Caracas, October 12, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—Since the Las Tejerías tragedy in Aragua state last Saturday, October 8, right-wing media and netizens on social media platforms have launched a smear campaign in an attempt to blame the Venezuelan government for the natural disaster and anything under the sun.
This includes allegations of a lack of or inadequate emergency response, inappropriate alert system, lack of preparation, and retention of humanitarian aid. More recently, there has also been criticism of Minister for Communication and Information Freddy Ñañez’s announcement that journalism work will be restricted to avoid interference with the search and rescue efforts.
Since the first weekend of October, the Las Tejerías sector in Aragua state has mourned the deaths caused by a landslide that has shaken the country. From that moment on, neighbors and PSUV leadership have been fully present alongside local, regional and national authorities to care for those affected by the rains. However, some journalists intend to change the colors of the tragedy by politicizing it, unleashing pure sensationalism to give “coverage” to the event.
Amid the rescues that the tireless security agencies continue to carry out, some journalists from private and independent media have interfered with these tasks. When authorities have responded by keeping them on the sidelines, these journalists have disguised their obvious death obsession with demands for freedom of expression.
The area experienced the equivalent of a month of average rainfall in only six hours, and almost two thousand emergency response agents with an array of specialized and heavy equipment are working around the clock to rescue victims and provide emergency relief to those affected. Yet, these facts do not seem to have satisfied many so-called influencers, local media or NGOs, such as PROVEA.
Since the beginning of the search and rescue operation launched by emergency response services, it appears that the tabloid media needs to photograph and film the extraction of victims. With these kinds of practices, they are trying to turn the coverage of a tragedy into their usual morbid media show.
Regardless of the pain of the victims’ relatives and the residents of Las Tejerías, who saw the water take away what they loved most, it seems that some want to change colors and go from mourning to sensationalizing the tragedy in a single photo. These characters are already identified by the people, and their practices are rejected.
Para esto quiere ir la prensa prepago y las ONG de @jguaido a Las Tejerias? A manipular y a hacer política con la dificultad de nuestro pueblo? VÁYANSE AL CARAJO CHICO. NO ESTORBEN!!! pic.twitter.com/AZER4zz9Kc— Ricardo – Zurda Konducta (@RicardoKonducta) October 12, 2022
On Tuesday, October 11, a video of a man expressing anger toward the government’s inaction, saying it was retaining humanitarian aid, went viral on Twitter and Whatsapp in Venezuela. A few hours later, the news outlet Venezuela News showed another video of the man, now joined by Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez. She explained to him that the emergency response command distributed the humanitarian aid in different locations to avoid the chaos that distributing all the aid in only one place could have caused, which was why some donations and aid were put on hold.
Mud stained egos
The egos and antagonism of certain journalists have taken center stage amid this tragedy. Using the pretext that they want to bring news to the world, they take advantage of the disaster and its victims in order to advance the destabilization efforts against a country that, despite being the target of US imperialism with illegal sanctions and a blockade, has shown its tenacity and resilience.
Las Tejerías Landslide Tragedy: 22 Deaths and 58 Missing, Three Days of Mourning in Venezuela (Photos & Videos)
These organizations are the same ones that hide behind the facade of various foundations but conspire against the country, demanding sanctions or interventionist actions that seek to harm all Venezuelans. A recent news piece published by La Voz de America (Voice of America), the White House “information” outlet, is clear evidence of this strategy.
Los periodistas y medios tienen derecho a informar lo que pasa en Las Tejerías, los venezolanos tienen derecho a informarse por donde prefieran.— PROVEA (@_Provea) October 11, 2022
Las autoridades tienen la obligación de garantizar la información, no de impedirla.
Respeten a la prensa.
Respeten la ley.
The media is currently employing the same manipulation in Aragua that they have for decades, frothing at the mouth in the face of drama. They do this without worrying about supporting these Venezuelans, which would enable them the return to their homes and businesses to restart their lives sooner rather than later.
Additionally, most Venezuelans know that this region has been on the security map for gang activity due to the displacement of paramilitary gangs from Caracas in their attempt to recuperate the areas they previously controlled in the Venezuelan capital. This adds another major security consideration to the response to the tragedy.
Aquí el vídeo. Nótese que los cuerpos de rescate, tienen que luchar con la "prensa" para poder hacer su trabajo de rescate… Mientras tanto "el gremio" quejándose que no los dejan carroñear en medio de una situación que lo que requiere es que nadie estorbe a los que si trabajan https://t.co/WVYLWclM17 pic.twitter.com/kb6SbbWldn— Carl Awo Chucho (@Carl_Awo) October 11, 2022
“The shadows of those journalists who came with their indifferent cameras to interfere with the healing of this land that refuses to let itself be defeated will not be able to change the hopes of being reborn. They want to fill people’s screens with tears and death without considering those who need help,” wrote a RedRadioVE journalist.
El presidente Nicolás Maduro anunció la reconstrucción de las zonas afectadas por el deslave en Las Tejerías, estado Aragua. Manifestó su compromiso con cada una de las familias afectadas. #vamosmiranda #LasTejerias #10octubre pic.twitter.com/QnPAucKzDA— Vamos Miranda (@VamosMiranda) October 11, 2022
International news outlets have claimed that telecommunications are not working well in the area. While this might have been true during the weekend, since Monday, most news outlets in Venezuela have reported that telecommunication companies launched special deployments to restore and improve coverage in the affected area, allowing residents to communicate via text, voice messaging, and phone calls. Some of these companies also announced free SMS for local residents.
The government is in constant contact with the people of Las Tejerías, having guaranteed support to the victims of this tragedy. President Nicolás Maduro personally visited this sector on Monday and assured the inhabitants that they will recover their houses and businesses, declaring that the small town will be reborn as the phoenix rises from the ashes.
President Maduro announced that he put General Juan Sulbarán Quintero in charge of the reconstruction efforts in Las Tejerías. In 2021, the general was responsible for the reconstruction work in the aftermath of similar torrential rains in Tovar, Merida state, and many praised his work. On Tuesday, President Maduro also announced that local residents will receive a special stimulus check through the Patria System.
Orinoco Tribune special by staff
orinocotribunehttps://orinocotribune.com/author/orinocotribune/December 9, 2022