"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." – Noam Chomsky
By Manmeet Sahni
Part 4 - Fractured Opposition
In December 2017, pro-opposition think tank Atlantic Council received US$1million from the U.S. State Department to work with Venezuela's "fractured opposition."
According to the Miami Herald, the funds will help finance a year-long project to "draw more international attention to the crisis, show the public what Venezuela could look like under new leadership, and provide the opposition and other stakeholders the tools needed to work more cohesively together."
Jason Marczak, director of the Atlantic Council's Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center, told the Miami Herald: "What we're trying to do is address the fractures within the opposition. That is then helpful for the opposition's overall stance because what the government wants is a divided opposition."
But according to Alternet journalist Max Blumenthal, the Atlantic Council is "a pro-regime-change think tank that is funded by Western governments and their allies." It's also financed in part by "Viktor Pinchuk, Ukrainian nationalist and longtime friend/donor of the Clintons."
According to Venezuelanalysis.com, this same council has pushed for "arming Salafist militant groups against the Bashar Al-Assad regime in Syria and lobbied for more militaristic policies toward Russia. In Venezuela, the organization is intimately linked to the pro-United States opposition."
Western media often question the motives of non-traditional media trying to portray Venezuela without bias, but rarely do they question the motives of those opposing the Latin American nation.
For instance, in February this year, the Wall Street Journal published a story headlined 'Venezuela's Misery Fuels Migration on Epic Scale.' The story quotes Tomas Paez, described as an immigration expert at Venezuela's Central University, as saying: "Nearly 3 million Venezuelans – a tenth of the population – have left the oil-rich country over the past two decades of leftist rule. Almost half that number – some 1.2 million people – have gone in the past two years."
Venezuelanalysis.com notes that in 2002 Paez signed his name to a quarter-page ad in the Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional, welcoming Pedro Carmona – then head of Venezuela's largest business federation – as the country's new president after a U.S.-backed military coup briefly ousted Chavez.