This article appeared on the ADL website recently. According to the site, the ADL’s stated mission is: “To stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.”
As the political crisis continues in Venezuela, the hardline regime of Nicolas Maduro, whose power is currently being challenged, is promoting hateful anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and allegations of Jewish or “Zionist” plots to take over the government.
As declared interim President Juan Guaidó – whose bid to take over the government is supported by more than 50 countries – challenges Maduro’s power, the resulting political, social and economic instability has created a ripe climate for conspiracy theories about Jews to flourish.
The fact that these conspiracy theories are emerging now is not surprising, given the country’s long history of leaders, including late President Hugo Chavez and his followers, scapegoating Israel and using Jews as a political tool. ADL has closely monitored the anti-Semitic rhetoric emanating from the government since 2006.
In the current crisis, Maduro and members of his government have invoked anti-Semitic tropes, including conspiracies of U.S. and “Zionist” control of Guaidó. Most recently, in a February 13 interview in al-Mayadeen, a Lebanese media outlet affiliated with Hezbollah, Maduro charged that Guaidó’s inner circle was full of CIA agents serving “American and Zionist” interests. He further indicated that Venezuela and his government remain closely aligned with the Palestinian cause.
Allegations and conspiracy theories of Jewish/Zionist intervention in the Venezuelan crisis are widely propagated by Maduro supporters. Here’s a sampling of such rhetoric from the first two months of 2019:
On February 16, the Iranian Spanish-language TV channel, Hispan TV, published an article reinforcing the alleged conspiracy that Guaidó is a CIA agent and is serving the interests of the U.S. and Israel.
On February 11, the Venezuelan Communist Party, which is aligned with Maduro, tweeted: “The Venezuelan people do not need a #Humanitarian Assistance that has an interventionist face, which is accompanied by military exercises on the #Venezuela border by the Zionist army of #Israel.”
On January 28, the Bolivarian Circles, a collection of radical pro-Maduro committees,