Real Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza, Fake One in Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
After visiting Venezuela for 10 days last November and December, UN Human Rights Council Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order Alfred-Maurice de Zayas said the following:
“There (is) no humanitarian crisis (in Venezuela), nothing to compare with Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, the Central African Republic, etc. But indeed there” are shortages of goods – not food with grocery shelves well stocked and subsidized food for the country’s poor.
“The situation has gotten much worse since Dec. 2017 because of Trump’s sanctions and the economic and financial blockade.”
“(A)t no point when I was walking the streets of Venezuela that I felt threatened or saw violence and did not consider the country was experiencing a humanitarian crisis – but I do see human rights being used more and more to destroy human rights with the complicity of the mainstream media.”
“(A)t no no time since my report to the human rights council at the UN have I been approached by any” Western media to discuss “what is really happening.”
“What is particularly Machiavellian is the cause of an economic crisis that threatens to become a humanitarian crisis – that’s what the US has done through the financial blockade and then goes on to say they are going to offer humanitarian help.”
“(S)o-called president-in-waiting…Guaido is merely the jockey…riding (the US) Trojan horse.” Resolving Venezuela’s economic hard times is simple. Lift US sanctions. End the “financial blockade.”
Let its government operate the way Washington treats its regional allies, free from economic and financial constraints.
“When…I say (US) economic war waged against Venezuela is partly attributable to the sanctions, people don’t like to hear that.”
“They just want the simple narrative that socialism failed, and it failed the Venezuelan people…When I came back, (the UN and media are) not interested.”
“Because I am not singing the song I’m supposed to sing so I don’t exist…And my report, as I said, was formally presented but there has been no debate on the report (at the UN or in other public venues). It has been filed away” and ignored.
“Modern-day economic sanctions and blockades are comparable with medieval sieges of towns…Twenty-first century sanctions attempt to bring down not just a town, but sovereign countries to their knees.”
“The key to the solution of the (situation in Venezuela) is dialogue and mediation…There is nothing more undemocratic than a coup d’etat, and nothing more corrosive to the rule of law and to international stability when foreign governments meddle in the internal affairs of other states…”
“Only the Venezuelans have a right to decide, not the United States, not the United Kingdom…We do not want a repetition of the Pinochet putsch in 1973.”
“What is urgent is to help the Venezuelan people through international solidarity – genuine humanitarian aid and a lifting of the financial blockade so that Venezuela can buy and sell like any other country in the world. Its problems can be solved with good faith and common sense.”
The above is a brief synopsis of reality in Venezuela – world’s apart from US/EU propaganda, major media regurgitating the official fabricated narrative, suppressing hard truths about what’s going on in the country, suppressing the Trump regime’s coup plot.
Gazans face real humanitarian crisis conditions, ongoing for over a decade because of politicized Israeli blockade unrelated to national security issues.
According to the UN, only 10% of Gazans have access to safe drinking water, largely sold at high prices, unaffordable for most Palestinians.
Around 97% of the Strip’s fresh water is unsuitable for human consumption, contaminated by raw sewage, sanitation facilities unable to operate for than a few hours daily for lack of adequate fuel.
Madlain Al Najjar spoke for most other Gazans, saying “(m)y children get sick because of the water. They suffer from vomiting, diarrhea.”
The vast majority of Gazans are unemployed or way underemployed, most impoverished and food insecure.
The lives and well-being of ill and injured Gazans are threatened by lack of fuel. Hospitals, clinics, and other health facilities have scant supplies.
Unless cut off emergency aid is restored, their operations will be greatly limited. Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra explained that when fuel runs out, Gazan hospitals will face “a real, probably deadly, catastrophe.”
Hundreds of patients needing dialysis for kidney failure may die for lack of electricity. The lives and welfare of intensive care patients will be threatened.
Gazans are a forgotten people, largely ignored by Western media, the international community doing nothing to end the suffering of two million beleaguered people – victims of Israeli slow-motion genocide, a high crime gone unpunished, including three preemptive wars of aggression, inflicting mass casualties and destruction.
Israeli soldiers shoot Gazan children for target practice, farmers shot in their fields and fishermen at sea – their actions unrelated to security, everything to do with ruthless persecution.
Washington supports and encourages Israeli high crimes, both countries partnering in their imperial adventurism.
Gaza is the world’s largest open-air prison, blockaded and attacked by Israeli ground, air and sea forces, civilians targeted indiscriminately.
Israel is an aggressor, Palestinians their victims, the so-called peace process a colossal hoax. Western governments and media largely turn a blind eye to what’s going on, Palestinian suffering of no consequence in Gaza or elsewhere in the Territories.
Unreported by Western media, a UN fact sheet on Gaza said the following:
Israel’s “land, air and sea” blockade “is a denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to (illegal) collective punishment.”
The “humanitarian situation” is dire, Gaza to be unfit for human habitation by 2020. It’s been unsafe to live in for years – like living in or near a toxic waste dump, hazardous to human health and well-being.
Yet the dire state of the Strip and horrendous effects on its people aren’t considered newsworthy stories for US major media. Nor are Israeli war crimes reported, largely affecting civilians.
The UN explained that Israel blocks most projects to improve housing and vital services in the Strip – solely for political reasons.
Gazans are suffering and dying from Israeli international humanitarian law violations. “Thousands of people, many of them children, risk their lives smuggling (vital to life) goods through tunnels under the border with Egypt every day.”
Blockade isolates Gazans from the rest of Occupied Palestine and the outside world. Humanitarian missions to the Strip are blocked by Israel, their participants arrested and mistreated.
Over a third of Gaza’s most arable land was placed off-limits by Israel, along with 85% of its fishing waters.
Most schools in the Strip run double shifts for lack of enough facilities. Most essential drugs are in short supply or unavailable.
Since March 30 last year during peaceful Great March of Return protests, Israeli snipers murdered around 250 Gazans threatening no one, injuring about 26,000 others, many seriously.
Since mid-2007, Israel illegally blockaded the Strip, its two million residents besieged. The world community is largely silent, supporting Israel, ignoring the plight of Gazans, not giving a damn if they live or die.
In contrast to dire Strip humanitarian crisis conditions, Venezuelans are relatively well-off.
Sticking to the official narrative, major media pretend otherwise, inventing crisis conditions in the Bolivarian Republic, ignoring the real thing in Gaza, US war theaters, and elsewhere.
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