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TIME demotes Venezuela’s Maduro to ‘authoritarian ruler’ in line with US policy

TIME demotes Venezuela’s Maduro to ‘authoritarian ruler’ in line with US policy
What government wouldn’t like to see its national press toe the line and try to delegitimize a foreign president it wants to topple? Brownie points for you, TIME, for branding Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro in a Trump-approved way.

Maduro, the democratically elected Venezuelan leader the current US administration is trying to oust and replace with a person more to their liking (Juan Guaido), has a uniquely worded description in TIME magazine’s reader poll. The American publication is currently asking its audience who they think should be on the list of the world’s 100 most influential people this year.

The Latin American president is “Venezuela’s authoritarian ruler,” according to the poll, while his challenger is “Venezuela’s would-be leader.” Apparently, when the State Department lectured the press on how they should cover the situation in Venezuela earlier this month, someone at TIME listened.

A dismissive title appears to be reserved solely for Maduro in the poll. Theresa May, for example, is called ‘British Prime Minister’, rather than ‘soon-to-resign Brexit failure’.

Also on rt.com ‘Weaksauce’: State Department tries ordering media how to cover Venezuela

Mohammed bin Salman? Just the ‘Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’, no mention of the bloody Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen. Even the leaders of Iran and North Korea – which Washington hardly sees as best buddies – are referred to as supreme leaders of their nations.

Washington’s game in Venezuela is arguably the most out-in-the-open regime change operation in decades. After years of crippling economic sanctions – ostensibly to punish Caracas for corruption – the White House in January backed Guaido, a previously little-known opposition leader with a long record of cozy relations with the US establishment. Guaido declared himself “interim president of Venezuela” despite never running for the office, and was instantly recognized as such by the US and a number of its allies.

The US media jumped on the government bandwagon to promote the “would-be leader” and the narrative of Maduro allegedly starving his own people to death by rejecting and even burning humanitarian aid – which has been called into question by the US media itself.

Despite thousands-strong protests against Maduro, massive rallies have also been held for the incumbent president. TIME’s little gaffe may just be an honest mistake, or part of a wider trend to demonize leaders Washington does not approve of.

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