Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Baldeosingh: Why was intervention good for segregated South Africa but bad for Venezuela?

Baldeosingh: Why was intervention good for segregated South Africa but bad for Venezuela?

“What I find quite strange, though, is that nearly all every spokesperson and organisation and commentator taking this stance [of non-intervention in Venezuela] are the very same people who, 30 years ago, were equally adamant in calling for the governments of the world to take stern action against the apartheid regime in South Africa, even praising Cuba and Libya for giving military support to the ‘opposition’ in that country.”

The following Letter to the Editor on the support for non-intervention on Venezuela by the Trinidad and Tobago government and several local organisations and commenters was submitted to Wired868 by Kevin Baldeosingh of Freeport:

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley (left) and Venezuela President Nicholás Maduro during a meeting in Port of Spain on 23 May 2016.
(Copyright Reuters/El Confidencial)

The Emancipation Support Committee says it is in full support of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in its position of non-intervention in the affairs of Venezuela. So too are all the trade union leaders.

What I find quite strange, though, is that nearly every spokesperson and organisation and commentator taking this stance are the very same people who, 30 years ago, were equally adamant in calling for the governments of the world to take stern action against the apartheid regime in South Africa, even praising Cuba and Libya for giving military support to the “opposition” in that country.

As a typical example, one finds former trade unionist and Express columnist Raffique Shah writing approvingly in 2013 (after the passing of Nelson Mandela) that: “Trade and economic sanctions imposed by most countries (except the US, Britain and Israel) had isolated the regime in Pretoria. Almost every sporting federation had banned that country’s teams from international competition. Public demonstrations against apartheid were commonplace in many countries.”

But here is Shah in 2019: “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has adopted a correct response to the political crisis in the neighbouring Republic of Venezuela…

“I have watched and listened to seemingly sensible people criticise or condemn the PM and the Government for not going along with the USA and other countries that have resurrected and revised the colonial and imperialistic precept of regime change by any means necessary.”

Clearly, principle for most people depends on skin colour and ideology, rather than ethical consistency.

Photo: Venezuelans gather to cross the border between Venezuela and Colombia at the Simon Bolivar bridge in San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, to buy supplies on 17 July 2016.
Thousands of Venezuelans crossed the border into Colombia on that day alone to hunt for food and medicine that are in short supply at home.
(Copyright Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press)

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  1. The man always wrote with a mischievous quill, but he seems to have lost the mischief. It’s plain desperation to me.

  2. OMG but this wasn’t an article at all. It was a racist statement lmao

    So he’s saying that we’re treating the Venezuela issue with bias because they are white people and the South Africans were black but for the ruling class.

    ‚What I find quite strange’ is that KB has forgotten that there are black Venezuelans too? Lol

  3. Who on earth is K. Baldeosingh?? A voice in the wilderness? He has to be! If he came out of the forest yesterday he’d know that this is one of the worst analogies ever used in the history of our country lmao incredible

    Let me read what this ahem has to say.

  4. Well, you can see Jumbie’s response…

    • “It’s about comparing the effects of the regimes and their practices in both countries. Are they really that different?” Yes they are different.

    • It’s ironic that this “jumble” person uses terms like ”low resolution thinking” when s/he is guilty of the same thing. The writer evidently has not read Baldeosingh for a long time or else s/he would know of a long history of intellectual dishonesty similar to Morgan Job. It is despicable, for instance, that Baldeosingh or anyone else judges the actions of Winnie Mandikizela-Mandela and anyone who confronted apartheid/white supremacist exploitation using the “human rights” standards — which are themselves hollow. The writer does not know or simply ignores, like Baldeosingh, the extreme brutality that existed in places like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, the Congo, Cuba, Haiti, the United States, Venezuela, etc, during the Cold War years; the clandestine units and operations that constantly hunted for anti-apartheid and anti-colonial activists — and thus the need for people like Winnie to engage in counter-terror tactics of their own.

      Did Jumbie speak about the fact that throughout all of this,it was the US and Britain that supported apartheid, provided intelligence on the whereabouts of anti-apartheid activists and resistance fighters? Did s/he mention that Israel ignored a global arms embargo and supplied South Africa with weapons (compare the Galil assault rifle to the South African R4)

      As for Veneuela, did “Jumbie” acknowledge that the situation today is directly connected to — which can be established fairly easily — deliberate actions of the US, Britsin, Canada and moreso their powerful multinational corporations? Did s/he note the social conditions that were created by elites who brought over Old World class divisions along with racist ideologies when there were waves of migrations in the 19th century? Is s/he aware that it is mostly the middle-class elites who control most of the food and pharmaceutical distribution in Venezuela?

      This is what happens when proper history and social studies aren’t taught in schools; mental laziness and easy acceptance of racist ides and interpretations. Tell “Jumbie“ *I* said so.

