Pictures and video of oil tankers and delivery containers blocking a bridge between Venezuela and Colombia have been used as proof Caracas was “blocking” US assist. Unnoticed was the truth that the bridge was by no means open for site visitors.

The bridge figured prominently in final week’s push by official Washington to color the elected authorities of Venezuela as hostile to the folks, and construct help for the US-backed self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaido. A USAID convoy with “humanitarian assist” arrived in Colombia on Friday, however all of the media retailers reported that the federal government of President Nicolas Maduro had “blocked” it by establishing fencing and obstacles on the Tienditas Worldwide Bridge.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the photograph to assert that “Venezuela’s army beneath Maduro’s orders is obstructing assist with vans and delivery tankers. The Maduro regime should LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”

The fact-checkers in mainstream media that comb by means of each phrase spoken by US President Donald Trump and his cupboard officers stayed silent on Pompeo’s declare. It was left to unbiased journalists and observers to disclose that, whereas the containers could have been positioned by the Venezuelan authorities, the bridge was already blocked from the Colombian aspect. Actually, a cursory search on-line reveals that the bridge had by no means truly been open for site visitors.

The bridge was supposed to attach Cucuta in Colombia to Ureña in Venezuela, spanning the Tachira river. In response to native media, building work on it was finalized in early 2016. By that point, nevertheless, Colombia had cracked down on its border with Venezuela because of the exodus of as much as 4 million Venezuelans claiming financial hardship and famine of their homeland.

Pictures from 2017 present the fencing and concrete slabs blocking the bridge on the Colombian aspect, as blogger Justin Emery pointed out on Medium.

There are two different bridges linking Colombia to Venezuela in the identical space, each named after heroes of the 1800s wrestle for independence from colonial Spain: Simón Bolívar and Francisco de Paula Santander.

Although Venezuelan border guards should not permitting the USAID autos in, each bridges stay open to cross-border site visitors. So why would the US authorities and most Western media retailers declare the help is blocked by exhibiting photographs of the never-operational Tienditas bridge? Writing at FAIR, Adam Johnson argued the entire affair was a “clear, cynical PR technique to delegitimize a Latin American authorities” the US is making an attempt to overthrow.

Johnson identified that Elliott Abrams, the State Division’s particular envoy for “freedom and democracy” in Venezuela, has a historical past of abusing humanitarian assist for shipments of weapons to US-backed militants in Latin America.

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There is no such thing as a denying that the target of US officers operating the Venezuela coverage is regime change in Caracas. The popular technique of doing so seems to be persuading the folks of Venezuela – or higher but, the army – to show away from Maduro and again Guaido.

Nationwide Safety Advisor John Bolton has tried quite a lot of psychological operations to that impact, from the “5,000 [US] troops to Colombia”notepad scribble to claims that high-ranking Venezuelan officers have been in talks with Guaido. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has been singing from the identical hymnbook, although not with out getting a ribbing on-line.

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In the meantime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been making an attempt to promote the intervention to the American folks and US allies abroad, going as far as to name Guaido “duly elected” (he wasn’t) and even declare that the Lebanon-based Hezbollah was working in Venezuela.

Pompeo appears to have been extra profitable in his endeavor than Bolton and Rubio: except for a handful of anti-war Democrats, there may be little or no criticism contained in the US of the official coverage in Venezuela. In the meantime, nearly three weeks because the US recognized Guaido as president, Maduro remains to be standing and the army has not deserted him.

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