The New York Times has published a plea for Venezuela regime change which is packaged in a cleverly deceptive way. Titled “What My Fellow Liberals Don’t Get About Venezuela,” it looks on the surface like an earnest request from a YouTube comedian named Joanna Hausmann to have an honest conversation about Venezuela. For readers who haven’t done much research into the situation in Venezuela, it likely has a persuasive effect.
This is how imperialist propaganda about Venezuela works; dangerous lies are sold to the public under the guise of legitimate concern for the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people, and anyone who opposes the official narrative is attacked as an “apologist” for Maduro. Hausmann isn’t just a random person who’s only happened to take up the imperialist line on this issue. She’s the daughter of Ricardo Hausmann, a major leader in the effort to unconstitutionally install a neoliberal corporatist regime in Venezuela. And she’s using her platform to engage in a deliberately misleading effort to promote her father’s oligarchic agenda.
In a video titled “What’s Happening in Venezuela: Just the Facts,” Hausmann has claimed Maduro “made up” the National Constituent Assembly even though the assembly was defined in the country’s 1999 constitution. Her claim that Guaido’s attempted installment is “not a U.S.-backed coup” omits the almost two decades of American efforts to strangulate Venezuela’s economy, forcefully remove Venezuela’s leadership, and give support to right-wing extremist movements that Guaido himself has built his political career on. Hausman’s talking points about Maduro holding onto power through rigged elections also come from lies; international observers from 40 countries judged last year’s elections in Venezuela to be transparent, and the country’s electoral system is among the best in the world. These and the other regime change talking points that Hausmann uses are also easily debunked.
Hausmann’s claim that the Venezuelan government wants to arrest her father for “Writing articles about the severe economic catastrophe in our home country” also shows the utterly dishonest nature of her gambit surrounding Venezuela. Ricardo Hausmann is effectively an enemy of Venezuela’s democratic and economic institutions. As a prominent neoliberal economist whose agenda matches the Guaido team’s plans for hyper-capitalism and mass privatization, Hausmann has naturally become part of the coup effort, serving as Guaido’s representative at the Inter-American Development Bank.
This comes after Ricardo Hausmann’s long history of undermining Venezuelan democracy and causing economic harm to the Venezuelan people. After helping create the devastating neoliberal policies that provoked the election of Chavez, he and his family got involved in the U.S.-backed effort to depose Venezuela’s democratically elected leaders and reinstate the old neoliberal system which the people had rebelled against.
Joanna’s mother Ana Julia Jatar assumed a position at Súmate, a right-wing group funded by the neoconservative National Endowment for Democracy. Jatar used Súmate to help put out a referendum to remove Chavez through popular recall (the vote for which failed). The sociologist William I. Robinson has concluded that Súmate, whose efforts were also helped with by Ricardo Hausmann, represented “a full-blown operation, a massive foreign-policy operation to undermine the Venezuelan revolution, to overthrow the government of Hugo Chávez, and to reinstall the elite back in power in Venezuela.”
The Hausmann family is among a network of elite Venezuelans who’ve long been trying to undo the Bolivarian revolution and the vast poverty reductions it’s created. They’re being helped by Washington war criminals like John Bolton and Elliot Abrams. As has been shown in Ricardo Hausmann’s proposal for a Guaido government to privatize Venezuela’s oil operations, their goal is to boost the global corporate empire that enriches both Venezuelan and U.S. elites. And Ricardo is willing to use violence to carry through his family’s goals, as he revealed in an article from last year which called for military intervention to oust Maduro.
.@AnyaParampil spells out how the NYT violated its own ethics code by obscuring YouTube comedian Joanna Hausmann’s extensive family ties to the US-appointed Guaidó shadow regime, and shows her coup-plotting father's embarrassing defense https://t.co/XaY5Fvs4xS
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) April 9, 2019
In addition to the suffering that would come to Venezuela’s poor and working people under Guaido’s corporatist regime, this is what makes Joanna Hausmann’s promotions of the regime change agenda so destructive towards human life. There are mounting signs that the U.S. plans to invade Venezuela. And President Trump has said that “All options are on the table” if Russia doesn’t withdraw its military support from Venezuela, a statement which leaves open the potential for a larger world war between the U.S. and Russia.
Even if civil war or a new Vietnam-like American war don’t break out, the likely scenario is long-term suffering for the Venezuelan people, wherein America’s sanctions, exploitation of events like the recent Venezuelan power outage, and manufacturing of political violence all become the norm.
Joanna Hausmann and the others who try to gaslight people into supporting Venezuela regime change are causing the destruction of human lives for the sake of profit and empire. We must push back against their narratives while blocking up the functioning of their war machine. Veterans for Peace has called for all U.S. soldiers to refuse any orders to illegally attack Venezuela, and we can hope there will be this kind of resistance from in and outside the military.
As Charlie Chaplin said about taking power away from warmongers in his speech at the end of The Great Dictator:
We have to stop listening to propagandists like Hausmann. More importantly, allies of justice everywhere must come together and act before another war demolishes a country that never attacked us instead of reacting after the fact.… Click To Tweet
Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes — men who despise you — enslave you — who regiment your lives — tell you what to do — what to think and what to feel! Who drill you — diet you — treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men — machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives.” ~ Mark Twain