NYT Anti-Venezuela Slander

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NYT Anti-Venezuela Slander

by Stephen Lendman

The Times has been hostile to Venezuelan Bolivarian social democracy from inception – its reports on the country reading like US imperial press releases.

On Tuesday, former chief Venezuelan intelligence minister/retired general Miguel Rodriquez Torres was arrested and detained for questioning about alleged conspiracy against the state.

A government statement said he was “summoned…for actions again the public peace and tranquillity, as well as for plots and conspiracy which had as their malicious intention to threaten the monolithic unity of our National Bolivarian Armed Forces,” adding:

He was involved in “criminal actions which were planned by him and his accomplices, including armed and conspiratorial activities against our constitution…and the democratic order” – no criminal charges so far filed against him.

Earlier, Maduro said he had evidence showing Torres was complicit with the CIA, a serious accusation if it involved attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

Torres said former President Chavez ordered him to maintain a communication channel with the spy agency.

More recently, he established ties with the fascist opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition and other right-wing groups – hostile to Bolivarian social democracy, wanting it eliminated.

The NYT jumped on his detention, along with falsely claiming “many of (Maduro’s)  most popular rivals have been jailed or barred from running” – a bald-faced lie, typical Times disinformation.

The self-styled newspaper of record referred mainly to Leopoldo Lopez, convicted for leading violent anti-government protests, causing numerous deaths and injuries, setting public buildings ablaze and damaging other property – earlier imprisoned, currently under house arrest.

The Times continues portraying him as heroic, calling him a central opposition figure, ignoring his criminality, wanting fascist tyranny replacing Venezuelan social democracy – like other US-supported anti-Bolivarian figures in the country.

Torres admitted siding with street protesters, correctly calling it “a right,” failing to explain violence is never justified, especially efforts to topple a democratically government, orchestrated and funded by Washington in Venezuela and elsewhere.

The Times accused Maduro of “us(ing) force to quell the protests and creat(ing) a new body that sidelined the country’s Congress…”

It ignored anti-government street violence, what no responsible ruling authorities would tolerate anywhere.

It dismissively labeled “new body” is Venezuela’s democratically elected/constitutionally authorized National Constituent Assembly – not a “power grab…designed to supplant the democratically-elected National Assembly with an authoritarian committee operating above the law,” according to the State Department.

The Times quoted Torres months earlier saying “(t)he government needs a president who is the head of state, one who can govern, and we don’t have this here,” adding:

“We have so many problems that we can’t assume coherent policies. We can’t end our crime. We can’t resolve our economic problems.”

He’s right about ongoing economic turmoil in the country, certainly entitled to express this view publicly – yet at fault for not explaining who’s responsible.

Venezuela’s troubled times stem from Washington, not Caracas. So far, Torres hasn’t been charged with wrongdoing.

If evidence shows he conspired with coup plotters against Maduro, it’s another story altogether.

Unless charged and prosecuted in court for crimes against the state, he’s innocent if not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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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.