Disinfo: Juan Guaidó involved in the big corruption scheme known as ‘Operation Green Suitcase’

Summary

Venezuela’s National Assembly decided to suspend several opposition lawmakers, allegedly involved in receiving bribes to whitewash and save businessmen from economic sanctions imposed by the US. As a consequence of these accusations, those opposition lawmakers even pointed at Juan Guaidó.

Disproof

This is a deliberate distortion of facts in order to imply that opposition leader Juan Guaidó is actually involved in the denounced corruption case. Through half-truths, the use of out-of-context criticism against Guaidó by other opposition figures and a reference to a previous scandal of misuse of humanitarian funds by members of his party, the story is conveniently doctored to give the impression that the lawmakers involved in this case were pointing to Guaidó himself at the top of the scheme. The lawmakers allegedly involved in the so-called ‘Operation Green Suitcase’ were accused of receiving bribes in exchange for writing letters of support for a Colombian national, Carlos Lizcano, despite evidence of his ties to Alex Saab, another Colombian man who is under U.S. sanctions for corruption linked to a state-backed food distribution programme. The scandal was first reported by pro-opposition site Armando.info and immediately denounced by Guaidó himself and top members of his party. Several international media reported on this scandal as a setback for Guaidó that undermines his leadership of the opposition movement, but no serious observer suggested that he is in any way implicated in the corruption scheme. This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to discredit Juan Guaidó and the overall Venezuelan opposition movement, portraying him as a far-right US stooge, as a US creation or as part of a Masonic-Jesuit conspiracy. You can find many other examples of Kremlin-led disinformation about Venezuela in our database, such as the alleged use of humanitarian aids to supply weapons to the opposition, a supposed hybrid war against Nicolás Maduro’s government, false reports on an imminent US military intervention against Caracas or the training of Venezuelan exiles in Guyana to carry out terrorist acts in their home country, or the alleged promotion of separatism in oil-rich regions in northern Venezuela.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 178
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 06/12/2019
  • Outlet language(s) Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Keywords: Juan Guaido, Corruption
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Disproof

Conspiracy theory, without any evidence provided to support the claims. NATO is a mutual defence alliance of democratic states aiming to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. It doesn’t receive orders from global elites, and decisions are taken by consensus among member states. White supremacism doesn’t play any role in the Atlantic Alliance. All its interventions, such as Kosovo, Afghanistan or Libya, were related to international security challenges, not economic interests. This is part of a recurrent Russian narrative to portray NATO as an aggressive organisation, a US puppet and a tool of Washington’s imperial ambitions with no real substance nor justification to exist. You can see other examples of disinformation against the Atlantic Alliance, such as its obsolescence and its cannibalistic character, its unjustified anti-Russian stance as the only unifying force among its members, its fascistic tendencies or the massive casualties of its bombing campaign against Serbia.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative, portraying NATO as a threat to global peace because it has an aggressive agenda. NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. Its exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia or any other country. The claim that NATO is encircling or threatening Russia is one of the myths about this organization. NATO is regularly updating the military requirements for civilian infrastructure, at a time when there are increased challenges to security. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and amid emerging security challenges in the Middle East and North Africa in 2014, NATO leaders at the Wales Summit adopted the Readiness Action Plan, a comprehensive package of enhanced collective defense and deterrent measures designed to ensure the transatlantic alliance could respond swiftly and firmly to changes in its security environment. See several other anti-NATO narratives such as NATO provoking Russia; NATO is fully subordinated to the USA; Eastern European countries as NATO “hostages” (Baltic states, Moldova, Poland).

The foreign policy of Poland is the reflection of the US policy

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Disproof

A common pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty” - in the case of Poland, this country is often presented as a “puppet-state” of the United States, which fully controls the domestic and foreign policy of this country.

Poland is a sovereign state, which shapes its own foreign and domestic policies. See other examples of this message claiming that Polish policy towards Ukraine is shaped by the Americans, the US keeps Poland on a short anti-Russian leash, and Poland is a Trojan Horse of the United States.