Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for and and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".

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Obama’s Contempt for Venezuelan Democracy

by Stephen Lendman


It’s no surprise. He exceeds the worst of George Bush. He abhors democratic values. He defiles rule of law principles. He governs by diktat authority.

He’s waging war on humanity. He targets all independent states. He wants puppet pro-US regimes replacing them.

Venezuela is hugely important. It’s the oil, stupid. Venezuelan reserves are the world’s largest.

Its democracy is real. It shames America’s sham system. It’s the best democracy money can buy. Each electoral cycle proves it. Business as usual reflects it.

Money power runs things. Duopoly power rules. Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime’s worth of difference separates them.

Each replicates the other. Corporate interests control them. Voters have no say. America’s unfit to live in. It hasn’t been for years.

Challenging appalling injustice is dangerous. Supporting right over wrong is risky. It isn’t tolerated. Resisters face repression. Police states operate that way.

Venezuela’s a model democracy. It’s the real thing. Its electoral system’s the world’s best. It’s constitutionally mandated.

On April 14, Venezuelans voted. They elected PSUV’s (United Socialist Party of Venezuela) Nicolas Maduro president. He assumed office legitimately. He won fair and square.

He did so by a narrower than expected margin. Audit results found no discrepancies. They didn’t surprise.

Advanced touchscreen electronic voting machines are used. They’re the world’s most reliable. They work as intended.

They’re designed to eliminate tampering. They provide verifiable paper ballot receipts. They’re 100% auditable.

A permanent record’s provided. It’s available for recounts if needed. Voters leave an electronic thumbprint. Doing so activates the machines. It assures no one votes more than once. Fraud and identify theft are prevented.

Mark Weisbrot explained more. Simple statistical analysis verifies accuracy. “When the polls close, a random sample of 53 percent of the machines is selected, with at least one (from) each polling place,” he said.

“The paper receipt count is then compared to the machine count to make sure that they match.”

“This is done in front of witnesses from both sides, as well as election officials; members of the community are also invited to watch.”

Results showed not “a single reported allegation of mismatch” between machine and paper ballot tabulations.

Weisbrot’s an economist. Based on his statistical analysis, the odds that Maduro lost were less than “one chance in 25 thousand trillion. There is really no way around this conclusion,” he said.

If fraud occurred, it would have been easily discovered. “But it wasn’t,” said Weisbrot.

“So you have a choice,” he added. You can believe something virtually impossible, or you can accept the verifiable certainty that Maduro won fair and square.

He’s Venezuela’s new president. He was elected legitimately. It’s an indisputable fact.

Even Forbes magazine agreed. It calls itself the “capitalist tool.” On May 14, it published Eugenio Martinez’s article.

He covers elections for Venezuela’s El Universal. The broadsheet is very much right of center. It’s no Bolivarian advocate.

His article headlined “Venezuela’s Election System Holds Up As A Model For The World.”

“Venezuela employs one of the most technologically advanced verifiable voting systems in the world, designed to protect voters from fraud and tampering and ensure the accuracy of the vote count.”

“Accuracy and integrity are guaranteed from the minute voters walk into the polls to the point where a final tally is revealed.”

A mutually agreed on audit process “ensures that no vote manipulation” occurs. “The extent of this audit, the widest in automatic elections, leaves little room for questioning.”

The process is “thorough and intense, conducted in the presence of election officials and political parties to ensure proper functionality and full confidence in the system.”

Venezuela’s process “is as transparent (and verifiably accurate) as any in the world.”

Not according to Washington Post editors. On April 16, they headlined “Nicolas Maduro shoves aside democracy in Venezuela,” saying:

“(T)he Venezuelan regime appears to be preparing to maintain itself in power through brute force. (Maduro) appears to be preparing repressive measures. (He’s) killing his way into power.”

Wall Street Journal America’s editor, Mary O’Grady commented during and after election results. She called the process “Venezuela’s Cuban Election.”

