Canada and the Propaganda War on Venezuela

Global Research, April 27, 2019

“I have ground zero information on everything that happens there. And trust me, what the Canadian public, and the American public and the international community are watching is a huge Hollywood show.”

– Venezuelan in Canada, from an interview with Eva Bartlett

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The US and Canada have long sought regime change in Venezuela.

In order to enable this agenda, the political leadership of the two countries have been drowning their populations with propaganda. According to the standard account, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has undemocratically ceased power, and is oppressing his own people. President Maduroand his predecessor Hugo Chavez are singularly to blame for a devastating economic situation forcing millions to flee the once prosperous South American nation. [1]

Mainstream media, pundits, and popular television comedy show hosts like John Oliver are only too happy to uncritically echo these interpretations of the plight of the Venezuelan people. More to the point, they appear to be presenting as fact an embellishment of the difficulties facing ordinary and poor Venezuelans.

Among standard talking points: people across the nation are taking to the streets to oppose Maduro’srule, leading to violent reprisals by the government and crackdowns on dissident mediaMaduro’smismanagement of the economy has led to empty grocery store shelves. President Maduro, back in February, authorized the destruction of aid entering the country from neighbouring Columbia. Maduro’spresidency is illegitimate and the opposition National Assembly’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim President is constitutionally valid.

Audiences in the U.S. and Canada are led to believe the people of Venezuela overwhelmingly oppose Maduro’s ‘grip’ on power, but are helpless to challenge his ‘authoritarian’ rule.

As with ‘humanitarian wars’ Western nations have sanctioned over the last two decades, even liberal critics of their nations’ interventionist policies feel the need to express their position with a disclaimer of sorts along the lines of ‘He may be a bad guy, but…’

Aggressive foreign policy toward Venezuela or any other country requires at least tacit support from domestic populations in nominally democratic countries like Canada, hence the need by Western leaders to control the foreign policy narrative. This is why it is necessary for the broader public to ascertain the actual facts on the ground, and confront the assertions providing a pretext for foreign interference, particularly military intervention, in another country’s internal affairs.

This week, the Global Research News Hour takes on conventional messaging on the Venezuela situation with three provocative interview guests.

In the first half hour, frequent guest Yves Engler joins us to share some insights into Canada’s actual interests in Venezuela as well as provide background on a specific Canadian think tank, known as the Canadian International Council, which is acting to shape Canadian policy in an imperialistic direction. Excerpts of a recent talk by former Canadian Ambassador to Venezuela, Ben Rowswell are incorporated into this discussion.

In the second half hour, two Canadian journalists, Eva Bartlett and Dimitri Lascaris, talk about what they saw and experienced in Venezuela during their recent visits to the country. They also help us make sense of social and mainstream media distortion of the realities on the ground.

Yves Engler is one of Canada’s foremost Canadian foreign policy critics and dissidents. He is the author of nine books on Canadian foreign policy including The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy (2009), and his most recent, Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada. His articles have appeared at rabble.ca, canadiandimension.com, and on his own site yvesengler.com.

Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, activist, and journalist. A former partner with Siskinds LLP, Lascaris was once named one of Canada’s most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. He is currently a correspondent and Board member of The Real News Network and the Chair of the Board of Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Eva recently returned from a visit to Venezuela. She will be speaking in Hamilton on Monday April 29th.

(Global Research News Hour Episode 257)

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca . Excerpts of the show have begun airing on Rabble Radio and appear as podcasts at rabble.ca.

The Global Research News Hour now airs Fridays at 6pm PST, 8pm CST and 9pm EST on Alternative Current Radio (alternativecurrentradio.com)

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

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Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia, Canada. – Tune in  at its new time – Wednesdays at 4pm PT.

Radio station CFUV 101.9FM based at the University of Victoria airs the Global Research News Hour every Sunday from 7 to 8am PT.

CORTES COMMUNITY RADIO CKTZ  89.5 out of Manson’s Landing, B.C airs the show Tuesday mornings at 10am Pacific time.

Cowichan Valley Community Radio CICV 98.7 FM serving the Cowichan Lake area of Vancouver Island, BC airs the program Thursdays at 6am pacific time.

Campus and community radio CFMH 107.3fm in  Saint John, N.B. airs the Global Research News Hour Fridays at 10am.

Caper Radio CJBU 107.3FM in Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia airs the Global Research News Hour starting Wednesday Morning from 8:00 to 9:00am. Find more details at www.caperradio.ca

RIOT RADIO, the visual radio station based out of Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario has begun airing the Global Research News Hour on an occasional basis. Tune in at dcstudentsinc.ca/services/riot-radio/

Radio Fanshawe: Fanshawe’s 106.9 The X (CIXX-FM) out of London, Ontario airs the Global Research News Hour Sundays at 6am with an encore at 4pm.

