Final Assignment Team 20

Hi Daniel,

Good work! Well-written, good analysis, good integration of class concepts, good images. Very impressive. Thanks!


Daniel Blanco

IDS 3309 Final Essay

South Korea is known for being a patriarchal society. Women have had a hard time speaking out against men that have done wrong against them. For example, Korea’s traditional gender roles has made it easy for men to get away with crimes against women, especially sexual harassment and assault. In April 2018, former South Korean governor An Hee-Jung (Fig. 1) was found not guilty of raping his secretary multiple times in 2017. During this period, women in South Korea were observing and getting inspired by the #MeToo movement in Hollywood to speak out against their abusers and tell their story (Lee Suh-yoon). With the rise of the #MeToo movement and South Korea’s changing views on sexual assault cases, the ruling was overturned and Governor An was found guilty on 9 of the 10 charges brought against him in this case.

Fig 1. News story of An Hee-Jung being found guilty and sentenced to 3 years in prison.

South Korea’s traditional gender roles have been prevalent for many years. According to Robert Rudolf, Korean women still face obstacles in getting jobs as simple as men do. Women have to deal with longer shifts, unequal pay, and deficits in child care. South Korea ranks 33 of 35 countries in the ratio between men and women in the work force (Fig 2). Rudolf continues by explaining how South Korea’s achievements in economic and technological development do not help with making changes to these strong traditional gender roles, leading Korea to be known as a technological powerhouse with patriarchal values (Rudolf 59-61). This historical evidence serves as proof of how the values in Korea are shaped, leading to how cases against women were treated.

A historic event that brought Korea to the international limelight was the Kwon Insook case. Kwon was a former student activist working in a factory. Female student activists were on a blacklist that made it harder to get work, causing her to borrow someone else’s ID card to get the factory job. Kwon was arrested and taken to a detective infamous for his torturous methods, Moon Guidong. After refusing to answer his questions, Moon took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her. The public came to learn about this story after Kwon told fellow inmates who spread it to the mass media. Women’s organizations formed a committee to bring Moon to justice with organized rallies and campaigns. However, the government responded to the incident by announcing that these “radical groups” were making up this story to spread their views. After that, 166 lawyers teamed up to defend Kwon in court and demanded an open trial. Kwon was released from prison after the trial and Moon was sentenced to five years in prison. In response to the ruling, Kwon, along with other female activists, viewed the case as a political issue regarding the government’s treatment toward political protestors (Jung 13-14). This case shone a light at the Korean government’s deceptive behaivor toward cases against their objectors. The Korean public were able to see how the case was unfairly treated with the massive attention it was getting in the mass media.

In more recent news, the #MeToo movement was properly introduced to South Korea by prosecutor Seo Ji-Hyun. In an interview with TIME Magazine, Seo claimed that at a funeral in 2010, a senior male colleague groped her multiple times. When she tried to report the assault to her managers, they responded with performance audits that were given to a lower-level branch. Years later, Seo saw the #MeToo movement take off in Hollywood; she was finally able to see that she was not alone, and that the situation was not her fault. Inspired, she attempted to have an investigation opened but no progress was made. Months later in January 2018, a frustrated Seo wrote an open letter on her workplace intranet sharing her story, signing the bottom with #MeToo. She also went on a broadcast program that day and told her story to a public audience. Her appearance on the program triggered a major movement. Many women who saw the program came out to speak against actors, film directors, and many other men. The Korea Women Hotline’s president estimated that Seo’s appearance saw a 23% increase in calls to the hotline (Haynes). In 2019, the prosecutor Seo accused, Ahn Tae-Geun, was sent to prison for two years. He was charged with preventing Seo from getting work opportunities after she tried to report the assault (Choe).

The Seo Ji-Hyun case did not just bring a movement to South Korea; it began to change people’s minds on how they view sexual assault cases. After the case became public and the movement spread throughout the country, people began to believe that the victims are never at fault when it comes to sexual assault cases. While not much has been done legally to change the treatment of these types of cases, the public’s view has shifted, and that is simply the start of a change in how sexual assault cases in South Korea are treated.

Fig. 4 Seo Ji-Hyun interview with TIME Magazine.

