It must have been a shitty day for the security forces that tried to block of the demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela. Why you ask? Well, anti-government protestors started using slingshots that flung jars that were literally filled with shit at the governmental forces (13). Now, if this isn’t a way to demonstrate ones unsatisfaction about a certain topic, we don’t know what is. The protestors also wrote messages on the jars, for example: Sent with Love. We really appreciate the irony behind the whole set-up, therefore we decided to directly adopt the slogan for this design.
The “Sending Love” design portrays protestors firing a slingshot.
Courtesy to Ariana Cubillos (May 10, 2017).
The protests started after the government of Maduro had issued a ruling that the opposition-controlled National Assembly was invalid (13). They later reversed this decision, among others because of both national and international criticism. In the country, where inflation is on an all-time high, food shortages are the reality for many people and crime is skyrocketing, tension is boiling and often erupts in protests, in which the government of Venezuela is using every means necessary to suppress the people, often killing many of them. Or at least, that’s the way western media is portraying it. But let us have a look behind the curtains of western information. We come from a socialist-communist background and as such, we stand firmly behind the Bolivarian revolution and especially the late Commandante Hugo Chavez (that does not mean that we are not able to see its flaws and can’t criticise it). However, nowadays it is extremely hard to get a clear picture of what is actually going on in Venezuela. The news and reports one can find are extremely ambivalent. On the one hand, we have western media outlets that depict Maduro and his government as one of the most evil things on earth and on the other hand, we have many non-western media outlets that paint a completely different picture.
For example, the USA claimed that they send humanitarian aid to Venezuela and that the government of Venezuela ordered those aids to be burned. However, there is video footage (2) depicting right wing protestors throwing Molotov cocktails on the trucks, burning them down consequently. Further, the so-called “humanitarian aid” consisted of masks, nails and wires. Those would have not helped anyone, except maybe opposition protestors to build barricades. Additionally, the Red Cross and the United Nations distanced themselves from those aids, which makes the whole situation even more suspicious. The cherry on top of the cake is the fact that Venezuela accepted and received 300 tons of humanitarian aid from Russia, including medicine and medical supply (10). What does this mean? According to the western media outlets, Maduro does not want any aid (probably because he likes starving his own citizens?) (7). So why does he accept help from Russia? Maybe it’s because the USA is notorious for administrating coups and overthrowing (democratically elected) governments? Since 1945, the USA supported or took part in over 20, often successful, military interventions and coups in Latin America alone, often installing right-wing dictators that literally massacred anyone opposing them (a good example would be the overthrowing of democratically elected socialist president Salvador Allende and the installation of Dictator Augusto Pinochet in Chile) (6). Thereby, the USA is directly responsible for the death of 1.5 million Latin Americans (not to forget the torturing of thousands of people). Of course, the number could be even higher, since thousands disappeared and have not been found until today. So maybe, it is relatable that the government of Maduro does not want to accept “help” from the USA but as we saw, they do not mind accepting help from other countries. But why does Venezuela need help anyway? Well, to explain the whole extent of the Venezuelan Crisis would burst our scope here but we believe that most of it has to do with the illegal and severe economic sanctions imposed by the USA and other western countries, the freezing of the gold-reserves of the Venezuelan government by the Bank of England, the devaluation of the national currency of Venezuela by the international banking system (IMF, World Bank) and the continuing attempts of the USA to stage coups (1, 2, 5, 14).
To give another example, as most of you have probably noticed in the media, in January last year, Juan Guaidó, a Venezuelan Politician, proclaimed himself as president of Venezuela (12). Hailed from the western media and elite as the saviour of Venezuela, he received a lot of attention and praises (4, 8). By clever phrasing, western media portrayed a picture of a powerful politician who has the support of most countries in the world, who collectively want to see Maduro fall. However, when looking at the actual facts, Guaidó was only recognized by 48 countries (54 according to Wikipedia), while 141 countries still recognized Maduro as the legitimate president (4). Looking at who supports who, it becomes clear that the USA, its allied Latin America governments and the major economic powers of Europe are supporting Guaido. The same countries, in which the media portrays him as a hero. While he is depicting Maduros regime as inherently evil, his supports burned the aforementioned aid-truck, destroyed election machines and burned Chavistas (supporters of the current Government) alive and killed them (1, 3). The opposition, which Guaidó represents has also been implicated in election fraud and boycotted the electoral processes. Even western media, by this point, acknowledge that most Venezuelans who followed him in the beginning in the hope for change, have lost their faith in him and the opposition as they have done nothing to improve the situation, in fact they made it even worse (8). Apparently, Guaidó received a lot of money from foreign countries supporting him in order to support the poor with medical supplies. Until today, most of them have never seen any of it. Also, ask yourself, if the Maduro government really is as authoritarian as it is depicted in western media, how is it possible that Guaidó walks around free and can continue his fight against the government openly? (11) By the way, the Venezuelan electoral system has received a lot of praises for its protection against forgery and transparency (15). Former US-President James Carter has even called it the best - while the US magazine Forbes stated that it is one of the most advanced voting systems in the whole world. Such a contrast to what most western media and the opposition reports.
