February 23 saw the latest attempt by the White House, its right-wing regional allies, and self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido to oust the Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro, this time by trying to undermine Maduro’s authority and forcibly violate Venezuela’s borders under the pretext of bringing in “humanitarian aid.”
Given that not a single truck, boat or plane entered the country, and that Venezuela’s armed forces remained steadfast in their defence of the national sovereignty, it can be said that Trump’s and Guaido’s primary objectives were a failure.
They did, however, achieve some level of success in their secondary goal of further satanizing Maduro in the eyes of the world.
By provoking a series of violent confrontations along the Colombian and Brazilian borders, the Trump-backed opposition has managed to manufacture a false narrative designed to delegitimize the Maduro government and justify further foreign military intervention. This narrative has been uncritically disseminated by the international corporate media. In what follows, we debunk four lies repeated ad nauseam by the mainstream press.
1. Who burnt the aid trucks?
One of the oft-repeated lies is that Maduro ordered the burning of two large aid-laden trucks attempting to cross the bridge which connects Venezuela and Colombia in Ureña.
Mainstream media latched on to the story, stating as fact that “Two [trucks] were burnt to a cinder and two were stolen by Mr Maduro’s forces,” as The Telegraph reports.
with us!” hinting that it may have been a pre-planned “desertion.”
While no exact numbers exist of soldiers who left their posts on Saturday, the claims being circulated by the mainstream media so far have not been backed by photographic or video evidence, or on-the-ground reports.
4. Did the aid contain medicine?
Another canard reproduced by the international media is the notion that Washington’s aid shipment contained, in addition to food, essential medicines for sick Venezuelans condemned to die by Maduro.
“Almost 200 tonnes of aid in a convoy of trucks has been waiting to cross several border bridges – including food and medicine – and the tear gas was fired as protesters tried to stop the aid from being destroyed,” Sky News reports.
However, this assertion has been called into question since Saturday. According to New York Times reporter Anatoly Kurmanaev, the trucks that the opposition tried to force across the border contained “no medicine” at all, with reports that a “small” amount of medicine was being stockpiled in Cucuta not confirmed by USAID. Initial inventories from USAID made no mention of medicine, listing only basic food and personal hygiene products amongst the “aid”.