Turn on the TV set and watch BBC News, and it won't be long until you see some blatant propaganda on the situation in Venezuela. In fact much of the mainstream press is the same. Manufacturing an image of a failed socialist state, which has been ruined by socialism and is run by a 'power mad despot' Nicolas Maduro.
The truth is we all know what this is really about. It's about conditioning the public mind to discourage people from electing a socialist government here in the UK. It is also about propagating the American point of view to suit their agenda.
Let's get one thing straight. Nicolas Maduro is the democratically elected leader of Venezuela. He won the election fair and square, winning 67.7% of the vote. There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that the election was rigged and those that make such claims have absolutely no evidence to back up what they are saying. Venezuela also has electronic voting, so claims that ballot boxes have been stuffed are totally untrue. Why would Maduro need to rig the election when it was boycotted by the opposition anyway?
Yes we turn on the TV set and it's the same thing over and over. Dissidents of the Maduro government being interviewed and given airtime, but not a single interview of any of the many people that still support the Maduro Government. And each time they ask the same questions. "Could there be consequences for you speaking to us"? To which one doctor replied "Yes but I'd rather live in freedom than oppression."
If our media truly believed in democracy, they would be allowing both factions in Venezuela to have their say. Not just showing anti-government demonstrations, and ignoring the even bigger pro-government demonstrations around the corner.
If Nicolas Maduro was really crushing dissent why has he even allowed the opposition leader Juan Guaidó to declare himself president? Surely if Maduro was the brutal dictator he is being painted to be on the BBC he would just have had his political opponent imprisoned or even worse, assassinated? It's very easy for opponents of the Maduro government to make such claims, again the only people given airtime, but I don't believe that there is sufficient if any evidence to back it up.
The champions of democracy the EU and America both recognised Juan Guaidó as the acting president, despite the fact he didn't even stand in Venezuela’s elections. Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn could just declare himself Prime Minister and they would both recognise him as the legitimate leader of the UK? How utterly hypocritical and anti-democratic this really is.
If Guaidó was a socialist attempting to overthrow a tyrannical elected government that, let's say, was a large scale buyer of arms from Western regimes, he would be labelled an insurgent, a guerilla, an extremist, even a terrorist...
So has the economy in Venezuela been ruined by socialism? No, the truth is that there is two main factors affecting the South American countries economy. First being the falling value of oil on the world's markets and secondly US sanctions which results in declining oil production. The very people calling the Maduro government economically incompetent are the very same people harming the Venezuelan economy, and therefore the Venezuelan people, by exacerbating an already bad situation. They are complicit in forcing so many to live in such terrible conditions. US sanctions are unjustified and totally immoral and they need to end now.
In a country where 95% of exports is petroleum, so much depends on the price of oil. When the oil price goes down on the world's markets the economy is in trouble. This is nothing to do with socialism.
As The Morning Star points out: "The Venezuela crisis is not unique to socialism. Other states have faced similar crises. Iran and Iraq, both oil rent states, have faced similar crises in recent years, both under variations of neoliberal policies."
When a crisis is in a socialist country much of the media use this to attack socialism. When there is a crisis in a country with neoliberal policies, neoliberalism is never blamed.
As The Morning Star also points out "Bolivia and Ecuador have both seen a massive poverty reduction because of their socialist governments, which the mainstream press are extremely quiet on as it doesn't fit in with the narrative that socialism doesn't work and always makes people worse off"
We are constantly told in much of the mainstream media that Venezuela was once a very rich country now ruined by socialism. However the veracity of the situation is that the Venezuelan economy actually stagnated for many years before the former socialist leader Hugo Chavez came to power. And in fact it actually grew in the first 10 years of his presidency.
So why is the United States really so hostile towards Venezuela? The first reason is obvious as the Americans are always hostile towards countries which are deemed to be socialist. Any alternative to neoliberal capitalism they seek to undermine and sabotage.
The second is oil. As always the Americans want to get their hands on Venezuelan oil - 'coincidentally', Juan Guaidó has already stated that he wants to open up Venezualas oil reserves to foreign investors. This is the real reason the Americans seek a change of government in Venezuela. And our media are doing their best to manufacture concent for this. The targets change, but the underlying motive stays the same. This is an economic war for oil