The discussion surrounding the alleged mystery illness that has claimed a dozen lives over the past two weeks in the country took a turn for the sinister today, when Maduro accused the opposition of waging a “biological war” against the country.
Maduro claimed that he has evidence that the Venezuelan right wing is in possession of “some kind of virus” which it sought to release to the public in an act of “bacteriological warfare”. Maduro explained:
There’s an ongoing investigation because we have a serious suspicion that the right wing, the right wing here in the country, was trying to introduce some kind of virus, like the bacteriological war that has been waged in other countries. They were trying to put it [the virus] in the Hospital Central de Maracay, or who knows where.
He also said that he was ready to request the aid of international organizations in order to carry out an investigation into the alleged plot:
It’s really serious what they’ve done this time… I’m going to ask for help from international health bodies, the World Health Organization, I’m going to ask them for help.
Maduro lashed out against various media outlets, and claimed that they were part of the alleged biological warfare campaign:
CNN en Español is a laboratory of lies. NTN24 is a channel full of lies financed by [Alvaro] Uribe. The Miami Herald is another outlet that poisons Venezuelans.
While Maduro did not provide any evidence for any of the claims he made, he did say that the evidence was forthcoming, possibly as early as tonight, when he is expected to speak again.
Below is a video with a section of Maduro’s speech today in which he makes the claims mentioned above:
All the attacks, with the guarimbas [barricades] and the violence since the first semester of this year, it’s the same campaign. It’s the same media outlets. Behind it all is the same right wing, guarimbera, violent, that wants to get their paws on the riches of this country and destroy this beautiful revolutionary process, peaceful, democratic, that flows out of the Venezuelan people. They haven’t been able to – and they won’t be able to…
It’s really serious what they’ve done this time. In fact, I’ve ordered the Venezuelan scientific investigation agencies… and I’m going to ask for help from international health bodies, the World Health Organization, I’m going to ask them for help. Because also, we suspect that this was part of a public media campaign of something that they were going to do against Venezuela, and they couldn’t pull it off because our God protects us, blesses us and protects us each hour, each moment. God protects Venezuela. And He will continue to do so.
There’s an ongoing investigation because we have a serious suspicion that the right wing, the right wing here in the country, was trying to introduce some kind of virus, like the bacteriological war that has been waged in other countries. They were trying to put it [the virus] in the Hospital Central de Maracay, or who knows where. And they had the campaign all set up already. The videos, who was going to say what, and where, and the campaign fell into a void.
I’ve been covering Venezuelan news on a daily basis now since February 24 of this year. In all that time, I can’t think of a claim more ridiculous and toxic than the one Maduro made today.
The government spent the last few days denying anything was wrong at the Hospital Central de Maracay. The governor of Aragua called the doctor who first reported the situation a “terrorist” and a “criminal” for suggesting that there might be an unknown illness killing people in the state. Now, Maduro says that not only is the disease real, but that it’s part of some kind of plot so hateful that it would surely go down in history as one of humanity’s greatest crimes.
The plot is right out of a cheesy action movie. The bad guy, evil beyond measure, wants to destroy the world (and supposedly rule over the ruins, but that’s never really explained). In Venezuela, Maduro claims, the “right” (read: anyone not in the PSUV) is involved in a campaign involving the release of a deadly biological agent. For what purpose? Just like in the cheesy action movie, the answer to that question isn’t clear, or doesn’t matter.
Maduro says that he is going to present proof of the plot sometime tonight. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I’m not holding my breath that Maduro will bring the kind of evidence required to claim this most heinous accusation.