As we can see, the situation in Venezuela is a mess and as so often, there is no clear cut between good and evil. We could continue the article for many more pages, talking about the refugees, alleged crimes against humanity from the Maduro government and so on. We urge each and every one of you to dive in the internet and have a look and non-western media outlets. You will be surprised what you can find. We hopefully gave you a little taste with our article. We believe that the people of Venezuela are able to fight for their own rights and that any foreign intervention should be prevented at all cost. We just have to look to the countries that had to endure foreign interventions (mostly by the USA) like Afghanistan, Libya, nearly every South-American country, Syria, Vietnam, Korea etc. and we can see that foreign interventions make matters worse for everyone involved.
So why did we take a design, depicting anti-government protestors. Well, we ourselves, do not proclaim that we know what the situation exactly is in Venezuela. It becomes clear that the government itself might not be as evil as it is always depicted while the opposition clearly is not as heroic as it is portrayed. However, people have the right to protests and to have their voice heard. We are not in support of the opposition in Venezuela, but we also do not claim that they are not in the right to protest. Further, with this design we are sending love (real one this time) to the Venezuelan people in full solidarity to their cause. We had a long discussion whether or not we should include the design, in the end we went for it (give us your opinion in the comments below). With this design we especially want to urge you, that before blindly following the western (and by such, imperialistic) media outlets, to investigate with some alternative sources, as they (western media, exceptions of course exit) only portray the viewpoint of the western elites. Ask yourself, when reading the article, did you think that we have been pray to Venezuelan propaganda and blind to the obvious fact that Maduro is evil? If that thought (or similar), crossed your mind, ask yourself further: Why do I think this way? On which information did I build my believes?
To put it in the words of Carlos Cruz Mosquera: “The problem here isn’t that Western media have an evident bias and sometimes even an overt and active political objective. Media outlets everywhere in the world always have these. The problem is that it purports itself to be neutral and many of us who claim to be critical thinkers accept this absurd assertion.” (Mosquera, C.C. 30.09.2020) Let that sink in for a minute and ask yourself, have I been pray to this information-bias myself?
The profits made with this design will go to amerika21 (click here to check them out). They are a media outlet reporting about what is going on in South America. In our opinion, their articles are wonderfully investigated and as objectiv as possible. In a world where media is heavily used as weapon against the enemies of imperialism and capitalism, such media outlets need our support! Unfortunatly, amerika21 only reports in German. Nevertheless, we want to support it! Do you know any other media outlets that you think are similar to amerika21? Let us know, put it in the comments or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Solidaridad Pa' Siempre!
- Ayala, N. (2019). If You’re Anti-Maduro, You’re Anti-Venezuela. Anticonquista.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://anticonquista.com/2019/03/11/if-youre-anti-maduro-youre-anti-venezuela/
- Ayala, N. (2019). Venezuela Crisis: Imperialist Lies Target Latinxs. Anticonquista.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://anticonquista.com/2019/03/11/venezuela-crisis-imperialist-lies-target-latinxs/
- Bossi, F. & Marquina, C. P. (2018). Violent Fascism in Nicaragua and Venezuela: Interview with Fernando Bossi. Venezuelanalysis.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14012
- Dobson, P. (2019). Infograms: How much international support does Guaido really have? Venezuelanalysis.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/14303
- Flores, L. (2020). Das Venezuela-Märchen von John Bolton. Amerika21. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://amerika21.de/analyse/242018/das-venezuela-maerchen-von-john-bolton
- Hansch, W. (2015). Staatstreiche und Militärinterventionen nach 1945 in Lateinamerika. Amerika21. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://amerika21.de/analyse/123974/terroropfer-lateinamerika
- Lyons, K., Ho, V. & Durkin, E. (2019). Guaidó: military should disown leader who burns food in front of the hungry – as it happened. The Guardian. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/feb/23/venezuela-brazil-border-aid-live-news-latest-updates
- Mellmann, A.K. (2020). Die Hoffnung ist verflogen. Tagesschau.de. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/guaido-venezuela-jahrestag-101.html
- Mosquera, C.C. (2020). Selectively Humanitarian: Why the West Focuses on Chinese Muslims Over Colombian Massacres. Anticonquista.com. Retreived on October 25, 2020 from: https://anticonquista.com/2020/09/30/selectively-humanitarian-why-the-west-focuses-on-chinese-muslims-over-colombian-massacres/#
- n.d. (2019). Venezuela Accepts Shipments of Russian Humanitarian Aid – Reports. The Moscow Times. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/02/20/venezuela-accepts-shipment-russian-humanitarian-aid-reports-a64572
- n.d. (2020). Venezuelas Oppositionsführer Guaidó in Caracas gesichtet. Spiegel.de. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/venezuela-oppositionsfuehrer-juan-guaido-in-caracas-gesichtet-a-0028d153-8c5e-4445-920a-eb4e483293fe
- n.d. (n.d.) Juan Guaidó. Wikipedia.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Guaid%C3%B3
- Sanchez, F. (2017). Venezuelans battle with shields, gas masks, fecal bombs. Ap News. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://apnews.com/article/8695624c237c45359b2db6db7698b28b
- Shaw, D. (2019). Venezuela 2020: The Bolivarian Revolution Pushes Forward. Anticonquista.com. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://anticonquista.com/2019/12/16/venezuela-2020-the-bolivarian-revolution-pushes-forward/
- Zimmerman, P. (2015). Die transparenteste Wahl der Welt. Amerika21. Retrieved on October 25, 2020 from: https://amerika21.de/analyse/136893/venezuela-wahlsystem