Blocked Venezuela Bridge Was Never Opened in First Place
Several days ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo retweeted a photograph that purported to show how Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro had blocked a bridge with Colombia to prevent relief supplies from entering his country.
In fact, the bridge, which was completed in 2016, has never been open to traffic because of disputes between the two nations. It was Colombia that erected the fence and concrete blocks to seal off access, not Venezuela. And the barriers have been in place since 2016. You can even see the barrier in photos on Google Maps.
In other words, the blockage has nothing to do with relief supplies or the current political crisis in Venezuela.
An eagle-eyed writer, Justin Emery, did the basic research that apparently no one in the mainstream media bothered to do, uncovering yet another lie by the Trump White House.
Here’s the photo that Pompeo retweeted and the media used without double-checking its accuracy.
Let’s assume that Venezuela did indeed place the containers where they are. The photo was taken from Colombia, looking into Venezuela.
There’s something that doesn’t add up. It looks like the fence, in front of the containers, was erected by Colombia. The fence supports are on the Colombian side, and four concrete blocks also sit on the Colombian side of the fence. So was the bridge really blocked by Venezuela, or was it actually blocked by Colombia?
Luckily, we can view Tienditas bridge on Google Maps:
—-> snip The photo was uploaded in June 2017. Tienditas Bridge, reported throughout the media as blocked by Venezuela this week, has in fact been blocked for at least 18 months!
There is also a Wikipedia article on Tienditas Bridge (in Spanish). It says of the bridge (translated to English with Google Translate):
It was concluded in early 2016, but due to the crisis between Venezuela and Colombia in 2015 and the border closure of Venezuela the bridge has not been officially opened.
This is backed up by a reference to an article from La Opinion, a local news site of Cúcuta in Colombia (also in Spanish), which states:
Sheltered by an old rusty gate and a guard, this binational work is still useless because of the border situation, despite the fact that the Invias has already completed 100 percent of the route.
The Google translation may not be perfect, but it seems that Tienditas Bridge has never opened even though it was finished three years ago, due to a dispute between Colombia and Venezuela. And the now familiar “rusty gate” has been there all this time. It’s a complete falsehood to say that Maduro “blocked” the bridge this week, that it must “reopen”, or that Venezuela erected “makeshift fencing” this week.
The media needs to learn that this administration’s default information setting is LIE, and treat everything that is spoken, written or retweeted automatically as something that must be verified by an independent source. In this case, a few minutes using Google (and some knowledge of Spanish) would have shown that Pompeo was lying out his ass to promote the administration’s warmongering and anti-Maduro rhetoric.