In Venezuela, Britain is dedicated to supporting the U.S.’s sanctions regime against the country, responsible for more than 100,000 deaths already. McEvoy’s work has revealed the existence of a secret British “reconstruction unit” inside Venezuela -- an organization dedicated to overthrowing the Maduro government and planning for a future Venezuela without him.
The British government also ordered the Bank of England to freeze around $2 billion worth of gold belonging to the government of Venezuela, on the grounds that it no longer recognized Maduro, instead choosing the unelected Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate ruler. “Venezuela has been a key target of the hybrid war,” McEvoy explained to Lowkey.
McEvoy’s academic work at the University of Liverpool focuses on Western interference in Latin America. He recently revealed that the British government had worked tirelessly in the 1960s to prevent the anti-imperialist socialist Salvador Allende from coming to power, and, once he was overthrown in a U.S.-backed coup d’etat, supported fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet. The U.K. government protected Pinochet even after he was removed from office, including paying for his legal fees in his extradition case to Spain, where he was wanted to stand trial for crimes against humanity.
Just as Britain protected war criminals in the past, today it is helping to persecute those who expose war crimes, such as Julian Assange.
A major thorn in the side of the British establishment, McEvoy is having increasing trouble uncovering documents, his FOIA requests being constantly dismissed in cases he believes to be politically motivated. The FOIA system is supposed to be blind and neutral. However, he told Lowkey, “it has become clear that they have got a blacklist of journalists that they have effectively blocked releasing information to… It’s a signal of a receding democracy.”
The two also discuss threats to independent journalism at home, specifically the silent campaign to destroy the funding model of alternative media. A group called Stop Funding Fake News was set up in 2019, supposedly in an effort to pressure businesses to remove ads from websites sharing hateful or misleading content. However, McEvoy’s research found that the vast majority of its ire was directed at left-wing alternative news outlet The Canary, leading him to conclude that the project was a “thinly veiled censorship campaign against independent media in the U.K.”
MintPress News is a fiercely independent, reader-supported outlet, with no billionaire owners or backers. You can support us by becoming a member on Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and by subscribing to our social media channels, includingSupport the show
The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.