Los Angeles, California based Thepowerofvoices.com airs the Global Research News Hour every Monday from 6-7pm Pacific time.

Notes:

  1. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-363198772.html
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US is manufacturing a crisis in Venezuela so that there is chaos and ‘needed’ intervention

Eva Bartlett
Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip and Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.
US is manufacturing a crisis in Venezuela so that there is chaos and 'needed' intervention

America has for years been waging an economic war against Venezuela, including debilitating sanctions which have dramatically affected the state’s ability to purchase medicines, and even mundane replacement parts needed in buses, ambulances, etc. Alongside the economic war there has been a steady propaganda war, but in recent months, the propaganda has escalated dramatically, from corporate media to US political figures.

Venezuela is described as “the country pilots are refusing to fly to,” as per a March 18, 2019, AP article on American Airlines cancelling all flights to Venezuela, containing scary phrases like “safety concerns” and “civil unrest.

On March 9, American cancelled my Miami-Caracas flight on the basis that there wasn’t enough electricity to land at Caracas airport. Strangely enough, the Copa flight I took the following day after an overnight in Panama had no problem landing, nor did Copa flights on the day of my own cancelled flight, according to Copa staff.

The cancellation of flights to Venezuela then lends legitimacy to the shrill tweets of Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, John Bolton, and the previously unknown non-president, Juan Guaido.

I’ve been in various areas of Caracas since March 10, and I’ve seen none of this “civil unrest” that corporate media are talking about. I’ve walked around Caracas, usually on my own, and haven’t experienced the worry for my safety corporate media is telling Westerners they should suddenly feel more than normal in Venezuela.

In fact, I see little difference from the Venezuela I knew in 2010 when I spent half a year here, except the hyperinflation is absurdly worse and in my absence I missed the years of extreme right-wing opposition supporters street violence – a benign term for the guarimbas which saw opposition supporters burning people alive, among other violence against people and security.

So it strikes me that the decision of American Airlines to stop flying to Venezuela is not about safety and security issues, but is political, in line with increasingly hollow rhetoric about a humanitarian crisis that does not exist, even according toformer UN Special Rapporteur, Alfred de Zayas.

I asked Paul Dobson, a journalist who has lived in Venezuela the last 14 years, if anything like this had happened before. Turns out it has, also at a very timely moment.

At the time of the National Constituent Assembly elections, July 30, 2017, the major airlines – including Air France, United, American, pretty much all of the European airlines – suspended their flights one day before the elections, citing “security reasons.” Most of the services were reopened about four days after the elections, some of them two weeks after the elections.

So were there ‘security concerns? I asked Paul.

This was towards the end of street violence (guarimbas) that had been going on for six months in the country. Why didn’t they suspend their activity six months before, two months before? They did it the day before the elections, clearly trying to influence votes and the way that people see their country internationally. There were no extra security concerns that day than any day over the last 6 months. So, there was really no justification for it. And it caused massive problems on the ground, around elections.”

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Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

I spent most of afternoon in Petare, one of poorest areas of Caracas & the most sprawling series of barrios in Latin America. Ppl I met there spoke about Imperialist & economic war against them, & how they will continue defending their country. Night & day fr these howling idiots

America manufactures crises; Venezuelans respond with calm

On February 23, a month after a previously largely-unknown, US-backed man named Juan Guaido claimed he was the president of Venezuela, there was a short-lived period of instability at the Venezuelan border with Colombia, when America insisted on forcing aid trucks into Venezuela.

Aid trucks that burned that day were the result of attacks of masked young men on the Colombian side, and not from the Venezuelan military as western corporate media and Marco Rubio would have you believe. Less-known is that the ‘aid trucks’ contained very odd humanitarian aid, including nails and wire.

Were their fake concerns genuine, the US could have done what Cuba, China, and Russia, among others, have done and send the aid through appropriate channels, like the UN and the Red Cross. America’s attempt to ram trucks through Venezuela’s border has been revealed as the cheap propaganda stunt that it was.

A couple of weeks later, suddenly there was a very timely country-wide power outage for six days, affecting most things in Venezuelan infrastructure and life, a reality that Palestinians in Gaza have been living since at least 2006 when Israel bombed their sole power plant, never since allowing them to import the parts needed to adequately repair it.

When I lived in Gaza, I grew accustomed to outages of 16-22 hours a day, for months on end. Near-daily sustained 18 plus hour power outages continue in Gaza, but that’s not something the regime-change squad were or are outraged about.

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Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

being kids, Plaza Venezuela, Caracas, yesterday.

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Western media coverage of the blackout was tabloidesque, claiming without any proof whatsoever that 300 people had died due to the outage, portraying Venezuelans collecting water from a spring at the Guaire river in Caracas as collecting dirty sewage water, looting (which actually occurred in the Western border city of Maracaibo and not in Caracas, unless there were localized and unreported incidents), and in general blaming the Maduro government for everything under the moon.

