Venezuelan President Accused of Instigating Violence During George Floyd Protests

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[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro]
Global Voices: "The rumors that Maduro was somehow behind violent acts reached the Trump administration, as reported by the Miami Herald...US Republican Senator Rick Scott also highlighted similar theories."
Photo: YouTube

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has been accused by right-wing politicians in Venezuela, and America, of being supposedly involved in instigating violence during the George Floyd protests.

During the first half of June, as thousands marched to support the Black Lives Matter movement in major US cities, people started sharing photos and videos of demonstrators waving socialist slogans or Venezuelan flags in the United States.

Some demonstrators wore hats with the colors of the Venezuelan flag, others had bags and t-shirts portraying late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez or Che Guevara, leading to rumors — going all the way up to the Trump Administration — that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was connected to the protests.

Demonstrations began after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and quickly spread across all 50 states. Anti-racist protests have slowly diminished in size but continue to spread around the world, leading to calls to defund police departments and to take down historical statues connected with slavery or colonialism.

The rumors that Maduro was somehow behind violent acts reached the Trump administration, as reported by the Miami Herald. A senior Trump administration official, who preferred to stay anonymous, told the newspaper:

"We are aware of efforts by individuals linked to America’s adversaries, including the illegitimate regime of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, to instigate conflict, help incite violence, and divide Americans by exploiting peaceful protests."

US Republican Senator Rick Scott also highlighted similar theories and stated that the US government would investigate any operatives tied to Latin American dictators who instigate conflict in Miami as part of the protests.

Scott did not offer evidence for the allegations about Latin American socialist leaders’ role in the violence, lootings, and acts of vandalism during the US protests. During a press conference, he quoted a right-wing Diario Las Américas news report. The White House, for its part, declined to discuss “non-open source information” that had led to this assessment.

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