Sexual assault cases have brought many faults in South Korea’s government to the public eye. The one variable that the cases have in common is the mass media. When the cases were brought to the public, action was taken to bring the assaulters to justice. In the cases previously mentioned, once the public got a hold of the information presented in the cases, they began to speak out against the treatment of the cases. At first, the government tried to defend their actions and shift the blame toward the other party. Once enough attention was brought to the opposition, action was taken, and the women were able to punish their assaulters. After her case was brought to light, Seo Ji-Hyun noted the the general public’s view toward sexual assault cases is now more supportive of the victims, believing that it’s not the victim’s fault for putting themselves in the situation. The #MeToo movement has properly made its mark in South Korea, changing the traditional gender roles that have built the country in the first place.

Figures 2 and 3 are pictures and will be sent through email.


Shelby Touze Final Paper Team 20

Venezuelan coup

The boiling coup in Venezuela is unconditionally supported by nearly all American politicians on both sides and in all mainstream media, and this should not surprise anyone. These stores depict the democratically elected official Nicolas Maduro as a tyrant, whose presidential term is illegal. The president of Venezuela has been accused of being a dictator for years, but the media fails to paint a truthful picture of the situation unfolding in Venezuela. The media does not cover the events and details that directly contradict the hysterical coverage of Maduro’s alleged tyranny. The Bolivarian government is currently under siege from the opposition controlled National Assembly and neoliberal-necon capitalistic interests, who are trying to take control of the Venezuelan government through privatization deals and unconstitutional power grabs. And, of course, our mainstream news outlets are moving to the beat. Coverage of the Venezuelan crisis by mainstream western media has been purposefully misleading, manufactures consent for regime change, and is an example of a media blackout and conflating narratives.

In recent years, the “end of Venezuela” has become a sport, and the media has attacked this mission in a way closer to Kuzweili’s enthusiasm. For example, in February 2014, Forbes said Venezuela is “destined to collapse.” Later in the year, the Wall Street Journal told us how the swap market is preparing for the upcoming Venezuelan default. In January 2015, Forbes was tranquil in its fear-mongering and predicted Venezuela would be collapsing. Coincidentally, just a few weeks after the Forbes prediction appeared, the Daily Beast inquired in a headline: “Is Venezuela in danger of collapse?” Just in the realm of economics, we can see a central theme of Venezuela’s impending doom. Mainstream media will compound their predictions with either falsehoods or half-truths as to why the situation is so bad economically for Venezuela. They leave out the 20-year economic crusade waged by not only the U.S. government, but by Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations since Chavez took power. The fact that Venezuela has been on the brink of collapse for more than two decades now is fundamentally tied to the actions of the CIA in the late 90s, along with the bush administration in the later 2000s. Let’s acknowledge that Venezuela is sitting on THE LARGEST oil reserve in the world. Hugo Chavez restructured the country’s oil policies upon taking power in 1999 and utilized much of its revenue for social programs. He gutted abject poverty and lowered the infant mortality rate 27% by 2011. Not unlike Mossadegh in Iran, whom the U.S. helped overthrow in response to his conviction on maintaining ownership of Iran’s oil in 1953. Or as recently as Gaddafi in Libya, once the wealthiest nation in Africa, and now has an open slave trade. Now from this point we begin to see how the media angles its coverage of the Venezuelan economic situation by establishing the fact a less than ideal situation exists, but guts much of the context and history and transfers blame to Chavez’s socialist policies. It seems corporate news media forgets that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia conspired against Venezuela by driving oil prices down. Saudi Arabia overproduced oil to directly undermine the nationalized industry of Venezuela in conjunction with a U.S. backed coup against Chavez in 2002. What may happen to an economy bolstered by its oil exports if those exports tank in value, and an attempted coup with new leaders who intended to privatize the industry fully? Destabilization. Continued with an oil lockout that lasted till 2003, stifling the country’s production. This combative economic strategy by the U.S. can be traced back to Chile in 1973, in which the CIA had a policy to “make their economy scream.” We’ve seen the result of Allende’s overthrow and Pinochet’s installment; decades of a tyrannical dictatorship, the very same type the media and U.S. government accuse Nicolas Maduro of currently ruling.

