by Ted Lipien Free Media Online, Dublin, CA, November 7, 2006 — In an attempt to score propaganda points against Washington, Venezuelan Vice president Jose Vicente Rangel compared the fence on the U.S.-Mexican border to the Berlin Wall and called the building of the fence an act of apartheid.

Jose Vicente Rangel predicted the collapse of the border fence similar to what had happened to the Berlin War. His comments were most likely carefully researched to make emotional propaganda points against the U.S. among Latin American and Third World audiences. They incorporated several common propaganda techniques, including the use of faulty historical analogies, reliance on the ignorance of potential news consumers, and the use of emotionally charged phrases, such as “apartheid.”

The primary purpose of the communist-constructed Berlin Wall was to keep the East Germans from escaping to the capitalist West. With the exception of a few hard-line communists, Westerners were not trying to emigrate to East Germany with its dysfunctional economy and shortages of consumer goods. Thousands of East Germans were killed by East German border guards while trying to escape to the West.

Apartheid was a legal system in South Africa designed to prevent black South Africans from exercising their rights of citizenship and deny them basic human rights. Anyone born in the U.S. automatically acquires full citizenship rights while legal immigrants have practically the same legal rights with the exception of the right to vote. No country in the world, including Venezuela, grants full citizenship rights to illegal immigrants.

Venezuelan Vice President’s comments were reported by the Venezuelan news agency Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN). [Link] The ABN story was picked up among others by Iran’s state broadcaster Voice of Islamic Republic of Iran. [Link] In the same speech, Vice President Vicente Rangel called for putting President Bush on trial in an international court on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, killings of innocent Iraqi civilians, and deaths of American soldiers. He was reacting to the guilty verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein.

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