Friday, September 22, 2017

Maduro’s Magnicidio

President Maduro does not claim there is a plot to assassinate him as often as his predecessor did. This week however, Maduro directly accused opposition leader and president of the National Assembly, Julio Borges, of being “implicated” in an assassination plot against him.

“An order has been issued to assassinate the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and that order comes from the Oval Office, and Julio Borges is implicated in this outrage with all his unlimited cynicism, with his unlimited immorality,” said Maduro.

The president provided no evidence for his claims, but he had declared on August 19 that US president Trump’s declarations about Venezuela implied a direct threat to his life. According to Maduro:

“The threats made today by Trump, I know how to exactly interpret them: Donald Trump has threatened to kill the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, (…) but I tell him that if something happened to me, they would regret it for a hundred years, because the people would rise against imperialism.”

“Evidence” of Borge’s part in the plot is provided by the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN). According to AVN, the position leader is “one of the main promoters of an interventionist campaign against Venezuela. In the last weeks he has met several US government high officials to ask for an assault (arremetida) against the fatherland.”


AVN also cites a previous two coup magnicidio plot claims made by the government as evidence for the current plot: The Carpeta Amarilla (2014), and the Blue Coup plots (2015, also known as the Jericho Operation). No evidence has ever surfaced for those two previous plots.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9/11, again…

For several years on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Venezuelan government sponsored Telesur has published a piece explaining the “many questions that still linger about the attack.” (See here my post of previous years.)

This year’s article by Telesur is mainly about Scholars for 9/11 Truth, (From its webpage: “Scholars for 9/11 Truth is a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11.” A spin-off of the group publishes the Journal of 9/11 studies. In the next months Aposta, Revista de Ciencias Sociales will publish a piece by me, in Spanish, featuring a detailed analysis of back issues of the journal up to 2014.)

The Agencia Venezolana de Noticas also carries this year an article by Hermán Mena Cifuentes, often featured in this blog. The tittle of Mena Cifuentes article: Is Nature punishing the United States for its aggressions against Venezuela and for the genocide of September 11?

The author writes that the United States “seems destined by nature to be plagued with misery by nature acting in the name of justice with devastating hurricanes that are drowning its economy, as punishment for the immoral and illegal sanctions with which they [The US] hope to drown the Venezuelan economy.”

Mena Cifuentes also argues that the punishment the United States is currently receiving is connected to the 9/11 attacks. According to the author: “Noted scientists, experts in accidents and explosives, and journalists, several of whom have died in “strange” accidents, others in exchanges with the police, have attributed the genocide [of 9/11] to the Yankee government, who used it as a pretext to fight against terrorism and to unleash against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Syria, wars to take over their oil, like they are doing today against Venezuela.”  

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dissident Chavismo and conspiracy theories

Read my piece published by Conspiracy Watch about dissident chavistas, once conspiracy theorists, now labeled conspirators: Les chavistes dissidents et la théorie du complot, une histoire d’arroseurs arrosés. Thanks to Rudy Reichstadt for inviting me to contribute.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Maduro’s press conference: Three interlinked coup plots

Except for magnicidio plot claims, president Maduro’s press conference yesterday was a compendium of most of the conspiracy theories proposed by the Venezuelan government in the past years. The Empire was the main object of Maduro’s claims about destabilization attempts against his government, which he called a state of “permanent conspiracy.” But also local opposition leaders and other regional governments were included in the plots.

The economic war theory featured prominently. The United States was accused of promoting a “financial and economic blockade” of the country. “Nobody has the right to try to impose his policies with threats, pressures, sanctions, and economic, financial, political, diplomatic, and much less military aggressions. Venezuela claims its right to peace, independence, and self-determination,” said Maduro. He added that even though 86% of Venezuelans rejected a US intervention in the country, this possibility is supported by the opposition leadership: “Only they back this threat, which they have sanctified, and they have gone out of the country to ask for an economic and financial blockade against Venezuela.”

International media was also accused by Maduro of being part of this “permanent conspiracy.” The BBC was particularly singled out by the president as the media outlet behind what he called “an imperialist aggression of world-wide nature,” of which the BBC has become “the biggest propaganda apparatus.” He added that “since the war in Iraq, the BBC had not played such a disgusting [asqueroso] role.”