She accused chavistas of “using state power to cheat, intimidate and spend themselves first across the finish line” to win.

Post-election, she headlined “Latin Leaders Abandon Democracy in Venezuela,” saying:

“Latin American leaders are apparently fine with military governments – as long as they are communist dictatorships.”

“During 14 years in power, Chavez stripped individuals of their right to free speech and due process of law, and nearly eliminated independent media. He also put Cuba in charge of intelligence and the state security apparatus.”

“Tens of thousands were murdered in the mayhem that he inspired, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that government intimidation played a role in the latest voting.”

“The April 14 contest did not provide even minimal transparency.”

It’s shocking to find this type rubbish in print. It doesn’t pass the smell test. No credible publisher would touch it.

Other media scoundrels had their own post-electoral spin. Maduro bashing substituted for truth. It continues.

Throughout his tenure, Chavez was mischaracterized as an autocrat, strongman, dictator, authoritarian ruler, caudillo, and occasionally even as Hitler. Expect Maduro to fare no better.

Even Harvard’s student newspaper Crimson lost credibility. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last. Undergraduates staff it. Views expressed reflect bias.

On May 1, contributor Grayson C. Fuller, class of ’15, headlined “Maduro’s Failure: Degrading Democratic Norms in Venezuela,” saying:

“In Venezuela, the death of Hugo Chavez has caused the deterioration of a ‘sultanistic’ regime, one in which state institutions become conflated with a single authoritarian leader.”

Maduro’s concerned only about power, he claimed. By so doing, he “further damaged the country’s already weak democratic norms and institutions.”

He “explicitly threatens to use violence against (anti-chavista) peaceful demonstrations.”

He’s “trying to strip political opponents of their humanity.”

He’s “no better than the military generals who left behind so much trauma in much of Latin America.”

Fuller showed where he stands. Youth is no excuse for unjustifiable slander. He’ll have to explain why he substituted willful misinformation for accuracy.

Journalists, even student ones, are obligated to get their facts right. Fuller made no attempt. He disgraced himself in the process. It’s his cross to bear.

Over one month post-election, Obama refuses to recognize Maduro’s legitimacy. During his early May Mexico visit, he declined to do so when asked.

His comments were provocative. He denigrated Venezuelan democracy. He did so willfully and maliciously.

“What we want for Venezuela is…Venezuelans…able to choose their own leadership in fair and free elections a democratic process that is credible.”

“We have not tried to interfere in any way with what happens there.”

“What we’ve said is, you know, let’s make sure that the rules are being followed, that people are not being thrown into jail or intimidated, that the press is allowed to report fairly on what happens, that the ruling party doesn’t resort to intimidation in terms of skewing results.”

“It’s up to Venezuelans to choose their leaders in legitimate elections.”

He also claimed post-election violations of human rights, democracy, press freedom, and free assembly. Venezuelan officials were justifiably furious.

Maduro denounced his “insolence….There’s now no doubt that Obama himself, as the puppet of that imperial power, is behind the financing in dollars of this right wing that wants to mess with and destroy Venezuela’s democracy,” he said.

Obama’s the “grand chief of devils. Coming out of Central America, (he) let loose with a bunch of impertinent remarks, insolent stuff.”

“He is giving an order, and his blessing, for the fascist rightwing to attack Venezuela’s democracy.”

A Venezuelan government statement also addressed Obama’s comments. In part it said:

“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects with all the force of its Bolivarian dignity the statements made by the president of the United States, Barack Obama, in Mexico City on May 3, 2013.”

“Once again, President Obama attacks the legitimate government of Venezuela which was elected on April 14 through a transparent electoral process, whose results were recognized by electoral accompaniers coming from the whole continent and other countries of the world, including the Electoral Mission of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as well as by all the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean and other continents.”

“President Obama, the people of Venezuela fully exercise many rights and freedoms that US society is still a long way from reaching.”

