Abby Martin: Burned alive in Venezuela

I have strong beliefs. I know many people with different strong beliefs. I don’t lean left, but most who do are good people, sincere in wanting human progress. The “hard left” is another story. These are hard people, of burning passion, burning their souls to cinders.

When I googled “hard left,” Corbyn’s picture was all over the results

These are the ones who spout about “social justice” for downtrodden people whose rights are abused — yet are slavish apologists for some of the world’s worst regimes, that trod people down and abuse their rights — as long as they call themselves “socialist.” Or “anti-imperialist.” Or they’re just hostile toward America. One such character is British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. One such regime is Venezuela’s.

When Venezuela’s opposition won Congress, the Maduro regime simply ignored that body and supplanted it with an assembly of hand-picked loyalists. Then Maduro “won” a fraudulent re-election. The opposition was not allowed to organize or campaign, its leaders were jailed, and the count was faked anyway. No free press survives there.

Maduro

Maduro gets away with this because the courts are packed and the army co-opted. The regime is a criminal gang, which includes the army brass, using guns to crush dissent while looting the country to enrich themselves.

“Socialist” Venezuela went, in less than two decades, from the top of Latin America’s income scale to the bottom. The state oil outfit is stuffed with political operatives; its infrastructure and output have collapsed. A thicket of insane rules makes productive enterprise virtually impossible. Its lack has plunged most of the population into poverty, exacerbated by hyperinflation running thousands of percent monthly, wiping out people’s savings. For most, life has become a daily struggle just to eat. Medicines are largely unobtainable. Widespread protests have been violently suppressed, with hundreds killed, and large numbers jailed and tortured.

A recent PBS on-the-scene report showed a river where previously a few guys had eked out subsistence by sifting the silt for occasional coins or other “treasures.” Now the site is crowded by around a hundred doing it for ever slimmer pickings. But the country’s hottest ticket was seen at the bus depot — a ticket out — with hordes queueing in hopes of snagging one. Many forced to leave loved ones behind.

I have closely followed the Venezuela situation, informed by reports like that one on PBS, NPR, and authoritative news sources like The Economist magazine; my wife monitors Univision in Spanish.

Abby Martin

NPR’s program “Alternative Radio” — far left or hard left radio, really — provides a different perspective. The other night they had journalist Abby Martin. She started talking about her reporting trip to Venezuela, emphasizing telling her editor she would report just exactly what she saw. I wondered what she was expecting to see, that would prompt such a warning.

What she saw, Martin said, totally contradicted the familiar picture painted by mainstream sources (which I’ve summarized). This, she repeatedly stressed, was what she actually observed.

The Maduro government, Martin said, is in reality very popular, among the poor and blacks. Its opponents are really just the former elites, knocked off their cozy perches. It’s not true that store shelves are bare. Some are, but she reported seeing well-stocked ones. Toilet paper is in short supply, but other paper and hygiene products are plentiful. Martin concluded that (as the Maduro regime claims), Venezuela’s economic troubles are caused by a sabotage campaign mounted by outside forces, mainly America.

As to the violence, Martin said in fact it’s all being perpetrated by protesters themselves. Who are fascists. If anything, Venezuela’s police are too lax in not stopping them. People have been lynched — burned alive. Martin repeated “lynched” and “burned alive” several times. She said she truly feared for her own life, was chased by a lynch mob, and was lucky to get out alive.

While I was still trying to process what I was hearing, Martin switched subjects. Now (as my followers know), I am no Trump fan. But Martin’s anti-Trump rant came out of left field — hard left field. Weirdly echoing Trump’s own claim that some deep-state conspiracy is trying to do him down, Martin said the plutocrats who control the world want to get rid of Trump because he makes their enterprise look bad. Or something like that.

Anyhow, now I had Martin’s number, and could better evaluate her Venezuela reportage. I have pondered it deeply.

The government’s popularity? Even the vilest regimes have their core supporters — those bought off, or who swallow the propaganda. The best available sources put that at around 17% in Venezuela. (It’s over 40% in America.)

Outside forces causing Venezuela’s economic woes? Cuba has been embargoed openly, for far longer, and far more comprehensively, yet Cuba’s economy (wretched though it is), doesn’t compare with Venezuela’s collapse. Its cause in the regime’s own behavior is indisputable.

