Checkpoint Asia

No, China Almost Certainly Did Not Deploy “120 Troops to Venezuela”

A story like this needs much more confirmation than the flimsy "evidence" we have right now

Al Masdar (and Muraselon) reporting this, and a couple of others (1,2,3) echoing it (now including Zero Hedge). Except Al Masdar (and Muraselon) both focus on reporting from the Syrian civil war and have no special expertise on Venezuela or sources there. Everyone else who reported on it, like the local teleSUR, only confirmed the Chinese flew in some aid.

The troops part originates from nothing more than literally just a handful of Twitter posts which combined photographs of the Chinese cargo plane at the Caracas airport from a few days ago, with one other photograph of a couple of Chinese and Venezuelan soldiers posing together at some unknown location, but definitely not at Caracas airport.

The latter photograph indeed first appeared anywhere on the internet only four days ago, but that doesn’t mean it could not have been taken months, or years ago. Moreover it shows just three Chinese soldiers, not “over 120” (Masdar) and not “tens” (Muraselon).

Nice photo but when was it made?

What we don’t have is footage of Chinese troops disembarking in Caracas like we had for the Russians. And it’s not like we don’t have footage of the unloading, we have plenty, it’s just that no troops are shown getting out on any of it.

Nope, no 120 Chinese troops here

For Russians we had clear photographic evidence

Moreover China and the US are engaged in trade talks right now that China hasn’t given up on yet — to the contrary, Beijing as a favor to Trump just ordered 828,000 tons of American soybeans, and banned all non-prescription fentanyl products. Surely Xi wouldn’t be undermining his own goodwill gestures like this before the talks are over?

Nope, no troops at the ceremony