The shoe was on the other foot today as officials in Venezuela and Turkey warned their citizens about the dangerous political situation in the United States.

Both countries have faced criticism in the past from American officials who raised alerts that democracy in each was at risk and warned U.S. travelers to avoid both nations.

On July 5, 2017, when violent civilians and paramilitary groups in support of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government stormed into the Legislative Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, wounding several congressmen, the U.S State Department didn’t hesitate to call it “an assault on the democratic principles of the men and women who fought for the independence of Venezuela 206 years ago.”

In the same statement, American officials described the event as “an act that demonstrated growing authoritarianism.”

Today,  Maduro’s Foreign Minister seemed to echo those sentiments — and that language — when he commented on the breach of the U.S. Capitol.

On his Twitter account, Jorge Arreaza shared an official document stating that what happened today in Washington, D.C., was a “regrettable episode” and emphasized that Venezuela is sorry about “the political polarization and spiral of violence” seen in the United States.

Turkish fact-checkers also noticed a diplomatic echo.


“We call on all parties in the U.S. to maintain restraint and prudence. We believe the U.S. will overcome this internal political crisis in a mature manner,” read a statement published on the website of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Turkish officials, however, advised “Turkish citizens in the U.S. to avoid crowded areas and places where protests are taking place.”

Less than three months ago, on Oct. 23, 2020, the United States was participating in a mission in Turkey and raised the level of alert related to that nation. 

In a public post, the U.S embassy in Turkey advised citizens “to exercise heightened caution in locations where Americans or foreigners may gather, including large office buildings or shopping malls.”

Call it the boomerang effect or a simple reflection in the mirror.

Iranians fact-checkers have already been contacted by the IFCN and will analyze the content of any official statement Tehran might release.

*Jeanfreddy Gutierrez works as a fact-checker for the Venezuelan fact-checking organization Efecto Cocuyo.

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Cristina Tardáguila is the International Fact-Checking Network’s Associate Director. She was born in May 1980, in Brazil, and has lived in Rio de Janeiro for…
Cristina Tardáguila
Harrison Mantas is a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network covering the wide world of misinformation. He previously worked in Arizona and Washington D.C. for…
Harrison Mantas
Venezuelan journalist with 15 years of work. Co-founded in 2016, the first fact-checking outlet in Venezuela. Data-driven and environmental reporter. Colombiachek's director since March…
Jeanfreddy Gutiérrez Torres

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