“As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the US to support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom,” one of the alleged defectors told CNN.
Their conveniently timed appeal came alongside ramped up efforts by the US to institute regime change in the oil rich South American nation, installing pro-American opposition leader Juan Guaidó into power. The two claimed to be in contact with a network of disgruntled army units and defectors ready to “rise up in arms” against recently re-elected President Nicolas Maduro.
— Joel Bocko (@LostInTheMovies) January 29, 2019
If this story wasn’t already suspicious enough, it turns out that the pair were wearing uniforms that were retired by the Venezuelan military after consolidating its branches in 2008. This fact was easily confirmed by paying attention to their badges which still read ‘FAN’ ( Fuerza Armada Nacionales), where-as all Venezuelan service members today have badges which read ‘FANB’ (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana).
Nick where did these "defectors" get their uniforms? the Venezuelan army hasn't used these for at least ten years (your viewers, by and large, would not know what) pic.twitter.com/nztLWTUDV5
— 𝙽𝚊𝚟𝚜𝚝é𝚟𝚊 زائر 🐐 (@Navsteva) February 1, 2019
Despite framing the story as if the two are recently defected active duty members deeply connected to the internal life of the Venezuelan military, in reality the two are “former soldiers” who “live outside the country,” a fact CNN itself admits in the story attached to the video.
86% of Venezuela public oppose U.S. military intervention but we are supposed to take seriously some individuals in military uniforms that CNN gives access to calling for arms! CNN did you find these folks? If that is not fake news what is? t.co/JRLwKV7ow3
— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) January 30, 2019
It seems that claiming loyalty to Guaidó alone was sufficient justification to give the world’s newest “moderate rebels” a platform to request deadly arms, regardless of that fact that it is not entirely clear who the two actually are or what they would do with the weapons if they got them.
One would hope the US would exercise more caution this time around, given their track-record of arming “freedom fighters” abroad that later end up turning their guns on their Washington handlers.
Although the US has yet to actually begin shipping the opposition arms, Washington has been unwavering in its support. This week, Trump chatted with another self-proclaimed authority figure, ‘interim president’ Juan Guaido, promising to keep in contact and offer support. That “support” includes $20 million “humanitarian aid” packages, and access to Venezuelan state assets held in American banks.