Disinfo: The West refuses to call the coup attempt in Venezuela ‘a coup’


In their efforts to support and legitimise the coup attempt in Venezuela led by self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó, the West refuses to call it ‘a coup’.


Affirming that “the West refuses to call it a coup” is a deliberate misrepresentation of reality, in line with Russia's long-term disinformation narrative about "Western-block interference" in Venezuela. You can see other examples of this narrative here and here.

Actually, there is no cohesive Western response in this regard, since every country adopted its own approach in conformity with its internal and foreign policy towards Venezuela. The US, Canada and 19 EU countries recognised Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela, while some others, such as Italy, refrained. The US tried to have Nicolás Maduro's Ambassador to the UN removed, but couldn't get support from other Western countries.

The US media were cautious about these events, talking of “a military uprising”, because the Trump Administration itself is denying they constituted a coup, since Juan Guaidó is “the legitimate interim president of Venezuela” with a right “to take command of the Venezuelan military”, according to US National Security Advisor John Bolton. There is a strong reason for this, because the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 requires the suspension of all foreign aid to any country that suffers a military coup. However, many European media openly talked of ‘failed coup attempt’, among them The Guardian, Financial Times, Euronews, Le Monde, Il Giornale or Cinco Días, just to name a few. Some others used the term, attributing it to the Venezuelan authorities. Also, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said that it was "an undeniable obviousness" that a coup attempt had taken place.


  • Reported in: Issue 150
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/05/2019
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Keywords: Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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