CARACAS, Venezuela — Socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro lashed out against Wikipedia on Monday, accusing the website of “lying” about the results of Sunday’s sham referendum to annex the Essequibo region, currently administered by neighboring Guyana.
Wikipedia, which presents itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” has faced heavy criticism for the left-leaning bias of its editors. The website has, among other actions, blacklisted Breitbart in 2018, engaged in censorship, and modified its contents to favor the Biden administration.
Wikipedia drew the ire of Maduro during the latest episode of the dictator’s television show Con Maduro Más (“With Maduro Plus”). Maduro described the website as “incorrigible” for its “manipulated” content regarding the sham referendum on Sunday, in which the socialist regime claimed that over 95 percent of Venezuela voted to create a state out of a plot of land that represents about two-thirds of the territory of Guyana.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Center (CNE), the nation’s top electoral authority completely under the control of the socialist regime, claimed that more than 10 million votes were cast in favor of creating a new state for Venezuela by annexing the Essequibo region. For more than 120 years, neighbors Venezuela and Guyana have maintained a dispute over the Essequibo.
CNE’s results, however, heavily contrast with reports and footage taken across the country on Sunday, which showed an extremely low voter turnout and barren voting centers. In lieu of accurate information, “opposition” politicians estimate that only 2.1 million votes were actually cast, with voter abstention rates estimated at around 89.8 percent.
The head of CNE, Elvis Amoroso, also announced two contradicting results over the past two days, which has further raised questions about the veracity of the regime’s claims. On Sunday evening, Amoroso announced that some 10.5 million votes were registered, while on Monday afternoon, he announced that 10.4 million votes had been logged without giving any explanation that justifies the over 100,000 vote reduction in CNE’s “official” results.
Maduro accused Wikipedia of collaborating with the “enemies” of Venezuela by reflecting the lack of confidence Venezuelans have in the CNE’s claims.
At press time, Wikipedia’s Spanish-language page on the Maduro regime’s sham referendum shows a disclaimer that reads, “There are doubts or disagreements about the accuracy of the information in this article or section.”
“I was sent this by a lot of people on WhatsApp, an incredible thing that they put in Wikipedia; they are incorrigible, they had already put other things that are incredible as how they manipulate in social networks, in the same internet lying,” Maduro rambled, “then they say the two things that are the two big lies that have said the enemies of Venezuela, internal and external enemies.”
“The enemies of Venezuela and of the historical rights of the Essequibo that want to harm it and try to tarnish and cloud the tremendous results of the consultative referendum have said two things since last night,” he claimed.
Maduro then accused Wikipedia of claiming that only 2 million people voted in Sunday’s referendum, trying to pass the number as “official.”
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) December 4, 2023
“So Wikipedia is the CNE [Venezuela’s electoral authority], the next elections should not be made by the CNE, they should be made by Wikipedia,” Maduro said. “The presidential elections should be made by Wikipedia. Done, great, Wikipedia, eh?”
“You are eating it, Wikipedia, keep it up, huh?” Maduro continued. The expression “you are eating it” is a colloquial Venezuelan expression used against an individual or a group that’s showing off or acting like they’re the best when they’re actually screwing up.
Maduro continued his rant by accusing Wikipedia of claiming that the sham referendum is non-binding, adding that he “answered” that question at an earlier event on Monday.
“But I only ask: Wikipedia, Wikipedia, little Wikipedia, if they are not binding, why are you getting so nervous?” Maduro asked.
Maduro then accused Wikipedia and American oil company ExxonMobil of collaborating with Guyana, which had requested intervention by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to suspend the sham referendum.
“If they are not binding, why did you, ExxonMobil, the internal and external enemies of Venezuela and Guyana go to the International Court of Justice to ask for a suspension. If they were not binding and it was not important, ah?” Maduro said.
“Of course they were important, very important, and very binding and more than binding, yesterday’s referendum and the decision taken by the Venezuelan people is a binding popular mandate,” he continued.
Guyana asked the ICJ in November to intercede and stop the vote via an injunction. The ICJ ordered Venezuela on Friday to refrain from “taking any action” that could affect the territorial dispute, including the sham referendum.
The ICJ ruling does not mention Wikipedia or ExxonMobil in the injunction request. The Maduro regime has repeatedly accused ExxonMobil, which has made deals with the Guyanese government to extract oil in the contested territory, of being part of a conspiracy by the United States to colonize South America.
The Maduro regime responded to the ICJ ruling by reiterating its refusal to recognize the ICJ’s jurisdiction on the matter and carrying out the sham vote.
Venezuela is expected to present its arguments to the ICJ over the territorial dispute in April 2024. The ICJ is expected to issue a final ruling on the Essequibo territorial dispute soon.
Maduro announced that his regime will open an investigation to determine if ExxonMobil is “financing” the Venezuelan “opposition” so that they would act against Maduro’s referendum and in favor of Guyanese President Irfaan Ali. Maduro claimed that his regime’s prosecutor’s office has “binding evidence” to substantiate his accusations, and will act accordingly soon.
“They [ExxonMobil] put in a lot of money so that the traitors would stick to demand the same as ExxonMobil and Guyana, which was the suspension of the referendum, for that they went to the International Court of Justice”, Maduro said.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.