It’s Groundhog Day again in Venezuela, as the local conservative opposition has launched another attempt to oust President Nicolás Maduro from power. Surrounded by a few hardcore supporters, Washington-backed self-appointed president Juan Guaidó on April 30 called on the military to rise up and overthrow the democratically elected Maduro. Guaidó, a man who has never even stood for president, attempted the same thing in January, and the opposition has attempted to remove Maduro, and his predecessor Hugo Chávez, on many occasions, including in 2017, 2014, 2013, 2002 and 2001.
Despite bearing the clear hallmarks of a coup—defined as “the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group”—US media have overwhelmingly supported it, as they have past attempts (FAIR.org, 1/25/19, 5/16/18, 4/18/02). CNN(4/30/19) told the United States that it must “root for the people” of Venezuela, before explicitly stating, “Rooting for the Venezuelan people means hoping that Maduro will step down”—thus underlining the phenomenon noted by FAIR (1/31/19) that to corporate media, “the people” of Venezuela are whoever agrees with the US government. CNN(4/30/19) also used images of Guaidó’s paramilitaries (identifiable by their blue armbands) to illustrate a report claiming the forces of “socialist dictator” Maduro were “mowing down citizens in the streets.”