‘Sovereign states beyond US influence always get demonized by corporate-owned media’

‘Sovereign states beyond US influence always get demonized by corporate-owned media’
This is not a democracy of the everyday people, this is really a dictatorship of the rich - contrary to the usual rhetoric we hear in US mainstream media, says Daniel Shaw professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the City University of New York.

A number of political leaders across the globe have slammed the US sanctions imposed on Venezuela last week.

“The experience of history shows outside interference or unilateral sanctions will make the situation even more complicated and will not help resolve the actual problem,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday at a daily news briefing.

The US sanctions applied Friday bar dealings in new bonds and stocks issued by the Venezuelan government and the state oil company.

Goldman Sachs is said to be the only company exempt after its controversial decision in May to purchase almost three billion dollars’ worth of bonds in Venezuela's state oil company. While Goldman Sachs will be able to sell the bonds it already owns, any future purchases are prohibited.

Professor of Latin American studies, Daniel Shaw, is convinced the financial elite are pulling strings.

RT: Were you surprised when Goldman Sachs was exempted from the Venezuela sanctions?

Daniel Shaw: How hypocritical the US government is supposedly clamping down on Venezuela, yet one of the largest US banks and investment firms, Goldman Sachs, can continue to do whatever boosts their profit margins. It is very similar to what Donald Trump did in Cuba in the 1990s violating the US blockade against Cuba.

READ MORE: US sanctions against Venezuela destabilizing & ‘imbued with cynicism’ – Russian foreign ministry

RT: Why Goldman? Do they exert too much influence on US politics?

DS: The banks in the US are one of the largest political powers. Goldman Sachs has always donated millions of dollars to the presidential candidates. Goldman Sachs has been able to maneuver so they can pursue their interests. And of course the Trump administration has very hypocritically looked the other way. It is important to highlight that these sanctions are unilateral US sanctions are in violation of the UN Charter, every agreement on human rights. This is something the UN bans: that one country can aggressively intimidate and isolate another.

The banks really run the United States. They are the main political donors, and it is not just in Venezuela where they are investing in the debt of the country. They are doing the exact same thing in Puerto Rico where these investment firms can trade in people’s hunger and misery. On the one hand, the US government [works to impoverish] Venezuela to the best of their ability, isolating them internationally. On the other hand, these banks swoop in and try to profit off of Venezuela’s isolation, trading in their debt.

Goldman Sachs is one of the leading banks, along with Merrill Lynch and Citibank, Chase Manhattan and others. They are the ones with billions of dollars - and in some case, trillions - that they can use to buy political candidates… US Congress is professional politicians that answer to the lobbyists and the banks. They are not responsible to the everyday people. This is not a democracy of the everyday people; this is really a dictatorship of the rich, contrary to the everyday rhetoric that we hear in the US mainstream media.

RT: Why is this not front page news in the mainstream media?

DS: The front page news stories in the mainstream media always seek to demonize any country that exists in a sovereign way outside of the US sphere of influence. So every day we see headlines that vilify the DPRK, Iran, Russia, and most recently Venezuela. When these corporations and banks – in a weasel-like way – seek to earn profits off the oil and other markets in Venezuela, the mainstream media is silent precisely because they are owned by these very banks and corporations. They have a conflict of interest when it comes to reporting on the truth of these stories. When we see those banks circumventing the sanctions because they can profit from Venezuelan markets and Venezuelan debt, it shows who is truly in command of the US economy - the banks and the billionaires are truly controlling US Congress and the presidency.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.