The War on Democracy

Synopsis: Award winning journalist John Pilger examines the role of Washington in America's manipulation of Latin American politics during the last 50 years leading up to the struggle by ordinary people to free themselves from poverty and racism. Since the mid 19th Century Latin America has been the 'backyard' of the US, a collection of mostly vassal states whose compliant and often brutal regimes have reinforced the 'invisibility' of their majority peoples. The film reveals similar CIA policies to be continuing in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon. The rise of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez despite ongoing Washington backed efforts to unseat him in spite of his overwhelming mass popularity, is democratic in a way that we have forgotten or abandoned in the west. True Democracy being a solid 80% voter turnout in support of Chavez in over 6 elections.
Genre: Documentary
Production: Lionsgate Films
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

Guatemala is going to enter a new era

in which there will be

prosperity for the people,

together with liberty for the people,

The question is,

why are we supporting El Salvador?

No, the question was,

why are we killing priests in El Salvador?

The answer is, we're not,

Now, you be quiet,

President Christiani

is trying to do a job for democracy

and the left-wing guerrillas

must not take over El Salvador,

(George W Bush) America will not impose

our own style of government on the unwilling,

Our goal instead

is to help others to find their own voice,

attain their own freedom,

and make their own way,

This film is about the struggle of people

to free themselves

from a modern form of slavery,

Richard Nixon,

president of the United States,

once said of Latin America,

"People don't give a shit about the place,"

He was wrong,

The grand design of the United States

as a modern empire

was drawn on the hopes

of an entire continent

known contemptuously

as "the back yard",

The extraordinary witnesses in this film

describe a world

not as American presidents like to see it,

as useful or expendable,

they describe

the power of courage and humanity

among people with next to nothing,

They reclaim noble words like democracy,

freedom, liberation, justice,

and in doing so, they're defending

the most basic human rights of all of us

in a war being waged against all of us,

This is Caracas, capital of Venezuela

one of the richest countries

in Latin America

thanks too huge deposits of oil

The rich in Venezuela

live in leafy suburbs

with names like Country Club

Their spiritual homes

are Miami and Washington

The majority

live in what are known as barrios

on hillsides in breeze-block houses

that defy gravity

In the past

these people had been invisible -

excluded from their own society

Today they display the confidence of those

who know an extraordinary change

has come too their lives

This is Hugo Chavez president of Venezuela

the voice of the barrios

Chavez and his supporters

have won ten elections in eight years


He's the symbol of an awakening

of people power

driven by great popular movements

that are unique too Latin America

The days of the old bosses

and barons are over,

That false, elite democracy

is over in Venezuela,

It's no surprise that Chavez, with the help

of an aggressive media coverage

has become a hate figure

in the United States

because what he represents

is another way

and a threat too American domination

(# Rock music)

All right, now, Hugo Chavez,

the criminal - speaking of criminal -

government of Venezuela,,,

- The criminal?

- It's a criminal government,

My opinion and that of

a lot of people in our government,

Hugo Chavez represents an extreme threat

not only to our nation, but to our hemisphere,

- He should've been killed long ago,

- By whom?

- Anyone who blames other,,,

- By whom?

By anyone,

(Speaking Spanish)

You want a cup of coffee?

Yes, Yes,

That was one of my English lessons

in secondary school,

Do you want a cup of coffee?

Do you want a glass of milk?,

Do you want a glass of water?

English lesson one!

Let me ask about you,,,personally,

I mean, travelling with you

for the last couple of days,

I've seen a man

who's clearly deeply committed

to what you want for the Venezuelan people,

Could you describe where that came from?,

I was born in a very poor home,

a peasant home, so I experienced poverty,

I was a poor child, barefoot,

My father was a teacher

at a rural school, and my mother too,

I had a beautiful grandmother,

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John Pilger

John Richard Pilger (; born 9 October 1939) is an Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary film maker. He has been mainly based in the United Kingdom since 1962.Pilger is a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. Pilger has also criticised his native country's treatment of Indigenous Australians. He first drew international acclaim for his groundbreaking reports on the Cambodian genocide.His career as a documentary film maker began with The Quiet Mutiny (1970), made during one of his visits to Vietnam, and has continued with over fifty documentaries since then. Other works in this form include Year Zero (1979), about the aftermath of the communist regime in Cambodia, and Death of a Nation: The Timor Conspiracy (1993). Pilger's many documentary films on indigenous Australians include The Secret Country (1985) and Utopia (2013). In the British print media, Pilger worked at the Daily Mirror from 1963 to 1986, and wrote a regular column for the New Statesman magazine from 1991 to 2014. Pilger has won Britain's Journalist of the Year Award in 1967 and 1979. His documentaries have gained awards in Britain and worldwide, including multiple BAFTA honors. The practices of the mainstream media are a regular subject in Pilger's writing. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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