Most interesting of yesterday’s conference was that Maduro provided a theory of three interlinked coup plots backed by the United States against his government, financed and coordinated via Miami and Bogotá, and enacted by local opposition leaders:

“There is a permanent conspiracy from Miami against Venezuela. All those captured after the attack against the Paramacay fort have confessed, and we know of their links and finances. Another group [of plotters] is related to the old coupist military of 2002, which have fled the country. And another group belongs to the incorrectly called Blue Coup, even if most of them are in jail, they are still trying to make noise. These three groups have been activated by them [United States] with a lot of many, but the Venezuelan armed forces have developed very effective anti-coup strategies.”

Despite the “evidence” presented by Maduro of these coup plots, he also said he would be writing a letter to US President Trump asking for conversations. “Trump and I have to talk, because we don’t want our people to suffer, we have to co-exist in peace. We are anti-imperialists and anti-colonialists, but we are not against the United States, we love the people of the United States,” said Maduro.


(Read previous posts on the Paramacay Fort incident here and here, and on the Blue Coup here, here, and here. Even though Maduro spoke against the term Blue Coup, it was widely used by government officials and state media at the time. The Agencia Venezolana de Noticias yesterday ran a note explaining the links between the three coup plots under the title “Groups managed from abroad have attacked the rule of law in Venezuela.”)

Here by Venezolana de Televisión on the press conference:





Saturday, August 12, 2017

Trump and anti-imperialism

“We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary” said US President Trump last night. “We have troops all over the world in places that are very far away. Venezuela is not very far away and people are suffering and they’re dying,” he added.

It’s unlikely that Trump’s declarations will be followed by an imminent invasion of Venezuela, but they are sure to boost the anti-imperialist and nationalist rhetoric of the Venezuelan government. The declarations will be presented as part of a “coordinated” hemispheric plan led by the US government, and backed by other “rightist” governments in the region and the local opposition, to put an end to the Bolivarian revolution and its “accomplishments”.

These are the first reactions by several government officials to President Trump’s declarations:

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López told Venezolana de Televisión: “This is an act of craziness, and act of extremism. There is extremist elite now governing the United States.”

Information and Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, has said that the Venezuelan Foreign Minister will issue and official communique later today. He wrote on Twitter:

Amenaza proferida por Trump une a todos los venezolanos de bien en rechazo a injerencia y en defensa de la Patria

Delcy Rodríguez, President of the newly convened National Constitutive Assembly, wrote:

Rechazamos las cobardes, insolentes e infames amenazas del Pdte de los EEUU contra la sagrada soberanía de Venezuela

Translated by Telesur:

.: We reject the cowardly, insolent, and vile threats from US President against the sacred sovereignty of Ven

Both Rodríguez and Villegas re-twitted this response by Argentinian pro-chavista philosopher Fernando Buen Abad D.:

Nosotros también tenemos muchas "opciones" respecto al imperio y sus gerentes. Si quieren acelerar la lucha de clases nos encontrarán unidos

Abad added this picture:

   

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 6: Hiroshima and Paramacay

On August 6, 1945, in Hiroshima an atomic bomb killed at least 90,000 people, perhaps as many as 146,000. On August 6, 2017, an armed group of at least 18 attacked the military fort of Paramacay in the Venezuelan city of Valencia. After a gun battle that lasted for three hours, two of the attackers were dead and 10 had been detained, according to the government. The rest of the attacker fled after stealing a cache of guns form the fort.

To even suggest a comparison between these two events may seem tasteless to most. Not so to the Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (AVN) and its main conspiracy theorist-in-residence Hernán Mena Cifuentes (previous mentions of him on this blog can be read here and here.)

Mena Cifuentes’s latest piece From the Hiroshima Genocide to paramilitary terrorism in Paramacay suggests that “There are crimes against humanity, such as the ones perpetrated on August 6 in Hiroshima 72 years ago, and on August 6, 2017, in Paramacay Fort, Valencia, that remain, not only in the collective memory of the people of the countries where they were committed, but also in the whole world, the footprint of the barbaric fascist terrorism on its grim march of violence, destruction and death.”


“Prohibido Olvidar” is the motto with which Mena Cifuentes closes his article.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Smartmatic, conspiracies and conspiracy theories

After Venezuela’s electoral authority the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) announced on June 31 that 8,089,320 people had voted on elections the previous day for the new Constitutive Assembly, the opposition immediately cried foul. Participation levels were important as the opposition refused to participate in the elections. The opposition argued that the participation in the elections had not reached 3 million. But the only evidence that the CNE had conspired with the Executive to inflate the participation numbers were images of empty voting centers, and previous polls that showed that more that 80% of likely voters rejected a new Constitutive Assembly.

