Source: MinnPost - Link
In Florida, where President Donald Trump gained crucial support among Latino voters, his campaign ran a YouTube ad in Spanish making the explosive — and false — claim that Venezuela’s ruling clique was backing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
YouTube showed the ad more than 100,000 times in Florida in the eight days leading up to the election, even after The Associated Press published a fact-check debunking the Trump campaign’s claim. Actually, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed opposition to both presidential candidates.
The video was part of a broader Trump campaign strategy in heavily Latino South Florida that sought to tie Biden to Socialist leaders like Maduro and the late Cuban President Fidel Castro. Trump won Florida by about 375,000 votes, the largest margin in a presidential election there since 1988. He carried about 55% of the Cuban American vote, according to exit polls by NBC News.
Then the text on the screen reiterates that “the Chavistas” — the political party that controls Venezuela — “want Joe Biden to win.” The video concludes with a statement that it was paid by the Trump campaign and Trump saying that he approved the message.There’s little doubt that the relationship between the Trump administration and the Maduro government is tense. Trump has imposed sanctions on Venezuela and on Maduro and Cabello personally. The U.S. government indicted both Maduro and Cabello on narco-terrorism and drug trafficking charges in March. Venezuelan state-run television has struck a “completely anti-Trump” tone, said Daniel Acosta-Ramos, an investigative researcher at First Draft, a nonprofit that tracks misinformation and an Electionland partner.Yet Maduro said in late September that he didn’t care who was elected. “If Trump wins the elections, we will confront him and defeat him, and if Biden wins, we’ll confront him and defeat him too,” he said. An AP fact-check of a video that resembles the one in the Trump campaign ad concluded that neither Biden nor Maduro “has declared that there is any kind of affinity between them or between their national projects.”