‘Super Mustache’: Maduro Debuts Superhero Persona in Venezuelan Propaganda Cartoon

Venezuela government comic series "Super Mustache" starring socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro.
Venezolana de Televisión/Screengrab

State television network Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) debuted a bizarre cartoon series this week titled Super Mustache in which socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro blocks an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the country by former President Donald Trump.

Maduro, illustrated with his widely recognizable facial hair, appears wearing an outfit nearly identical to the American superhero Superman, including a cape and blue briefs worn on the outside of red leggings. The Venezuelan people appear clamoring to him to solve a national blackout after Trump sends an unspecified missile to fly over Venezuela and disable its electric grid.

In reality, Venezuela suffers from regular blackouts as a result of the Maduro regime’s poor management of the electric system. The socialist authoritarian regime has failed throughout Maduro’s reign to ensure secure access to electricity, gasoline (despite Venezuela’s prodigious oil reserves), food, health care, and nearly every other basic need for daily life in a developed country. Prior to socialist dictator Hugo Chávez taking power in 1999, Venezuela was the wealthiest country in Latin America.

The Super Mustache cartoon depicts Trump conspiring with unseemly depictions of two members of the Venezuelan establishment opposition – former lawmaker Julio Borges and current Socialist International Vice President Henry Ramos Allup – to stage a coup against Maduro.

“You’re asses, you can’t topple a simple bus driver?” the stylized Trump villain asks the two opposition leaders in a call from the Oval Office. Maduro worked as a bus driver before abruptly ascending to the post of Foreign Minister under Chávez.

“We’re tried everything – cheating, lies … the OAS [Organization of American States], but nothing!” the two Venezuelans respond.

The conversation ends with Trump deciding to execute what appears to be an EMP attack that shuts down all electricity in the country, causing nationwide chaos and prompting random people to call for “Super Mustache” to save them.

Maduro, in response, flies into the sky and punches an evil American aircraft, shattering it into pieces and restoring the electric grid. The relationship between the aircraft and the EMP attack remains unexplained, as the aircraft appears to be flying over Venezuela long after the electric grid stops working.

The faulty science and incorrect crediting to Maduro of any functionality the Venezuelan electric grid currently retains echoes real-life claims by the Maduro regime that the United States deliberately shut down power in the country in 2019. In March of that year, a national blackout deprived Venezuelans of power in 22 of 23 states and the national capital district, Caracas – the longest blackout in the country in three decades. The blackout appeared to be caused by severe neglect on the part of the Maduro regime, which has allowed core infrastructure from power plants to oil refineries to decay beyond repair.

Maduro, however, blamed the United States.

“The electrical war announced and directed by the imperialist United States against our people will be defeated!” he wrote on social media.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, January 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a ceremony marking the start of the judicial year at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela, January 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

“What was the objective of this new attack? To deprive Venezuela’s people of electricity,” Maduro’s “vice president” Delcy Rodríguez, who once falsely claimed that American humanitarian aid was “carcinogenic,” said at the time, blaming the “attack” on “the fascist right.”

The March national blackout was one of several similar events that year that have continued to this day, typically occurring in spurts regionally rather than plunging the entire country into darkness simultaneously – largely debunking the claim that the blackouts are the result of American sabotage. A Venezuelan advocacy group documented over 80,000 power grid failures nationwide in 2019.

Aside from Super Mustache, Maduro regime has yet to publicly show any evidence linking the power outages to the U.S. government.

“Super Mustache” made his debut during stream-of-consciousness remarks by Maduro in 2019 in an extended rant against then-Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno. Moreno, elected under a leftist party coalition but rapidly shedding that affiliation and rejected the socialist establishment in his country, was working at the time to curtail riots across the country organized by angry leftists against a proposal to limit a longstanding gas subsidy. In scenes that have become common throughout the Americas, including the nation of America itself, leftists looted businesses, threw Molotov cocktails at law enforcement, and otherwise engaged in acts of group violence until Moreno relented on his gasoline policy.

Lenin announced following police investigations that authorities had found links between the rioters and the Maduro regime, prompting the dictator’s rant.

“Lenin Moreno came out to say that what is happening over there is my fault,” Maduro said, “that I twitch my mustache and governments fall, that’s what Lenin Moreno says.”

“I’m not Superman, I’m Super Mustache,” Maduro joked.

Maduro’s state propaganda network VTV regularly dabbles in animation to promote the socialist regime’s agenda. From the beginning of Maduro’s stay in power, in 2013, VTV began airing cartoons of recently deceased Chávez in which he arrives in Heaven and joins Venezuelan founding father Simón Bolívar and mass murderer Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

VTV has also aired cartoons depicting Maduro as a friendly bus driver – amid years of violent protests and human rights violations that have resulted in an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation – and opposition leaders as ugly villains intent on destroying the country.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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