Venezuelan protesters “import” questionable tactics from Syria

Nino Pagliccia

I like to think that those Venezuelans who have been reported by Reuters (nonetheless) as coming to the rescue of injured people during the spate of violence in Venezuela are sincere in their intentions. [1]

However, the fact that they have adopted the donning of white helmets as a symbol of their “altruism” makes it all very suspicious. Are we witnessing the birth of the Venezuelan version of the White Helmets of Syria?

The group infamously known as “The White Helmets” in Syria has been largely discredited for being terrorists disguised as good humanitarian folks despite the undeserved recognition by the US film industry for a documentary on them.

Links of the White Helmets of Syria
It is also quite well-known that “The White Helmets were established in March 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, and is headed by James Le Mesurier, a British “security” specialist and ‘ex’ British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine.” [2] Funding to the tune of millions of dollars for the group comes from the USA, UK, Germany, Netherlands and France.

The crucial keyword in the preceding quote is “intervention”. That has been the goal in Syria and it is evident that the anti-government group in Venezuela is loudly calling for an intervention in the country.

This is how Vanessa Beeley, a journalist who has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist, describes the group: “The White Helmets are perhaps being demonstrated to be the most crucial component of the US and NATO shadow state building inside Syria. Led by the US and UK this group is essential to the propaganda stream that facilitates the continued media and political campaign against the elected Syrian government and permits the US and NATO to justify their regime of crippling economic and humanitarian sanctions against the Syrian people.” [3]

There is no doubt that Venezuelans who are adopting a tactic “imported” from Syria are quite familiar with the implications of such action.

I have highlighted another tactic, used in the war on Syria, that protesters have adopted relying on the free distribution as fake news by media outlets like Reuters and others. They have blamed the Maduro government for the use of chemical weapons. [4]

As Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett has reported from Syria,” Syrian people realise that the war on Syria is not about [president Bashar Al-] Assad.” [5]

The majority of Venezuelans know that the violent protests in Venezuela is not about president Nicolas Maduro, but against Chavismo as an ideology.

Venezuelan protesters and those who copy dangerous “humanitarian" ploys must be careful about what they are asking for. Syria should be an example of what to avoid and who is to be made accountable for the human tragedy there, not of something that we want to see happening in Venezuela. Asking for a foreign intervention in a sovereign country is ethically questionable as treason, politically undemocratic, contrary to the most basic human goal of peace, and ultimately bloody.


[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-health-idUSKBN17S2DQ 

[2] http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/10/23/syrias-white-helmets-war-by-way-of-deception-part-1/ 

[3] http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/06/21/who-are-the-syria-white-helmets/ 

[4] People's Voice; Global Research 

[5] https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2017/04/02/interview-with-eva-karene-bartlett-syrian-people-realize-that-the-war-on-syria-is-not-about-assad/

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Nino Pagliccia

NINO PAGLICCIA has two Master’s Degrees from Stanford University and is a retired researcher on Canada-Cuba collaborative projects at the University of British Columbia. He has published many peer-reviewed journal articles and has contributed chapters to books on topics about Cuba, the Cuban healthcare system and solidarity. He has been a long-time activist and has organized groups to do voluntary work in Cuba for almost 15 years.

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