Ricardo Vaz, Joshua Wilson, Mayra Soto, “How is US pop culture used against Venezuela?” (Tatuy TV / Venezuelanalysis, 21 June 2021)
At less than five minutes in length, this may be a very tiny documentary but it is punchy all the same. This video is a sketch of how Venezuela is demonised in American popular culture products such as videogames, movies and television shows, and showcases offensive examples like Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” series, Fox’s “Legends” and even NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” comedy series. In these products, the most egregious (and tired) stereotypes are planted over and over: Chavez or Maduro as a dictator, or Venezuela as a repressive place where people are thrown into jail without trail for being journalists or for having fun at the wrong time.
A major part of the film is taken up with action videogames like “Call to Duty: Ghosts” in which Venezuela is portrayed as having acquired nuclear weapons or malevolently infiltrating other South American nations to form an evil empire to menace the Free World. Players of these games assume the roles of mercenaries or covert agents to seek out and kill the Venezuelan President or some thinly disguised version of the President.
The film-makers observe that Hollywood colludes with the US government in making these films and videos though they spend little time on observing the effects of this visual propaganda and its repetition on the Western general public. One can assume though that this propaganda, repeated often enough, and produced in huge quantities, is intended to prime Western audiences to accept a US-led invasion of Venezuela in the near future and to urge young American people in particular to join the US military. A more detailed documentary is needed though to analyse the nature of Hollywood’s collusion with the US government and its various agencies including the CIA and the Department of Defense, and how the flood of pop culture propaganda shapes popular attitudes towards Venezuela and US policies toward Venezuela.
The film concludes on a surprisingly bright note by demonstrating how popular Chavez and his Venezuelan brand of socialism have been among Venezuelan people themselves and among the poor in other countries. One can’t help but see how vibrant and lively Venezuelan culture has become since 1999 and how dull, unimaginative and banal US pop culture propaganda products are in comparison.