Venezuela targets American writers


When you think of a government information office, do you think of much more than dusty information pamphlets and glossy tourist brochures full of pleasant platitudes, putting the best face forward on a particular nation? Such is perfectly natural for friendly, and even some not—so—friendly nations, because that's what government information offices normally do.
But Venezuela's Marxist government has an entirely different idea. The innocuously named Venezuela Information Office in Washington, D.C. is an aggressive Cuba—style PsyOps and disinformation operation sponsored by the Venezuelan government. Its operatives not only seek to get the Venezuelan government's castroite message out to the American public, but also aggressively to target American journalists individually. The VIO doesn't have much of a case they can persuasively use in defense of Hugo Chavez, so all they can do now is focus on striking out at Chavez's U.S. critics. They launch Carville—like political slime campaigns against any American writer who notes unflatteringly true things about castroite Venezuela. And they have been busy with list—servs, strategic battle plans, activating propaganda sleepers and organized letter—writing campaigns in their effort to discredit and neutralize critics.
This VIO is now going after Wall Street Journal editorial writer Mary Anastasia O'Grady, who's the most eloquent essayist in America exposing the depredations of the Chavez regime. Her unyielding efforts to show the fraud, corruption, dictatorship and anti—Americanism going on in Venezuela today has changed hearts and minds from Washington to Honolulu. And that's why the VIO is now targeting her with a campaign to discredit her.
Blogger Alexandra Beech has the story on this new plan to go after Ms. O'Grady, and it's disturbing.  Meanwhile, blogger Aleksander Boyd has done valuable background research on VIO as well, skillfully using Freedom of Information Act documents to show how these combative communists operate.
The old Soviet propaganda apparatus had nothing on these people, most of whom are angry American Sandalista activists recruited from Global Exchange — the same people who brought America the 1999 Seattle WTO riots. They are not so much talented ad men as registered foreign agents engaged in "active measures" on behalf of the castroite government of Venezuela. They are targeting American writers on American soil. Is this legal?
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