June 30, 2003

Greg Palast and balanced coverage on Chavez

Hugo Chavez Is Crazy!

Last June, on Page One of the San Francisco Chronicle, an Associated Press photo of a mass of demonstrators carried the following caption: "TENS OF THOUSANDS OF VENEZUELANS OPPOSED TO PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ..."

The caption let us know this South American potentate was a killer, an autocrat, and the people of his nation wanted him out. The caption continued: "[Venezuelans] marched Saturday to demand his resignation and punishment for those responsible for 17 deaths during a coup in April. 'Chavez leave now!' read a huge banner."

There was no actual story in the Chronicle -- South America simply isn't worth wasting words on -- just the photo and caption. But the Chronicle knew no story was needed. Venezuelans hated their terrible president, and all you needed was this photo to prove it.

And I could confirm the large protests. I'd recently returned from Caracas and watched 100,000 march against President Chavez. I'd filmed them for BBC Television London.

But I also filmed this: a larger march, easily over 200,000 Venezuelans marching in support of their president, Chavez.

That picture, of the larger pro-Chavez march, did not appear in a single U.S. newspaper. The pro-Chavez marchers weren't worth a mention.

By the next month, when the New York Times printed a photo of anti-Chavez marchers, they had metastasized. The Times reported that 600,000 had protested against Chavez.

Once again, the larger pro-Chavez demonstrations were, as they say in Latin America, "disappeared." I guess they didn't fit the print.

To view the rest of this article, please check out www.alternet.org a project of the Independent Media Institute, and one of our favorite sites dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism. You'll find a mix of news, opinion and investigative reports including more than 7,000 stories from over 200 sources.

Then, for more on the truth about what's really going on in Venezuela, please visit www.gregpalast.com where you'll find all of Greg Palast's reports including his interview with President Hugo Chavez.

This article was based on a contribution to the compendium, "Abuse Your Illusions," released this month by Disinformation Press. Oliver Shykles, Fredda Weinberg, Ina Howard, and Phil Tanfield contributed research for this report.

Greg Palast, an investigative reporter for BBC television, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" (Penguin/Plume 2003).

Posted by Tony Phillips at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2003

Chomsky on US Intentions in Venezuela

  • ANDY CLARK: Question OK, another email. This is from Venezuela. This is from Alberto Villasmil Raven, and he says: "I would like to know if Professor Chomsky thinks it possible that the U.S. will invade Venezuela."
  • NOAM CHOMSKY: Answer Well, I don't think they'll directly invade, but among the regions that are targeted for so-called preventive war, one of them is almost certainly the Andes region. It's a region of substantial resources. It is, to a certain degree, out of control. The U.S. already has extensive military resources - a large military basing system in Ecuador, the Dutch islands, El Salvador - surrounding the region, and quite a few forces on the ground. My suspicion is that the U.S. will probably, in Venezuela, once again support a coup as it did last year. But if that doesn't work, direct intervention is not impossible. Remember, this has long been planned. One of the very good things about the United States is it's a very free society, uniquely so. We have extensive records of internal planning. Right in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis, where we have the records, president Kennedy and his brother were discussing the threat of the Cuban missiles, and they said one of the big problems they posed was: "They might deter an invasion of Venezuela, if we decide to invade." That was 1962. These are old policies, deeply rooted. outlook-india-logo.gif
    Posted by Tony Phillips at 08:22 PM | Comments (0)
  • June 05, 2003

    The Vehicle

    Aussie Troopie

    Aussie Troopie

    Travel in South and Central America is unlike travel conditions in the U.S., Europe or other zones where I have completed extensive road trips such as tropical Australia. However given this choice tropical Western Australia is somewhat similar (in the summer, minus the jungle). Current candidate vehicles include: LandCruiser Troopie import from Australia from Spectre Off Road in Los Angeles, diesel. LandRover diesel, Toyota 4Runner with tow package and other Toyota trucks (U.S.: Tacoma / Intl: Hi Lux) which are fairly prevalent in South America. Problems to be dealt with are: heat, 19,000' Andean passes, water, off-road capabilities, MPG/KPL, diesel preference, carnet de passage and getting rid of the vehicle after a one-way leg. Oh and there is the Darien Gap. If you have experience with this kind of choice do advise I need help here .
    Posted by Tony Phillips at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

    June 04, 2003

    Surviving Anaconda Attack

    Buy the book!

    As Quoted By Robert Young Pelton

    As quoted by Robert Young Pelton:
    1. If you are attacked by an anaconda, do not run. The snake is faster than you are.
    2. Lie flat on the ground. Put your arms tight against your sides, your legs tight against one another.
    3. Tuck your chin in.
    4. The snake will come and begin to nudge and climb over your body.
    5. Do not panic.
    6. After the snake has examined you, it will begin to swallow you from the feet and always from the end. Permit the snake to swallow your feet and ankles. Do not panic.
    7. The snake will now begin to suck your legs into its body. You must lie perfectly still. This will take a long time.
    8. When the snake has reached your knees slowly and with as little movement as possible, reach down, take your knife and very gently slide it into the side of the snake's mouth between the edge of its mouth and your leg, then suddenly rip upwards, severing the snake's head.
    9. Be sure you have your knife.
    10. Be sure your knife is sharp
    ... from the U.S. Government Peace Corps Manual for its volunteers who work in the Amazon Jungle. It tells what to do in case you are attacked by an anaconda. The anaconda is the largest snake in the world. It is a relative of the boa constrictor, it grows to thirty-five feet in length and weighs between three and four hundred pounds at the maximum.

    Posted by Tony Phillips at 01:32 PM | Comments (1)

    June 03, 2003

    Brazilian President Lula da Silva's Speech from the G-8 Summit in Evian

    Brazilian President Lula da Silva's Speech from the G-8 Summit in Evian:
    The refreshing words of Lula da Silva to leaders at the G8 summit yesterday on the ethical necessity to conquer hunger contrast extraordinarily with the war rhetoric excreting from the mouths of the Bush Junta.

    When exactly did democracy morph into a gross distortion of 'Freedom' and the destruction of imaginary 'Weopens' of mass destruction command more ethical validity than trying to feed the desperate who starve to death daily in our civilized modern world?

    Source and complete text :


    Posted by Tony Phillips at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)