In Barbados, where I reside, the adjective “unfair” is often used creatively as a verb. To “unfair” someone is to do to them a grave injustice, to distort the truth about them, and deny them their due.
After visiting Venezuela on Friday May 12th, I was left with the deep and painful realisation that Venezuela has been terribly “un-faired” by the regional media. I emphasise the regional media because I fully expect the external pro-imperialist media to be unfair to an avowedly socialist state as Venezuela has declared itself. However, I have higher expectations from the independent Caribbean.
Upon arrival, I expected to see streets lined with riot police, hungry children eating from trash cans, and angry throngs mounting burning roadblocks. In contrast, I smiled quietly, mindful of the colleagues who urged caution and offered best wishes, when apprised of my travel plans. I witnessed nothing different from any other Caribbean Friday morning: public markets teeming with fruits and vegetables, clothing stores with doors wide open, and young lovers caressing publicly.
Sadly, the Caribbean media has made itself victim to the now familiar imperialistic tactic of destabilisation before invasion. Indeed, no invasion can occur without supportive justification. It is there that the inability of the Caribbean media to discover facts for itself causes grave concern. The regional media is gullibly making itself a willing party to external aggression against a friendly neighbouring country.
Instead of merely repeating so-called news produced from outside, Caribbean journalists should independently visit Venezuela, not only to avoid ‘un-fairing’ Venezuela, but out of their own professional integrity.
Ironically, the purpose of my visit was to participate in a meeting between the Venezuelan leadership and regional and global intellectuals and activists to discuss the decision by the government to invoke a constitutionally mandated popular constituent assembly on a new constitution. This popular constituent assembly has been called in response to the obstructionism by externally supported opposition elements. It is ironic, because it is a model of participatory democracy which I have never witnessed in the Caribbean, the same Caribbean busy accusing Maduro of being a dictator.
There is no Caribbean government as electorally tested as the Chavez-Maduro presidencies, with the next Presidential election due in 2018. Maduro, fully cognizant that internal destabilisation is being used as a pretext for external intervention, has studiously avoided acts of heavy-handedness in responding to deliberate provocation. Maduro, has instead called for a popular assembly and is reminding everyone that elections are due in 2018.
It is amazing that a region which has received nothing but goodwill from Venezuela, indeed a Caribbean country itself, and which is well versed in the imperialist tactic of “destabilisation before invasion” would fall for the trick so easily. Past history should at least urge caution.
Sadly, in ‘un-fairing’ Venezuela, the Caribbean is actually ‘un-fairing” itself.
By Tennyson S. D. Joseph/Nation News