Not only has the mainstream media castrated the flow of information on Venezuela’s situation, they have consistently used hyperbolic rhetoric to manufacture consent from the public for direct intervention. It should go without saying that corporate news outlets have an affinity for war. All war. All the time. CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News are known to be the Big 3 in news media. All three networks propagated the blatant lies from the intelligence community surrounding Saddam Hussein’s ties to Al-Qaeda and possession of chemical weapons to make the public believe intervention was necessary. MSNBC fired Phil Donahue a month before the 2003 invasion due to his critique of the pro-war establishment and the ramifications of such a conflict in the Middle east. A leaked internal memo states him to be “a difficult face in times of war”. Post Donahue, whose show had the highest ratings on MSNBC at the time, the network filled its blocks with Iraq War coverage in an effort to compete with CNN and Fox News’ propaganda machines. This hasn’t changed in recent years as we look to mainstream coverage of Venezuela. Maduro is constantly called a dictator and a tyrant. Much vitriol is spread over how he is a socialist puppet and that Venezuela is proof the economic concept can never work. What they won’t tell you is Maduro has to battle sanctions, a potential coup, a black market on local goods, and a myriad of other issues with no domestic origin. The media will plaster headlines with allegation of executions and flood its viewers with images of impecunious barrios and people eating from trash. This pointed coverage is all done with the purpose to once again convince the American public that we must decide another country’s future for them. One could replicate this with coverage of the United States with little effort. Simply make a list of all those without health coverage, medical bankruptcies, prison population, wage stagnation and just clips of Trump and you have significant content for articles pushing for regime change right here.

Speaking of pushing for regime change, entertain this thought experiment. Trump won the election with 3,000,000 million fewer votes. A year in to his presidency and post tax-cuts, Nancy Pelosi swears herself into office on the basis of universal disapproval of the Trump administration. She is then recognized by China, Russia, Mexico, and maybe a couple dozen others. Does this sound like a legitimate or even tangible process? It isn’t. But, mainstream media is doing its absolute best to convince you otherwise by not allowing opposing voices to contend. Dominant news outlets have recycled articles disparaging Maduro for blocking aid and jailing reporters, as well as releasing his military on the public. Claims and allegations that have all been debunked this year alone. Most notably would be the “humanitarian aid crisis” which culminated in a clash between opposition protesters and the Venezuelan authorities. The aid trucks were set ablaze and blame was immediately cast upon Maduro and the government. Plot twist! The very article posted by the New York Times detailing that version was recently corrected. Why? The very week the news broke about the aid truck fires, video footage was released showing opposition protesters throwing Molotov cocktails. One of which came apart upon launch, causing the rage to land on one of the trucks. It took the New York times three weeks to actually check its own reporting. Jimmy Dore, Aaron Mate, Greg Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and numerous other independent journalists and news sources debunked the narrative of Maduro’s regime violently rejecting aid.

Here are some important facts concerning the aid incident last month that the media has omitted. The current envoy to Venezuela and overseer of said aid is Elliott Abrams. The same Elliott Abrams convicted in 1992 for the Iran-Contra scandal in which he helped facilitate weapons sales to Iran, who at the time had an embargo on them, and use the funds to support the Contras in Nicaragua. So basically, the same guy who used bullshit humanitarian aid to overthrow a government and got caught, is now sending humanitarian aid. Transported in unmarked vehicles. Interesting. And what happens to those who point out media hypocrisy and give alternative perspectives? They get banned from Twitter. 1,200 accounts were suspended for “pro-maduro rhetoric”. CNN conspired with Facebook to ban InTheNow news, an independent news organization, because they didn’t disclose their funding on their page. A requirement no other mainstream news outlet has to adhere to. The media has reengaged in McCarthyism by smearing those who correctly advise against regime change efforts in foreign nations. They will spend time and money to dismantle independent voices across the board to further their pro-war agendas. There is no coverage of the violent opposition protesters, or the deal Guaido made to sell all of Venezuela’s oil to Exxon, or the fact that up until he swore himself in unconstitutionally, 81% of the population had no idea who he was. The media will tell you Maduro is illegitimate in his presidency, even though the 2018 election was monitored by four independent global election monitoring organizations and over 150 observers from more than 30 countries. The Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America or, CEELA, called the election clean. Corroborating reports were also made by observant African and Caribbean countries. Former prime Minister of Spain, Jose Zapatero said, “I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic voting system.” Now try to recall a CNN headline or WaPo article detailing the independent reports on the election. OH WAIT! There are none. The opposition boycotted the election. They were not banned. Not once has mainstream media stated this fact. Or any facts that contradict their current narrative.

