Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Women’s March conspiracy against Trump

The “elective affinities” between the Venezuelan government’s official conspiracy rhetoric and President Trump’s claims of a media and financial conspiracy against him are hard to miss. President Maduro has said he opposes “the hate campaign against Donald Trump we are seeing around the world. (…) I ask myself, why [this campaign], because that’s something we know a lot about, dirty wars.” Maduro also says that he hopes that Venezuela-US relation will improve under Trump.

Venezuela’s official media is still very critical about Trump, but some articles are being published hinting at how he may also be the victim of the same types of conspiracies by the media and the “financial elites” the Venezuelan government constantly claims as common enemies. Opinion articles in the critical chavista portal Aporrea have however been overwhelmingly critical of a possible rapprochement between Maduro and Trump under the naïve assumption that they may both be the victims of the same conspiracy. (Read examples here and here.)

But the pro-chavista web page Misión Verdad has published an article titled “Who funded the women’s march against Trump.” The piece accuses Philanthropist George Soros of being behind this attempt to “undermine Trump’s presidency.” Wider conspiracy links are also mentioned as part of a plot against Trump.
“George Soros is known around the world for his economic power and for his links with the United States [gringa] politics. He is also known for funding –through his NGOs- the 2014 violent revolts in Ukraine, which led to a coup d’état. Precisely because of this, and because of the links between George Soros and the Democratic Party, President Vladimir Putin has warned Trump that [Soros] is preparing an Ukrainian style coup d’état [in the United States].”

Hillary Clinton is of course part of this conspiracy. The evidence is that she twitted in favor of the event:

“Hillary Clinton politically capitalized from the event via Twitter, thus showing that George Soros, and the political and financial elite that act against Trump, are betting on all those initiatives, in all fronts, that could undermine his presidency.”

(Thanks to Francisco Toro for the link to this article.)  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Court rules on the “Blue Coup” case

Eight suspects of having participated in the so called “Blue Coup” plot have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years by a military court. The condemned are three civilians and five Air Forces officers.

In February 13, 2015, President Maduro announced he had “dismantled” a coup attempt against his government. He first referred to the plan as “Jericho Operation,” but the name later changed to “Blue Coup” in government media.

The conspiracy, according to Maduro, included opposition leaders and active Air Force officers. The plan was to bomb the presidential Miraflores palace, the Ministry of the Defense, and the offices of the news channel Telesur using Air Force Tucano type planes. 

PSUV leader Disodado Cabello accused opposition leaders Antonio Ledezma and Julio Borges of being behind the plot. The government also accused most leaders of opposition parties, including Capriles Radonski, of having at least knowledge of the plot. Ledezma was arrested on February 19 and is still under house arrest.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Anti-coup Command defuses its first coup attempt

On January 8 President Maduro announced the creation of a new Anti-coup Special Command for Peace and Sovereignty –the name later changed to Anti-coup National Command. According to Maduro this new body will “take preventive, legal, and corrective measures against the coupist sectors.”

The Command is coordinated by the new Vice-president Tareck El Aissami and includes the Vice-president for Peace and Security, Carmen Meléndez, Defense Minister, Vladimir Padrino López, PSUV deputy Diosdado Cabello, Interior Minister Néstor Reverol, and political police SEBIN director Gustavo González López.

On January 11, El Aissami announced the arrest of an opposition deputy, Gilbert Caro, on charges of planning “terrorist actions in the country.” According to the Vice-president, Caro carried inside his car an AK47 rifle and plastic explosives. Aissami explained that Caro had plans to assassinate opposition leaders and then blame the government.

Caro is a deputy of the National Assembly for the Voluntad Popular party. He served a 10 year prison sentence for drug trafficking crimes he claims he didn’t commit. Diosdado Cabello declared that “Caro seems to miss prison, he was obviously not re-educated [while in prison].” 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Post-Truth and Conspiracy Theories

In a surprising rhetorical move, Ignacio Ramonet, a Spanish journalist close to chavismo and former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, argues that a sign that we live in a “post-truth” era is that some people do not accept the obvious fact that the Venezuelan government is the victim of a conspiracy.

Conspiracy theorists commonly refute their critics by accusing them of also being part of the conspiracy or of being “official conspiracy theorists,” but this must be one of the first times the new term “post-truth” is used by a conspiracy theorist to characterize the sceptics’ “post-factual relativism.”

Here are the key paragraphs from his end of the year article for Telesur:

All this in the context of a long duration media war against Caracas which began with Hugo Chávez arrival to power in 1999, and which has intensified since April 2013. It reached unheard of levels of violence after the election of President Nicolás Maduro.

This atmosphere of permanent and aggressive media harassment, of insidious misinformation about Venezuela, has confused even many of the friends of the Bolivarian Revolution. Especially because, in this “post-truth” era, the practice of lying, the intellectual fraud, and shameless deception is not punished by any negative consequence, not in terms of credibility or loss of image. Anything goes, everything is useful in this “era of post-factual relativism,” and not even the most objective facts are taken into consideration. Not even the arguments of plots and conspiracies –which are so obvious in the Venezuelan case, - are accepted. Beforehand, the dominant media discourse characterizes and denounces the “supposed plots” as the unacceptable arguments of an “old narrative”…

Ramonet devotes the rest of his piece to praising President Maduro for his “audacity”, “firm hand”, “creativity”, and “courage”, and for through “a sequence of masterful chess plays nobody could foretell,” defeating at least ten conspiracies during 2016. All post-factually true…