Minister of Foreign Relations, Delcy Rodríguez, met yesterday the international press correspondents in Venezuela to tell them that “media corporations have a historic responsibility in the configuration of facts that have justified interventions, such as in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, and this is also a manual they are trying to impose in Venezuela.”
“All imperial wars, in the history of humanity, have always been preceded by media campaigns validating their actions,” further explained Rodríguez. She also asked the international press to verify their sources and to truthfully inform what is happening in Venezuela.
The prime example of this international media disinformation campaign against Venezuela, presented by Rodríguez and the government’s media apparatus, is the death of the young opposition protester Juan Pernalete on April 26.
Witnesses and media have alleged that Pernalete died of wounds caused by a teargas bomb directly fired at close range to his chest by the security forces.
Rodríguez says however, that “the elements shown today totally undermine that version and this is why we are calling for news to be presented in the most objective way possible.”
Those elements undermining the media version were presented by Communication and Information Minister, Ernesto Villegas. He showed a video taken during the confusing seconds after Pernalete went down and other protestors were carrying him away.
Villegas explained that this video is part of “a police approximation that shows with a high degree of certainty the possibility that this young man was murdered with a weapon called captive bolt gun [pistola de perno], a type of gun used in livestock farming, to finish off cattle, and we have found elements of criminalistics and news worthy interest that point to this direction.”
The video shown by Villegas had been originally posted by pro-opposition newspaper El Nacional. The Information Minister however invited the international press to more closely watch the video for “criminalistics elements.”
For example, said the Minister, one of the protestors in the video screams “Was he hit?” to which the answer from another from a second is “No!” A close up of the moment two protestors are aiding Pernalete out of the protest line seems to show, according to Villegas, one of them pulling his hand from out under Pernalete’s t-shirt. This is a “suspicious attitude” which has led police investigators to conclude that the captive bolt gun could have been used to kill Pernalete.
“It’s all part of a strategy of a construction of false positives. The similarities in the construction of facts that do not exist and that justify violations of international rights, this is our concern,” concluded Delcy Rodríguez.