Disinfo: The Bulgarian people support Venezuela

Summary

The Bulgarian people support Venezuela. On 23 February, people gathered in Sofia to partake in an anti-US rally to support Venezuela. The US intervention in other countries domestic politics truly infuriates Bulgarian people. All progressive people believe the US is a sponsor of terrorism and upheaval in the world. Nowadays, the US criminal authority is illegally transporting weapons into Venezuela, which is eerily similar to the situation in Ukraine in 2014.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on US interference in Venezuela, presented without evidence. Similar cases can be found here and here. See background information on other Venezuela-related conspiracies. The claims that the "Bulgarian people supports Venezuela" seem overstated. The pictures, provided by the disinformation outlet, shows a rather small number of participants in the demonstration in support of Venezuelan President Maduro.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/02/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Hungarian
  • Country: Venezuela, US
  • Keywords: Coup
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Radical Islam in Kosovo and the Balkans exploited by the US and UK to weaken Russia

The US and Britain are using the trend of radical Islam in the Balkans to encircle and weaken Russia. Kosovo, situated in the heart of the Balkans, is the centre of radical Islam in Europe and is a crucial instrument of the West’s strategy against Russia. Since the British and Americans have failed to create an Islamic caliphate in Syria, their strategic goal now is to support the growth of radical Islam in the Balkans, with the ultimate aim of establishing a caliphate that will then be able to threaten the Caucasus. For this purpose, the US and UK have moved some Syrian jihadist groups to the Balkans.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and the West creating and/or supporting radical Islam and Islamist terrorism in the Middle East, as well as working with ISIS/Daesh. The West has been fighting an intense and multidimensional global terrorist threat since 9/11. There is no evidence whatsoever that the US, NATO, or the EU have supported Daesh or other jihadist groups in Syria. The US-led military campaign in Syria and Iraq has clearly targeted Daesh and other jihadist organisations. More disinformation cases can be consulted here and a recent case can be found here. Although there have been several instances of terrorist foreign fighters who travelled from Kosovo to Syria and Iraq, the notion of Kosovo as the "centre of radical Islam in Europe" does not reflect reality. Kosovo's population is overwhelmingly secular or otherwise practises an open and tolerant version of Islam. According to the Kosovar Centre for Security Studies, only around 400 Kosovo citizens have travelled to the conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. Of these 400, only 250 individuals are considered to be foreign fighters, whereas the rest are women and children. Furthermore, Kosovo applies effective counterterrorist policies, with support and financial assistance from the US and the EU, and is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. See the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2017. In 2015, the government of Kosovo approved the National Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalisation and has drafted and adopted several other legal and policy documents, including the Law against Terrorism, the Strategy against Terrorism, The Law on Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism". Further background can be consulted here and here.

Venezuelan food shortages are mainstream media propaganda

Mainstream media outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, and Bloomberg portray Venezuela as a country where food and other basic commodities are unavailable or unaffordable for the vast majority of citizens. A supermarket in Caracas is shown brimming with a wide selection of produce and toiletries. The issue is not a shortage of consumer goods but Venezuelans’ buying power, which has been destroyed by currency speculation and pro-opposition capitalists who are profiting from Washington’s economic war on the country.

Disproof

The report relies on footage from a single supermarket, which it says is located in an "upscale neighbourhood in Caracas." It advances the recurring Kremlin narrative that the mainstream media produces biased accounts of foreign events, in concert with the Western powers-that-be. The issue of food scarcity and its impact on Venezuela has been documented in multiple independent studies and widely attributed to the country's dependence on agricultural imports and the fiscal policies of the Maduro government. The story does not provide any evidence linking the "capitalist elements" of the opposition to the shortages. Conversely, a 2016 investigation documents the Venezuelan military's takeover of domestic food management, with multiple corruption schemes and smuggling operations overseen by the Defence Minister Padrino. According to a nationwide poll from September 2018, 30.5 percent of Venezuelans said they ate only one meal per day, while 78.6 percent reported problems with food security. The story marks a striking about-turn in RT's coverage of the economic situation in Venezuela, given that its previous reports consistently identified food and medicine shortages as a grave concern for the country. The narrative shift took place throughout January and February 2019, after President Maduro's legitimacy had been challenged by the Western-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.