Disinformation, misinformation, or the spread of false information by any other moniker is not a new phenomenon. However, asymmetric exploitation within the information environment—by nation-state and non-state actors—are increasingly diffuse and effective. As the information environment continues to expand and transform at an ever-accelerating rate, monitoring the digital engagement space with an approach that actively informs this environment, as opposed to responding to it, is increasingly necessary. #AlertaVenezuela is paving the way for a deeper understanding of the complexities of the information environment in and around Venezuela. By exposing and explaining disinformation in this context, the Atlantic Council will shed light on the path ahead for combatting disinformation and foreign interference around one of the hemisphere’s largest economic, political and humanitarian crises.

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Tue, Aug 4, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: August 04, 2020

Following his arrest, two accounts supporting Colombian businessman Alex Saab attacked Colombian and Venezuelan journalists using violent language and threats on Twitter, which is prohibited by Twitter’s policy on safety. One of the accounts – @DenunciaJulio – also showed possible links to Colombian law firm De La Espriella, which represented Saab until July 2019.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jul 28, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 28, 2020

On July 21-23, 2020, Twitter accounts petitioning U.S. President Donald Trump for a military intervention in Venezeula also pushed four hashtags to trend that promoted anti-socialist messaging against Juan Guaidó and Nicolás Maduro. The accounts, all of which had set their locations to Venezuela, showed signs of inauthenticity and platform manipulation, such as posting duplicative content and creating fake engagement.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Jul 22, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 22, 2020

Representatives aligned with Luis Parra, Maduro’s illegitimately installed National Assembly president, announcing on July 19 that he had been hospitalized after “apparent pneumonia.” Pro-Maduro accounts used Parra’s name to convey news about his condition and to promote Maduro regime’s hashtags on Twitter. “Luis Parra” trended as a keyword on Venezuela between July 19-21, 2020.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jul 14, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 14, 2020

Brazilian assets removed by Facebook for “coordinated inauthentic behavior” used the economic and health crisis in Venezuela, which has been exacerbated by the Maduro regime, to promote anti-socialist sentiment in Brazil. The DFRLab also found some of the assets shared memes supporting a U.S. military intervention in Venezuela. The same message had been shared before by Rumbo Libertad, a Venezuelan far right and libertarian movement whose members have appeared in pictures with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and his sons in the past.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Jul 8, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 8, 2020

As the Maduro regime has reported an increase of coronavirus cases in Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro himself blamed Venezuelan migrants returning illegally to their country and the “Colombian mafia” to be the main source of the “Colombian virus” in Venezuela.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Thu, Jul 2, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: July 2, 2020

Twitter accounts with set locations of Cuba and Venezuela made at least six anti-U.S. and pro-Cuba hashtags trend in Venezuela. The accounts used the hashtags to denounce U.S. sanctions and to promote Cuban medical missions in Venezuela.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Jun 24, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: June 24, 2020

On Facebook, false claims that Nicolás Maduro would be ousted from power gained momentum after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would consider meeting with Nicolás Maduro to discuss “a peaceful exit [of Maduro] from power.”

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Wed, Jun 17, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: June 17, 2020

With South America as a growing epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maduro regime has doubled down on his politization of the disease, accusing the governments of Colombia and Brazil of intentionally infecting Venezuelans who are returning from those countries to their home country.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jun 9, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: June 9, 2020

After the U.S. Embassy in Colombia announced on May 27 that specialized U.S. Army personnel – the Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) – would be supporting Colombian security forces with counter-narcotics operations, pro-Maduro media exaggerated the number of U.S. military personnel deployed to the country.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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Tue, Jun 2, 2020

#AlertaVenezuela: June 2, 2020

In May, the Maduro regime restricted access to specific websites, including YouTube and Instagram, during a virtual session of the country’s National Assembly. According to nongovernmental organizations, journalists and medical personnel have also been detained since the COVID-19 pandemic first began spreading in the country.

#AlertaVenezuela by Atlantic Council’s DFRLab

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