The World is Being Played

First off let's look at this picture. On most sites that show it you see this caption;

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The Tienditas bridge connecting Colombia and Venezuela has been blocked by Venezuelan military forces, as seen here on Wednesday.

Or in other words:

Or how to turn an unopened bridge into an international news story to build support for your coup

The photo depicts Tienditas International Bridge, blocked by a fence, a few concrete blocks, two containers and an oil tanker. This photo along with Pompeo’s words paint an image of Maduro as a mad dictator who does not care about the people of his country, and is willing to shut down and blockade a huge six-lane highway in order to stop them eating.

CNN reported:

The Venezuelan government, led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro, has blocked a bridge connecting Venezuela to Colombia, according to Colombian officials and a CNN photojournalist at the scene.

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What is wrong with these reports? What have they left out?
Let’s look again at that image again with a little scepticism…

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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:

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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!

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.

So is the media lying to us? Is there not one mainstream journalist who bothers to do research any more? I suspect a combination of the two:

- Every news organisation takes a journalistic position which is in some way biased, but mostly aligned with the propaganda the US government is putting out.

- The 24-hour news cycle leaves little time for the journalists to put in the necessary research to verify the facts they are publishing.

It’s a sad state of affairs. I feel I can no longer trust anything I read in the media, and have to verify everything myself. In this case, there was enough information available online to do that and find the errors and omissions, but that usually isn’t feasible. It’s certainly not how I want to spend my time. I’m not a journalist.

Hmm. I'm wondering if the containers are actually there or have they been photoshopped into this picture? Were they airlifted on to the road? Look closely at how the containers barely fit inside the lanes. No truck delivered any of them nor could one have left the oiler there. Nope. No way, no how.

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Something hit me wrong when I looked at that picture too. After reading to the end of your piece, I went back and looked again. They are definitely Photoshopped, and not well. The saturation on the vehicles is way more than the rest of the photo. They’re just too bright.

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snoopydawg's picture

@rachael7

Plus if you look closely at the one on the left, the back end extends over the median grid thing. And it becomes fuzzy there. The one on the rights front end is not as noticeable, but the left one should have damaged the median thing. Can't remember what it's called?

But what really set off my radar is the last photo of just the blocks and the fence that has been there for 15 months and that the road has never been opened. So how does Pompeo think that people are going to be flocking there to pick up food when it's not even opened. We need to get more eyes on that article. I'll start tweeting it.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Alligator Ed's picture

Assuming that these 3 structures are not photoshopped, the size constraints precludes any of them driven driven to their destination.

One explanation supporting these 3 new barriers is that Maduro built them to stop alleged humanitarian aid vehicles which really contain munitions, not food, from entering Venezuela USAID is monetary laundry of immense proportion. That's how we pay both foreign and domestic profiteers. Trickle down graft--always starts from the top.

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'dawg! It looked weird to me the other day 'cause only a yard truck or a forklift/crane could have put them there.
And I dont think a big enough forklift would have room.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Bisbonian's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly , and put it on a railroad flatcar (TOFC), in the rail yard in Anchorage. I did one, my dad did one...we were hanging out at the rail yard, watching, and the driver came over and said "You wanna try one?" Pre 9/11, obviously.

The "forklift" was a modified logging loader, diesel electric, individual drive motors on each wheel, VERY maneuverable, in spite of it's size (one ladder to get up on the machine, another ladder to go from there up into the cab). I could easily have positioned these three trailers with that rig.

That said, the photo looks funny...the saturation on the trailers does look weird. And that fact that the fences were there years ago makes the official story of the picture completely bogus.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

@Bisbonian ex-truck driver from military and civilian side, have also loaded my own truck using heavy equipment. There is not much room on that bridge to maneuver a 53' rig perpendicular To the bridge. Not that it Couldn't be done, just seems like we'd see scrapes/gouges in the roadway from final positioning.
The tanker could have been positioned by jack-knifing the truck and Then dropping the trailer, fairly straightforward, all in all.
It's the Containers that bug me the most.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Bisbonian's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

