You know those times when you want to say something’s unbelievable – but it just isn’t? This is one of those.
You can’t even say it’s ‘astonishing’, because astonishment means surprise. It is staggering, though – it manages that even while being entirely unsurprising.
The Tories – along with their media glove-puppets and ‘usual suspect‘ Labour cuckoos – have been desperately banging the ‘Corbyn must condemn’ drum concerning Venezuela and the thoroughly-misrepresented situation there. Smears by association seem to be the last weapon they have against the Labour leader’s soaring polling and popularity – even if it’s having the opposite effect and even if they have to invent a situation to be outraged about.
In the Venezuela instance, it’s the idea that a brutal socialist dictatorship is repressing poor, downtrodden, democratic protesters – when really the protesters are either very rich or being paid by the very rich, it’s the protesters who are being brutal and who desperately want an end to democracy because they can’t win democratically.
While the brutal, repressive dictatorship does brutal, repressive things like releasing opposition leaders convicted of incitement to violence to house arrest so they can be with their families while they ‘serve’ their long custodial sentences.
Desperate times, desperation measures for the Tories. But about to get even more transparently desperate.
Because it turns out that, since they entered Downing St in 2010, the Conservatives have been selling weapons to the very same ‘regime’ they claim they’re so angry about that only Jeremy Corbyn’s outright condemnation of the Venezuelan government could possibly salve their pain.
The Guardian has revealed that the UK has sold millions of pounds’ worth of military and police equipment to Venezuela since 2008 – with new licences for the export of such equipment granted right up to the last year of figures available:
It’s a good thing that the portrayal of the Venezuelan government is grossly inaccurate and appears to be driven by western interest in improving access to and control of its huge oil reserves.
Because otherwise the Tories would be guilty of arming a repressive regime – and of the hapless hypocrisy of trying to smear by association with said regime a politician who has never sold a single weapon to anyone.
Not that this would be anything new – from Thatcher’s infatuation with the brutal actual South American dictator Pinochet to Theresa May’s fawning over Saudi Arabia, the Tories are up to their necks in support for regimes to whom human rights are at best an inconvenience and usually ignored too much even to be that.
So they haven’t the slightest excuse for misrepresenting Venezuela while continuing to supply it with arms and to licence their buddies to do so.
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