Since yesterday the claims by the opposition have suddenly received very strong support from Smartmatic, the e-voting company that has provided technical support in 14 of the last elections in Venezuela, including the June 30 Constitutive Assembly elections. Indeed, Smartmatic was accused by sectors of the opposition in previous elections of not revealing successive “elections frauds” in Venezuela. But now the company seems willing to do just that.
    
In a statement read in London by Smartmatic director Antonio Mugica, and first reported by the BBC, the company said it could not vouch for the results provided by the CNE: “Based on the robustness of our system, we know, without any doubt, that the turn out of the recent election for a National Constituent Assembly was manipulated. It is important to highlight that similar manipulations are made in manual elections in many countries, but because of the lack of electronic security and auditing safeguards, they go unnoticed.” Mugica also said that there was discrepancy of “at least a million votes” between Smartmatic data and what the CNE had reported. 

Also yesterday Girish Gupta, Reuters’ correspondent in Caracas, reported that according to CNE internal data, only 3.7 million people had voted by 5:30. The polls closed at 7:00 and political analyst Jennifer McCoy told Gupta: "Although it's possible to have a late push at the end of the day, and the Socialist Party has tried to do that in the past, to double the vote in the last hour and a half would be without precedent."

And now it is of course the government, and government media, hinting at Smartmatic being part of a broad right-wing imperial conspiracy to discredit the election’s results. The main argument exposed by government media is that Smartmatic is contradicting itself by claiming its systems are robust and that electoral results cannot be changed. However Smartmatic claims that its systems are as robust as ever, but that the CNE ignored the control and auditing safeguards this time around, and simply reported a different result.

The head of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena, gave a press conference yesterday afternoon. She said that what has been said by Smartmatic amounts to “an opinion by a company whose only role in the electoral process is to provide services and technical support, which do not determine the results. These declarations [by Smartmatic] have been made in the context of a permanent aggression against the CNE.”

“It is not a private company, located outside the country who guarantees the transparency and credibility of Venezuela’s electoral system. Antonio Mugica says the differences between what was announced and what the system provided were a million votes, that is and irresponsible and groundless assertion,” added Lucena.

After Lucena’s press conference, the Mayor of Caracas and top PSUV leader, Jorge Rodríguez, declared that if it were not for “the violent acts of the fascist”, 10 million would have turned out to vote in the elections. Asked by reporters if the PSUV would ask for an audit of the process, he said that chavismo would not “play the oppositions game.”

President Maduro has announced that the newly elected Constitutive Assembly will be stablished this Friday, in the nation’s Capitol, where the National Assembly meets. Maduro called Smartmatic’s director Antonio Mugica “stupid” and said that “this electoral process cannot be tainted by anything because it is transparent.”

Maduro also hinted at possible future solution to Venezuela´s economic troubles: he will summon the members of the Constitutive Assembly elected from the “business sector” to Miraflores presidential palace, where they will meet with him every day and advise him on economic decrees to defeat the “economic unconventional war waged by sectors of the opposition.”

“I would like for you (business sector representatives) to form a powerful economic commission that will go to Miraflores every day to issue permanent economic decrees until we recover that economy of the country,” explained the President.


Here is an image published yesterday by Telesur explaining Smatmatic’s “contradictions”:


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Maduro: Trump could be behind the Plaza Catia attack

During the plebiscite organized by the Venezuelan opposition on July 16, a group of suspected pro-government armed groups attacked one of the voting centers in plaza Catia, Caracas. As a result of the attack one woman died and at least three more people were wounded.

President Maduro has hinted at the possibility that the “US Department of State and Donald Trump” could be behind the attack in Catia. His suspicions are based on the second paragraph of a press release published by the Department of States on July 17, a day after the plebiscite.

“…we condemn the loss of life in Catia, Caracas and deplore the violence. We call on the Venezuelan government to bring the attackers to justice,” says the second paragraph of the statement.

“This is a very delicate and strange paragraph in this statement,” explained Maduro, “we are now investigating the reason for this second paragraph. Donald Trump and the Department of State concerned with Catia? What is this about? (…) What importance could plaza Catia have had for the failed imperialist strategy?”

“How far can a conspiracy go in preparing false flags (falsos positivos) and massacres? How far does the hand of the US embassy reach into the massacre attempts that have been staged in Venezuela in the last one hundred days?” Maduro also asked.


