“I live 5hr queues for bread”. “I’m living in cutest little apartment in Paris” – the same Venezuelan

A mass propaganda campaign has begun since the US announced that Trump was recognising right-winger Juan Guaido as president of Venezuela and was keeping open the option of military intervention. Guaido has never been elected as president, but Canada, Brazil, Germany and various right-wing South American governments have made declarations recognising him.

All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.

All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.

Article 2 of the UN Charter

Flouting UN Charter

Meanwhile, European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted a call for other states to do likewise – in direct contravention of chapter two of the UN Charter:


The ‘framing’ of the narrative by mainstream media outlets is obvious. The BBC and other broadcasters are reciting ‘economic mismanagement’ by the Venezuelan government as fact, almost always without any mention of the crippling effect of US economic sanctions.

Right-wing ‘resistance’ groups are described in positive terms – even though such groups have committed acts of terror, including setting opponents on fire in public and detonating car-bombs:


While Establishment coverage invariably includes footage of empty supermarket shelves, right-wing protesters have burned huge stockpiles of food:

Left-wing observers have accused the right-wing opposition of intentionally creating shortages. As the SKWAWKBOX reported in 2017, of the nine commodities in shortest supply in Venezuela, no fewer than seven are controlled by a single company – one owned by a leader of the right-wing opposition.


The ‘mainstream’ handling of events in Venezuela has been markedly different from the treatment of the ‘yellow vest’ protests in France.

Online and other disinformation has also been a key feature of the international situation surrounding Venezuela. In 2017, for example, allegations of vote fraud were widely and uncritically publicised by the UK’s ‘mainstream’ media – without any mention of the fact, except by former Labour deputy PM John Prescott – that the firm making the allegations was run by a man with a history of calls for regime change in the country.

Similarly, social media posts by people claiming to be in Venezuela made damning first-hand claims – but the individuals posting them were then discovered to be in the US and elsewhere.

That phenomenon has not evaporated. On the contrary, a very clear example was identified just today by a Twitter user.

I live here… I live with having rationed food, toilet paper, basic human necessities… I do 5+ hour queues to buy a loaf of bread


Louis Allday noticed that a woman using the pseudonym ‘baby sun’ and the handle @emojupiter had tweeted a harrowing account her daily experiences in Venezuela on Thursday morning:

However, the same Twitter account had tweeted – only five days previously – a glowing account of her life in ‘the cutest little apartment in paris [sic]’ and her excitement about her new job and fashion studies:

Apartments in Paris are not cheap, of course – especially the ‘cutest’ ones. ‘Baby sun’ seems likely to come from one of the wealthy right-wing families who support the Venezuelan coup attempt. This impression is reinforced by earlier tweets – the account-holder locked the account after the above tweets were spotted, but happily Google still had a cache of the open account:

A selection of earlier tweets by ‘baby sun’

An elite campaign

Although not a scientific sample, it also seems that much of the social media support for Guaido comes from privileged ex-pats – musicians, television presenters, property brokers and the like – rather than from ordinary people.

This may be an indication of the nature of the two sides – and according to many observers inside the country, it is. While journalists with Establishment organisations lionise the ‘resistance’, others describe a mass ‘chavista’ movement of pro-government citizens.

But one of the most eloquent depictions of the reality of the issue may be two pictures posted to Twitter of the competing elected ‘assemblies’ in Venezuela. The ‘Constituent Assembly’ is largely pro-government, while the ‘National Assembly’ is pro-opposition. Spot the difference?

The ‘chavista’ Constituent Assembly
The ‘opposition’ National Assembly

It is hard indeed to find a darker face in the latter picture.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

A single account is not in itself evidence of a coordinated campaign to mislead citizens of other countries – though it is certainly a pointer to the fact that anyone hearing, reading or seeing news about Venezuela needs to exercise considerable caution in deciding what to accept or reject.

The wider context of media and social media narratives make the need for such caution even more obvious.

Especially when the US, always hungry for oil, with a long history of regime change and manufactured consent and run by a right-winger eager for distractions from his own domestic troubles, is driving it.