This vehement, neo-liberal atmosphere plaguing Western media has enabled a growing mindset among Americans that regime change is for the better. It’s easy to deduce how repetitive, angled negative coverage can be effective in instilling beliefs to viewers. This is parallel and simultaneous to the earlier mention of selective information gathering by corporate news media. They have effectively blacked out dissenting voices regardless of credibility or accuracy. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a non-alternative media source detailing anything laid out so far in this paper. Mainstream media has placed the viewer in a custom blackout experiment by only funneling a particular narrative, with particular supporting facts, figures, and skewed context. If allowed to persist with no pushback, and if successful in their indoctrination campaign, we may very well see Venezuela become Libya.

Annotated Bibliography

Casey, Nicholas. Koettl, Christoph. And Acosta, Deborah. (2019) Footage Contradicts U.S. Claim That Nicolás Maduro Burned Aid Convoy. New York Times.

Retrieved from

This article has an attached video file detailing the NYT Investigation into the AID truck fiasco at the Venezuelan border. It highlights the willingness to shun on the ground reporting that debunked the “Maduro regime bad” narrative and helped me convey a key argument.

De Zayas, Alfred. (2018) Report of the Independent Expert on the promotion of a

democratic and equitable international order on his mission

to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Ecuador. United Nations Human Rights Council.

Retrieved from

This is the full report by then UN Independent Expert who studied the evolving situations in South America, particularly Venezuela and Ecuador. His diligent reporting was literally ignored by mainstream media and some in the UN General Assembly since it negates the running narrative propagated by the U.S and others. A shining example of what I mean by a blackout by the media of contradictory information.

Dobson, Paul (2019) Red Cross, UN Slam ‘Politicised’ USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Venezuela.

Retrieved from

This is just one of dozens of articles and posts outlining the issue of foreign powers using humanitarian aid as a proxy for intervention and getting caught. The Red Cross not only denounced the AID ploy, but the opposition protestors who posed as Red Cross workers. Just more evidence to support my claims.


Retrieved from

Summary of the economic siege tactics used against Venezuela since Chavez took Power. Helps contextualize many factors that have contributed to the country’s economic struggles. This article provided some strong data points.

Kuns, Karoli (2019) John Bolton Says Ultimate Goal In Venezuela Is To Take Their Oil. Crooks and Liars.

Retrieved from

This is an article and video pertaining to, well, exactly what the title suggests. John Bolton spills the beans. Again. This is gravy for biscuits.

Pagliccia, Nino. (2018) Elections in Venezuela: Democratic, Fair and Transparent.

Retrieved from

Article summarizing the independent election councils’ reports that monitored the 2018 election. The fair ruling was of course ignored my mainstream media, as today there is a running notion that Maduro cheated. There is no evidence to support those claims.

Sebyl-Green, Michael (2019) Venezuela crisis: Former UN rapporteur says US sanctions are killing citizens. The Independent.

Retrieved from

Third party analysis of de Zayas’ UN report. Serves as a pseudo-corroboration and secondary reference in regard to Mr. de Zayas’ work.

Shupak, Gregory (2019) US Media Ignore – and Applaud – Economic War on Venezuela.

Retrieved from

This article details how the US media ignore the severe damage caused by sanctions yet praises there execution upon the government in an effort to normalize regime change to viewers. Provided context for some points.  

Vaz, Ricardo. (2019) Venezuela: US Threatens New Sanctions as Hyperinflation Slows Down

Retrieved from

An article discussing the ironic escalation of US sanctions on the Maduro government as its economy sees growth. Testament to the determination of western powers to get their way.

Wilpert, Gregory. (2015) The Roots of the Current Situation in Venezuela.

Retrieved from

A detailed analysis of the history behind Venezuela’s inflation issues and overall volatile situation. It looks past the MSM claims and tackles the decades old policies responsible. Helped build context with the overall point that Maduro isn’t what the media claims.

Final Essay – Ashley Fernandez Group 20

Ashley Fernandez

Professor Christos

IDS 3309

April 12, 2019


Hi Ashley,

Well, you are missing images and I have to deduct points for that. However, your essay in well-written, and you have integrated class concepts acceptably. Following the Final Essay Rubric, there are 7 Measures to consider. I do like the title of your essay and you have a good concluding sentence.

