United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Colombia and Brazil today, where he met with Presidents Ivan Duque and Jair Bolsonaro, respectively. Among the topics discussed was the ongoing situation in Venezuela.
in Colombia, Duque referred to the importance of international organizations in alleviating the crisis, saying:
We must all unite to reject the dictatorship in Venezuela and to make all of the necessary votes to restore democracy and constitutional order.
Pompeo said that he spoke to Duque “for several minutes” about the situation in Venezuela, and that Colombia was a “natural leader” in the region. Pompeo said:
Colombia has a long democratic tradition and is a natural leader in the regional efforts to support the rule of law.
Pompeo also noted that Colombia “has done a lot” to help the over 1 million Venezuelan migrants who have fled to the country.
On his meeting with Bolsonaro, Pompeo tweeted the following:
Bolsonaro’s press office described the meeting in the following way:
The two [Bolsonaro and Pompeo] spoke about the serious crisis from which Venezuela suffers, and about the need to cooperate in the research for a solution to the Venezuelan crisis.
Below, a short clip of Pompeo speaking about his meeting with Bolsonaro:
The Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement regarding Pompeo’s visit to Colombia and Brazil. Part of the statement reads:
The government of the Bolviarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the interventionist attitude of the Secretary of State of the United States, Mike Pompeo, who, in another one of his erratic actions, has come to Latin America to give direct orders to the governments subordinate to Washington, with the objective of ramping up their aggression against the Venezuelan People [sic] in their obsessive quest to cause regime change in Venezuela.
Prominent PSUV Apologist Blames Opposition, Foreign Allies for Earthquakes
Jesus Silva, a prominent PSUV apologist who hosts a television show on the state-run TVES network, shared a tweet over the holiday break in which he blamed the opposition and its “foreign allies” for a string of tremors that have shaken Venezuela over the last several weeks.
Silva suggested that the opposition was causing the earthquakes in order to damage the homes of chavistas in Venezuela.
Below, Silva’s tweet:
DEMOLISHING CHAVISTA HOMES appears to be the objective of the opposition with the #tremor and #earthquake WHICH ARE SUSPICIOUS AND FREQUENT. Their foreign allies have HAARP technology. It is impossible to discount this CRIMINOLOGICAL HYPOTHESIS after seeing my home today full of cracks. Attention Funvisis [the Venezuelan geological survey]! #27Dec Carabobo
In his tweet, Silva referenced a common conspiracy theory trope regarding the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), a research station located in Alaska that studies the earth’s ionosphere. The site has long been the target of unfounded conspiracy theories, which claim without any kind of evidence that the facility is actually a secret weapon that can do everything from control the weather to cause earthquakes.
Aside from hosting a television show called La Propuesta, Silva has a graduate degree in constitutional law from the Santa Maria University in Venezuela.
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