Created on Wednesday, 09 April 2008 08:29
Written by Stephen Lendman
The New York Times v. Hugo Chavez
by Stephen Lendman
Carly Simon's theme song from the 1977 James Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me" says it all about The New York Times' agitprop skill - "Nobody Does It Better" nor have others in the media been at it longer.
Most important is The Times influence and reach and what media critic Norman Solomon says about its front page. He calls it "the most valuable square inches of media real estate in the USA." It's read by government, business leaders and opinion-makers everywhere and for that reason is hugely important.
ugo Chavez is its frequent target, and Simon Romero has the
assignment as The Times' man in Caracas. His latest March 30 offering
is headlined "Files Suggest Venezuela Bid to Aid Columbia Rebels," and
it relates to the spurious claim that captured FARC-EP computers
contained potentially smoking-gun evidence "t(ying) Venezuela's
government to efforts to secure arms for Colombia's largest insurgency"
and is aiding its efforts through funding and other means to
destabilize the Uribe government.
- "Officials taking part in Columbia's investigation...
provided (NYT) with copies of more than 20 files, some of which also
showed contributions from the rebels to the 2006 campaign of Ecuador's
leftist president, Rafael Correa."
One piece of correspondence
from November 21, 2006 "describes a $100,000 donation to (Correa's)
campaign." Alvaro Uribe noted it and others but so far hasn't released
them. For his part, Correa vigorously denies the charge and said the
files lacked "technical and legal" validity.
short of claiming the files are legitimate, but refuses to suggest
they're not. He also ignores Chavez's mediating role to secure prisoner
releases on both sides. He does, however, quite suggestively accuse
Chavez and Correa of links to the FARC-EP "which the United States says
is a terrorist group and has fought to overthrow Colombia's government
for four decades."
Romero, like his mainstream colleagues,
never lets facts interfere with his mission. Here he claims "Colombian
officials who provided the computer files adamantly vouched for them
(and they) contained touches that suggested authenticity:...
revolutionary jargon, passages in numerical code, missives about
American policy in Latin America and even brief personal reflections"
by FARC-EP commanders. Moreover, "files made public so far only
scratched the surface of the captured archives" without a hint from him
that they're simple to fake (or invent) and Washington and Bogota have
every incentive to do it as a way to vilify FARC-EP and Chavez as part
of their imperial project.
Romero quotes Defense Minister Juan
Manuel Santos saying Colombia retrieved more than 16,000 files from
three computers belonging to Luis Edgar Devia Silva, aka FARC-EP
commander Raul Reyes who was killed in the Ecuadorean cross-border
incursion. In addition, claims of two other hard drives captured were
also made. Santos said "Everything has been accessed and everything is
being validated by Interpol (that's pretty closely tied to western
interests and functions to serve them as called on). According to
Santos, "a great deal of information" was gotten "that is extremely
valuable and important."
He further claimed (plausible or not)
that the computers survived the bombing raid intact "because they were
in metal casing" and emphasized that he didn't regret a thing about
Colombia's aggression against its neighbor.
For his part, Chavez
responded and Romero at least quoted him, no doubt because it was from
a meeting with foreign journalists who did as well. Chavez mocked the
supposed evidence saying: "The main weapon they have now is the
computer, the supposed computer of Paul Reyes. This computer is like a
la carte service, giving you whatever you want. You want steak? or
fried fish? How would you like it prepared? You'll get it however the
"Desert" may have been a January 25, 2007
letter by Ivan Marquez, a member of the FARC-EP's seven-member
secretariat discussing a meeting with a Venezuelan official named
"Carvajal," apparently referring to General Hugo Carvajal, Venezuela's
military intelligence director. Its contents were claimed to state a
"pledge (to bring FARC-EP) an arms dealer from Panama."
another offering was correspondence from January 18, 2007 suggesting
Chavez would provide a $250 million loan to buy arms and would be
repaid "when we take power." Romero then attacks the FARC-EP with
familiar innuendoes that appear throughout the major media to smear it
unjustly. He also suggests the possibility of Washington designating
Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism but considers it unlikely
because of its importance as a major US oil supplier.
California Republican Darrell Issa (and 22 co-sponsors) introduced
House Resolution (HR) 965 in February condemning Venezuela as a state
sponsor of terrorism, and Florida Republicans Connie Mack and Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen (and 8 co-sponsors) introduced a similar HR 1049 in March
that "condemned the Venezuelan government for its support of terrorist
organizations" with direct reference to the FARC-EP. These efforts
won't likely get far, and for now at least, view them as politics as
usual in a year when all House members are up for reelection and need
to rev up their constituencies for support. It makes Chavez a favorite
target with a complicit media going along.
In sum, Romero and
others like him in the mainstream, keep at their appointed mission -
attacking the most model democracy in the region with a clear and
purposeful aim - to destabilize, destroy and transform Venezuela into
the alternate model Uribe represents: uncompromising hard right; hugely
repressive; linked to Colombia's death squads and drug cartels; a
supporter of state terrorism; a government riddled with corruption and
scandal; and George Bush's favorite Latin America leader because of all
of the above.
Expect lots more Romero commentaries like this
one that are part of what Eva Golinger calls America's "asymmetric -
4th Generation War - against President Chavez and the Bolivarian
Revolution." The dark forces Romero represents won't quit so more
enlightened ones like Golinger and others must keep exposing their
schemes to protect Venezuela's glorious experiment that's working.
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