Venezuela Launches Media Response Plan to Fake News Attacks

The ‘Zero Tolerance Media Plan’ is to be run by the Foreign Office and will look to offer responses to misleading and false international coverage of Venezuela.

By Paul Dobson
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Vice Minister for International Communication William Castillo announced the plan. (Archive)
Vice Minister for International Communication William Castillo announced the plan. (Archive)

Merida, October 31, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com) – The Venezuelan government has announced the creation of a media based task force to address fake or misleading international news stories about the Caribbean nation.

The ‘Zero Tolerance Media Plan’ was announced by Vice Minister for International Communication William Castillo Monday, and will run through the Foreign Office and its network of embassies and consulates.

Castillo explained that the plan looks to offer responses to instances of fake news coverage “one by one.”

“There have been attacks against the Venezuelan demonym, not just against the country, its political authorities, its government, or Chavismo any more, but now against the people, the average folk, our national identity,” he explained.

Castillo used one example of a recent anonymous note in a Portuguese TV channel which claimed that Venezuelan mothers were giving away their children so as to be able to eat. “This is fake,” he clarified.

Caracas has frequently denounced a media-based campaign to undermine its sovereignty, democratic credentials, and social advances in recent years. Venezuelan authorities claim that US-led media outlets, as well as important European outlets such as El Pais in Spain, look to damage the reputation of the nation and create spin which justifies coercive measures against the country, such as sanctions and an international intervention.

A recent example involves the so-called “humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela following increased migration levels.

“In Central America they don’t say ‘humanitarian crisis, massive exodus, catastrophe, diaspora’. There, it is a ‘caravan’, as if it were a party, and they are thousands which are fleeing poverty, violence, a lack of opportunities, hope, and the US government is closing the door to them,” stated Vice President of the National Constituent Assembly Tania Diaz, drawing comparison with the 7000-strong migrant march which is en route to the Mexican-US border.

Further examples include the media coverage of the August 4 terrorist drone attack against President Nicolas Maduro, in which corporate media outlets used words such as “apparent” and “alleged” to sew doubt about the reality of the attack which targeted the President and injured seven soldiers.

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