This theory claims that Maduro was born not in Venezuela but in Colombia, and therefore does not constitutionally qualify for the post of President of Venezuela.
The theory has been running around in social media for a while, but it was only recently that opposition politicians have started to endorse it. The most strident seems to be National Assembly representative from COPEI, Abelardo Diaz, who yesterday claimed that Maduro’s parents are Colombian and that the President was born in the frontier city of Cúcuta.
Bloomberg ran a note on the issue yesterday, and the Blog Caracas Chronicles also made some very interesting comments about it.
But the most interesting piece was published last week by the Correo del Orinoco and republished in English in the pro-government blog venezuelanalysis. Until now, the issue has received little attention by local media (there have been opinion pieces about this in El Universal), however the article from Correo del Orinoco correctly informs that Spanish paper El País and Miami´s El Nuevo Herald have mentioned it. For both newspapers the source of the claim was Panama diplomat Guillermo Cochez.
Pay attention to the way Correo del Orinoco frames the news:
“As part of ongoing attempts to prevent President Nicolas Maduro from consolidating his leadership in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, right-wing forces at home and abroad have reissued false claims that he was born in neighboring Colombia.”
It later adds:
“As part of the anti-Maduro campaign described by Minister Villegas, private media outlets tied to the Venezuelan opposition issued their own interpretations of Cochez’s claim. In an article titled “What if Maduro is Colombian?”, Venezuelan daily El Universal published a piece by rightwing blogger Alexander Cambero in which he warns that “if Nicolas Maduro is proven to have been born in the Colombian city of Cucuta, in the state of North Santander, we will be facing the greatest fraud ever committed against the good will of the Venezuelan people.”
The claims that Maduro was born in Colombia would therefore be part of a campaign by “right-wing forces at home and abroad.” It seems that the best way to counter a conspiracy theory, is with yet another conspiracy theory.