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In the middle of the Venezuelan crisis, a Twitter user spread the images of the rescue of two citizens of Venezuela who were swimming, apparently clinging to a refrigerator.
The crisis in Venezuela has generated a diaspora of its population, which has mostly migrated to Latin American countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Peru and Colombia, according to CNN .
The trip that migrants born in Venezuela made to cross the border has been portrayed by various means to show how the shortage crisis pushes citizens to leave their country.
In this context, the account @VicenteP_USA published a video on June 25, about the rescue of two people from Venezuela . As seen in the recording, they were swimming clinging to what appears to be a refrigerator, but were quickly helped.
In the legend, the user said that it was the “rescue of Venezuelans in international waters” and that “they were sailing in a refrigerator between Venezuela and Curaçao”.
Curaçao is an autonomous island that is under the administration of the Netherlands and is located near the northwestern coast of Venezuela .
However, this is false. These were not migrants who fled from the coast of Venezuela to Curaçao because of the shortage of supplies , but fishermen who had their boat overturned. Nor were they swimming in “international waters”. The area in which they were rescued is located between Higuerote, Miranda state near Caracas, and La Tortuga , a Venezuelan island.
Near the end of the video, you can hear a man talking on the loudspeaker of the rescue boat. He asks if the men who have rescued are “fishermen or people who go to La Tortuga”. Thus, it is ruled out that Venezuelans have been shipwrecked in international waters.
The video on Twitter published on June 25 with the false statement came to be shared more than 2000 times in just two days. In addition, the user identified as Sergio Novelli returned to upload it to the social network the next day with the caption: “People are rescued on the high seas, while they took refuge in a ‘refrigerator’. It is presumed that these are Venezuelans arriving in Curaçao . ” He got more than 1200 users to give him RT.
However, the journalist Novelli corrected the information that same day. In fact, on June 26, the user explained that it was about 5 fishermen rescued between Higuerote and La Tortuga , information that was confirmed by Efecto Cocuyo , a Venezuelan medium . Then, he gave the credit of the video to Alejandro Dumont, who claimed to have recorded the images.
According to the media cited above, the boat that saved the fishermen left Higuerote, Mérida, in the direction of La Tortuga . The sailors spotted an object in the water “25 nautical miles from the mainland”. There were five people, among them, a minor. The Venezuelans rescued engaged in moving supplies for the Venezuelan island fishermen.
— Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) 26 June 2019
So, it was not about migrants who wanted to escape from Venezuela due to the crisis of lack of food and medicine, but fishermen who had an accident.
Therefore, it is concluded that the information provided in the viralized video on Twitter, about migrants escaping from their country, is false.
On the other hand, the BBC reported in February of this year that there are occasions when Venezuelan citizens flee from Venezuela to the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao due to the crisis , but this is not the case.
Source: La Republica