On Monday President Obama designated Venezuela a threat to US security and placed a sanctions on 7 Venezuelans. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro responded with a fiery speech against the “imperialist elite” and the expulsion of US diplomats.
And then the propaganda war started in full force.
On Tuesday, Venezuelan media published a letter that Fidel Castro sent to Maduro, congratulating for his response to Obama’s sanctions.
It was posted on Granma, the official Cuban Communist Party newspaper, and it says:
My Dear Nicolas Maduro
President of the Bolivaran Republic of Venezuela
I congratulate your for you brilliant and valiant speech ahead of the US government’s brutal plans.
Your words will go into history as proof that humanity can and should know the truth.
It’s unclear if this letter was actually sent by Castro.
If the letter is real, it could exist because Venezuela, more than being an ideological ally, sends Cuba up to 80,000 barrels of oil a day. In turn, Cuba sends over doctors and medical supplies (Cuba prides itself on its medical professionals and exports them all over the world).
That said, Cuba has been normalizing relations with the United States since December of last year, when it released US aid worker Alan Gross from prison after 5 years in captivity.
Regardless of whether the letter is real or not, it’s helping to achieve the Venezuelan government’s end, which is to take the focus away from Venezuela’s collapsing economy and reignite hatred for its age-old oppressor up north.
“These types of measures only help to galvanize us. All they do is give the Venezuelan people an increased consciousness. These are only threats from an empire that has power, but that lacks scruples,” said Diosdado Cabello head of Venezuela’s national legislature, after Obama’s decree.
It’s the kind of manoeuvre late-president Hugo Chavez was brilliant at, and the Venezuelan people are conditioned for — despite also experiencing opposition leaders being carted off to jail and long lines form outside grocery stores with near-empty shelves where finger print readers have been installed to prevent “hoarding.”
Meanwhile, the country’s coffers slowly empty due to the low price oil — ie, the commodity that makes up 95% of Venezuela’s experts.
The hashtag #ObamaYankeeGoHome is trending on Twitter, and the tweets are colourful, to say the least.
This tweet says: “This is how much Obama’s sanctions matter to me” and of course, Obama’s sanctions are the toilet paper.
Interesting choice, since in Maduro’s Venezuela, toilet paper can be very scarce.
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