I thought the machine in question was the popular Raygo/Wagner PC-90 Piggy Packer, but something about it looked wrong. I remembered climbing higher to get into the cab. Their MH-80 Model has the cab a little higher, but not much. And then I looked specifically at Alaska Railroad equipment. They are fairly unique in that they use four Electro Porter 2682 CH lifts to do the job, two in Anchorage and two in Fairbanks. Unlike the Piggy Packer, with a forklift style rear wheel that pivots, the LetroPorter is articulated in the middle (which I remembered), all four wheels are driven on two of them (one in Anchorage, one in Fairbanks) ... something I specifically remembered the operator telling me, and the cab is much higher.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

wendy davis's picture

certainly worth checking into. i'm tempted to go grab a far larger photo of the blocked bridge, but i haven't the time. for one thing to check whether the spaces between the yellow guardrails are the walking pathways (from the cnn bogus interviewers) or a empty space (are those trees and water below?)

another thing that interests me is in the google 2017 photo, the blocks are shaped more like these safety barriers/parapets (machines form them in situ, drop them in place, the scoot along to the next barrier in mountain country). but in the photo in question, they seem to be rectangular blocks with straight edges (at least to me).

as to the surmise a truck couldn't have put them there...perhaps, but the containers could have been backed in, pushed by say, a dozer, into place. and yes, the one on the north looks a bid crumpled into the yellow guardrail.the tanker's potentially more problematic, as i can't tell on which end the hitch is. as to photo shopping in the blockades, iirc, forensic analysts often try to point to mis-managed shadows, but the only obvious shadow i can see (again, if there are larger versions..) is under the tanker. sun looks to be pretty high and in the west, so what...early afternoon?

but this 'evidence' of justin emery's is pretty fuzzy to me:

"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."

never mind that bing translator's better, but has its own drawbacks for amount of text it'll accept at once...

so...it's totally finished, but not in use because: border situation. otoh, boots riley (of the coup fame) tweeted justin emery's analysis, and abby martin picked it up. but your thesis and emery's might be: "this is the false flag event we've been waiting for"? well, it might be, but i'm a bit dubious.

but i'm sure glad you and emery are asking more Qs about #fake news.

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snoopydawg's picture

I'm questioning whether the pictures have been photoshopped. Looking at no damage from the container on the left to the guardrail pretty much confirms it for me. The guardrail should be crushed flat by it. And it's stated in the article that it's finished, but not in use because of the border situation. The blocks look the same to me in all pictures too. Same places too. And the hitch has to be on the front end or it would drag when pulling it. Questioning this should be the media's job, but they are backing the coup. After all the false accusations that the government has dumped on us over the years I don't know why more people aren't questioning it. It's like people have forgotten Iraq's WMDs.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg when it is all over the news that Maduro is blocking the "humanitarian aid" being shipped to help the self-appointed new guy?
I think the photo has been "shopped", used to promote the idea Maduro is a Socialist Killer of Children.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and that is well known by the CIA, and by all of us.
Great catch, Snoopydawg!

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

bisbonian has brought, i can see that the blocks are the same. and yes, i can see the standard at the front is deployed on the tanker trunk. i was imagining the hot oil tankers used here for chip-and-seal instead, with sprayers for the hot oil on that end.

but this video is from my current diary on the 'aid as tipping point', etc. diary shows cnn's aerial view, don't think they photo-shopped that, but who knows? but the 'interviews' were done on the simon bolivar int'l bridge, which even then nicolas maduro laughed about.

i covered the guardian's incendiary version as well, and the photo is larger and clearer. to me, the containers look old and beat up, but the steel rails might be far stronger, but the containers don't really look crushed, as far as i can tell.

as far as 'false flags', what i'd meant was that those who believe all this is faked by the colombians, is it because King Guido had said 'let the aid in, or i might ask the US military in'?

southern command is also setting up some false flag scenarios re: 'protecting people at our embassies', as w/ granada, panama, iirc.

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Bisbonian's picture

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

dance you monster's picture

@Bisbonian

I was not of the opinion this was photoshopped, but the presence of the fence on the Colombia side of the trailers definitely set off alarm bells.

The tanker trailer could easily have been backed into place, basically jackknifing the rig, but the trailer is not exactly perpendicular to the traffic lane; the connecting end (the front) is slightly closer to Colombia, suggesting it was they, the Colombians, who backed the truck there, and then erected the fence in front of it.