Talking with journalists of Mision Verdad, an independent Venezuelan investigative news site, I learned that one of the targets of looting was a mall in Maracaibo, where electronics were the items of choice, not food. Another incidentreportedly involved looting beer and soft drinks. Odd behaviour for a starving people in a humanitarian crisis.

When I arrived three days into the outage, aside from darkened buildings, empty streets, and in following days long lines at water dispensaries and ATMs, I saw no instability. Instead, I saw and learned of Venezuelans working together to get through the drastic effects of the power outage.

I learned at the Ministry of Urban Agriculture of how they took vegetables and crops to hospitals and schools during the electricity outage, but also of how urban agriculture has become an act of resistance in a climate of war and fake news. At a circular plot next to a social housing block I saw young men and women working the land, bursts of lettuces, herbs, beetroots, spinach, and peppers, as well as plots still being planted.

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Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

I know this is inviting Miami trolls & HRW groupies to jump on me & say poorest Venezuelans can’t afford these prices (8000 around US $2 & a bit, depending if 3200 to $1 or 3500, etc).
However, got these yesterday & they’ll last me a few days, avacadoes longer.

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At the Fabricio Ojeda commune, in Catia—a western Caracas barrio of over 1 million people—residents spoke of the 17 tons of produce they generated a few years ago, then sold in the community at prices 30-50% lower than the average market price.

One of the commune leaders spoke of raising rabbits as an affordable, and easy to maintain, source of protein.

We’re trying to achieve self sustainability of this produce, for the community. This is what we’re doing against the economic war,” he said.

Two days ago, visiting the Caracas barrios of Las Brisas, I asked Jaskeherry, head of a colectivo (organized group of people) how the community had managed during the power outage.

Embedded video

Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

During a pro-Venezuela, anti-Imperialist march, I asked Paul Dobson of @venanalysis to speak briefly on corporate media/opposition’s attack on colectivos.
“Colectivo means collective, an expression of the organized community, incl workers, women’s, ecological, pensioners…”

164 people are talking about this
We had a contingency plan with all the colectivos in the area to organize ourselves to help the people. My fridge is connected to a power bank. The community brought their meat here and I stored it. We brought a cistern here. Around 300 families were benefiting from this. Each community has their own colectivo that does things like this to help out.”

I’ve heard from several different people here that one reason for the lack of chaos is that Venezuelans have already dealt with US-instigated crises, and have learned to remain calm at such times, surely to the dismay of US pot-stirrers who hoped for scenes of chaos, the pretext to US intervention.

Manufactured poverty; Support from & for government

I’ve gone into a number of smaller and large supermarkets in the lower middle-class areas of Caracas, and in it’s upper middle-class regions of Chacao and Altimira. There is food, including luxury items, which Venezuela’s poor can’t afford.

And in some stores there are said to be empty shelves, although I haven’t yet seen this.The policies of private companies —including the largest, Polar, whose CEO opposition supporters wanted him to run against Maduro in the last elections – to hoard goods and create false shortages is well known. That said, this theme that there is no food is one continually pumped by Western corporate media, along with the “humanitarian crisis” claim.

To help the poorest, the government initiated a food box delivery program known by its acronym, CLAP, wherein organized communities distribute government subsidized food to 6 million of Venezuela’s poorest families.

The system is not perfect, and I’ve heard complaints of boxes being late in reaching some communities. However, I’ve been told—including by a woman I interviewed yesterday who herself works in CLAP distribution—that problems lie in corruption on a local level, individuals in communities not distributing fairly or evenly.

Hotheads like Marco Rubio, and script reading corporate media, try to maintain that President Maduro has little support. But massive rallies of support, and a notable absence of opposition rallies of recent, counter that propaganda.

On March 16, for two hours I walked with Venezuelans at their anti-Imperialist, pro-government march, filming them, speaking with them, hearing person after person insist on their support for their elected president, Maduro.

Many or most of those marching were from Caracas’ poorest communities, the darker skinned, Afro-descendant Venezuelans that are scarcely given a voice by corporate media, almost certainly because they are ardent supporters of the government and Bolivarian revolution.

When I asked about their feelings of corporate media coverage of Venezuela, people told me it wasn’t depicting the reality, “they make it up, it’s all lies, all lies. The only president we recognize is Nicolas Maduro. And we want this man, Juan Guaido, to be arrested immediately”.

A young tax lawyer told me:

We’re here to support our (Bolivarian) project. We don’t want any war. We want medicine for our people—we don’t want sanctions from any government that prevent us from purchasing medicine. It’s very difficult for us to bring what’s needed for our people.”