“(I)t is a source of outrage for the Venezuelan people, and especially the families of those who died on April 15, 2013, that you would falsely claim that ‘the entire hemisphere has been watching the violence, the protests, the attacks on the opposition.’ ”

Anti-chavistas were responsible for “the political assassinations of nine compatriots.”

Washington orchestrated years of subversion and destabilization. Obama continued where Bush left off. Replacing Venezuelan democracy with pro-US oligarch power is policy. Expect efforts to continue unabated.

“This is the nature of two-faced imperialist morals,” the statement continued.

“We are a nation of peace that works arduously alongside our Latin American and Caribbean brothers in order to achieve the true unity of our peoples, in order to be free and sovereign and consolidate ourselves as a zone of peace.”

“Your false, harsh and interventionist statements (confirm) to the world the policy of aggression that you and your government maintain against our nation.”

“We alert all the independent governments of the world, the peoples and their political and social organizations to the US government’s plan to provoke the so-called ‘dogs of war’ in Venezuela in order to justify an imperialist intervention.”

We “are ready to defend our right to be free against any form of imperial domination.”

“Compatriots, let us take up the sling of David to face this new aggression by Goliath.”

Unchallenged global dominance reflects US policy. Washington’s permanently at war against manufactured enemies. Policies are secretive, unaccountable, repressive, destructive and malignant.

Institutionalized lawlessness is too deep-rooted to reverse. Imperial ambitions threaten everyone. Venezuela’s been targeted for years. Replacing Bolivarian achievements with diktat power is prioritized.

Maduro represents all Venezuelans. His challenge is assuring it won’t happen. Chavez did for 14 years. Advancing his achievements matter most. They’re too important to lose.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at He writes for and

He is also author of the celebrated books “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity” and “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War“.

Lendman also hosts his own blog at

He is host of a progressive radio show with cutting-edge discussions and distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


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12 Responses to "Obama’s Contempt for Venezuelan Democracy"

  1. whatabouttrue  May 20, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Many thanks dear Stephan for your article. May I translate it in French probably this summer ?

  2. nancybisset  May 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Log in and try clicking Like and Follow Post even now cannot make a comment. Shall see if this little nothing note posts. If so I know this failure to post goes a lot deeper like THE COMMENTS MADE ARE NOT WANTED. So discourage ment by the (OOPS~~~) pop up prob-box. Here goes my click

    • nancybisset  May 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Hum guess I am right on my assumption HuH?

    • nancybisset  May 18, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Funny I searched for contact info; for website issues and go figure “The page you are searching for no longer exists…..” Anybody have a clue as to what the heck is going on? If these crazy senseless, not about blog goes through WHY aren’t our clicking we like, or clicking to follow post and commenting on the content of the Editor’s articles going threw and the (OOPS ) something is wrong and they are trying to fix it? IT WORKS or these worthless gibberish posts would not be going through. I REST my case.

      Any Veterans reading this and know what the heck is going on with this site I joined to hear your Personal Opinions you have earned the right to share. Whew B r e a t h e. I am really questioning who really is behind this site I held sacred when I joined.

      How about some personal opinions please IF YOU CAN GET THEM TO POST. A very upset subscriber to this VT SITE. Anyone comment please and let me know what is really going on. For the posting of my not being able to post my comments on the blog and NOT MY COMMENTS on the material –to me something to me smells like a dead rat laying in the sun for 1/2 a day. I am not giving up. I like this VT SITE and want to post LIKE, FOLLOW POST, and/or make a comment on the shared info different editors post.

      Thanks ANYONE that will help in this matter since there is no more a way to contact for VT Todays WEBSITE TECHNICAL PROBLEMS. THANKS THANKS THANKS. 🙂

  3. williammartin  May 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Mr. Lendman,
    Yet another awesome article. I mean Awesome!

    I can see why they at Washington Post “Closed the Comment’s”
    I could see by reading the comments posted that people weren’t buying it. Touche!

