President Nicolas Maduro: US media distort Venezuelan protests

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at a meeting on 25 March, 2014. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro calls for "peace and dialogue"

A review of the best commentary on and around the world...

Today's must-read

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is in no hurry to make concessions to the protestors who have taken to the streets of his nation's cities for weeks on end. Instead, he contends in an opinion piece for the New York Times, voices of concern are being drowned out by claims by an angry mob of a corrupt democracy.

He writes:

The protesters have a single goal: the unconstitutional ouster of the democratically elected government. Anti-government leaders made this clear when they started the campaign in January, vowing to create chaos in the streets. Those with legitimate criticisms of economic conditions or the crime rate are being exploited by protest leaders with a violent, antidemocratic agenda.

The American government has been meddling in the protests, Mr Maduro writes, pointing out that the Obama administration spends $5m (£3m) every year to support opposition movements. He also criticises a bill in Congress for an additional $15m (£9m) for what he labels "anti-government organisations" and proposed economic sanctions.

Mr Maduro calls for diplomacy between the protestors and the government, writing that he has "extended a hand to the opposition".

"Venezuela needs peace and dialogue to move forward," he writes. "We welcome anyone who sincerely wants to help us reach these goals."


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Media captionPresenter Dmitry Kiselev condemns US over Ukraine on his show Vesti Nedeli

Denouncing the West - Rossiya 1 television presenter Dmitry Kiselev has ferociously denounced homosexuals, Obama's greying hair, and Ukrainian leadership. Kiselev's rants can easily sway public opinion, says Stephen Ennis for BBC News.

"Mr Kiselev's polemic set the tone for the Kremlin's policy on Ukraine that culminated in Mr Putin's triumphant annexation of Crimea some three weeks later," he writes.


Improbable cures - Government officials and other loyal citizens have praised the claim by the Egyptian military that cures have been found for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, writes Wael Eskandar for Daily News Egypt.

"Miracles aside, there can only be two explanations as to why the military has announced the cure," he writes. "The first is that the army is willingly misleading people by offering false hope to millions of Egyptians infected with hepatitis C as a means of enhancing its image. The second is that the army itself was conned into thinking the cure exists."


Preventing a nightmare - The Ebola outbreak in Guinea has much of Liberia's "fragile population" afraid of the nightmarish disease, write the editors of Liberia's the News. They say that some are suggesting Liberia close its border with Guinea, as Senegal recently did. They argue, however, that gathering money and international support is a more effective method of battling the disease.


Threatening diversity - Quebec, known for its multiculturalism, may pass a "discriminatory" law that has already sparked violence against Muslims, writes Safiah Chowdhury for Al Jazeera. The Quebec Charter of Values, which was recently introduced, would limit state personnel from wearing religious symbols such as Muslim veils. The charter is "antithetical to Canadian values" and "a revision of our prejudices is overdue", she writes.

BBC Monitoring's quotes of the day

On Monday former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted of bribery charges. Israel's media was quick to react.

"The man who served in our most senior government position, who commanded the trust of the nation, and who had utilized the authority to make war and endanger lives, has turned out to be a criminal. At the same time, today is also a day to be proud of our legal system." - Editorial in the Jerusalem Post.

"In a certain sense, Ehud Olmert is the ultimate Israeli of the last generation: both direct and cunning, intelligent and superficial, seducer and aggressor, local and cosmopolitan, greedy and friendly, full of charm and shady. But this ultimate Israeli was corrupt to the bone." - Ari Shavit in Ha'aretz.

"From now on Ehud Olmert is a serial criminal, polluted man of finance, partner to the secret of the 'black box'… He is one of the arms of the octopus of crime in the biggest case of corruption ever investigated by the national unit for investigating fraud." - Mordechai Gilat in Yisrael Hayom.


As many astute readers pointed out, we made an error in yesterday's What in the World post about Stephen Colbert's response to the #CancelColbert Twitter movement.

We wrote that the music accompanying the opening segment of The Colbert Report was Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio in G-minor, which we noted was played at the end of the film Platoon.

In fact, Samuel Barber's Adiagio for Strings was the piece that was played both on the show and in the film.

Albinoni's moving composition did, in fact, grace the end of a war film - the Australian World War One epic Gallipoli, not Oliver Stone's Vietnam tale.

Remedial instruction in the use of famous pieces of classical music in cinema will begin forthwith.

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