Source: Sputnik Mundo
What it’s about: The piece is centered on a tweet from Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from this morning (September 19), as is common practice over in the Sputnik Mundo ‘newsroom’. In the tweet, Maduro expresses his “absolute and total willingness to open doors of dialogue with all parts of the political opposition.” The article goes on to detail previous attempts at dialogue between the Maduro regime and the Venezuelan opposition in 2016 and late 2017.
Why it’s misleading: We’re classifying this article as misleading because Sputnik is giving President Maduro a platform to spread an obviously disingenuous statement and, in doing so, legitimizing his words. There’s no evidence to suggest that Maduro is actually willing to work with the opposition. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary. After the Democratic Unity Roundtable, the opposition alliance, won parliamentary elections in 2015, the Venezuelan Supreme Court (packed with Chávez/Maduro loyalists) moved to defang the institution. And in August 2017, the Maduro regime held elections for a Constitutional Assembly that usurped the democratically-elected, opposition-controlled legislature as the country’s legislative branch. This May, Maduro banned the main Venezuelan opposition parties from fielding candidates in presidential elections. There’s no reason to believe Maduro’s claims now, and Sputnik’s decision to give him a platform without a proper factcheck is irresponsible.