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Venezuela's Maduro claims that Facebook is bananas

by on29 March 2021

If I only had thyme

Venezuela's government accused Facebook of "digital totalitarianism" after it froze President Nicolas Maduro's page for 30 days for violating its policies against spreading misinformation about COVID-19.

Maduro insists that COVID-19 can be cured using a Venezuelan-made remedy called Carvativir which he claims are the "miracle drops of Jose Gregorio Hernandez". Hernandez was a 19th-century Venezuelan doctor who was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church last year so his cure, for an illness he never saw must be kosher. The cure appears to be based on thyme which is pretty cheap and means that you do not have to worry about foreign shipments of vaccines.

Facebook told Reuters over the weekend it had also taken down a video in which Maduro promoted Carvativir, he claims, without evidence, can cure the disease. Facebook said it followed guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) that there is currently no medication that can cure the virus.

Venezuela's information ministry said Facebook was going after "content geared toward combating the pandemic" and described Carvativir as a retroviral of "national production and engineering".

"We are witnessing a digital totalitarianism exercised by supranational companies who want to impose their law on the countries of the world", the ministry said.

To be fair, Venezuelan doctors have warned that Carvativir's effect on coronavirus has not been established.

Maduro has overseen an economic collapse since taking office in 2013 and is labelled a dictator by Washington and many other Western nations. He tweeted on Sunday that he would broadcast his daily coronavirus briefing on his wife's Facebook account, first lady Cilia Flores – at least until that is shut down.

The South American country has reported 155,663 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,555 deaths. Those figures are below the levels of many regional peers, but not testing anyone might have something to do with it.

Last modified on 29 March 2021
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