Challenging the narrative pushed by the mainstream media, Boots Riley, the front man of the American hip-hop band ironically named "The Coup", has been sharing quite insightful tweets on what is going on in Venezuela after the US recognised Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.
From the very onset of the political turmoil in the South American country, the rapper has blasted Washington's policy, pointing out that the US "is enabling an actual coup" there.
So, the US is enabling an actual coup in Venezuela.— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) 23 января 2019 г.
If you've been worried about Russian bots influencing elections here, I'd hope you express outrage about this.
And it's not about whether you think Venezuela is a good socialist country or not- it's about people understanding the influence that the US and the CIA have on the world and conspiring to take down anyone who takes a bit of power away from the ruling class.— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) 23 января 2019 г.
Riley dropped a delicate hint that Guaido hadn't even run in the presidential election, won by Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro last May:
Ah, yes.— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) 24 января 2019 г.
Maduro is so hated in Venezuela that in the election when half the population turned out to vote (same voter turnout as US), 70% of them voted for Maduro. The person the US wants to install DIDNT EVEN RUN IN THE ELECTION. pic.twitter.com/eyNTgzobx6
Turning to media coverage of the US-backed coup attempt, Riley took a dig at The New York Times, asking the rhetorical question if there was "a direct CIA hotline to the NYT":
Here's a NYT article from 1973 claiming that Salvador Allende's support had eroded by the time of the coup (and thereby excusing the coup).— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) 5 февраля 2019 г.
Is there a direct CIA hotline to the NYT? https://t.co/ljcu8MDpat
He also targeted the media for not reporting on a profound analysis by journalist Erin Gallagher, who established links between pro-Guaido activities on Twitter and a Miami-based website:
Of course @NBCNews only reports on this but skips over the perfectly available info on the right wing Venezuelan bots sending out 10s of thousands of tweets, with billions of impressions-— Boots Riley (@BootsRiley) 31 января 2019 г.
And these arent being stopped by @twitter. Why?https://t.co/co7P8gLzpZ
Despite the gravity of the situation, Riley decided to add a dash of humour to one of his tweets:
Unsurprisingly, there was no shortage of reactions to his sarcastic tweet, with one netizen coming up with a bunch of his own suggestions where Guaido could possibly distinguish himself:
Also claimed 1st place in the 100meters race pic.twitter.com/RXscqt9Xvb— Хермaн Гутьеррес🧡💚 (@gutierrezgerman) 4 февраля 2019 г.
and claimed oscar for best actor in 2016 pic.twitter.com/qWU9EPhygw— Хермaн Гутьеррес🧡💚 (@gutierrezgerman) 4 февраля 2019 г.
Most liked instagram picture from 2018, guess what…. it wasn't the egg, it was guaidó pic.twitter.com/t18edjZVzB— Хермaн Гутьеррес🧡💚 (@gutierrezgerman) 4 февраля 2019 г.
Social media users appeared to ridicule the way Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president and the way a vast number of countries recognised him:
Dear @BootsRiley I have declared myself interim president of America. I am awaiting EU endorsements. Thank you.— ️🌹Aimee Artigliere (@AimeeArtigliere) 5 февраля 2019 г.
ATTENTION EVERYONE!! I hereby declare myself the President of the European Union and I officially recognize this stranger as the legitimate President of America.— عربي 👳🏽🏭 (@WorkinClassArab) 5 февраля 2019 г.
Bolton stole all the rings and is mailing them to Guaidó, who is going to rule Venezuela from Disneyworld.— Dan Kervick (@DanMKervick) 4 февраля 2019 г.
Washington has been actively engaged in the presidential crisis in Venezuela, which saw the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, Guaido, declare himself the country’s interim president, thus challenging the legitimately elected Maduro.
On 29 January, the Venezuelan Supreme Court blocked Guaido's bank accounts and financial transactions within the country's jurisdiction, and imposed a travel ban on him until an investigation into his activities is completed.
President Maduro, for his part, has accused Washington of orchestrating a coup d’etat in his country, and suggested that a group of Venezuelan military defectors have become “mercenaries of the Colombian oligarchy”, who are trying to sabotage the armed forces at his command. He also severed diplomatic ties with the United States.
In an exclusive interview with Sputnik, Maduro claimed that Trump had instructed the Colombian government and mafia to kill him in order to gain access to the world’s largest oil reserves, which happen to be in Venezuela.