by Ramiro S. Fúnez
If you’ve been following international news in recent years, you know that two countries, in particular, have served as punching bags for establishment pundits: Venezuela and Syria.
Sure, other countries on mainstream media’s target list — including Russia, China, Cuba, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — have also been persistently bombarded with hit pieces. But then these sovereign nations have always been under attack since declaring their independence from Washington’s imperialist grip.
What distinguishes recent corporate news attacks against Venezuela and Syria from media treatment of the countries mentioned above, however, is the role of their respective Western-backed opposition “movements.” Claiming to fight for “democracy” and “freedom,” protesters from both countries have participated in violent actions aimed at overthrowing their democratically-elected governments — Venezuela since 2014 and Syria since 2011.
This hasn’t been the case, at least in recent years, in Russia, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK.
In Venezuela, right-wing opposition groups have attempted to topple the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro and the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. They hope to follow the path of Brazil and Argentina, where social programs for the poor have been slashed and neoliberal austerity reigns.
In Syria, Wahhabi-aligned opposition groups have waged relentless war against President Bashar al-Assad and the incumbent Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party. They hope to follow the path of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where the rights of religious minorities have been stripped and Western-imposed sectarianism presides.
Though seemingly different in appearance, opposition groups in Venezuela and Syria are much alike in essence. Consider the following four examples of their similarity.