Disinfo: The US is making plans for the ‘balkanization’ and fragmentation of Venezuela

Summary

The United States are planning to foment unrest and secessionism to force the territorial division of Venezuela in order to gain access to its natural resources. There are several areas as potential focus for an artificially-fuelled separatism: the Paraguaná peninsula (rich in hydrocarbons), the so-called ‘Western half-moon’ composed by the states of Zulia, Táchira and Mérida (rich in hydrocarbons, agrarian and farming products), the ‘Western triangle’ of the cities of Barquisimeto, Acarigua and Valencia (strategically decisive) and the region of Guayana (rich in minerals).

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about US intervention in Venezuela's internal affairs. There is no evidence of a secessionist movement in any region of Venezuela with enough support to present a threat to the central authorities, much less that the US is making plans to promote one. The conflict of the Pemon communities with the Venezuelan state has a long historical tradition. It is taking a political, anti-government turn, but no scholar or analyst considers it a serious challenge to the territorial integrity of Venezuela. The disinformation narrative is rooted in the fear dating to the Chavist regime about the emergence of a separatist movement in the richest regions, such as the one in the Santa Cruz province in Bolivia in the last decade, that could be exploited from abroad to destabilize the country.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/04/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Venezuela, US
  • Keywords: Territorial dispute, Nicolas Maduro
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Disproof

A recurrent, pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative around the elections in Ukraine. Unfounded claims on shelling, supported only by statements from militants from the so-called the “Donetsk People's Republic”. The shelling mentioned is not documented in any way. The report of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine does not confirm such statements. “According to the Mission’s observations, the situation in the regions of Ukraine was calm during the presidential elections”, the report says. Further debunking on StopFake.org.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. The European Union supports Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. The EU is unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable, political solution to the conflict in the east of the country. Moreover, not only the EU in general, but also the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular, repeatedly stressed out that there is "no military solution" to the conflict in Ukraine.

Despite promises made to Gorbachev, NATO expanded to include former USSR and Warsaw Pact countries

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation that NATO had promised that the Alliance would not expand to the East. NATO Allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO. Personal assurances from individual leaders cannot replace Alliance consensus and do not constitute formal NATO agreement. In addition, NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Moreover, at the time of the alleged promise, the Warsaw Pact still existed. Its members did not agree on its dissolution until 1991. The idea of their accession to NATO was not on the agenda in 1989. This was confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in an interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines: "The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all, and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a single Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn't bring it up, either". The Russian narrative that NATO, a defensive alliance, is de facto aggressive is not new. Read more in this 2015 Tagespigel analysis. See more disinformation cases on NATO.