student marches commemorating Venezuela’s National Youth Day by fomenting violent protests among the youth opposition, over whom López holds considerable sway. He was later arrested for his role in encouraging the violence.

While in prison, López has continued to call for violent resistance to the current government, even urging the nation’s armed forces to “rebel” against President Maduro last month. It is hardly surprising that he has done so again in violation of his house arrest.

Antonio Ledezma, though less well-known outside of Venezuela, is a veteran politician in Venezuela and was elected as mayor of Caracas in 2008. Prior to becoming mayor, Ledezma supported the 2002 failed coup and had a role similar to that of López in stirring up violent protests in 2014 that claimed dozens of lives. However, Ledezma is most notorious for having directed state troops to violently quell the 1989 Caracazo uprising while serving as federal district governor of Caracas. As many as 4,000 civilians are believed to have been killed by state police in the uprising.

Ledezma was initially arrested in 2015 and charged with having a major role in planning a U.S.-backed coup to oust Maduro. Ledezma’s links to the coup attempt centered around his having made three phone calls to a New York-based number that Venezuelan authorities believed belonged to the financier of the coup plot, Carlos Manuel Osuna Saraco. Other conspirators, who were also formally charged, were found to have made repeated calls to the same number.

The slanted reporting on Venezuela’s crisis is hardly surprising. As MintPress has reported on numerous occasions, Venezuela has been targeted by the U.S. for regime change ever since Hugo Chávez came to power through democratic elections and ended decades of U.S.-supported oligarchical rule in the country. Venezuela is quite the prize, as it has the largest oil reserves in the entire world, as well as the world’s second-largest gold reserves and substantial mineral wealth.

Also of concern to U.S. interests are Venezuela’s connections to Russia – particularly Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft’s large stake in Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA. Were PDVSA – which is already in economic trouble – to default on its multi-billion dollar loans from Rosneft, the Russian oil company would likely come into control of PDVSA’s U.S. subsidiary Citgo. Citgo controls critical energy infrastructure in 19 U.S. states.

As in so many other cases, the situation in Venezuela has all the markings of a U.S.-backed regime change effort, albeit a more subtle one. From economic warfare to the weaponization of the media, the U.S. has already turned up the heat since Sunday’s vote and things will likely escalate further.

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