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  1. It is a repetition of what happened in Chile years ago when US did a coup and not only overthrow but kill the democratically elected president Allende and put Pinochet in his place. The same could happen here.
    The main factor here, the oil.
    Governments seem blind on the right eyes… sad day that no one has learned from history.

    1. As the US did in their greatest defeat ,,, Vietnam , and still they haven’t learned anything.

    2. Canada’s role is absolutely shameful. But what else can we expect from Trudeau?

      His government has refused to sign the international treaty to ban nuclear weapons. What an absolute disgrace he is.


  2. I know little about geography but am assuming Zimbabwe has no oil,and that it may be in their best interests to keep it that way.

  3. Because of our very special relationship and lack of oil we needn’t fear the US subverting our democracy.
    Just as long as Jeremy doesn’t refuse to sell the NHS to Trump Medical or buy chlorinated chicken and GM wheat from Trump Farms – that might get us invaded.
    Meanwhile, back at the EU…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX7wtNOkuHo

    1. It already subverts our ‘democracy’. Look up the British American Project (and others) and research the likes of Ruth Smeeth MP who was outed in Wikileaks as a protected U.S. Informant. The United States is constantly meddling in British politics.

      1. I think you missed out the US paymaster links of leading Brexiteers – as well as some Labour figures. Farage? Fox? etc.

        Not difficult to work out that Brexit has had, as a major engine, the desire to link the UK more closely to the US – and, by definition, become even more subservient.

        ” intentionally creating shortages.”

        that right-wing tactic in Venezuela rings a right-wing bell closer to home when I hear ‘No Deal’.

      2. Note to self – turn sarcasm limiter back up to ‘offensive’ 🙂

    2. RH. ‘Paymasters’ include, among others, global finance corporations Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs for the Remain side.

      You also need to ask who’s funding the People’s Vote.

      1. I have no illusions about the corporate sphere looking after their own – which, in this case happens to be on the right side of the binary decision. After that – another argument about the role of international capital.

        What I’m talking about is the impulse to make the UK more closely tied to the US and its capital interests. As said , also more subservient. The wrong side of the binary choice. After that – no argument about international capital in its US embodiment and backed by its political and military power. We *might* stand a prayer as one of 28 nations in a balanced arrangement between sovereign states..

        And don’t forget the role of such as the Koch brothers in funding Brexit – hardly charitable donations.

  4. Jeremy *unt has now announced British support for Leonardo Lopez’ bag carrier. As if we should be surprised….

  5. Regime change has always been built on lies with a cooperative media who control the narrative such that people never hear the truth. USA has killed 20 Million people SINCE WWII and is the biggest terrorist organisation by far.

  6. The rich laughing in the face of the poor and the working class. Nothing disgusts me more.

    “Socialism doesn’t work – look at Cuba”
    (American sanctions and embargo imposed on Cuba.)

    “Socialism doesn’t work – look at Venezuela”
    (American sanctions and embargo imposed on Venezuela.)

    1. But socialism does work but only for them at the top who are subsidised to the hilt!
      Market forces for us but not for them.
      Austerity for us but not for them.
      As in education also in the media they want anything but a level playing field.
      They want hegemony – for the Free Press read the mouthpiece of Neo-Liberal Capitalist Barbarisnism!
      As John Lennon sang. “Just Give us the truth!”

      1. Yes and whilst diverse working people in the US are wonderful perhaps we could hold the grotesque Right Wing Barbarians in the USA to account by humour.
        Leaders in countries are elected by the popular vote but Presidents not in the USA, imagine: BREAKING NEWS: US Election – 100 countries recognise Clinton. Lets destroy the Right Wing US Neo-Liberal Bararisns by humour – come on citizens and Govts of the World!

  7. “Guaido has never been elected as president…”

    He has never even been a presidential candidate! I read a comment (not sure who) stating that the ‘opposition’ often boycotts elections because it cannot win, it tries to take control by force and subversion and of course has US allied backing.

    Scroll down the page for a series of reports from Venezuela last year, or 2017, IIRC.