      • This deserves an AMEN!!!!

        • Facts..”The making of Juan Guaido”…www.mintpressnews.com.
          The history boys 16…Venezuela, Maduro & Latin America.

          Liberate yourself from mental slavery. R&R. READ RESEARCH!!!!

      • Another case of low-resolution thinking… Only an idiot would deny that “apartheid/white supremacist exploitation ” did not breach human rights. At the end of the day, these extreme regimes toppled because of the recognition of human rights.

        The writer did not forget all of the other countries where human rights are regularly abused. Again, the argument is whether a case should be made for interference in the serenity of another country – not whether human rights abuses exist or not, or even the extent of those abuses.

        Some people cannot see the wood for the trees…

      • In all of the diatribe spewed above, I wonder where and what is the relationship between what the writer said, and the similarities in the abuse of human rights in both regimes?

        And can the writer make reference (any at all) to the interference and noninterference of either country’s sovereignty with regard to those human rights abuses?

        Wandering here, there and everywhere does not necessarily make an argument. “Going round the houses” is an appropriate British slang. It merely makes the writer incoherent.

    • Guv. KB shooting wild from the hip.
      Apartheid South Africa did not allow blacks to vote. Did not allow blacks to have basic civil rights.
      Venezuela has a populist government who enjoys the wide support of millions of all types of Vene citizens. International observers are allowed to oversee the Vene electoral process.
      Opposition members choosing not to participate is not the same as being banned or prevented from doing so.
      People saying that opposition heads were prevented from taking part in elections need to ask themselves how they would feel if Abu went up with a party.
      KB likes to provoke a response. Cool scene.
      But here he’s bowling wide of a length and short of a point

      • I am not a Facebook user, and therefore cannot see the names of the people posting on the Facebook forum – all I see is FB user****.

        FB user 4063 at 6:11 PM presents a typically nonsensical argument I expect from those who do not apply critical thinking. Does he deny that there are abuses of human rights taking place in Venezuela? Did he miss the pictures of people battling with riot police? Or the pictures of people rummaging through rubbish to find things to eat?


    • I have nothing to add to what A Corey Gilkes and Dennis Allen have said, except to direct the reader’s attention to what I posted earlier in the main thread.

    • P.S. “Jumbie” is evidently haunted by one, so much so that it scared away all trace of his perspicacity.

    • Dennis Allen me eh go vex if Abu went up with a political party. In fact, I have come across some info over the years that making me look at the events of 1990 and more so the years leading up to the coup almost in a completely different way.

      In any event there still cannot be any comparison like what KB and Boodan routinely makes. We are talking about deeply oppresive, extremely violent regimes and systems of power that are based on racist ideas of who is entitled to live a certain way and whose lives aren’t worth anything and must be kept away from power. Let KB and Jumbie go and research units like the Selous Scouts, The Bureau of State Security (BOSS), Koevoet, the Keeni-Meeni “counter-gang” unit in Kenya, the CIA operations in Central and South America from the 70s to the present and the units they trained in the School of the Americas in Fort Benning. Let them explain how unarmed environmental activists in South America are being murdered for simply protecting the rain forests, name the organisations implicated and then state who funds and trains them. Let Baldeosingh and his minions do that first before they come round here with their fucking hypocritical false moralising.

      • When you cannot see the forest for the trees…

        All those “units” quoted by the writer above are simply a means of deviating from the issue. They are only related because they also abuse human rights in atrocious ways.

        As I have said before (and will repeat ad nauseam), the issue in this article is whether there is any similarities/differences in the abuse of human rights which take place in Venezuela currently, and in South Africa in the past.

        This is the comparison that the original writer of the article attempted to make, and whether or not there is a case for stepping in and stopping those abuses. Actually, that is not entirely true – the writer was calling out the hypocrisy of certain public figures who recommended noninterference in Venezuela, whereas in the past they had recommended interference in South Africa.

        For those who cannot see what the issue is, I have just laid it out as plainly as I can. Readers may go ’round the houses’ and debate all sort of scenarios, regimes, gangs and counter gangs, and as many other countries in the world that have abuses but nothing will change the factual issue.

    • I very rarely listen to music anymore when I’m driving around. I listen to downloaded interviews, lectures and podcasts on a variety of topics. Out of all the couple hundred I have on a flash drive, this lecture is the only one I could only listen to maybe about twice a year, and I’ve read about and been exposed to all sorts of violence and depraved atrocities and *still* it’s difficult to just hear about some of the things the British did in Kenya.

