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This Is Not Journalism: Univision Warps Reality to Push US War Agenda

Published: June 14, 2019
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Source: Mint Press

Jorge Ramos, sometimes called the “Walter Cronkite of Latin America,” flagrantly lied about his interview with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in February, the recording, which was leaked to Univision itself, reveals. The network’s reporting on other issues surrounding Venezuela is also characterized by unprofessionalism and overreaching, according to an account by one activist.

MintPress News previously reported on the discrepancies in Jorge Ramos’ account of what happened during his U.S. government-approved interview with Maduro.

Ramos said he was detained after the interview and was unable to release it because his equipment was confiscated. Last week, however, Univision published the full interview.

Analyzing the footage in comparison with Ramos’ account of what happened reveals not just discrepancies, but outright lies. Ramos took to the New York Times op-ed section after he returned to the United States, saying that it was a video he took of Venezuelans dumpster diving that “broke” Maduro and caused him to end the interview, confiscate his equipment, and detain him for three hours.

The day before I had recorded on my cellphone three young men looking for food on the back of a garbage truck in a poor neighborhood minutes away from the presidential palace. I showed those images to Mr. Maduro. Each frame contradicted his narrative of a prosperous and progressive Venezuela 20 years after the revolution. That’s when he broke.

About 17 minutes into the interview, Mr. Maduro stood up, comically tried to block the images on my iPad and declared that the interview was over.”

The video from Univision directly contradicts that narrative, however. Ramos told Maduro that “Your revolution has failed terribly.” Maduro begins to try to counter the claim by talking about Venezuela’s public safety net which includes free housing for millions, and more. Ramos then cuts Maduro off, who then wipes his forehead in frustration.

 

Looking at his laptop, Ramos then tells Maduro: “Let me show you the video of what I saw yesterday.”

That’s when Maduro ends the interview, telling Ramos “this interview doesn’t make any sense.” Maduro is already standing up and had already told Ramos “see you later” by the time Ramos took his laptop off his lap and attempted to show Maduro the video.

The blatant lie told by Ramos in the New York Times is part of a larger trend in Univision’s coverage, which reaches 60 percent of American households and makes Univision the largest Spanish-language network in the U.S.

Directing sources to lie

Following the stand-off over the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, one activist — who is unaffiliated with any of the groups that supported international law and the democratically-elected government of Venezuela’s claim over the embassy in Washington — showed up to support the Embassy Protection Collective’s attempt to keep the building out of the hands of Juan Guaido, the self-declared president of Venezuela.

The activist was carrying a flag of a socialist government allied with Venezuela when he was approached by a Univision reporter, the activist told MintPress News, initially off-the-record.

In an apparent attempt to tie the anti-war women’s group CODEPINK to supporters of the socialist government, the reporter asked the activist whether she could interview them and asked whether she could identify them as a member of CODEPINK.

The activist declined to identify as a member of the organization because they are not one, but agreed to the interview. The reporter took down the activist’s phone number and told them that she needed to check with her producer.

Later on, the activist got a phone call from the producer, who asked if they were a member of CODEPINK. The activist answered in the negative, and so the producer asked whether they would identify as a member of the group anyways. Once the activist refused again, Univision cancelled the interview.

Univision is a powerhouse in Spanish media, as is Ramos, while the embassy standoff was a major proxy conflict in the larger coup attempt. These narratives paint a grim portrait of the lengths to which Univision will go in violation of standard journalistic ethics in order to get a story that could help manufacture consensus in the U.S. for further conflict with Venezuela.

Feature photo | Univision’s Jorge Ramos shows a video he says his crew shot the previous day showing Venezuelan youth picking food scraps out of the back of a garbage truck in Caracas, during an interview at a hotel in Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 25, 2019. According to Ramos, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro cut short an interview when he showed Maduro the same footage during the interview at Miraflores presidential palace, before leaving two hours later without having his crew’s equipment returned. Photo | AP

Alexander Rubinstein is a staff writer for MintPress News based in Washington, DC. He reports on police, prisons and protests in the United States and the United States’ policing of the world. He previously reported for RT and Sputnik News.

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