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Analysis: Media Watch

Nobel Peace Laureates Slam Human Rights Watch's Refusal to Cut Ties to U.S. Government

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. (Reuters)
In a May 12 letter, two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and over 100 scholars, journalists and human rights activists called on Human Rights Watch to close its revolving door to the U.S. government. On June 3, HRW published a response from executive director Kenneth Roth on its website, arguing that their “concern is misplaced."

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Whitewashing Venezuela’s Right Wing

Opposition activists clash with security forces in Caracas, March 2014 (Federico Parra)

In the heated media war over Venezuela, studies produced by well-funded NGOs (usually with ties to powerful states) have been regularly cited by the western corporate media to paint a grim picture of the country.

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Protest and Destabilization in Venezuela: The Difference Between the Violent And Non-Violent Right Is Smaller Than You May Think

Anti-government protestors in Venezuela. (Carlos Becerra / Creative Commons)

Ellner argues that the opposition's street action and civil unrest appear to follow a coordinated plan which is pre-designed to provoke regime change in Venezuela while justifying violence in the eyes of mass media.

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Human Right Watch's Revolving Door

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (archive)

Fernandez examines how the Washington-based Human Rights Watch organisation takes stances toward left and right-wing Latin American governments that are “suspiciously in line with U.S. policy”.

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Venezuela's Right-Wing Violence is Ignored, Say Pro-Government Groups

anti-government protestors

“Where was the United States and the international human rights organizations when they were trying to kill us and steal our land?” said Braulio Álvarez, of Yaracuy, Venezuela. He said 6,000 people were killed from the 1950s to the 1980s by paramilitaries and security forces loyal to the right-wing governments that preceded Chávez. The U.S. and international human rights organizations, he said, “only started caring about human rights when Chávez came to power.”

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Rejecting US Claims that the Venezuelan State Permits Human Rights Abuses

peace march maduro

In light of the contraversial bill that just passed the US House of Representatives, the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign aims to set the record straight on the accusations of Human Rights abuses US lawmakers have directed at Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

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John Kerry, The Internet, and Freedom of Expression in Venezuela

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (archive)

Venezuelan open software activist Luigino Bracci Roa addresses John Kerry's recent accusations about internet freedom in Venezuela, explaining that far from being limited, social networks "have played the exact opposite role: as a propaganda tool to galvanize opposition mobilization, and a tool to intimidate Chavismo". The article also details how high profile pro-opposition figures from within the U.S. helped in both these tasks.

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Terrorism in Venezuela and Its Accomplices

Violent opposition protests in Caracas. (Reuters)

The private media and important actors both at home and abroad including Washington have downplayed, and in some cases completely ignored, the terrorist actions perpetrated against the Venezuelan government over the past three months.

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Nobel Peace Laureates to Human Rights Watch: Close Your Revolving Door to U.S. Government

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 The following letter was sent today to Human Rights Watch's Kenneth Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars.

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Reuters Article an Example of Media Complacency and Corruption

(archive)

Corporate journalists have sometimes complained that I address them with an excessively harsh and undiplomatic tone. Below is an email to Reuters that I sent in response to an article about the latest allegations Human Rights Watch (HRW) made against the Venezuelan government. I was too polite in my email.

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162 Attacks on Cuban Doctors in Venezuela Ignored by Media

Cuban doctors

In the last two months 162 aggressions against Cuban doctors in Venezuela have been registered. A few days ago, the Venezuelan government gave a medal to two of these people, who were almost burnt alive during an opposition attack on a medical centre in Lara state.

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Human Rights Watch Keeps the Distortions Coming about Venezuela

(archive)

Joe Emersberger calls out Human Rights Watch on their latest attempt to “mislead” people about the content of Venezuelan media.

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FiveThirtyEight Gets it Wrong on Venezuela

FiveThirtyEight.com features Venezuelan economy

Nate Silver, who became famous for his use of polling data to accurately project U.S. elections, launched a new blog – FiveThirtyEight.com last month.  It’s been off to a rough start, Paul Krugman wrote soon after its launch, “[S]loppy and casual opining with a bit of data used, as the old saying goes, the way a drunkard uses a lamppost — for support, not illumination.” I leave it to the reader to decide whether the FiveThirtyEight article on March 17 by Dorothy Kronick on Venezuela fits this description.

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On Respect for Facts about Venezuela in the UK Guardian and Elsewhere

(Julian Simmonds)

It took a lot of prodding but I finally got the UK Guardian to correct an error in an article about Venezuela by Virginia Lopez. She had written that anti-government protesters were venting their rage at, among other things, “hyperinflation”.

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Where is Venezuela’s Political Violence Coming From? A Complete List of Fatalities from the Disturbances

A confrontation on 1 March between barricade militants and pólice in Mérida (el meridenazo)

About 40 people have died in connection with opposition protests, street barricades and unrest which have been occurring since early February in Venezuela. An examination of the fatalities suggests some of the following conclusions.

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