The Irish media have today come under attack for what has been termed “dishonest, biased and unprofessional reporting” of the past days’ elections in Venezuela.

Gavin Mendel-Gleason, Workers’ Party representative for Dublin North West, said:

The Irish people have been staunch supporters of the many Latin American movements which have fought against US-led coups and interference over the past century, and as a US citizen now living in Ireland, I am acutely aware of the damaging and malicious role which the US has played in Latin America. The current escalation of violence in Venezuela is no different.

The US has imposed outrageous unilateral sanctions freezing the personal accounts of President Maduro. This is an amazing provocation and one can hardly imagine what the US State department would say if the roles were reversed. Of course the US has far more in common with Venezuela’s elite oil and business barons than it does with socialist governments who have used oil profits not for private greed, but to build a nation with universal access to healthcare and housing, regardless of income.

Mendel-Gleason said, however, that the Irish media’s coverage of the Venezuelan elections has more in common with US propaganda than Ireland’s history of solidarity with Latin America, saying:

Irish media outlets are repeating the lies being generated by Venezuela’s wealthiest elites and their US backers. In fact, the most severe factor in undermining the elections was the violent boycott and disruption by the right-wing opposition, including the blocking of polling stations and major roadways. Despite this, 8 million people, or approximately 41% of the electorate turned out to vote. Numerous Irish referendums have been conducted and passed with lower turnouts than this.

Mendel-Gleason concluded by calling on the Irish media to take a more critical approach to press feeds originating from US news outlets:

This constitutional convention has the authority to draft a new constitution, but that new constitution must in turn be approved by the people. This is strikingly similar to the model currently being followed by the Irish government in relation to issues such as the 8th amendment. The Irish media should examine the specifics of the election, and come to its own conclusions – not parrot US-led rhetoric without foundation.