To answer these questions the president has asked Venezuela’s “highest authorities” to mount a full investigation “in order to concentrate our efforts, and to integrate all the institutions, in the task of clearing this strange and unique expression in the second paragraph by the Department of State, naming plaza Catia.”


Emergency Justice: Search and seizure of conspirators

President Maduro has announced a new “Special Plan of Emergency Justice” for the “search and capture conspirators.” The announcement was made during a televised session of the Council for the Defense of the Nation (Codena), which was declared in “permanent sessions” by the government in order to “face the imperial threat” against the country.
The plan, according to Maduro, is the brain child of Maikel Moreno, President of Venezuela’s highest court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), and will involve several state security agencies, including “military justice, police institutions, the Interior Minister,” and the recently appointed by the TSJ, pro-government vice-attorney general, Katherine Harrinton. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Forty-three symbols written in Hebrew

This video by Telesur’s Madelein Garcia (@madeleintlSUR) surpasses most of what has been reported in this blog. It begins with the revelation that “43 symbols written in Hebrew” have been found painted along the main opposition protests routes in Caracas. An “expert” interviewed by Garcia explains that the symbol roughly mean “I stand here” which, the expert says, is a symbol used by “Masonic”, “Zionist”, and “other US organization to harm governments that work in the service of their people.” Garcia further explains that the places in which the symbols have been found could indicate evacuation routes, meeting places for “terrorist gatherings,” or even an the invasion route to be used by foreign forces.

video

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Helicopter

Things are getting pretty weird, at least according to some opposition supporters. This is being often retwitted:


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CIA linked to helicopter attack


(Updated June 29. Thanks Gabriel Andrade and Trina Coleron for your comments.)

What we know so far of yesterday’s confusing incident is that a group of agents of the CICPC (intelligence police) flew a police helicopter over the buildings of the Venezuela’s Supreme Justice Tribunal and Interior Minister. Several shots were fired at the buildings from the helicopter and at least one grenade was thrown. No injuries were reported.

The helicopter had been commandeered by Oscar Pérez and a group of at least four more officers. Pérez published a video explaining that his aim was to “return power to the democratic people.”

The government is also being accused of conspiracy. Some opposition supporters expressed via social networks their suspicions that the actions could have been staged by the government as an excuse for further militarization and repression. Francisco Toro of Caracas Chronicles hypothesized that the event could be a “false flag” by the government: “(Oscar Perez’s) video looks like a two-bit parody of what an underpaid TeleSUR intern thinks the opposition looks and sounds like,” wrote Toro. However he concluded that he leans more to Pérez being a “random lunatic”.

The government however was quick to alert of an unfolding coup attempt. On early evening, president Maduro said on television that the event had been a “terrorist attack” and that the armed forces would be deployed in full to stop the coup.

The Ministry of Information issued a statement saying that the event was part of “an escalation of a coup against the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its institutions.” Oscar Pérez, says in the statement, “is under investigation for his links with the CIA and the United States Embassy in Caracas, and for his links with an ex-minister of Interior (of Venezuela), who has recently publically confirmed his contacts with the CIA.”

The “ex-minister of Interior” mentioned is Miguel Rodríguez Torres, who said in a news conference that he in fact had had contacts with the CIA as Chavez’s Interior Minister and under his orders. “When I was the director of the intelligence services, president Chávez told me that we should have the best relations with all the other intelligence services of the world, including the CIA,” said Rodríguez Torres.

Here is the transcription made by Telesur of the statement read by Information Minister Ernesto Villegas yesterday (the statement has not yet been published in the MINCI web page):

El Gobierno de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela informa a la ciudadanía en general y a los pueblos hermanos del mundo sobre los ataques armados perpetrados durante la tarde de hoy, martes 27 de junio, contra la sedes del Ministerio para el Poder Popular para las Relaciones Interior, Justicia y Paz, y el Tribunal Supremo de justicia, como parte de una escalada golpista contra la Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela y sus instituciones.
Ambos ataques fueron efectuados desde un helicóptero Airbus Volcom, modelo 105, siglas CICPC02, hurtado de la base aérea Generalísimo Francisco de Miranda, en La Carlota, Caracas, por parte de un sujeto de nombre Óscar Alberto Pérez, quien para cometer los atentados se valió de condición de inspector adscrito a la división de transporte aéreo del Cicpc.
El complotado voló la aereonave hasta las inmediaciones del Ministerio para el Poder Popular para las Relaciones Interior, Justicia y Paz, en la avenida Urdaneta, y efectúo alrededor de 15 disparos contra la edificación, mientras se desarrollaba en la terraza de ésta un agasajo a un grupo de comunicadores sociales, con motivo de celebrarse el día de hoy el Día Nacional del Periodista. Para el momento del ataque, se encontraban ahí unas 80 personas.
Posteriormente, el helicóptero fue llevado hasta la sede del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, precisamente mientras se encontraba sesionando allí la Sala Constitucional del Máximo Tribunal, con todo sus magistrados, mientras un grupo de trabajadores permanecían laborando en sus oficinas. Contra estas personas, fueron efectuados disparos y lanzadas al menos cuatro granadas de origen colombiano y de fabricación israelí, de las cuales una no estalló y fue colectada. Dos de estas granadas fueron lanzadas contra los efectivos de la Guardia Nacional Bolivariana que custodiaba el edificio.
Gracias al rápida reacción de los custodios pudo evitarse una tragedia. El autor material de estos hechos está siendo investigado por sus vínculo de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia de los Estados Unidos y la embajada de ese país en Caracas, así como su vínculo con un exministro del Interior, quien recientemente ha confirmado públicamente sus contactos con la CIA.
Para el Gobierno Bolivariano, se tratan de ataques terroristas enmarcados en la ofensiva insurreccional adelantada por factores extremistas de la derecha venezolana, con apoyo de gobiernos y poderes extranjeros.
La Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana y los cuerpos de seguridad del Estado se encuentran desplegados, con el objetivo de capturar al autor de estos hechos y recuperar la aeronave. Se exhorta a quienes puedan aportar elementos que ayuden a dar con su paradero, comunicarse con las autoridades a través del teléfono 911.
Emplaza, el Gobierno Bolivariano a los partidos políticos coaligados en la llamada Mesa de la Unidad Democrática, así como la jerarquía eclesiástica y demás factores de la sociedad venezolana a condenar resueltamente estos hechos y a deslindarse de una vez por toda la violencia.
El Gobierno Bolivariano llama al pueblo venezolano a estar alerta frente a la escalada golpista que pretende alterar el orden constitucional en Venezuela y que ha demostrado carecer de cualquier escrúpulo para el logro de sus ambiciones políticas y económicas.
Ninguno de estos ataques detendrán la activación del proceso popular constituyente, ni impedirá el ejercicio del derecho al voto, por parte del pueblo venezolano, el próximo 30 de julio, para elegir a los miembros de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.
El presidente constitucional de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, quien encabezó hoy la entrega de los Premios Nacionales de Periodismo, se encuentra al frente de su equipo gobierno dirigiendo las acciones, para asegurar la seguridad y la tranquilidad del pueblo venezolano.
Hoy más que nunca están vigentes las palabras del comandante Chávez: Unidad, lucha, batalla y victoria.

Caracas, 27 de junio del año 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017

Deaths during manifestations could be part of a conspiracy

“The Bolivarian National Police and the Bolivarian National Guard have done a heroic effort to act without firearms,” president Maduro told international correspondents yesterday at the presidential palace.

When asked by the BBC correspondent in Caracas, Daniel García (@danigmarco), about the case of Fabian Urbina, fatally shot by a National Guard during protests in Caracas in July 19, Maduro said that in any such cases the agents responsible for the shootings have been detained by authorities, “the second such incidents happen.”

But also, Maduro added, “I have ordered an investigation to find out if there is a conspiracy [behind those cases], so that the People may know. I can’t be fooled compadre, nobody can think that if I have clearly given orders not to use firearms, and if there are the contention mechanisms in place of gas and pellet guns, somebody could take a picture of himself holding a firearm. Don’t you think that’s strange?” asked Maduro.

“Photographers, photographers everywhere. How many photographers do you find in an opposition protests? Sometimes more than the protesters themselves. So I have ordered an investigation, because there is too much money behind all this compadre, to many dollars,” explained the president.  



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Diagnosing the political opposition

Questions by the opposition about the mental health of president Chávez were common before his death. His successor Nicolás Maduro has also been “psychologically diagnosed” by critics. Venezuelan government agencies and officials are increasingly also using a rhetoric taken from the field of psychology with political intent: opposition to the government, or even “critical chavismo”, is regularly now labeled in government media as a mental disorder. Opposition discourse is also analyzed as part of a “psychological war” aimed at the Venezuelan people.

