Marco Rubio blames ‘Putin’s disinformation’ for coverage of Bolivia coup that he doesn’t like

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Eager to find some way to implicate Russia in Bolivia’s political crisis and control of the US narrative, Republican senator Marco Rubio branded any skeptical coverage of events as an example of how “Putin uses disinformation.”

Rubio, an early and avid supporter of protests that ousted former Bolivian President Evo Morales this week, tweeted that those wishing to understand Russian disinformation should “study current coverage” of Bolivia.

In Rubio’s world, Russia has created “fake news” on Bolivia and is spreading it via a “vast network of outlets” and “social media actors” before it is “echoed in mainstream media.”

Rubio did not specify exactly what kind of “fake news” he was referring to, but his past statements and support for the Bolivian opposition indicate that he is displeased with media coverage accurately referring to Morales’ ousting under military pressure as a coup.

Twitter was quick to step in and point out that Rubio’s description of how ‘Russian’ propaganda spreads is indeed quite similar to how the US government maintains narrative control on issues of foreign policy — usually by ensuring that misleading or outright false official statements proliferate rapidly in the media.

“Marco is going to be surprised when he hears about America,” one sarcastic commenter responded.

Journalist Dan Cohen said Rubio’s interpretation of what was happening with coverage of Bolivia amounted to “pure projection.” 

“I mean, the US just assisted with a right wing fascist coup to overturn a democratic election… you’re like a cartoon,” another user wrote.

“If you disagree with Marco Rubio’s warped neocon version of reality with regard to Bolivia, then you might be spreading Russian disinformation. Very convenient.” added journalist Rania Khalek.

Rubio does have quite the incentive to keep pushing the line that Morales was ousted in a popular uprising though — and that Russia must be behind any other narrative. Leaked audio recordings show that right-wing Rubio was among a group of US senators actively plotting with the Bolivian opposition to overthrow the socialist leader.

Morales touched down in Mexico on Tuesday after the country offered him asylum following his forced resignation. Morales was re-elected as president in October, but opposition parties accused him of tampering with the vote and violent protests erupted, culminating in the police and military mutiny which forced him to flee the country.

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