The New York Times has drawn the ire of the Colombian government and New York’s Venezuelan community in the wake of its dubious, pro-Maduro coverage of an incident involving the burning of humanitarian aid trucks on the Simon Bolivar Bridge on the Colombo-Venezuelan border.
The video, which in typical New York Times fashion claims to be a stunning expose of the international media’s rush to judgment, brazenly suggests that Nicolas Maduro is completely innocent. The truly sickening sequence of clips starts by showing footage of a Venezuelan National Guard member standing in front of the approaching trucks, appealing for peace and tranquility.
The implication is clear: Maduro’s stormtroopers are appealing for order and justice in the face of an onslaught by an unruly mob seeking to infringe upon Venezuelan sovereignty. Of course, the reality is that the Venezuelan people would welcome the aid with open arms, were it not for the brutally violent machinations of Maduro’s minions…who are bribed for their loyalty with food.
The video proceeds to a clip in which it claims to show that a masked protester approaching from the Colombian side, but already in Venezuelan territory, ignited the blaze by launching a molotov cocktail.
However, there is no definitive evidence to show that the molotov cocktail projectile in question started the blaze that ended up consuming the three trucks.. Further still, there has been no apparent effort made by the NYT to identify the individual who launched the molotov cocktail.
At best, the grand result of the NYT exhaustive video investigation would be that it is entirely inconclusive as to who started the blaze, or with what motive.
A group of Venezuelan gathered at the New York Times headquarters at noon on Monday, March 11, to protest against the paper’s biased coverage.
Reporter Deborah Acosta, who has focused on the story, went down to speak with the group of protesters.
Rebeca Zambrano, representing a group called Independent Venezuelan American Citizens, took the NYT to task for its selective reporting on the unfolding humanitarian disaster:
“Instead of talking about the people that are dying in Venezuela, or how many children need humanitarian aid, the New York Times decided to talk about an inconclusive video.”
Acosta admitted that the situation was confusing, and promised that the paper was sending more journalists to cover the tense situation at the border.
A representative of Guaido’s Popular Will party, Erick Rozo, also criticized the NYT for using the Venezuela situation for its own domestic political ends: “We ask the NYT to stop using our crisis to further its own political objectives,” he said.
The NYT is also embroiled in a dispute with the Colombian government involving the timeline of the incidents on the bridge.
The Colombian government strongly denied claims by the NYT that it had manipulated video footage to cast blame on the forces of Nicolas Maduro:
“Given the information that is circulating through some international media outlets, in which it is suggested that the Colombian government manipulated a video that shows a truck carrying humanitarian aid being burned on the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, the past February 23, the Foreign Ministry and Migration Colombia would like to clarify that:
The video shows just a few minutes of the more than 8 hours of footage of the incidents that were recorded on the International Bridges Francisco de Paula Santander and Simón Bolívar, as a result of the refusal of the usurper Nicolás Maduro to let the trucks move freely with humanitarian aid.
The complete video clearly demonstrates that the developments occurred once the trucks had entered Venezuelan territory, after the attacks of the Bolivarian National Guard against the civilian population that participated in this process.
We reiterate that the process of collecting humanitarian aid that was advanced by Colombia was transparent. For this reason, and with regard to guaranteeing the right to be informed, access was granted to all media, to witness the passage of humanitarian aid at the international bridges, throughout the course of Saturday, February 23, so that they could see for themselves the reality of what happened.
The Colombian government does not need to manipulate videos or any other information for the world to see the injustices that the usurper Maduro is committing against his own people, since the more than 4 million Venezuelans who have had to flee their country, can give account of them.”
Regardless of who started the fire on the bridge, and why, one thing is clear: the New York Times if far more interested in finding evidence to excuse and exonerate Maduro, than it is in depicting the brutal reality of life for those who remain in Venezuela to suffer at the whims of a socialist dictatorship.