      This is what the “civilised” British are capable of and note that their techniques were shared with and taken from the US, Belgium, France, and Spain. The kinds of torture the CIA engaged in or facilitated in Central and South America are stomach-churning (and keep in mind that one of those same people responsible for thousands of illegal killings and torture is the same man Trump just appointed to “assist” in Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, go look up his track record)

    • Colin, Lasana, it’s bad enough KB continues to be full of sound and fury while signifying nothing, but “Jumbie” quoting Jordan Peterson is way too much!

    • A Corey Gilkes is a man who does his homework!

    • Lasana Liburd okaaayyyy shall we hold a coup in our own country and call in the US, UN, to support this coup? ?

      We have plenty human rights abuses here plus horrific prisons plus cops taking our state vehicles to do their personal work. Lol

      Then they went and changed section 32. all kinda ting. lol

      We also just arrested a group of young men for holding several women. We have cops who kidnap.

      Now, who we gonna install? Don’t tell me Baldeosingh okay? Lmao ?

    • That issah job for Hulsie X bai Lasana

    • In my opinion, Jumbie’s commentary has been the most objective thus far. The others are emotional and ‘cutting the cloth to suit their body’.

      The discussion has strayed from the major point which is……..the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. That is the crux of Mr. Baldeosingh’s letter.

      According to the various comments, this principle is apparently subjective and may or may not apply depending on prevailing conditions. In other words, it applies in the case of SA but not in the case of Venezuela.

      Oh such a tangled web we weave!

    • Lasana Liburd please don’t , the world will only be a better brighter place??

    • Furthermore, another naive statement of his (“Only an idiot would deny that “apartheid/white supremacist exploitation ” did not breach human rights.”) completely ignores the fact that many influential people — who aren’t idiots but were highly educated people, scholars in some cases — not only disregarded any notion of human rights when it applied to African people, but also maintain(ed) old 18th and 19th century theories that *did* deny the humanity of African people. This was how they justified certain acts of brutality when dealing with the “darker-skinned races” to use a term that was in vogue during the colonial period (which is where this Jumbie clown still resides)

    • Let’s have a debate of sorts because I want to deal specifically with his romanticised interpretation of history. I am particularly interested in dealing with something he said: “these extreme regimes toppled because of the recognition of human rights.”

      I have a thing for details so i want to know which regimes was he referring to that toppled because of a recognition of human rights and who specifically did the recognising?

    • Lasana Liburd he’s right, this is a nonsensical circular argument and I noticed he didn’t answer my question as to which regimes were toppled because of recognition o human rights.

      Is he or Baldeosingh citing the sources of the photos and footage of people digging in dustbins? Which were the media houses reporting on this and who owns/funds them? In what region was this footage shot and how does that compare with people like Abby Martin who has just returned from Venezuela and has advanced a very different picture?

      Anyhow, all this is pointless

  5. The comments are interesting; not especially surprising since I expected what Jordan Peterson calls ‘low resolution thinking’. Jumping on a bandwagon and rushing to pronounce judgement without analysing the issues is a key trait of Trinis.

    People missed Baldeosingh’s point, opting for the low-resolution approach rather than high resolution; it’s not about comparing apartheid to what’s happening in Venezuela. It’s about comparing the effects of the regimes and their practices in both countries. Are they really that different?

    I would argue not. Human rights are and were regularly abused in horrific ways in both countries. Lives are affected and indeed, lost to a variety of unnatural causes, including violence. Venezuela has mass human rights abuse, same as South Africa in those days. Many of the abuses are not new. Merely repeats that have been present throughout human history.

    This is the comparison that ought to be made.

    So, it is right that in one case, a hands-off approach is mandated/recommended and in another, ‘justified’ interference in another nation’s sovereignty?

    Baldeosingh calls out the hypocrisy of several known commentators and ‘personalities’ and he is right to do so.

  6. Because US supported the Apartheid Regime.

  7. You cant compare South Africa with Venezuela at all.

  8. Years now Baldeosingh’s style of writing is only to illict reaction. Having realized this, I refuse to comment about anything in his essays, far less to actually read such drivel!

  9. This is a person who needs attention,South Africa and Venezuela!!

  10. Lasana, Facebook as a forum should be viewed as much different from a daily newspaper; interactivity is one of the things that makes this forum great. I know you can’t mandate interactivity, but I think it’s kinda of insulting to active group members that we are being fed opinions, however, those opinions are not being defended. I know you can’t mandate it, but there should be an expectation of contributors to offer some sort of explanation for the points they choose to express. There’s a kinda implicit ‘air or superiority’ implicit where someone could just throw their opinions out there for the minions to debate. They all, especially Mr Baldeosingh, should engage on the controversial points they put into the public domain. It’s just shows respect.

