Failed ‘coup’ actually a corporate fake news story designed to trick Venezuelan soldiers and the public

We now know the truth: the whole thing was a fraud staged at the instigation of Washington in hopes that the Venezuelan people and rank-and-file troops would fall for the trick and think a coup was underway.

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Image Credit: MR Online

After days of breathless reporting in the US media about public and military support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro collapsing, and about an April 30 coup by presidential poseur Juan Guaidó, we now know the truth:  the whole thing was a fraud staged at the instigation of Washington in hopes that the Venezuelan people and rank-and-file troops would fall for the trick and think a coup was underway.

We also know, from an excellent May 2 report by Michael Fox in the Nation magazine, that the U.S. mainstream media and its reporters in country were promoting that dangerous fraud.

CNN ran this story and video showing Juan Guaido, the US-chosen ‘legitimate president’ of Venezuela, supposedly speaking from a liberated military airfield and suppposedly speaking to a crowd of ‘thousands,’ when in fact he was standing on a bridge speaking only to a camera and the airbase was firmly in government hands and never was even threatened.

Take CNN. In its reporting on the ‘coup’ announced by Guaidó on Tuesday, April 30, a video was run on social media depicting Guaidó, with a leading opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (allegedly just freed from house arrest by deserting soldiers) by his side along with some armed men in uniform, allegedly military deserters, standing behind them, claiming they were on the allegedly captured La Carlota military airfield in eastern Caracas.   Guaidó, claiming the airbase had been “liberated,” and according to CNN addressing “thousands of supporters” on the scene, calls in this video for the rest of the Venezuelan military to desert and join the coup and oust the “usurper” Maduro

But as Fox and other observers note, CNN didn’t show those “thousands” of supporters (there were none). Nor did CNN explain in its report that Guaidó and Lopez were not actually at the airbase, but rather were standing on a highway overpass outside the base, which was in fact never in rebel hands at all.  

 Guaidó and his “deserting” soldiers quickly left the scene as government troops headed their way, with Lopez later that day holing up in the Chilean and eventually the Spanish embassy, seeking asylum for himself and his family, and with some two dozen soldiers who had deserted in support of Guaidó, asking for asylum in the Brazilian embassy. 

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There are two possibilities here: either CNN’s U.S.-based editors were lied to by their reporters in Caracas or they were well aware that their story of a coup and the takeover of a military airfield was a hoax, along with reports of thousands of protesters on the scene in support of Guaidó. It’s easy to imagine the latter being the truth because CNN earlier was caught fraudulently reporting that Venezuelan troops had set aid trucks stopped at the Columbian border afire, when in fact the fires had been started by anti-Maduro protesters. Though this truth was proven by other reports and video, CNN never corrected its false story in that case nor did it discipline or fire its on-the-scene reporters.

The NY Times hasn’t done any better. On the day of the fake coup, theTimes, in an unusual un-bylined article (at the end there was a note saying only that reporting was contributed by Isayen Herrera, Nicholas Casey, Anatoly Kurmanaev, Ana Vanessa Herrero, Rick Gladstone and Katie Rogers), headed “Venezuela Crisis: Guaidó Calls for Uprising as Clashes Erupt,” reported as follows:

“Today, brave soldiers, brave patriots, brave men attached to the Constitution have followed our call,” Mr. Guaidó said in a video posted on social media, speaking from Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda Air Base, a military airport in Caracas known as La Carlota.

The “newspaper of record” either made no effort to check its reporters’ “facts,” or went along deliberately with the charade that Washington’s hand-picked “legitimate president” Guaidó was actually speaking from a “liberated” military airfield, when he was really only standing on a highway overpass outside the airfield, which itself was never even contested and which remained in government hands through the whole day…

For the rest of this article, which was written for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, the media review organization,  please go here.

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