Leaving the still crowded demonstration, I went towards Caracas’ eastern districts, hoping to attend one of the three or four opposition actions that a local journalist told me they had been tweeting about. None panned out.

A few days later, I went to Bellas Artes metro, the same scenario transpired, I couldn’t find the opposition protest that I’d heard was planned. Eventually, in front of the National Assembly, I did film between 15-20 well-dressed men and women not doing much other than standing around. Eventually, most passed by security and onto the premises. I didn’t hear them issue, or attempt to issue, any opposition statement, nor was there any violence from or against them.

A mass of government supporters arrived on motorbikes. A nearby man told me that these women and men on bikes had come to preserve the peace. He said that opposition had said they would stage a provocation (his words match what the local journalist told me, based on tweets to that effect from opposition/supporters), and that the pro-government bikers were not going to allow that to happen.

Height of hypocrisy and irony; US to ensure ‘foreign influences are not controlling Venezuela’

The US has been forcibly exerting its foreign influence over Venezuela for years, to the detriment of the Venezuelan people it crocodile-tear purports to care about. Most Western corporate media do not mention the manifold adverse effects of the immoral sanctions imposed on Venezuela.

At the end of January, UN human rights expert Idriss Jazairy denounced the sanctions, clearly noting they are, “aimed at changing the government of Venezuela,” and that, “Coercion, whether military or economic, must never be used to seek a change in government in a sovereign state.”

On top of this, America recently withheld US$5 billion intended for the purchase of medicines and raw materials used in medical production, Venezuelanalysis reported, after already freezing numerous Venezuelan assets, apparently holding them for their groomed puppet would-be president, Juan Guaido.

Unsurprisingly, John Bolton recently again menaced Venezuela, reiterating Trump’s, “all options are on the table,” military intervention threat and as though hallucinating blathered on about foreign influence and Venezuela and keeping the Imperialist Monroe Doctrine alive.

READ MORE: Bolton says Trump ‘very serious’ about ‘all options’ as Venezuela dismantles ‘terrorist cell’

In a meeting with the US Peace Council delegation in mid-March, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, spoke of the openly-hostile US leadership.

When you have such an administration saying almost every single day, ‘all the options are on the table.’ And they say the military option is not discarded, then we have to be prepared for all of the options.

We told Mr.Elliott Abrams, ‘the coup has failed, so now what are you going to do?’ He kind of nodded and said, ‘Well, this is going to be a long term action, then, and we are looking forward to the collapse of your economy.’”

President Maduro, in a meeting with the delegation, told us:

We do not want foreign military intervention. Venezuelan people are very proud of the national independence. These people surrounding president Trump—John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Marco Rubio, Elliott Abrams —every single day on Twitter, these guys are tweeting about Venezuela. Not about the US, the American people…they have an obsession with Venezuela, like a fatal obsession with Venezuela. This is extremely dangerous, and we need to denounce it and make it stop.

Having written extensively about the war propaganda and Imperialist rhetoric around Syria over the past eight years, this obsession is very familiar. As Alfred de Zayas, said in a recent interview:

If you call Maduro corrupt, people will gradually believe, he must be somewhat corrupt. But nobody reminds you that corruption in Venezuela in the 1980s and 90s – before Chavez, before Maduro – was rampant. The press is focusing only on Maduro, because the name of the game is to topple him.”

We’re seeing Syria (and Libya, Iraq…) all over again. The demonization of the leadership of a country America wants to dominate. The absurd rhetoric steaming daily from corporate owned media, pretty much in chorus. The troll army ready to attack with an energetic vitriol on social media anyone who dares to present a non-Imperialist perspective. And most worrisome, the acts of terrorism intended to hurt the people and incriminate the government.

Sadly, it seems the United States is ready to stoop to the same dirty tactics it and allies used against Syria over the past eight years: backing and collaborating with terrorists to attack the state. Indeed, last night while trying to finish this article, the power cut and remains off in many areas of the country.

Earlier this week, Information and Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez tweeted that the cause of this recent outage was an attack at the Guri Hydro complex, Venezuela’s central hydroelectric power plant and transmission area.

By today, electricity has partially been restored to Caracas.

Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

However, got these yesterday & they’ll last me a few days, avacadoes longer.

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Eva Bartlett

@EvaKBartlett

Yesterday in Petare, largest barrio in Latin America (& one of poorest in Caracas), I saw not-starving ppl purchasing similar vegs, plus meats, walking like normal ppl, not like a “crisis”.

Media is lying about a humanitarian crisis.

