Irresponsible NYT and CNN Venezuela Bashing

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Irresponsible NYT and CNN Venezuela Bashing
by Stephen Lendman
Venezuelan Bolivarian democracy shames America’s sham process. Its electoral system is the world’s best, says Jimmy Carter.
Slanderous reporting remains relentless – since Hugo Chavez took office in February 1999, continuing under Nicolas Maduro, vicious Big Lies substituting for hard truths.
On August 7, New York Times editors headlined “Venezuela Tries to Silence Critics.” They outrageously denounced its government for prohibiting two criminals from seeking public office. 
Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado openly call for regime change. They want Maduro forcefully ousted. They want fascist governance replacing Bolivarian fairness. They want Venezuela returned to its bad old days.
Lopez is detained (since February 2014) on multiple serious charges, including public incitement, arson and conspiracy to topple the democratically elected government. Maduro calls him a violent “fascista.”
State Department officials once called him “divisive, arrogant, vindictive and power-hungry.” He’s perhaps Venezuela’s most polarizing figure.
He’s fundamentally anti-democratic despite claiming otherwise. He was quietly involved in the aborted April 2002  two-day coup against Chavez. 
At the time, he was mayor of Chacao, a Caracas subdivision. He supported disruptive actions preceding the coup attempt – though never indicted for involvement.
Its leaders are part of his inner circle. They were involved in months of US-supported 2014 street violence – resulting in dozens of deaths and many injuries. 
The scheme was to “annihilate” and topple Maduro. Emails and recorded conversations revealed their plot.
In mid-July, Maria Corina Machado was barred from holding public office for 12 months – for violating Sworn Declaration of Assets transparency requirements. 
She refused to fully disclose her income sources. Her disruptive activities are NED funded – part of Washington’s longstanding regime change plans.
Last year, she was stripped of her National Assembly seat for illegally representing Panama in an address before the Organization of American States (OAS).
She and Lopez are coup plotters- directly involved in manipulating 2014 anti-government street violence – openly calling for La Salida (the Exit).
Last December, Venezuela’s state prosecutor indicted Machado on charges of conspiracy to assassinate Maduro. Email evidence revealed her saying “I believe the time has come to join forces, make the necessary calls, and obtain the financing to annihilate Maduro…and the rest will come falling down.”
Venezuela’s public prosecutor said “(w)hoever, from inside or outside the national territory, conspires to destroy the nation’s republican political style will be punished by eight to 16 years in prison.”
Times editors lied claiming Lopez is detained on “spurious charges.” They called action against him and Machado “outrageous.” They ignored their involvement in violent anti-government street protests. Earlier Times editors supported the aborted US-orchestrated April 2002 coup plot. 
They irresponsibly vilify Maduro the way they relentlessly bashed Chavez. They claim he’s “weaken(ing) his rivals ahead of (December parliamentary) election(s).” 
They “see no choice but to take to the streets again” – perhaps killing dozens more people. They want fascist governance replacing model Bolivarian democracy.
On August 7, Venezuela’s Ministry of Communication and Information accused CNN of willfully lying to incite destabilization. Its Spanish broadcast accused authorities of an alleged “looting attempt in Maracay (Venezuela).”
Maduro issued a statement saying “(w)hat CNN is doing…from the United States will be revealed, and they know that they are being shown up.”
Venezuela’s Communication Ministry said its report “has to do with orchestrated, criminal, terrorist campaign(ing) that uses the audiovisual medium in order to trick and incite to violence…”
Aragua State Governor Tareck El Aissami criticized its coverage, saying “(w)e are perfectly coordinated with all the security forces of the country and no violence has been reported. (CNN is) provoking violence or trying to provoke it.”
Days earlier, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry strongly criticized deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner saying:
“The United States views with concern reports of recent decisions by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council and Comptroller General banning certain members of the political opposition from running for or holding public office.”
“These decisions clearly have the intention of complicating the ability of the opposition to run candidates for the legislative elections, and limiting the range of candidates that can be presented to the Venezuelan people.”
Only criminals are barred from public office. America’s political establishment is rife with them – waging hot wars of aggression globally, as well as destabilizing economic war on Venezuela.
Maduro said “Venezuelan public powers are governed by, without exception, the Venezuelan constitution and its (statute) laws.” It rejects any foreign attempts to undermine its sovereign independence.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.