Source: RT en Español
What it’s about: This week, the United States Naval Ship (USNS) Comfort deploys to South and Central American countries for 11 weeks to provide medical assistance to vulnerable populations, including Venezuelan migrants. According to the RT report, in Venezuela and Bolivia this deployment is seen as an act of aggression and interference. Bolivian President Evo Morales has stated that if the U.S. truly wants to help Venezuela, it should lift the economic blockade it has placed on the country. RT interviewed Reinaldo Bolívar, who believes that the presence of the vessel means that there is U.S. military presence in the region. He believes the ships presence is part of a “five-step plan” that should be called out by the international community in order to “let the U.S. and it’s allies know that they know where they are coming from, and that world public opinion is against this.”
What’s false about it: The USNS Comfort’s 11 week trip through Central and South America, with stops in Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Peru, is a humanitarian mission designed to help alleviate pressure on the medical systems of host nations, in part because of growing numbers of Venezuelan refugees. The Venezuelan government and its main ally, Bolivia, have both denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis or migratory crisis in Venezuela. RT en Español continues to spread the false narrative from the Venezuelan government, deliberately skewing coverage on these topics. RT also invited Reinaldo Bolívar, who has frequently spoken on Telesur, a state-run media outlet, and Globovisión, a news network owned by Juan Domingo Cordero, a businessman with connections to the Venezuelan government.
Bolívar’s comments, which mirror those President Evo Morales, have no basis in reality. He mentioned the deployment of the USNS as part of a “five-step plan” by the United States, but failed to elaborate on what the alleged plan’s intended goal is. The assertion that the presence of a hospital ship owned by the U.S. Navy is a sign of growing U.S. aggression in Latin America is frankly ridiculous. The USNS Comfort’s deployment isn’t anything new; This is the sixth mission of the USNS Comfort to South America in the last decade. The hospital ship has visited 18 nations in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.