‘Weaksauce’: State Department tries ordering media how to cover Venezuela.

‘Weaksauce’: State Department tries ordering media how to cover Venezuela. [Republished]
RT | 6 Mar, 2019 20:25


Uploaded by RT America.

"With regime change in Caracas going poorly, the State Department is trying to create reality by browbeating reporters into following the official line. Veteran AP reporter Matt Lee was not amused, calling the effort “weaksauce.”
At the press briefing on Tuesday, spokesman Robert Palladino objected to news coverage describing Juan Guaido as opposition leader or self-proclaimed president, rather than “interim president” as Washington has declared him to be.

“Millions of Americans and more than 50 countries recognize Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela,” Palladino argued, so to refer to him otherwise “falls into the narrative of a dictator who has usurped the position of the presidency and led Venezuela into the humanitarian, political, and economic crisis that exists today.”
This is, of course, the official line of the State Department, which accuses President Nicolas Maduro of being a “usurper” and claims that Guaido is the legitimate leader of Venezuela. AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee would have none of it, however.

“You consider him to be the interim president, and as you say, 50 other countries… recognize him as the interim president. But there are more than 190 members of the United Nations. So your 50 countries is not even close to half of that. Is that correct?” Lee asked.

Palladino’s response was to repeat the “feeds into the rhetoric” talking point and mumble something about those 50 countries being “democracies.”
Lee has a reputation of being a no-nonsense reporter, known for legendary battles of wits with a long succession of State Department spokespeople. He did the world another favor this time, exposing the complete disrespect of US diplomacy for international law – namely, the division of the world into “democracies” and others.

Later on in the briefing, Palladino is asked about the number of countries that recognize Guaido, and he tries to spin it thus:
You know the number of countries. But we’ve gotten major support in the Western hemisphere, and I would just point that out, as well as Europe. And if we look at the democracies, we’re doing pretty well as well. Okay?
So much for the fancy talk about “rules-based world order” and even President Donald Trump’s proclamations about “sovereignty,” made in last year’s address to the UN General Assembly. Simply put, the US and its allies count as “real” countries, and everyone else doesn’t. And oh by the way, it’s Washington that decides what’s “democratic,” not you – got that?

To make this even more absurd, Palladino’s key argument for Guaido’s legitimacy is that he invoked the Venezuelan constitution – except that constitution only envisions a 30-day period for an “interim president,” and only in case the normal chain of succession is disrupted, which it manifestly was not. Guaido declared himself president on January 23. His “mandate” has long since expired – on the very day he tried to force the border from Colombia with US “aid” trucks, in fact.
Guaido is the president of Venezuela only in the imagination of Washington and its vassals, which they are trying to impose as reality on the press, the people, and the rest of the world through Orwellian tactics such as Palladino’s complaint.

Judging by the reactions of the public, they’re not buying it, with one Twitter user noting that the State Department spokesman appeared to be in physical pain when “forced to read this script of lies.”
“Watching the state guy for the first minute or so I was convinced this was a comedy sketch show,” commented another.

Nebojsa Malic, RT"



Excerpt from U.S. Department of State Press Briefing, March 5, 2019. Runs from 5:27 to 8:52 in video.

 
Uploaded by US Department of State | March 5, 2019.


TRANSCRIPT
Robert Palladino
Deputy Spokesperson
Department Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 5, 2019

MR PALLADINO:

"And finally, the United States applauds the people of Venezuela for their actions to create a peaceful, democratic transition, and congratulates Interim President Juan Guaido on his successful diplomatic efforts in the region and safe return to Venezuela. However, we have noticed in news coverage that some outlets are incorrectly referring to Juan Guaido as the opposition leader or the self-proclaimed president. Neither is correct.

A few basic facts: The National Assembly remains the only legitimate and democratically elected institution in Venezuela. Juan Guaido was elected president of the National Assembly on January 5th, 2019, and on January 10th, Maduro usurped the presidency.

Therefore, the president of the National Assembly and relying on Venezuela’s constitution – as president of the National Assembly, and relying on Venezuela’s constitution, Juan Guaido became interim president of Venezuela on January 23rd. Millions of Americans and more than 50 countries recognize Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. He has appointed and credentialed ambassadors to international organizations and the United States and numerous other democratic nations and other democratic nations.

So to refer to Juan Guaido as anything but interim president falls into the narrative of a dictator who has usurped the position of the presidency and led Venezuela into the humanitarian, political, and economic crisis that exists today. The international community must unite behind Interim President Juan Guaido and the Venezuelan National Assembly and support the peaceful restoration of democracy in Venezuela.

That’s it for the top.

QUESTION: Let me get this straight. You’re complaining because news outlets are calling him by a title that you don’t think that he should have?

MR PALLADINO: Not a complaint. Pointing out. Just trying to correct.

QUESTION: Well, it sounds like a complaint to me, and that seems pretty weak-sauce. I don’t understand what your problem is. I mean --

MR PALLADINO: He’s the interim president, and we don’t want to --

QUESTION: Well, you consider him to be the interim president, and as you say, 50 other countries outside of – recognize him as the interim president. But there are more than 190 members of the United Nations. So your 50 countries is not even close to half of that. Is that correct?

MR PALLADINO: We are supporting the constitution of Venezuela and the people of Venezuela. With the – we’re supporting the Venezuelan people here. And so the United States – it’s time to act in support of democracy and --

QUESTION: And you think that news coverage calling him the legitimate leader, the president, is going to encourage more countries to recognize him?

MR PALLADINO: We don’t feed into rhetoric of the current dictator." SOURCE

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