Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refuted the statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he’d almost escaped to Cuba, but that Russians had talked him out of it. Moscow called it ‘fake news.’
“Mike Pompeo said that I, Maduro, had a plane ready to go to Cuba, to flee and that the Russians got him off the plane and forbade him to leave the country. Mr Pompeo, please, what lack of seriousness,” Maduro said, during a nationwide address announcing the “defeat” of the failed coup attempt.
At the height of civil unrest on Tuesday, Pompeo appeared on CNN claiming Maduro had “an airplane on the tarmac” all set to leave for Cuba, before the “Russians indicated he should stay.”
Both Russian and Venezuelan foreign ministries pilloried the American for peddling what they called ‘fake news.’
“Making up fake news is a very sad way to accept that the coup you backed has failed… once again. Diplomacy has to be restored in the US Government,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted.
“Washington tried its best to demoralize the Venezuelan army and now used fakes as a part of an information war,”Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement to CNN.
In a Tuesday night appearance on national television, Maduro declared that the opposition had attempted to impose an “illegitimate government” with the support of the United States but failed because of the loyalty shown by the military and the people who stood firm on protecting Bolivarian revolutionary ideals.