The trend was originally set by PSUV leader Jorge Rodríguez, a psychiatrist and mayor of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas. Rodriguez has hosted a public television show called Politica desde el Divan since 2015 (watch the first episode here.) According to its web page description, in the show “political subjectivities, discourses, classical tensions, and the forces that produce the social scene are analyzed, arguing that politics, no matter its nature, is constituted by measurable and scientifically verifiable (facts).” In practice, Rodríguez regularly analyses opposition figures and questions their mental sanity. He explains the opposition discourse as a whole as a part of a “psychological war” waged by the Empire and its local allies against the Bolivarian revolution.

Psychological diagnoses have also been waged against internal government critics. Most recently PSUV leader and National Assembly deputy Pedro Carreño formally asked the Supreme Justice Tribunal to name a medical board to evaluate the mental health of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, who has criticized the Constitutive Assembly called by president Maduro. “The attorney is showing signs of mental insanity, and her appointment should therefore be revised,” diagnosed Carreño.

In order to better draw from the tools of psychology to understand the current crisis, the Venezuelan government sponsored the “First International Forum on Psychology, Violence, and Psychological Operations,” from 12 to 24 June in Caracas.

Information Minister Ernesto Villegas was the keynote speaker for the inauguration of the event. He encouraged the 11 international psychologists participating in the forum to discuss the “manipulation of information mechanisms used in the spiral of fascist violence now lived by the country. (…) Do not leave outside the range of your radar the extent and severity of the fascist phenomenon in the country,” asked Villegas in his speech.

During the academic sessions, according to government media, international experts devoted most of their attention to the analysis of the “main psychological operations used by the right-wing against the revolution in Venezuela.” For example, research by Argentinian psychologist Mario Colussi has led him to conclude that “under a systematic and progressive attack scheme, a plan of economic strangling, that has also created the conditions for a psychological war, has been stablished in Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan psychologist Fernando Giuliani, also a participant in the forum, pointed out that “the right-wing is trying to create stereotypes and prejudices in order to diminish critical capacity (capacidad reflexiva) of the populace, so that the populace itself will generate the conditions for the overthrow (of the government).”

The idea that the enemies of the revolution are waging a “psychological war” has also been argued by pro-government pollster Hynterlaces since 2015. In its reports Hynterlaces has regularly accused the opposition of “inducing neurotic responses” in the Venezuelan people (In this blog here, here, and here.) 

  

Friday, June 9, 2017

Conspiracy against Constituent Assembly

President Maduro is launching a preemptive conspiracy theory against what he says is a future plot against the Constituent Assembly he is convening. He is calling for “civic-military union” against this plot.

“If one of these days Venezuela wakes up to news of a conspiracy, of a plot, to stop the popular constituent process, which has been constitutionally set for July 30, I call upon the civic military union to defeat, on the streets, the conspiracy, the plot, the coup d’état, that could be staged against the call for a Constitutive (Assembly),” the President said yesterday.

Apparently referring to the Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, who has filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Justice to halt the Constitutive Assembly process, Maduro warned against “traitors and treasons.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Nutella plot



#Nutella has been the Twitter top trending topic for Venezuela all morning today.

Yesterday Venezuela government media reported that the pro-government “Fundación para Niños, Niñas y Adolescentes de Caracas” handed the public prosecutor’s office a document with more than “one hundred individual and collective complains” about minors being used by the opposition in “terrorist actions” in the context of this month’s protests.

In one of the testimonial videos shown by Telesur, a woman tells of her son being “involuntarily induced” to participate in the protests. The woman directly accuses Lilian Tintori, wife of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López, of offering the popular hazelnut spread Nutella to the child if he was willing to “cause terrorism in the country.”


“Tintori asked my son what he liked the most. He answered Nutella. She told him that if he hit the guard [National Guard] with a bottle she was handing him, which was full of fuel and had a piece of cloth, she would give him Nutella,” says the woman in the video.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

News according to public media

Here is a selection of “infographics” produced by Venezuelan news outlet Telesur this week and posted in social networks.


In this image Telesur explains how “fake news” is fabricated against the Venezuelan government. The objective of these fabrications is “To reach a climatic point, as planned in manuals prepared by the Pentagon: in order to induce the turning of the population against its own government.” Possible discontent of the populations with its own government is, of course, out of the question.


Comparisons of the Venezuelan case with Chile’s 1973 coup have been part of the official rhetoric for a long time. Here is Telesur’s version. It includes the opposition funded by the US, economic attacks, and a “psychological warfare” by the media.


Finally here is Telesur explaining OAS meddling (injerencista) agenda against Venezuela, in cahoots with the local opposition.