Disinfo: UN human rights report on Venezuela aims to delegitimise the upcoming legislative elections

Summary

The recent human rights report on Venezuela aims to delegitimise the upcoming elections. The purpose of the report, elaborated by an independent commission on human rights, is to justify the international plot to deny the legitimacy of the legislative election scheduled for December, and to become a tool for the criminalisation of the Venezuelan authorities and put the basis for several countries not to recognise the election results. Its promoters want to extend the artificial political crisis of the country for another five years, as well as the supposed interim government of the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, backed by the US and its international allies, an essential component for the continuity of the economic blockade.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, portraying President Nicolás Maduro as its legitimate leader despite that recent elections which were neither free, fair, or credible and lack democratic legitimacy, and framing any criticism of the abuses of his government as a destabilising manoeuvre aimed at regime change. Contrary to the claim, the report doesn’t intend to de-legitimise the December elections in Venezuela nor to criminalise the Venezuelan authorities, but to clarify facts on alleged human rights abuses in the country. The exposure of those abuses and the conclusions of the report - that Venezuelan security forces committed crimes against humanity, almost certainly following orders of president Nicolás Maduro and other top officials- is what leads to the de-legitimisation of the Venezuelan government and its international condemnation, not the other way round. The report was elaborated by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, whose investigators were appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September last year. The Mission mandate is “to investigate extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment since 2014”, and its findings are backed by massive evidence previously exposed by other human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International or local organisations such as Foro Penal or PROVEA, and by international media. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, such as claims that Venezuelan refugees were trained in a British military base in Guyana to infiltrate their country; that blackouts in Venezuela in 2019 were caused by a US spy plane; that the US was sending a hospital ship to the Caribbean as preparation for a military intervention in the country; or that Washington had plans for the ‘Balkanisation’ and fragmentation of the Venezuelan territory.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/09/2020
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Human rights, UN
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Russia’s Avangard missile system can devastate US defences, The National Interest says

Russia’s Avangard missile system can devastate US defences, The National Interest says. This US magazine, specialised in security, published a text by publicist Peter Suciu about what the creation of the Russian hypersonic unit Avangard means for the US. The author of the publication mentions that Avangard has hypersonic speed and is able to maneuver in the atmosphere. It quotes China’s official stance, that the Avangard equipped with nuclear heads can “devastate” US defences.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of the original article in The National Interest, titled “Is the Russian Avangard Hypersonic ICBM a Serious Threat?”, where author Peter Suciu says that it is “reported [for the Avangard] to have both hypersonic speed and an ability to fly a ‘maneuvering’ flight path through the atmosphere”, but, contrary to the claim, he doesn’t affirm it himself. Also, the alleged quote about China’s official stance is also manipulated: it is a reference to a previous article in The Eurasian Times where China praises the capabilities of the missile, but where the description of its “devastating” effects is done by a Russian military official, Major General Vladimir Popov, not by the Chinese authorities. Pro-Kremlin media frequently resort to this manipulative technique of quoting sentences from serious publications and then introducing a distorted message as if it was part of the original article, in this case to promote a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russia’s military might. See other examples in our database, such as false claims that British outlet The Guardian pointed to ruling elite as the real instigators of the racial crisis in the US and reported that the EU remained silent as the Europeans couldn’t buy food for the first time in 75 years; that Newsweek magazine explained how the US coup in Iran will end; that Soros’ structures in the media and think tanks saw an opportunity in the coronavirus pandemic to attack the “bad guys”; that the US National Counterintelligence and Security Centre put Wikileaks at the same threat level as jihadist organisations in its last report; or that the US special envoy for Syria admitted that Washington’s goal was to defend terrorists from Russian attacks.

Ugly commercial interests are behind the criticism of the Russian COVID 19 vaccine

There are very ugly commercial interests behind the criticism of the Russian vaccine. This was understandable even before the registration of the vaccine when a number of special services of foreign states accused Russia of allegedly stealing its vaccine. It became clear that this is not the case, because our vaccine is very different from others and much better. But a series of attacks began. Pharmaceutical Association of Western Companies began to declare that the vaccine could not be registered until the end of Phase 3 clinical trials. But now we see that China registered the vaccine before the end of phase 3, the UAE as well as the USA and Britain announced plans to register their vaccines before the end of phase 3.

Disproof

On Aug 11, 2020, Russia declared it is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine against coronavirus. Nonetheless, there are widespread concerns that the approval is premature. At the time of approval, the vaccine had not even started phase 3 trials, nor had any results on the earlier stage trials been published, worlds scientists said on the Lancet. WHO expressed concerns as for preternatural registration of vaccine. Following the criticism, Russia published its response on the Lancet. Then international experts expressed concerns about statistical anomalies revealed during the publication of the results of the first and second phases of clinical trials of the Russian vaccine. Publishing their clarifications, Russia did not address the criticism, in essence, analysed Deutsche Welle. The narrative that any criticism of Russian achievements is due to competition reasons, is a recurrent conspiracy. The statement that democratic countries - US, UK also want to approve their vaccines before the end of clinical trials, as Russia did, is untrue. As for September 20, 2020, the CEO of Moderna, American company developing its own vaccine, mentioned in the disinformation report, expressed no such plans. In August 2020, the American, British and Canadian governments said that Russian hackers are attempting to steal coronavirus vaccine research. At that, no evidence had emerged that data was stolen. There was likely little immediate damage to global public health, cybersecurity experts said.

Antifa are burning their own country

Not only Trump supporters, but also many apolitical Americans are convinced that the forests were set on fire by Antifa militias, sponsored by the Democratic Party. This explains the unprecedented scale of fires this year in the US.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory and recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US Democratic Party. There is no evidence that Antifa or members of the Democratic Party are deliberately starting forest fires. One of the latest fires in California that has burned more than 7,000 acres (2,800 hectares) was caused by a firework at a “gender-reveal party”, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) has found. In a statement released late on September 9, the department said: “The fire began at 10.23 am on September 5, 2020 in the El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa,” before spreading north. Climate change is also making the situation with the wildfires in the US worse. "Wildfire activity in the United States is changing dangerously, particularly in the west, as conditions become hotter and drier due to climate change," the Union of Concerned Scientists says.