Disinfo: The US wants Brazil to join NATO to use it as a base for an intervention in Venezuela


Donald Trump talked about designating Brazil as a major non-NATO ally or even possibly a NATO member, because the US wants to use it as a beachhead for a military intervention in Venezuela. Colombia is already a NATO partner and now the US want to grant the same status to Brazil, to have it ready to implement actions against governments considered undesirable in Latin America, namely Venezuela.


This case is part of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about alleged plots against Venezuela. Designation by the US as a non-NATO ally offers some benefits in the field of military cooperation but it doesn’t imply any obligation to provide bases or troops for operations. Regarding Brazil becoming a full member of NATO, no evidence was given for such plans. Moreover, Brazil's NATO membership would be unlikely, since it would require all NATO member states agreeing to change Article 10 of the alliance’s 1949 founding treaty, which states that only European countries can join, besides Canada and the United States. Additionally, Brazilian top military officers and Vice president Hamilton Mourao have repeatedly made clear that they have no intention of allowing a US military intervention from their territory, as recently confirmed by President Bolsonaro himself. The Brazilian Armed Forces keep communication channels open with the Venezuelan army, even though the Brazilian government doesn’t recognise Nicolás Maduro as president.


  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/03/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Brazil, Venezuela, US
  • Keywords: EU/NATO enlargement, Donald Trump, Conspiracy theory, NATO
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Disinfo: EU refuses to admit that Russian border guards prevented the armed conflict that Kyiv was trying to unleash

The EU included eight Russians in the sanctions list due to the incident that occurred in the Kerch Strait on 25 November 2018. Ukrainian ships staged a provocation in the territorial waters of Russia and were detained by the FSB border guard service. The EU refuses to admit that Russian border guards prevented the armed conflict that Kyiv was trying to unleash.


No evidence given. This is one of the main narratives of the Kremlin propaganda about the Azov Sea incident. According to Bellingcat, the Russian Navy vessels first rammed and then, later, fired on and captured three Ukrainian Navy vessels. This marked the first time Russian-flagged military units had officially attacked those of Ukraine. Official statements from the US Department of State confirm the same, claiming that this incident represents a dangerous escalation and a violation of international law. A bilateral treaty between Russia and Ukraine, signed in 2003 and ratified by Russia in 2004, governs the use of the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov, which in the treaty are considered to be the “internal waters” of both Russia and Ukraine. See more disinfo cases on the Kerch Strait incident: here and here.

Disinfo: The Atlantic Council is a NATO propaganda organisation

Facebook turned to the Atlantic Council, which is an organisation for NATO propaganda, for services to identify fake pages.


No evidence provided. Recurring pro-Kremlin conspiracy about US and social media. The Atlantic Council is an international think tank that is registered as a nonprofit organisation. The policy of the Atlantic Council also includes intellectual independence. One of the paragraphs of this policy details how the organisation must not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters.

Facebook alone decides which pages break its rules, with input from various research partners, as they explained in January 2019 when removing hundreds of Russian-linked pages.

Disinfo: The West does not call the New Zealand mosque attacks terrorism

In New Zealand, the terrorist attack was targeted at Muslims, specifically on religious grounds. There is a tradition in the West that if an immoral event is committed by a non-Muslim, it is merely a crime, but if the same incident is committed by a Muslim, then the whole world is upset and claims Muslims to be terrorists.


New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern,'met with members of the Muslim community affected by the attack' and stated, 'He [the killer] is a terrorist; he is a criminal; he is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless' as a method of not giving fame and respect to the attacker. Instead she focussed on the victims and their families, showing solidarity and empathy. The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs released a message that said 'people who share video of the mosque shooting online “are likely to be committing an offence”' and worked hard with 'social media platforms to remove the clips' in order to show respect to the victims and their families. The majority of major Western media companies followed this request and did not show the footage from the massacre. However, a Russian state TV channel broadcast the footage and compared the shooter to 'Ukrainian nationalists'. On 15 March, the European Union published statements offering 'sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the victims and the community as a whole' as well as support for New Zealand 'including by strengthening cooperation on counter-terrorism.' There are numerous articles from major Western media depicting the incident as a terrorist attack whilst people across the world are upset and express their condolences. The day after the attack, the BBC published an article entitled 'How young people are responding to the New Zealand terror attack' whilst the Wall Street Journal explicitly stated that the 'New Zealand mosque shootings called a Terrorist Attack'. See video on how Russian state TV exploits the terror attack in New Zealand to spread disinformation.