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.
Marco is going to be surprised when he hears about America. https://t.co/SFSl4vrl7E
— Morten Øverbye (@morten) November 12, 2019
Why go so far, the United States is the prime example.
— Serge Tshamala (@Egbevadoh) November 12, 2019
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.
Marco Rubio is neck deep Bolivia. Just like he was in Venezuela. And Guatemala. And Ecuador. I’m starting to wonder if John Bolton didn’t switch bodies w/Lil Marco. It’s either that, or he’s the CIA’s Central/South American lapdog.
— SlowNewsDay (@SlowNewsDayShow) November 12, 2019
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.