    1. A thread listing how sanctions against Venezuela work in the banking sector.

      Lest we forget the deadly sanctions inflicted on Iraq in 1990s to weaken the country prior to illegal assault and destruction, deadly sanctions crippling Syria, Yemen etc.

      Sanctions are war on the people and sovereignty.

  8. I hope everyone is noting the shameless parroting of all these US propaganda lies by the supposedly “Left of Centre” Guardian. This strategy of engineering artificial shortages of basic consumer goods, like toilet paper, which has been used in Venezuela for ten years now to discredit the Left nationalist government, is also exactly the type of stunts a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government would face too – to fracture public support .

    And yes, what is happening in Venezuela it is a CIA-plannned strategy almost identical to the run-up to the 1973 overthrow of the Left Allende government in Chile – including getting the middle clases cynically out on the streets banging pots and pans – as if these privileged types are suffering hardship !

    1. Owen Jones recently proclaimed Saudi Arabia to be the most dangerous country in the world. I disagree.

      For decades the United States has patrolled and policed the world. It is a global SS which has caused death and destruction from Central America to the Philippines – from Vietnam to the Middle East. The United States is the single biggest threat to world peace.

      1. In 1962 when the Cuban missile crisis was the only news I failed to convince my classmates that the US was far more dangerous than Russia or China.
        I suspect the average audience would still think me a crank for saying that even with Trunt in charge of the button.
        People’s understanding of what’s really going on never seems to get any better.
        I just hope his Secret Service detail have already drawn lots so they don’t dither when the time comes.

      2. Chomsky would agree. He said the GOP was the most dangerous entity on the planet.

    2. “the shameless parroting of all these US propaganda lies by the supposedly “Left of Centre” Guardian.”

      You’re rage against the Graun is a bit over the top.

      I’ve just gone to look at their current reports on Venezuela – and Trump.

      There is no parroting of ‘US propaganda’.

      I’m more than sceptical of some of the stuff in the paper – but the Graun is hardly the worst offender in the murky forests of the plutocrat press – and today’s reporting on Venezuela and Trump’s role is certainly pretty balanced.

      1. Wake up, RH, I am referring to the Guardian’s coverage of Venezuela over the last five YEARs, not one report today. The Guardian has parroted the CIA’s line solidly throughout this period. Some of us don’t just live in the goldfish bowl of the moment – but have watched the Guardian’s coverage of all of Latin Americas parrot the US narrative for a long- long, time – even employing “reporters ” deeply entrenched with the Nicaraguan Far Right – exposed by The Canary – and then the Guardian used its UK NUJ clout to persecute The Canary’s editor .

      2. I am fully awake – not constantly dreaming conspiracies and shouting ‘Infamy!’ at anything printed by the Graun.

        The Guardian has a lot of faults, and I’ve been vocal in condemning their shameless perpetuation of ‘antisemitism’ myths, and the parallel anti-Corbyn stream. I’ve often had the honour of having the odd blog post being censored (aka ‘moderated’) – particularly when the criticism of zionist dogma offends the Jewish Chronicle connection :-). So, yes, I’m fully awake – and I note that the coverage of South America has been mixed.

        But it has a range of writing that is not driven by simple corporate interests. I keep my critical faculties and judge what’s in front of me, fully in the knowledge that this was a LibDem supporting paper. There are writers like Jonathan Freedland who I rarely bother looking at, others whose contributions are a mixed bag, and some who are usually interesting in what they have to say – even contrarian right wing writers like Simon Jenkins.

        It always interests me how much nervous energy is expended on the Grauniad, and so little on the right-wing plutocratic press, which offer a much more monochrome diet of misleading propaganda.

      3. Why do you keep intimating anyone who’s critical of the illiberal Guardian is a “conspiracy theorist” and then back it with claims that “you’ve been vocal in condemnation” etc. As if everyone really cares about or respects your opinion?
        It is fact that since MI5 destroyed the Guardian’s Snowdon hard drives they’ve bent over backwards to toe the establishment line. Even Monbiot has been exposed, and Luke Harding is an MI6 propagandist. Left wingers despise the paper with a particular passion because it was once the only broadsheet that semi reflected our views and we were able to debate with people from across the political board.
        Now it is an illiberal, censoring, echo chamber.