Same media that doesn’t care about Yemen. pic.twitter.com/Rz3e6bp46q

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383 people are talking about this

I spent much of this afternoon riding on the back of a motorbike around Petare. The district is known as the largest “slum” in Latin America, an extended series of barrios, and is one of Caracas’ poorest and most dangerous areas. Wherever we rode, I looked for the humanitarian crisis corporate media insists exists. Instead, I found vegetables, fruit, chicken and food basics sold wherever I went, from the main square to hillside barrio of 5 of July (5 Julio).

On the hillside of Avila, the mountain overlooking Caracas, I saw at intervals while riding lines of people collecting spring water in jugs since the power outage has affected water distribution. I also saw lines of tankers, being organized by the municipality and with the military, to distribute water around the city and country. A chart listed over twenty hospitals designated to receive water.

The Venezuelan government has accused America of being behind both the March 7 outage and this week’s, stating the former was a combination of cyber, electromagnetic and physical attacks on the power grids (like the alleged secret US plan to do the same to Iran’s grid), and the latter a direct physical attack on the Guri complex, causing a fire at three transformers.

Clearly, the goal of such attacks is to create so much suffering and frustration among the public that there is chaos, and a “needed” US intervention.

The chaos has not happened, the people have refused it.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

EVA BARTLETT ON “THE SILENCED VOICES OF THE SYRIAN PEOPLE”

Eva Bartlett 

In February 2019, I joined a very informative panel of journalists and activists speaking on a variety of current and important issues, including control of media and their role in war propagandizing–along with NGOs, Syria, the White Helmets, and much more. I traveled after that panel and have been busy working on a number of things since, so didn’t have the chance to share this till now.

Here is my segment, during which I present examples of Syrian voices ignored by media and some of media’s blatant lies, contrasting what I saw and heard on the ground on 11 trips to Syria.

Originally uploaded at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVsVrhu4OQU

Please also see these incredible presentations:

Patrick Henningsen, War – the ultimate goal of all propaganda
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntyPWXj9anY

Vanessa Beeley -The tale of the White Helmets in the Western media,on the ground in Syria and beyond
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDD0BBNC_mA

 

Related links (chronological order of mention):

-Talk With American-Syrians in Latakia, part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc2HRk42O-w

-Talk With American-Syrians in Latakia, part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvFeGIoISLo

-Father Frans van der Lugt quote
https://dissidentvoice.org/2015/10/deconstructing-the-nato-narrative-on-syria/

-Dr Hussam al Samman, Madaya anecdote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHhvSvl4XCs

-Dr Amer Ghantous on media lies around Daraa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMtz25fCTEo

-Dr Amer Ghantous full interview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwr7RcyG7WI

-Madaya starvation:
https://www.mintpressnews.com/order-returns-to-western-syria-civilians-recount-horrors-rebel-rule/232380/
-men from Madaya speak on terrorists hoarding food, starving civilians
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Ktf7UkHx8
-al-Waer, Dec 2015, food and supplies entering al-Waer
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1109530025723657&set=a.1128530780490248.1073741883.100000000104830

-Homs starvation and words of civilians:
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/liberated-homs-residents-challenge-notion-of-revolution/
-Douma—terrorist rule, CW lies
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/429349-syrians-tell-terrorists-white-helmets/
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/428514-douma-civilians-chemical-hoax/

Douma Medical Student Testimony Contradicts Mainstream and White Helmets Chemical Accusations
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx3I8S9ih1M
A look at a part of the labyrinth of tunnels built by the terrorists formerly occupying Douma
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlmRdYTSjPE
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html
-Omran Daqneesh lies & exploitation

http://www.mintpressnews.com/mintpress-meets-father-iconic-aleppo-boy-says-media-lied-son/228722/

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/391958-aylan-omran-child-victims-syria-propaganda/

Omran Daqneesh Father on boy’s mild injuries
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpL6jETGvvI

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/401994-omran-aleppo-boy-syria/
-Daraa hospital and school damage & terrorist snipers proximity, May 2018
https://www.facebook.com/EvaBoBeeva/posts/1925005744176077
https://www.facebook.com/EvaBoBeeva/posts/1925893510753967
https://twitter.com/EvaKBartlett/status/1011971483961307136

-Daraa September 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-busuQHngc
-Foua & Kafraya suffering:
https://21stcenturywire.com/2016/09/06/syria-the-children-of-kafarya-and-foua-are-crying-in-the-dark/

-Zahraa, Homs:Where is the West’s compassion & condemnation following terror attacks in Middle East?
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/330702-terrorism-west-hypocrisy-syria/

-university hospital children injured by terrorist attacks
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/university-hospital-damascus-meeting-victims-of-western-backed-mortar-and-rocket-terrorism/
-mortar terrorism
https://zeroanthropology.net/2014/09/11/the-terrorism-we-support-in-syria-a-first-hand-account-of-the-use-of-mortars-against-civilians/

