Sunday, February 08, 2009

Get Chavez

FAIR has an illuminating study recently published showing the huge disparity in US Newspaper coverage of human rights in Venezuela and Colombia over the past 10 years. Their findings show that in spite of Colombia having an "appalling" human rights record - horrific compared to Venezuela's shortcomings - the US press coverage focuses almost exclusively on Venezuela and Hugo Chavez. Like the US Newspapers, NPR has a thing about focusing on Venezuela and Chavez and their main man for such assignments is Juan Forero.

Forero - always happy to push the State Department or CIA narrative on Latin America - is on this morning to portray the Chavez government as dangerously antisemitic.

Forero notes that despite Chavez' denunciation of the recent synagogue vandalism "questions are being raised over whether the government's recent language against Israel is creating a climate of hate. In January Chavez broke relations with Israel over that country's military strikes against Gaza. He called Israel's actions genocidal and expelled Israeli diplomats." Of course Forero doesn't note that Israel's violent actions against Palestinians fit the legal definition of genocide: "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group."

Forero purports that Chavez's remarks have had "an aggressive tone" "that borders on antisemitic." Forero sneers that in the past Chavez claimed the 2002 coup against him was "hatched by the CIA and Israel's secret service Mossad" and "claimed the gunmen that day were Jewish." Now what kind of nutbar would claim Israel's involvement in genocidal and rightwing Latin American governments. He also fails to mention that a prominent Venezuelan rabbi was present with the coup leaders in the immediate aftermath of the coup.

Forero closes his piece with this chestnut: Andreas (a Holocaust survivor) "knew exactly what the ramifications were. He's a Romanian Jew who survived the Holocaust and then came to Venezuela..." Ah yes, the Chavez denunciations of Israel's slaughter of Palestinians caused the antisemitic attack on the synagogue and it's like Kristalnacht all over again!


Anonymous said...

Israel is apparently ready to go even further to the Reich...I mean right.

Goddess help us all...

Anonymous said...

I know the allegations made by Venezuela's Jews that Chavez is anti-Semitic is an old story now but I had to respond. I am an American Jew, fluent in Spanish. I have visited Venezuela numerous times since 1984 and lived there for a spell. Many family members live there.

My own political views are decidedly left of center, in case you were wondering, and I was a Dennis Kucinich delegate nominee in my state in 2004.

I am acquainted with some in Venezuela's Jewish community. I can tell you they felt they were no longer welcome in Venezuela and many of them were living in fear.

There is a lot more to this story than you describe. In the fall of last year, Fidel Castro met with Chavez and asked him to lighten up on his rhetoric toward the Jews. A day after that meeting, Chavez announced he had scheduled a meeting with Jewish leaders. It apparently went well. See the below link for Castro's "views on the Jews."