No, Puerto Rico’s Aid Shipment to Venezuela Did Not Land or Arrive in the Country

Feb 8, 2019
8:05 AM

As our founder says once in a while, to paraphrase him, Puerto Rico is a lot like Macondo.

The latest story from the island is the just the latest example.

On Wednesday, Puerto Rico’s Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín went on CNN en Español to say that Puerto Rico was able to get humanitarian aid into Venezuela via airplane. Marín told CNN’s Fernando del Rincón that by working with the Venezuelan opposition, there were openings into getting the aid into the country, and that the aid from Puerto Rico did arrive in Venezuela. CNN en Español even tweeted about this news on Thursday, saying this, “Puerto Rico was able to land via plane a shipment of aid in Venezuelan territory.” (FYI, did you see how excited del Rincón was throughout the interview?)

As expected, the news made the rounds in Venezuelan media, which Marín’s Twitter profile made sure to tweet out:

The problem, however, is this: the aid never landed in Venezuela.

As the country’s official Civil Aeronautic Authority tweeted out on Thursday afternoon:

“The Venezuelan Aeronautic Authority denies the campaigns generated through social networks and means of communication about an aircraft coming from Puerto Rico with supposed humanitarian aid. The INAC guarantees the control of air traffic for the Homeland’s Skies.”

On Thursday night, Rivera Marín was singing a different tune, as Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día reported. In an interview with journalist Luz Nereida Vélez, Rivera Marín said this (our translation follows):

“La realidad es que el avión que sale de Puerto Rico no va a en una vía directa, es un relevo que nosotros nos tenemos que reservar esa ruta porque de lo contrario en el futuro, y en esta ocasión, la misión no la podemos comprometer. Puerto Rico va a seguir enviando (ayuda) sea por las rutas alternas que se puedan abrir en el futuro. Pero es bien retante la logística, ahora mismo cambia día a día”.

“The reality is that the plane that leaves Puerto Rico does not go on a direct route. We had to relay the route because otherwise in the future, and on this occasion, the mission can not be compromised. Puerto Rico will continue to send [aid] or alternate routes that may be opened in the future. But the logistics are very challenging. Now it changes day by day.”

So, basically what Rivera Marín told CNN en Español and which CNN en Español (that the aid landed and reached Venezuelan territory) was not true.

Welcome to Macondo.

By the way, 13 hours ago, CNN en Español “clarified” its reporting:

The damage was already done, and if del Rincón and CNN en Español were responsible, they would issue a retraction, but we doubt that will happen.