-Lyse Doucet/BBC dishonest journalism
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/408618-syria-war-propaganda-media-west/
-Mhardeh

https://www.mintpressnews.com/mhardeh-a-call-from-a-martyred-christian-town-for-syrias-full-liberation/250281/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/mhardeh-a-syrian-christian-town-besieged-and-targeted-by-the-west/5659638

Mhardeh: Shadi Shehda on his murdered children, mother, and wife, killed by terrorists in Idlib
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVSyWz–e5c
-Aleppo normal life

Life in Old Aleppo, around the historic Citadel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqtTjbrm4Ec

old Aleppo shop owner: Just leave us in peace and we will re-build
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfopq-QLYHQ

Fares Shehabi on improved life in Aleppo since liberation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz22FUMViLs

Fares Shehabi: Aleppo Factory Defying al Qaeda An Example of Rising Up Undefeated
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2uyKdrpBLc&t=6s

Old Aleppo: November 2016 Terrorist Snipers Vs Today’s Peace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPMTXEZcIiE

Signs of Reconstruction Among the Destruction in Old Aleppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7lKj5AeVm8

Syrian Independent MP on Western Sanctions: “They are directly affecting the Syrian people”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=419PwNIFjuI

From A Main Square in Aleppo That Was Sniped & Bombed By “Moderate” Terrorists
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyHB0f3DdZ4&
Aleppo Taxi Driver and Singer 🙂
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7UOaN214tQ

Ibrahim, an Aleppo Resident, Speaks About Experiences as Syrian Army Volunteer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_f13cJGJrQ&

Shops Re-Opened in Old Aleppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BbRgYhYDrk

Reconstruction in Aleppo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiMgNbLDCG0
Lively Clothes Market, Aleppo–The City That Did NOT Fall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmgq5uU5UVM

Steadfast Syrian Taxi Driver: I love my Country, Leadership, Army
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H43oanu7MyQ

KIRILL VYSHINSKY, IMPRISONED IN UKRAINE FOR PRACTICING JOURNALISM (RADIO INTERVIEW)

Very grateful to Phil Taylor of The Taylor Report for having me on the show yesterday to speak about the case of Kirill Vyshinsky, imprisoned without trial in Ukraine since May 2018. [LISTEN HERE]
The Taylor Report writes:
“Feat. Eva Bartlett, independent journalist and rights activist, author of ingaza.wordpress.com

Phil interviews Eva Bartlett concerning her interviews with broadcaster/journalist, Kirill Vyshinsky, and his lawyer, Andriy Domanskyy.

Vyshinsky has been in custody in Kiev, Ukraine, since May 2018 without trial. Human rights groups have had little to say about Vyshinsky, since they practice a double-standard when journalists are perceived as political adversaries of the West.

Vyshinsky has been charged with high treason by Ukrainian security forces though the news agency he leads, RIA Novosti Ukraine, publishes a wide range of articles by journalists both for and against the current government of Ukraine, which was installed by a US-supported coup in 2014.

Bartlett discusses the many irregularities of Ukrainian justice in Vyshinsky’s case. She also investigates the possibility that his continuing incarceration might be connected with the upcoming Ukrainian election, and the scheme to try to swap Vyshinsky for a Ukrainian charged with espionage in Russia.”

Note: My interview with Andriy Domansky will be published on Mint Press News in the next day or two.

Please see the following related links:

“They Just Want Me in Prison”: MintPress Interviews Jailed Ukrainian Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky

Media Ignores the Plight of Kirill Vyshinsky: A Russian Journalist Imprisoned Without Trial in Ukraine   Eva Bartlett speaks with journalist Vladimir Rodzianko (Владимир Pодзянко) Rodzianko on the detention of Кирилл Вышинский by Ukraine since May 2018.

Release Imprisoned Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky (petition)

“THEY JUST WANT ME IN PRISON”: MINT PRESS CONTRIBUTOR EVA BARTLETT INTERVIEWS JAILED UKRAINIAN JOURNALIST KIRILL VYSHINSKY

Russian-journalist-Ukraine_edited-1

The Ukraine courts are still dependent on political authorities, and the special service is used to carry out political schemes and to fight inconvenient points of view and dissent, rather than to protect national security.” — Imprisoned Ukrainian-Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky tells Eva Bartlett.

 –by Eva Bartlett, February 25th, 2019, Mint Press News

KHERSON, UKRAINE (Interview) — Ukrainian-Russian journalist Kirill Vyshinsky has been imprisoned by Ukraine since his May 2018 arrest on yet unproven allegations of “high treason” and of conducting an “information war” against Ukraine in his role as chief editor of RIA Novosti Ukraine news agency.

To date, Vyshinsky has not been allowed a trial, the Ukrainian authorities instead repeatedly prolonging his pre-trial detention and delaying his right to justice.