    • Richard Zen O’Brien I agree totally. And that’s the expectation of the new media that didn’t really exist in the old media.
      As a writer, I sometimes get fresh angles and follow up suggestions in the comments section and would be a fool to ignore them.
      Consider too that many journalists don’t specialize. They write on the education system tomorrow and then about customs next week and the sea bridge the week after that.
      So often you have people in the comments section who know more about the topic than the writer.
      So absolutely I think writers should contribute.
      I encourage my football writers to do so. But our columnists are more loosely attached to us and it is up to them.
      I notice Noble Philip responded on the website to comments since he isn’t in our Facebook group. I know Akins Olatunji Vidale, A Corey Gilkes and Jessica Joseph often respond.
      Hope others will follow suit.

  11. Lasana trollin allyuh. LoL
    Baldeosingh ennoh hoss? Really eh?

  12. Foolish!!! Why he still trying??

  13. Seems y’all insist on having me steups my way through 2019..

  14. why isnt anyone asking for the removal of sanctions…

  15. Because we learned our lessons about foreign-based intervention. Libya, Iraq, Syria, etc.

  16. Lasana Liburd, only because it’s your space why i won’t use profanity. I don’t pay attention anymore to anything he has to say; did he JUST compare the Maduro administration to the apartheid regime of South Africa? And you‘re posting this?!

  17. I stopped reading Baldeosingh years ago

  18. Two……very very different situations which cannot be simplified with one letter.

  19. Venezuela practised apartheid? There is a lot of corruption there…but apartheid.

    • The funny thing is, and I’ve already seen it here on wired868, if you put the racism factor in Venezuela and the rest of Central and South America on the table as a causative factor, you’ll almost immediately be dismissed.

      Yet the fact is that there *is* and *has* been a racism factor as well as class factor (look up the drive to encourage white settlers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to ”balance” the substantial African and indigenous population). Chavez always spoke about his African and indigenous ancestry and that was used to demean him by the Opposition on many occasions. We’re seeing how old aristocratic notions of entitlement are playing into the hands of US expansionism and control of energy resources. But to expect that kind of analysis from those two or Ralph Maraj…………

  20. I haven’t read the article…all I saw was apartheid South Africa being equated to current Venezuela. I don’t need to read anymore.

  21. Doh blame the fellow. Unc has endless vacancies. .The heir apparent to moonilal. .

  22. ppl like baldeosingh probably believe in the god given (sic) right of europeans to invade and subjugate the rest of the world

    it have a term for that

  23. usa invaded vietnam bombed cambodia and laos to prevent communism in SE asia when all the ppl wanted was independence after WW2
    also they either assassinated or organised coups against african leaders who didnt follow their beck and call

    apartheid was seen as being an ally in southern africa hence the grenadian invasion to prevent cuba from having an airport to extend operations against south africa

    if it wasnt for cuba apartheid would still be in SA

    • it was because of the bombing in cambodia that the khmer rouge had less resistance against it committing genocide of millions

      just like the american coup in Afghanistan led to the invasion of the USSR and the creation of Taliban and Alqaeda

      MLK was called a marxist before his assassination as communism called for equality of all races

  24. they convinced them with guns at their heads

  25. Kevin is sadly misguided. Firstly the end of White Rule in South Africa was more important to the global powers than South Africans. At the end Second World War two empires rose to the top Communism and Democracy. The Cold War was a battle mostly to prevent third world nations from flocking to the USSR.(Vietnam, China, Cuba,etc). How could you convince them not trade Democracy with Communism, when BIGGEST symbol of White Colonialism ( and all it’s nasty history) resided in South Africa? Despite the support of Ronald Regan and the Iron lady Apartheid they had to go, because White South Africa defeated the narrative of “Justice for All” to the Third World.

  26. Trying to use South Africa’s arpathied as an analogy is way off base. South Africa and Venezuela’s situation are completely different.

  27. Not that there’s anything in this column even worth analysing eh. But this line stood out for me “even praising Cuba and Libya for giving military support to the ‘opposition’ in that country.” First of all we talking APARTEID.. who was the opposition and why did he put quotes around the word. I mean could you consider slaves the opposition to the slave masters? As in an opposition party . The caca coming out of that hole is boundless

  28. Anyone reading anything with this byline or taking Broclax will get the same result.

  29. SA doesn’t have oil and gas….

  30. I’m starting to believe that this writer is trolling us at this point and it’s hard to take him seriously. I really can’t believe he actually sat down and write this!!

  31. I swear he should be on Fox news, he definitely mouths the same garbage they do….

  32. i think Baldeosingh chooses sides based on the color of the side skin

  33. My exact first thought was who is de cacahole writing this. And then I saw the byline of the author

  34. i want baldeosingh to explain why he showed antipathy towards BLM but he so expressive for an opposition that can freely protest buy iphones and hide groceries from the rest of the population? this is the same guy who accused slaves in haiti of massacring their former masters as if the masters deserved sympathy