Regime opponents are fascists? What, were they wearing “Viva Fascismo!” T-shirts? Fascist is the epithet of choice the hard left always hurls at those it doesn’t like. Russian propaganda tried to justify its Ukraine aggression by labeling Ukraine’s government, and the pro-democracy Maidan demonstrators, as fascists, even Nazis. Abby Martin calling “fascist” those Venezuelans protesting destruction of their democracy, and living standard, says more about Martin than the protesters. (I have since learned that Martin previously hosted a show on RT America. “RT” stands for Russia Today, a Putin regime propaganda vehicle.)

And the violence? “Lynching” is another of those favorite leftist words (evoking the true horror of Jim Crow lynchings). “Burning alive” is better yet. But for all her claims to be reporting what she saw, she stopped short of saying she witnessed any burnings.

If Maduro regime opponents burned anyone alive, wouldn’t the regime shout it from the rooftops? It has not.

Reliable reports do confirm that journalists in Venezuela have been victims of mob violence — killing at least one — perpetrated by pro-regime gangs. (In researching this piece, I did see a reference to one person lynched, but the report didn’t say who did it.)

Abby Martin

So — was Abby Martin just simply lying? (As noted, she’s a veteran of Russian propaganda TV.) She was telling the story she went down there to find — that she wanted to be true, and felt ought to have been true. Better for the cause if it were true. But the cause trumps the truth; ends justify means. Perhaps she even believed that her lies embodied, somehow, a deeper truth than the reality which, so perversely, wouldn’t cooperate.

Abby Martin’s fiery hard left ideology has burned her soul to a cinder. She’s been burned alive, you might say.

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7 Responses to “Abby Martin: Burned alive in Venezuela”

  1. Lee Says:

    I recommend listening to the legitimate left and the legitimate right and the legitimate center. Sure you can find people anywhere on the spectrum who are liars — apparently you already have — but there are also reporters who are more reasonable. While it may be impossible to find reporters who do not pick and choose what to report, it is still possible to find people who don’t lie outright. By listening to the selective truthful reports from all sides, one can piece together what is actually going on.

    On the right, I recommend Sean Hannity (over Limbaugh, Beck, Jones) though he is not as good as he was before the Trump administration; I worry that Hannity’s access to Trump has tainted his objectivity. On the left, I recommend Amy Goodman. Closer to the middle are some well respected names in journalism, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and others. None of “left,” “center,” or “right” journalism will give you enough truth by itself. However, looking at all three is still a practical way of learning the truth, so long as you take some care in picking your sources.

  2. rationaloptimist Says:

    Hannity is, like the Trump whose bootlicker he is, a stinking piece of shit.

  3. Lee Says:

    Hannity didn’t used to be as bad as he is. Like many, he’s always been selective about what he reports, but I used to count him as honest and now I am disappointed. Whom do you recommend? I am looking for someone who is honest and is unabashedly right-wing, not merely right-moderate.

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    The “right” has become totally fucked up. I used to consider myself a “man of the right,” at least within the American spectrum, but today’s American right is as loathsome to me as the hard left. My recommendation: The Economist magazine, standing yet for the principles of classical liberalism.

  5. Eric Says:

    This is just another symptom of greedy ignorant people pushing short sighted agendas. I can’t stand what has happened to the news, and politics, and Americans in general lately. I was always independent “left wing” as far as supporting some tax based programs and keeping religion out of politics goes, but on the right for what I perceived as a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, and open markets. Dick Cheney pushed me to the left. Trump makes Dick look almost reasonable. The Rational Optimist has been my hold out and hope that we could again have a good two party system. I always figured that Frank was smart, and I agreed with him more than I disagreed with him. Frank is a republican, thus there must be other reasonable Republicans out there.
    Hope is. Lost.
    I live in a state where the candidate who will probably be the next governor is running on a platform that is basically “I am a proud NRA sell out”. Statement made after a school shooting. WTF?
    Is this crazy backlash all because people felt threatened by Obama? What president has ever been who didn’t make mistakes or had everyone agree with him? So what? That’s life and why we have checks and balances. Had? Far Left and far Right end up being the same soulless creeps and our current climate seems to be pushing everyone to the extremes. I fear the next few years.

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    I am no longer a Republican, as explained here last May.

  7. Eric Says:

    I didn’t mean to imply you still were a Republican.
    Sorry it came out like that.
    My point was that there used to be good reasons to be one. Reasons an independent or Democrat could understand.
    I do not understand the follow the (idiot) leader crap that is going on. It’s hard to have any respect for the Trumpiot sell-outs and followers. The proud-to-be “Despicable” morons who continue support the clown. Our system is broken. We could probably choose better leaders and representatives by randomly choosing social security numbers.
    Sorry # 123-456-7890, you are stuck with a Senate seat for the next term. Civic duty….

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