Some split views on Venezuela


To the editor:

The one thing President Donald Trump does not get criticized for by the mainstream news media is his continuation of U.S. imperialism. That media and the Democrats have been parroting his lies and half-truths to justify his tightening of sanctions and threats to overthrow the Venezuelan government led by President Nicolas Maduro.

This tweet is from a U.S. Senator: “The Maduro government has waged a violent crackdown on Venezuelan civil society, violated the constitution by dissolving the National Assembly, and was re-elected last year in an election many observers said was fraudulent. The economy is a disaster and millions are migrating.”

It’s not from a Republican, it’s from Bernie Sanders.

As CounterPunch’s Shamus Cooke reported in his Jan. 29 article, the “civil society” Sanders refers to led violent protests that resulted in more than 100 deaths, including four Maduro supporters burnt alive.

He also reported the National Assembly was dissolved by the supreme court in 2017 because it would only pass laws that were unconstitutional, and that Venezuela’s elections are considered among the fairest.

Yet, another senator denounced Maduro as a “dictator.” Who? Elizabeth Warren.

Not only Trump, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — in a statement released Feb. 8 — recognized National Assembly president Juan Guaidó as the “legitimate” president of Venezuela.

So if Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were somehow removed from office and Pelosi became president, our government would still be trying to overthrow Maduro. So much for the Democrats being the “opposition” party.

Then there’s the criticism of Maduro for blocking food aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development. As reported by Timothy McGill from CounterPunch, that organization has aided Venezuelan opposition groups under the guise of humanitarian aid. That’s why the Red Cross has said they will not participate in such aid unless it’s politically neutral.

Democrats keep insisting that Russia interfered in the 2016 election by putting ads on the internet. I’m sure Maduro wishes that was all the United States was doing in Venezuela.

On March 9, 2015, an American president announced sanctions against Venezuela claiming they were an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” Obviously, a sovereign nation should not have to kowtow to U.S. foreign policy. Also, anyone who really thinks Venezuela is a threat to our national security is delusional.

That president — who was either delusional or a shameless liar — was Barack Obama.

The Riverdale Press was right to extol the courage of the Stein family who, 30 years ago, refused to be cowed by a terrorist bombing and continued to print the truth. Much was written about the importance of a free press and Trump’s threat to it.

The Riverdale Press has remained an open forum, except for a brief aberration that thankfully lasted less than a year. But the same cannot be said for the mainstream media. Censorship, whether done by a corporation or be one’s self, is wrong. It doesn’t become right because it doesn’t come from the government, or if it comes indirectly from the government.

Richard Warren

Richard Warren,