Wednesday, March 12, 2014

From radical resistance to propagating imperialism

In recent weeks protests against the elected president Nicolás Maduro have captured the imaginations of corporate media outlets and wealthy expatriates alike. Hyper sensationalist propagandists like Francisco Toro, in his blog article “The Game Changed Last Night” that has made its way around social-media networks, regurgitated blatant falsehoods, suggesting that “state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles” were “roaming middle class neighborhoods… shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.” In reality, by February 21 a total of ten people had died in Venezuela due in one way or another to the clashes. Of these, two were due to motor vehicle accidents stemming from drivers attempting to avoid opposition barricades, another was the assassination of a brother of a Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV, Maduro’s party) parliamentary deputy, and yet another is apparently the result of “friendly fire” from the ranks of the opposition.1 The reality is a far cry from the narrative of a brutal, repressive regime clamping down violently on student protest.

The purpose of this piece is not to explore the dynamics of the student protests, which can be read about ad nauseam elsewhere. Instead, it is meant to help illuminate the role that wealthy expatriates play in propagating a narrative conducive to their own and, by extension, U.S. interests in Venezuela. It must be noted that this is by no means a definitive account. It is at best a cursory reflection based partly on personal experience, one in which I hope will encourage others to explore the role of their own local student organizations in dictating the narrative on Venezuela. However, it appears likely that the composition of Latino student organizations, given the influx of privileged Venezuelan students on U.S. campuses, has played a key role in dictating the narrative surrounding events in Venezuela.

No comments:

Post a Comment