Although Colombia is ablaze with massive protests everywhere and brutal police repression, its politicians and media could not resist the temptation to blame Venezuela for the social unrest. Of course, this also made it much easier to avoid addressing Colombia’s system—the disastrous management of the COVID-19 pandemic, horrific police brutality, and neoliberalism—as the cause of the uprising.
On social media networks, the defenders of Colombia’s “imperfect democracy” justified the repression as the way to prevent their country from “ending up like Venezuela.”
A week into the strike and demonstrations, a tenacious campaign has tried to install in the collective imaginary the conception that the demonstrations are the unjustified creation of vandals and delinquents. Right-wing elements repeat the same script—popularized by the Lima Group—ad nauseum: blame “Castrochavismo” and President Maduro, aka Super Mustache.
Los centros de investigación de Ecuador 🇪🇨 y Colombia 🇨🇴 detectaron la injerencia desde Venezuela de Nicolás Maduro en la violencia que azota a Colombia.
La entrevista: https://t.co/EKV4ECCna8
— Lenín Moreno (@Lenin) May 5, 2021
A little help from Lenín
Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno came to the aid of Duque and the Colombian right-wing narrative, appearing with a fortuitous “discovery.”
The Ecuadorian president, from a pompous Democracy Forum held in Miami, USA, assured that President Maduro is behind the violence in neighboring Colombia.
Moreno, who is two weeks away from completing his term, and whose approval rating has dipped as low as 7%, assured that Ecuador’s intelligence services discovered that “Maduro has his filthy and bloody hands in Colombia.”
After this statement by Moreno, former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana took it for granted, recycling this claim to the media, thus starting a cascade of voices repeating the crazy, and completely unsubstantiated accusation.
Intelligence or brutality?
For his part, Colombian senator Antonio Navarro Wolff categorically ruled out Lenín Moreno’s theory. He dismissed Moreno’s claims, and commented that this wasn’t a “discovery” of the intelligence service at all, but an indication of its “brutality.”
Meanwhile, Venezuelan Communication Minister Freddy Ñáñez referred to the attempts to implicate or blame Venezuela for a local event such as social discontent in Colombia, as “the best somnorific [sedative] for the exploited,” and also “the best excuse to massacre unarmed people protesting.”
Medios como @ELTIEMPO han promovido la estigmatización de #Venezuela, matriz que se ha traducido en miedo electoral, xenofobia y en el mejor somnífero para explotados.Ahora conocemos otra utilidad:es el pretexto para masacrar a un pueblo desarmado que protesta. #SOSColombiaDDDHH https://t.co/l7Of6PuoBL
— Freddy Ñáñez (@luchaalmada) May 6, 2021
Social organizations in Colombia report that the police repression by Iván Duque has already produced a score of deaths.
Former president Álvaro Uribe recently tweeted about "dissipated molecular revolution" (DMR) as the cause of the latest cycle of protests in Colombia. The odd phrasing raised a lot of questions. It's an striking case of the "mainstreaming" of the far right in Lat Am /1
— Luis Herrán (@yo_herran) May 4, 2021
It is feared that killings by police violence could increase yet, with the dissemination of neo-Nazi security doctrines such as that of the “dissipated molecular revolution” theory shared by former President Uribe in a tweet, framing the protests as a form of war initiated by criminals to overthrow democracy.
Mexican historian Luis Herran explained in a tweet that the concept of “molecular revolution,” crafted originally by French philosopher Félix Guattari, was “appropriated by Alexis López, longtime member of neo-Nazi groups in Chile, and now an infamous ‘theorist’ (and opponent) of this alleged model of revolution.”
Featured image: Hundreds of thousands of unarmed Colombians has been protesting peacefully for the last week, and have been met only with police repression and human rights violations from Iván Duque’s government. File photo.
(RedRadioVE) by Carlos Arellán, with Orinoco Tribune content.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune