Fake News: Venezuela Did NOT Declare War On Republic of Paraguay

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Venezuela Did NOT Declare War On Republic of Paraguay

Did Venezuela just declare war on Paraguay? No, that's not true: some joker uploaded an article making that claim to a prank website that allows anyone to create a realistic-looking news article, but it is not real.

The story originated from an article published on 12minutos.com on January 12, 2019 titled "VENEZUELA DECLARA LA GUERRA A LA REPUBLICA DE PARAGUAY" (archived here) which opened:

Hoy 10 de enero de 2019 el presidente reelegido de la rep├║blica bolivariana de Venezuela, el colombiano Nicol├ís Maduro, a manifestado su desacuerdo y malestar por la decisi├│n tomada por el presidente de los paraguayos Mario Abdo Benitez de cancelar las relaciones diplom├íticas con el mencionado pa├şs bolivariano, seg├║n manifest├│ el presidente Maduro "Esto es un insulto a todos los venezolanos, m├ís a├║n que gracias a nosotros y desarrollo ideol├│gico de nuestro finado gobernante en los cielos Ch├ívez, ha Sido creado la uni├│n de los pa├şses del mercosur" finalizando su discurso el presidente Maduro en respuesta a la comunicaci├│n oficial del estado Paraguayo de cierre de su embajada, dijo el presidente venezolano "ya comunicamos a los estados unidos de norteam├ęrica nuestra decisi├│n.

Translation:

Today, January 10, 2019, the re-elected president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Colombian Nicolás Maduro, has expressed his disagreement and discomfort over the decision taken by the president of the Paraguayans Mario Abdo Benitez to cancel diplomatic relations with the aforementioned Bolivarian country. According to President Maduro, "This is an insult to all Venezuelans, even more than thanks to us and the ideological development of our late president in the Chavez skies. The union of the Mercosur countries has been created," the president concluded his speech. Maduro in response to the official communication of the Paraguayan state of closure of his embassy, said the Venezuelan president "we already communicate to the United States of America our decision.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and the story racked up thousands of engagements on Facebook:

VENEZUELA DECLARA LA GUERRA A LA REPUBLICA DE PARAGUAY

Hoy 10 de enero de 2019 el presidente reelegido de la rep├║blica bolivariana de Venezuela, el colombiano Nicol├ís Maduro, a manifestado su desacuerdo y malestar por la decisi├│n tomada por el presidente de los paraguayos Mario Abdo Benitez de cancelar las relaciones diplom├íticas con el mencionado pa├şs bolivariano, seg├║n manifest├│ el presidente Maduro Esto es un insulto a todos los venezolanos, m├ís a├║n que gracias a nosotros y desarrollo ideol├│gico de nuestro finado gobernante en los cielos Ch├ívez, ha Sido creado la uni├│n de los pa├şses del mercosur finalizando su discurso el presidente Maduro en respuesta a la comunicaci├│n oficial del estado Paraguayo de cierre de su embajada, dijo el presidente venezolano ya comunicamos a los estados unidos de norteam├ęrica nuestra decisi├│n. De declarar la guerra b├ęlica al Paraguay y estamos preparando misiles tomajots, casabombarderos, portaaviones destructores, as├ş como 20 millones de efectivos militares para hacer frente a Paraguay en las pr├│ximas horas, ya tenemos la informaci├│n de nuestro departamento de inteligencia que el Paraguay est├í preparando a los cimeforistas para hacer frente y resistencia a nuestro poder, no obstante el movimiento de estrategia militar primariamente atacar├í los abastecimientos de chipa, cocido y empanada para as├ş debilitar la operativa Paraguay, hemos recibido el apoyo de nuestro colega estrat├ęgico rojo y azul para instalar bases en la olla estadio de f├║tbol m├ís moderno de Paraguay con la promesa de hacerles ganadores de una libertadores despu├ęs de la victoria de nuestra guerra

The site that published the story is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

react365.jpg

Users don't even need to upload their own image, there is a built-in search function that will pull an appropriate image from Google image search.

The site is part of a larger network of prank sites all using the same basic layout but sometimes in different languages. It appears to be run by a Belgian company named Mediavibes or Media Vibes which is managed by a man named Nicolas Gouriou according to registration records.

Each site in the network comes with a disclaimer (sometimes translated into a different language) that reads:

This website is an entertainment website, jokes are created by users. These are humourous jokes, fantasy, fictional, that should not be seriously taken or as a source of information.

So don't fall for this prank now that we've warned you about it!

We wrote about 12minutos.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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