During the Second World War, US soldiers raised their flag over Iwo Jima. The Vietnam War was memorialised through a photo of an execution in Saigon, and then a photo of a helicopter taking American diplomats out of the city. As for the crackdown in Tiananmen Square, which occurred 30 years ago, people remember only the image of a man in a white shirt standing in front of armoured vehicles.
- South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan, chief of the National Police, fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem (also known as Bay Lop) on a Saigon street, Feb. 1, 1968, early in the Tet Offensive© AP Photo / Eddie Adams
- "Tank Man" blocks a column of Type 59 tanks heading east on Beijing's Chang'an Boulevard (Avenue of Eternal Peace) near Tiananmen Square during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. This photo was taken from the sixth floor of the Beijing Hotel, about half a mile away, through a 400 mm lens. The name and fate of the man is unknown
The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The U.S. & other countries are trying to help, but #Venezuela’s military under Maduro's orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/L4ysYJaM6H— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 6, 2019
It should first be noted that this bridge hasn't been used since 2015 and that is the responsibility of Colombia as well, meaning Maduro hasn't blocked the supply.
Secondly, who are the people wanting to cross the border to "help the Venezuelan people"? Of course, it's not the United Nations or the Red Cross who condemned Washington's unilateral decision to send humanitarian aid without the consent of the legitimate Government of Venezuela. The humanitarian mission has been organised by the Colombian Government in collaboration with the US Embassy in Bogota and USAID (US Agency for International Development).
What cannot be seen in the photo? The photograph, for example, doesn't show that the Venezuelan government has been receiving humanitarian aid from the UN through legal channels for months.
Nor can we see that US humanitarian aid, which is about $20 million, is nothing compared to the losses caused by sanctions introduced by Washington. According to data from the Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Centre (Celag), the damage to the Venezuelan economy is estimated in the billions of dollars. It's expected to continue growing at enormous speeds as the country's economy is totally dependent on oil sales.
Whatever the point of view of the president of Venezuela, a sovereign state has the right to control its borders, especially when neighbouring states are openly talking about a possible military intervention. This is particularly true when information comes up that a few days ago a supply of illegal weapons to Venezuela had been discovered.
Thus, behind the symbolic photo of the bridge on the Colombian-Venezuelan border there is another important message: forget the sovereignty of the state. Your borders must be closed only when migrants and refugees want to leave your country, but they must be open to capital and so-called "humanitarian aid".
By Aris Chatzistefanou, Greek director, journalist, founder of Info-War
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.