Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Maduro’s evidence and The Guardian



President Maduro’s recent exclusive interview for the newspaper The Guardian is a good compendium of the Venezuelan government’s narrative of the protests. The protests are, in Maduro’s words, a part of an “unconventional war the US has perfected over the last decades,” they are “a sign that the US wants our oil.”

Asked by The Guardian for evidence of US intervention in Venezuela, Maduro replies with a historical argument: "Is 100 years of intervention in Latin America and the Caribbean not enough: against Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile, Grenada, Brazil? Is the coup attempt against President Chávez by the Bush administration not enough? Why does the US have 2,000 military bases in the world? To dominate it. I have told President Obama: we are not your backyard anymore".

The presentation of historical referents as evidence of conspiracies is commonly used device in conspiracy theories. The most effective conspiracy theories have a kernel of truth which is the generalized as a narrative explaining all events. The little disputed fact that the United States has a long history of intervention in other countries affairs is, in this case, taken as evidence that people protesting in Venezuela do not have legitimate grievances against the governments, but are instead dupes or agents of foreign intervention. Maduro is not trying to prove US intervention in Venezuela, he is trying to show that local protests are that foreign intervention.

Mere historical evidence however does not seem sufficient for The Guardian, so the writer of the note on the interview dutifully lends Maduro a hand by adding a paragraph on the recent ZunZuneo affair in Cuba:

Maduro's allegations follow last week's revelation that USAid covertly funded a social media website to foment political unrest and encourage "flash mobs" in Venezuela's ally Cuba under the cover of "development assistance". White House officials acknowledged that such programmes were not "unique to Cuba".   

1 comment:

  1. I read the article and nearly choked on my breakfast. It is full of lies, half-truths, conjecture and weasel words.
    The comments section lit up like a bonfire and is still going strong.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/08/venezuela-protests-sign-us-wants-oil-says-nicolas-maduro#comments

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