    I watched John Pilger’s “War on Democracy” viewable on YouTube. Clearly it shows the true colors of what not only has taken place in Venezuelan Democracy, but how the U.S. has repeatedly tried to destroy that democracy. Highlighting too how the US supported the Genocide in Guatemala with a Puppet leader installed by the US.

    The Ex-President of Guatemala was just convicted of that Genocide and the prosecution is not done yet as those that did this trained at the School of America’s. They want everyone who was responsible.

    Venezuela PEOPLE in 2003 turned out in the hundreds of thousands demanding the return of Chavez who who was kidnapped. I wonder how many would demand a US President be returned if ousted? 🙂

    I have sure noticed that behind all this alleged “Democracy” is the group called USAID.
    What is USAID? (State Department)
    The United States has a long history of extending a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country. It is this caring that stands as a hallmark of the United States around the world — and shows the world our true character as a nation.
    Can’t even find the TRUTH there either. Their Front organization was called; The National Endowment for Democracy who accepted Millions traced back to the White House that was used to try to overthrow Chavez.

    What this all has in common? The US Spy Agency known as USAID.
    Russia boots out USAID
    Putin, who has always disliked what he considers U.S. attempts to influence events in his country, has mounted a steadily escalating attack on organizations that accept foreign money — an attack that began during the Russian election campaign earlier this year and that hasn’t let up.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales expels USAID
    Mr Morales accused the agency of seeking to “conspire against” the Bolivian people and his government.
    US state department spokesman Patrick Ventrell rejected the allegations as “baseless and unfounded”.

    We see “Western Democracy” all over the world. Countries Bombed and Puppet “Regimes” installed that destroy Union’s that protect people’s right’s. Turning them into SLAVES to the IMF World Bank loading them with Massive DEBT.

    For example: IMF: Libya too dependent on oil
    “Although Libya can afford elevated levels of current expenditures in a transitional period, the high level of wages and subsidies and a weak governance framework, may lead to an ‘entitlement mentality’ and undermine the prospects for fiscal sustainability and inter-generational equity,” the assessment said.
    BEFORE: Libyan’s enjoyed the shared wealth of their land and Oil. The IMF couldn’t have that. People in all countries destroyed by the US must be enslaved to DEBT. Bomb them and destroy all infrastructure and then the World Bank makes loans to rebuild causing DEBT for decades to come. This is Western Democracy!

    Great Article and timely too – as Syria, Iran are also on the SLATE for destruction and the US wants “REGIME CHANGE” Everywhere!
    Just don’t Google 2000 or 2012 Voter Fraud. Our “Democratic System” WORKS! (sic)

  4. ProtectUSA1st  May 17, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    —–Obama refuses to recognize Maduro’s legitimacy—Refuse what? Because…

    —–“Venezuela’s Election System Holds Up As A Model For The World.”

    ___”Its electoral system the world’s best, which makes Venezuela a model democracy. It’s constitutionally mandated.”

    ——–One of the most important things Chavez & the Cavistas —-have done was setting up the best Election System.democracy. It’s constitutionally mandated.”

    ____ According to many interviews in Venezuela, keeping in mind that ——-Venezuela is 95% Roman Catholic:

    ——–1) Capriles lost because he changed his religion from Judaism to Roman Catholic when he start planning to enter politics. His parents still practice Judaism.

    ——–2) Capriles also got a lot of money from USA sources, such as New York, where he attended Columbia University.

    ——–3) Above all, Chavez told the Cavistas (his followers) – if something happens to me, I want Maduro to take my place.

    Let alone Capriles, even as another candidate, Maduro win was a done deal.

  5. Shangrila01  May 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    To have contempt you must first have morals,I don’t think he has a moral cell anywhere in his entire anatomy,let alone a moral compass or clue what one is ,I wonder if he’s ever had anything resembling actual feelings or any self thought.Who is he again?? The joke rolls on …

  6. sweetliberty  May 17, 2013 at 7:54 am

    The fix is in? Obama’s out? God help us all now.

