Girish Gupta of Reuters, to his credit, publicly called bullshit on claims made by some in the Venezuelan opposition, including one politician, that the government had used chemical weapons on protesters. Given the way the opposition has been coddled by the international press for the last 15 years (basically since US relations with Venezuela’s government went sour) it isn’t surprising that they would try to pull that one off.
As if to make amends, Gupta later approvingly tweeted out a Caracas Chronicles blog post that claimed Venezuela has “no free media”.
I just watched a lengthy (39 minute) news report broadcast yesterday on Venevision (a TV network with the largest audience share for news in Venezuela according to a 2013 study by the Carter Center) that featured the following opposition politicians:
Eveling Trejo de Rosales,
Freddy Guevara (announcing protests “in honor of our fallen” and “against repression”)
Marialbert Barrios (alleging over 223 “seriously wounded” by “repression” in one day alone and who also makes a direct appeal to the Venezuelan military for intervention),
Marco Aurelio Quiniones whom the reporter tells us accuses the government of having perpetrated a coup.
Angel Alvarado, an opposition economist and parliamentarian who announced that Venezuela’s inflation level in March was 16.2% (and cumulative value of 65.5% for 2017 so far)
It also reports US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson alleging that Venezuela is “violating its own constitution” and “silencing the voices of those who oppose them”.
Reply on the international media and big NGOs like HRW, RSF and Amnesty and you would never, ever, think this news report could be broadcast.
If there is a “blackout on information” it is quite obvious where it is happening.