In November, 2018, I spoke with journalist Vladimir Rodzianko about the case of Kirill Vyshinsky. In our interview, Rodzianko explained Vyshinsky’s May 2018 arrest, Vyshinsky’s work as an editor, the absurdities of Ukraine’s accusations against Vyshinsky, and the lack of outcry on his imprisonment.

Through intermediaries, I was later able to interview the imprisoned journalist, via email. While his replies came at the end of 2018, my intermediaries just recently were able to provide a translated transcript of Vyshinsky’s words.

More recently, I went to Kiev to interview Vyshinsky’s defense lawyer, Mr. Andriy Domanskyy. That interview will be published in the near future. While conducting the interview with Mr. Domanskyy on February 19, he received a phone call from the Kherson Court informing him that during the February 21 pleading, the court would limit the time during which Vyshinsky and Domanskyy could read the case files–case files amounting to 31 volumes.

Below is my correspondence with Kirill Vyshinsky.

EB: What do you believe was the motivation for the Ukrainian authorities to arrest and detain you?

KV: My detention and arrest represent an attempt by the Ukrainian authorities to bolster the declining popularity of President [Petro] Poroshenko in this election year. How? First, my arrest was used to stoke another scandal involving a story about “terrible Russian propaganda.” I’m a journalist, a citizen of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and my arrest can be explained as part of the fight against “Russian propaganda.”

Second, from the very first hours of my detention, without a trial and even before pre-trial restrictions were set for me, high-ranking Ukrainian politicians started talking about the need to swap me for a Ukrainian convicted in the Russian Federation. Swaps are a favorite PR topic of the current Ukrainian government, which, in the past five years, has been unable to accomplish anything to benefit the country’s economy, achieve peace in Ukraine, or resolve the civil conflict in Donbass. This government did nothing to improve the well-being and safety of its citizens, so it was looking for other ways to score electoral points. Anti-Russian hysteria and PR around a prisoner swap is one such way.

EB: Had the Ukrainian authorities harassed you prior to May 2018?

KV: Nothing happened before May 2018, this is what amazes me! Accusations
against me in the case investigated by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) are connected with posts on the website that I run dating back to the spring of 2014.
The posts were made in the spring of 2014. According to the SBU, they represented a threat to the national security of Ukraine, but they remembered them only in 2018! And this is despite the fact that the SBU and Ukraine’s Ministry of Press and Information (another supervisory authority) have been regularly publishing lists of websites that were a “threat to national information security,” while my website was never listed!!

And then, in May 2018, I was arrested.

EB: The authorities accuse you of “treason”. How would you counter this? What had you been covering in Ukraine?

KV: I believe that accusing me of treason is false and absurd. None of the posts they are using to incriminate me are under my byline. These texts were submitted by our contributors, who shared their point of view on the developments in Ukraine in the spring of 2014, when the referendum was held in Crimea, and everything was just getting started in Donbass. All these materials are from the Opinion and Point of View sections, and each of them is followed by a disclaimer that “the author’s views do not necessarily represent those of the editorial board.”

From the vast number of texts that were published in the spring of 2014, the SBU picked only about 15 that they deemed “treasonous.” They simply ignored other texts with other views posted on our website and accuse me of conducting “special operations.” Again, they accuse me of conducting an “information war” for the mere fact that we posted a variety of opinions on our website. What does the fact that I impartially let people speak in support of Maidan or against it have to do with special operations?

As for the events that I covered, ours is a news website, and we post many texts on social and political issues. None of the texts that are included in the SBU files were written by me. I’m accused of providing an opportunity to speak about the situation in the country to people whose opinion is inconvenient for official Kiev. That’s all there is to it.

EB: How did your coverage of the proposed autocephaly for a ‘national Ukrainian church’ influence your detention?

KV: This is the most absurd accusation! This is the only episode from 2018. We posted a news piece on our website, in which Ukrainian political scientist Dmitry Korneychuk expressed skepticism about the possibility of granting autocephaly [a form of self-governance exceeding basic autonomy] to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The same news piece included the point of view of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which has argued for the need for autocephaly!! It was a classic piece of journalism providing two points of view, for and against, where the reader has to decide which one is more credible.

However, the SBU believed that posting this material was part of my personal war against the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church!! I read this text out more than once in court. In it, the view “against” autocephaly takes up 11 lines, whereas the case “for” autocephaly is laid out in 17 lines, and I’m being accused of conducting a special operation against Ukrainian autocephaly!

EB: How have you been treated in prison? Do you have access to doctors? How has your health been since in detention? Are you allowed visitors and if so, under what conditions?

KV: I consider the prison conditions to be tolerable by Ukrainian standards, although access to medical care is quite limited. The prison medical unit was downsized, and I had to wait for a specialist doctor appointment for months. To alleviate acute neuralgia pain, I was given …diphenhydramine! It’s like treating acute heart pain with vitamin C. It won’t make things worse, but it doesn’t do much to help, either.