      4. Lundiel – Do please read stuff instead of getting off on an incoherent and indiscriminate confected personalised rant as a substitute for thought and argument. I know that Tourette’s is sometimes uncontrollable – but do try harder to focus on the specifics.

      5. Do please try to untangle politics and its varied expressions from primitive religious belief and the concept of the one true doctrine handed down on tablets of stone.

  9. The Venezuelan military have declared their support for the elected president.
    The USA seem to have forgotten the first rule of “regime change” in South America – first of all make sure the ones with the big guns are on your side.

  10. I don’t think we can ignore that things have gone badly wrong in Venezuela with absurd levels of mismanagment and corruption. However it is also a reminder of just how far vested interests in this world are going to go to stop fully developed democracies let alone socialist one. They know that when a country a emerges that is run sustainably and its people are happy they will be unable to stop its spreading around the world. The problem is the billionaires are going to try and keep control by any means. Our own security services are capable of abhorrent things too, much of their nastiest work done abroad but if needs be it will come home to.

  11. A few points about Venezuela, the stick with which the right beat Corbyn:
    It isn’t strictly Socialist, it’s ” Bolivarian”, a mix of Democratic Socialism and nationalism.
    Most of the economy is in the private sector.
    There is still an elite (the opposition).
    Demonstrations against the government are only staged in middle class areas with middle class mayors.
    The Americans have frozen Venezuela’s gold and assets held abroad.
    Of the 86 deaths reported, 23 were of opposition demonstrators, the rest were innocent victims caught up in rioting, political assassinations and security services.
    Demonstrators target food aid and social provisions meant for the poor and burn food distribution centres.

  12. One more point. Everyone, including bosses and elites are represented in the Constituent Assembly, they won’t take their seats because they (rightly) aren’t the majority.

  13. Excellent piece SB.
    Perhaps the USA should get its own democratic deficit in order – Right Wing Republicans gerrymandering of boundaries and making it harder and especially hatd for black citizens to vote plus with an odd electoral system Clinton BEATING Trump by 3m in the popular vote but lost!
    Perhaps Govts around the World should recognise Clinton as Presidenf?
    The ordinary US working people are great but read since 1945 the Right Wing rich Barbarians in the US have brought down a number of democratic Govts and invaded some countries – 49 I think af the last count so unless we can support Venezeuela they could be the 50th!
    Perhaps the working people of the World and friendly Govts should tell the Right in the USA: The World is watching you!

  14. baby sun – Aiming to be the modern-day Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ

    (jasmin’s just piss-poor wannabe)

  15. America once again deciding who should govern in their own countries. We know there is CIA involvement in Venezuela.

    The only real policy being conducted in the USA by an extreme right wing government is ‘Regime Change’, if we want to protect our own democracy we need to support those being attacked by outside governments and challenge American policy.

    We have of course seen all of this before, the Contras supported by the US and CIA, committed atrocities against ordinary people, if we all sit back and accept this, then where do we think doing a trade deal with Trump will end.

    This is once again a window on what the USA have been doing ever since the end of the last war. They have been involved in over 152 wars and still climbing, yet we are being frightened into thinking Russia is the problem.

  16. “we are being frightened into thinking Russia is the problem”

    No. Russia is simply *another* problem. See Ukraine (and no – it’s not all just about the nasty West).

    Global power politics has more than one pack of sharks.

    1. Christ on a bike! The government is the most right wing in the world and the chocolate king’s popularity is about 8%. Gorbachev was promised that Europe would not “move an inch” towards Russia. I wonder what he thought about that American bitch giving cup cakes to the fascists? What a slap in the face that meat have been to the victors of the grey patriotic war.

      1. Uh? “The government is the most right wing in the world”

        Well – that’s some claim. Especially when competing with Vlad the klepto imperialist Tsar next door.

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