The real issue is the whole thing is a sham, to claim a bridge that has never been operative was only recently made that way by Maduro. And how many will learn of this new wrinkle in the propaganda?

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snoopydawg's picture

@Bisbonian

Thanks for posting them.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Amanda Matthews's picture

the pictures when I first saw them. I just couldn’t figure out why Maduro would be crazy enough to blockade any food or medical aid.

The aggressor ALWAYS claims the starving are the ones who are sabotaging any attempts to alleviate their suffering. Like Iraq. We starved those people and denied them medical aid for ten damn long years.

Iraq Sanctions Kill Children, U.N. Reports
By BARBARA CROSSETTE DEC. 1, 1995

The sanctions were imposed by the Security Council after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990. Led by the United States, the Council has rejected many Iraqi appeals to lift the restrictions, which have crippled the economy, until Iraq accounts for all its weapons of mass destruction and United Nations inspectors can certify that they have been destroyed in accordance with several Council resolutions.

*

In 1991, after the war ended, Dr. Fawzi and other researchers found that mortality rates for children under five had tripled during the war and its immediate aftermath. By this year, the rate had increased fivefold.

Deaths related to diarrheal diseases have tripled in an increasingly unhealthy environment, the study says. Water and sanitation systems have deteriorated, hospitals are functioning at 40 percent of capacity, food prices are high and many people are living on Government rations that provide only 1,000 calories a day.

Infant deaths, which had doubled during the gulf war, continue at a high rate, Dr. Fawzi wrote.

"These findings illustrate a strong association between economic sanctions and increase in child mortality and malnutrition rates," the study says.

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/01/world/iraq-sanctions-kill-children-un...

Same shit, different day, different country.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

GreyWolf's picture

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snoopydawg's picture

@GreyWolf

The article has better quality photos of the containers.

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Maybe it's just the perspective of looking at them, but now the one on the right seems to not quite fit in the space. Either way, this was a PR stunt as this article states.

The fence doesn't look like it'd be hard to move to put them in to block the road, but it's sure a tight fit to place them there.Jason Emery, who wrote the article I'm using doesn't say anything about the photos be altered. This is what I'm saying. He just points out that the road has been fenced and not used since it was finished.

It’s true the Venezuelan government appears to have placed an oil tanker and cargo containers on the bridge to prevent incursion from the Colombian side, but the other barriers, as writer and software developer Jason Emery noted, have been in place since at least 2016. According to La Opinion (2/5/16), after its initial construction in 2015, the bridge has never been open to traffic. How can Maduro, as the BBC suggested, “reopen” a bridge that was never open?

The reality is BBC and other Western media were just going along with the narrative pushed by Sen. Marco Rubio and Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, not bothering to check if their primary visual narrative was based on a bad faith, context-free PR stunt.

This point is a relatively superficial one, but in a long term PR battle to win over Western liberals for further military escalation, the superficial matters a lot. Rubio and the Trump administration cooked up a gimmicky visual metaphor, and almost every outlet uncritically passed it along, often making factually inaccurate assumptions along the way—assumptions the Trump State Department and CIA coordinating the effort knew very well they would make.

What? The media didn't fact check what they were told? Color me surprised.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

gulfgal98's picture

today calling this out. Not for any type of photo shopping, but because the bridge was never opened because Colombia set up road blocks to prevent it from opening, not Venezuela.

IMHO, this is still the US propaganda using a photograph to cast blame upon Venezuela for blocking the bridge when that is not the real reason why the bridge is not open.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

snoopydawg's picture

@gulfgal98

I'm not seeing anyone else saying that. It's just after knowing that Columbia had blocked the road before they were placed there I thought how easy it could be to just put them in an existing picture.

Guess what? I may be wrong. I saw one short video of the bridge with them in there shows that. Mea culpa. However... it didn't show much of it. Videos too can be altered..

Gulfgal the article in the tweet from grey wolf talks about the propaganda and how Abrams used humanitarian aid before to ship in weapons.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@gulfgal98 The guides said the government was blocking entry for migrants from Venezuela.
Columbians are proud to be cozy with the USA. I told the guides they would regret their snuggles.

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