I feel pretty good right now, but this is definitely not due to the prison medicine but to the efforts of my lawyers and the medications they passed me. Once a month, my father comes to see me. We talk through a phone, separated by a glass partition.

EB: How many times has your trial been delayed? What were the reasons given for the delay? Do you feel that you will be given a fair trial?

KV: The issue is not about adjourned hearings, but the fact that the SBU keeps extending the investigation all the time, citing the need to conduct some kind of expert analysis in addition to the one that is already filed in the case. That is why I have been in jail for seven months now. The charges are absurd, the evidence does not include any text that was written by me, but the SBU is acting upon a political order issued by the Ukrainian authorities, which is to keep me in prison while the authorities try to net some political dividends from my arrest. It has nothing to do with justice. They just want me in prison.

EB: Have any international bodies supporting journalists, or any international human rights organizations, been in contact with you about your imprisonment?

KV: Yes, the UN Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the Red Cross office in Ukraine visited me. Representatives of the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] mission regularly attend my court hearings in order to stay up to date on my case. Several international journalism organizations — such as the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Press Club Brussels Europe — my colleagues from Russia, and many friends spoke in my support, and I thank everyone so much! I am counting, primarily, on moral support and the ability to get as much information out about my actual case as possible, as opposed to what is published in the Ukrainian media at the behest of the SBU.

EB: Do you have any message you’d like to convey about this entire ordeal?

KV: My main takeaway from the past six months is huge disappointment in the level of political power in Ukraine and the state of its judicial system. Despite declarations about Ukraine’s “European choice,” the courts are still dependent on political authorities, and the special service is used to carry out political schemes and to fight inconvenient points of view and dissent, rather than to protect national security.

Kirill Vyshinsky
December 26, 2018, Kherson Detention Center
See also:

Vladimir Rodzianko On Journalist Kirill Vyshinsky, Detained in Ukraine

Media Ignores the Plight of Kirill Vyshinsky: A Russian Journalist Imprisoned Without Trial in Ukraine

OLD ALEPPO SHOP OWNER: JUST LEAVE US IN PEACE AND WE WILL RE-BUILD

Source

More from my January 2019 re-visit to Aleppo, Syria.
Again in the old city of Aleppo, and around the Citadel, I speak with civilians about life, take footage from a city ravaged by terrorism but rebuilding, and add a bit of footage from November 2016 where the person I was with told me terrorists burned the old souq before leaving.
Shop owner:
“This is not my work. My work, I have a factory for bottling olive oil, in Idlib.” [When was the last time you saw it?] “Before 8 years.”
See previous clips from Aleppo:
Memory Lane, Old Aleppo: November 2016 Terrorist Snipers Vs Today’s Peace

Reconstruction in Aleppo

Signs of Reconstruction Among the Destruction in Old Aleppo

*Thanks to R&U Videos for compiling some of my clips into a video:

Shops Re-Opened in Old Aleppo

Aleppo Taxi Driver and Singer 🙂

From A Main Square in Aleppo That Was Sniped & Bombed By “Moderate” Terrorists

Ibrahim, an Aleppo Resident, Speaks About Experiences as Syrian Army Volunteer

Lively Clothes Market, Aleppo–The City That Did NOT Fall

HIGHLIGHTING THE PEACE DAMASCUS MISSED FOR YEARS WHEN UNDER TERRORISTS’ MORTARS

In Gaza

As I mentioned at the beginning of this clip, when in Syria as a journalist it usually takes 3 or so days to acquire the necessary permissions to go to areas outside Damascus (or rather, areas outside of Damascus where there is a risk due to presence of terrorists, terrorists bombings, or their landmines).

During this time, instead of loitering I try to interview average Syrian civilians, sometimes artisans, and otherwise love walking alone in the meandering back lanes, absorbing the atmosphere–whether daytime or evening.

People ask me about safety: I feel completely safe walking alone in these lanes. In contrast from my first visit in 2014 to the liberation of eastern Ghouta in 2018, I did not feel safe, nor did Syrian civilians, because at any moment a terrorist-fired mortar might strike, as they did incessantly over the years.

As I noted a few weeks ago when I was here, the mood on the streets is completely difference than in previous years. Yes, people remained steadfast and defiant in the face of the terrorism, but now streets are busier than before, late into the night. That doesn’t make a good “story”, so Western media are not, to my knowledge, reporting on this. Instead, I see new stories invented to yet again attempt to demonize Syria or Russia, instead of just allowing Syrians to get back to life. It’s for the hell Syrians have endured and the silence of the media on this hell that I continue to post positive updates while in Damascus.

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RELATED LINKS:

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