  7. haroldsmith  May 17, 2013 at 7:51 am

    It’s not “the oil”, it’s “the Jews”; Obama’s Jewish supremacist handlers, that is.

    Obama’s just an empty vessel. What does a crack-smoking-illegal-alien-homosexual-ne’er-do-well-misfit like “Obama” care about Venezuelan “oil”? Not at all, that’s what. He’s not into commodities; he’s into a power trip, i.e., trading his hapless “soul” for a taste of power.

    What Jews care about is bringing all “centers of power” in the world under their control (either that or there’ll be no world as we knew it, apparently).

    If the Jewish collective is its own “God”, and Obama is their front man, then in a sense he could be their “messiah”. If the USraeli Empire is now at the apex of its power (which it must be as it can only go down from where it is, economically, militarily and politically), and power and evil go together like apple pie and ice cream, for example, then logic suggests that Obama may in fact be the long-awaited “anti-Christ”.

    • nancybisset  May 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      haroldsmith you said it so well. Could not say it better.

      I read your article and the one part I had to do a bit of a giggle. You see I find this information questionable: “Advanced touchscreen electronic voting machines are used. They’re the world’s most reliable. They work as intended.
      They’re designed to eliminate tampering. They provide verifiable paper ballot receipts. They’re 100% auditable”

      Elections in any country that “Our country wants to over through for whatever commodity the country has that we want ‘have to be questioned.’ ” I have been researching voter fraud and electronic machines. Bev Harris is a champion for making sure our votes are counted.

      Do you know who owns and/or has ‘stock interests’ in all the voting machines used all over the world? You will find X-presidents, and names of all those that deal with what we know of as leaders in the country and possibly those from other countries. All I know is, these machines are not owned by some Joe Blow. These systems that are used satellites could be used to change to any number that the few that run these elections have orders to do. You can go and check out her finds and when I read this the election machines “worked as intended” A loud laugh I am sure you heard from me. The crooks are the owners of these electronic machines and are the ones that supply them all over the world. Isn’t that a hoot. And you trust them Stephen. The few have a way around the seemingly fool-proof system. Believe me.

      Right now there is seemingly no way I would trust any of these electronic voting machines.

      Too much Obama bashing. I am really tired of people doing this. The different regimes we have been under the Bush-Cheney -Twin-leader regime:-) , Clinton and a whole lot more just more of the same old rhetoric to get in and none do anything they promise. Just know we American’s are so dumbed down we will believe anything. I am sorry for what happened to the people in Venezuela. But it was just more of the same to get what the Masters wanted using the Obama Regime to get it. The Quotes from Obama too much. Solutions needed or ideas how mankind can take their power back.

  8. mpennery  May 17, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Great article Stephen. But, really, who cares what the Washington Post, Wall Street Jounal, Harvard’s Crimson, New York Times or any of the other “news”papers print? Anyone who works for those papers or reads those papers doesn’t deserve consideration, debate, acknowledgement or respect of any kind. They must simply be ignored, no shunned, for the waste of oxygen they are. I look at corporate “news” like I look at McDonalds french fries: poison. I don’t pollute my body with it, for any reason.


    • williammartin  May 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm


      After watching the lies of the media since 9/11 and the pure propaganda it disseminates to there viewers you are faced with a question as to how these people (Alleged Reporters) can even sleep at night knowing that by their continued silence, the agenda they Push will also affect their Children in the future.

      The Media remained totally silent or a mere Lip Service to a story of how American’s phones were bugged, our privacy into fusion centers that would make the Gestapo blush. How social media was a venue for the CIA, FBI, NSA and other alphabet agencies. SILENCE. As if they were preforming a Public Service with their silence.

      But when the Government started SPYING on THEM… Started Tapping THEIR Phones suddenly they became the “Conspiracy Nuts!” Like saying, Its Illegal to do that to the MEDIA, but it wasn’t illegal to do it to US… The People. This shows even more now how the media’s SILENCE was Bought.

      KARMA is GOOD! haha

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