Since Feb. 24, about 400 social leaders from 85 countries are attending the 'International Assembly of Peoples in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and Against Imperialism', held in Caracas, Venezuela.
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Considering biased media reports of U.S. attempts to invade Venezuela skewing the truth of what's happening inside the country, many of those who arrived at the meeting expressed surprise at what they found.
"In Brazil, before my trip, my family told me: be careful, prepare yourself. At home there was a lot of tension because the media showed that Venezuela was going through a full civil war, meaning a situation with bombing and shooting all the time," Jessy Dayane, vice president of Brazil’s National Union of Students, said and added that "when we got here, however, we found a peaceful place. People is working and children are studying as usual."
The international corporate media’s treatment of the Venezuelan situation, which has been largely generated by the U.S. economic sanctions, is not in keeping with the approach taken to report other Latin American realities, which suffer even more serious problems.
Madgriel Sanchez, from an organization called Action for Working Class and Consituent Citizenry, says she understands the international media’s double standard, concealing important social issues in Mexico, one of the most violent countries in the Americas.
"In Mexico, 14 people are missing every day and 32 Mexicans are murdered, 10 of whom are women. We live in a violent country, much of which is controlled by gangs. We have a lot of environmental damage and social injustice. But we do not talk about it because it has become normalized... [in Venezuela] we see people, however simple they may be, living with dignity, with a very strong conscience and a very patriotic feeling of defending themselves."
The same media-induced misinformation affects the international understanding of the social situation in Brazil, a country in which the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro pursues austerity policies despite overwhelming poverty.
"Walking Sao Paulo streets is dealing with homeless people," Dayane, a young Brazilian, says and regrets that "many citizens have neither food nor work in my country."
Participants Wednesday visited Caracas neighborhoods to see the sentiment of the people living there for themselves.
"I saw a lot of joy. People are calm. We received many appreciative gestures for our visit. All media misinformation is aimed at justifying a U.S. military invasion”, Blanca Bonilla, a Salvadoran woman, said and added that “a military invasion is the most they can do. I'm sure of that."
Regarding U.S. interventions in other countries’ internal affairs, Mexico knows very well what the usual political and diplomatic ploy is.
"Since the 19th century, we have had at least 14 foreign interventions in Mexico, a country whose economy is now controlled by the U.S. That is why we are subject to them,” Sanchez said and added that “although we have a new government, we have not been able to solve our violence-related structural problems, mainly due to the U.S. involvement."
The International Assembly of Peoples articulates social movements, civil organizations and political parties from 130 countries. Its first meeting in Caracas marks not only the inauguration of this global anti-imperialist platform, which stated its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and its President Nicolas Maduro.