Justice For American Injustice

During the Presidential election of 2016, Donald Trump came out as the winner. Although many citizens were shocked, no one really began to question the possibility that Trump was not who he deemed to be. Of course, others saw this as an opportunity to shine light on his life. Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, did not get very far in Trump’s Presidency, even with his credibility of being a “fixer” for Trump. Although he worked hard, Cohen has been sentenced to 3 years in prison. Using the rhetoric of logos and ethos, Cohen is becoming somewhat of a perfectly timed plague in Trump’s Presidency by leaking information that should have been known years ago.

Michael Cohen has painted a picture of what it is truly like to work for Trump for a decade or so. He would even go as far as claim that he knows the President more than anyone else. Cohen even admits he was “blindly” following Trump, making it his biggest regret (Collinson). Which must mean that Cohen is finally ready to break free from the chains, holding him down to illegitimacy and illegal activity. Cohen wanted to do his best to protect his former employer but now, it seems, that Cohen will do what it takes to bring him down into the spotlight. When questions finally arose about Michael Cohen’s involvement in Trump’s Presidency, he was quick to admit there were talks about a possible “Trump Tower” in Moscow, Russia (McCoy). This news could be quite odd except for the multiple speculations of Russia’s involvement – specifically Putin – in Trump’s Presidential race. Cohen’s activities – under Trump’s approval – have only gone ahead and basically confirmed that Trump is nothing but a business man with a large amount of luck; luck that seems to be running out.

Cohen was beginning to become a professional chess player – playing the man, not the game. He used his credibility and ethical thinking in order to slightly get himself out of a hole that was dug much deeper than expected. He has a history of being a well-known “fixer” but he knew that he was not good enough to fix his own problems without revealing others. Like a leech sucking blood out from under human skin, Cohen began to latch onto every slight flaw in Trump’s system. In a conversation between the author of The Truth About Trump, Michael D’Antonio, and Cohen, the vicious and desperate side of Cohen had shown. He worked tirelessly to stop any sort of secrets, about Trump, from leaking (DAntonio). Cohen had relentlessly fought for Trump to remain the “Great” President many Americans see. But, the tables have turned rather rapidly.

It seems as though Trump believed that Michael Cohen is not an issue to [his] Presidency at all. Cohen had believed that Trump would protect him during the many crime allegations against Cohen but [he] was wrong. This could have possibly been the moment that Cohen realized that his blindness of supporting Trump was only going to put him behind bars. That would not stop him from bringing Trump into the spotlight. Yet, Cohen had all the evidence and proof he needed to reveal the truth. Nothing really happened to Trump because of how well he works around news and journalists in general. It is as if Trump has become a very talented lizard in a room full of snakes; hungry to get their jaws on their prey.

Cohen had no other option but to turn to logic and proof – logos – in order to save himself from the law. He previously went on a trip to Russia with President Trump during the Presidential Elections and made agreements with Russian members of Congress in order to pull their support onto Trump (Isikoff). As if Cohen could not dig his grave any deeper, he made confidential project agreements with Felix Sater that would later on be one of the many producers of the Cohen plague for Donald Trump. Although Cohen did his best to bring down Trump with himself [Cohen], it was only Cohen at the end of the river while Trump swings golf clubs at his fancy country club. Cohen would go on to be sentenced to three years in prison in New York.

As for Trump, this may be a scratch on the surface for other former employees to come forward. Yes, many former employees/”friends” of Donald Trump have come forward, making accusations. But it is an unfortunate turnout for every single one of them when Trump manages to get his face and name out of the headlines and turns it back on them. It is quite difficult and tedious going after the man who is the face of our country. Especially when he has the best con-artists and lawyers working for him, as long as they are getting paid of course. One cannot help but wonder what would happen if Trump suddenly lost all his money and the secrets became big black letters written in a news article to be published internationally. Only time will tell.

Cohen will live the next three years in prison. Trump will end his presidency halfway through the sentencing, unless he wins the 2020 elections. The truth may never be revealed but, as it always plays out, things will slip here and there. Secrets never remain kept and in this time and age, one man’s secret is another man’s greatest opportunity.

Brown, Pamela, et al. “Cohen Believed Trump Would Pardon Him, but Then Things Changed.” CNN, Cable News Network, 1 Dec. 2018,

Collinson, Stephen. “Michael Cohen’s Shocking Picture of Trump’s Mob-like World.” CNN, Cable News Network, 28 Feb. 2019,

DAntonio, Michael, and Michael DAntonio. The Truth about Trump. Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martins Griffin, 2016.

Isikoff, Michael, and David Corn. The Russian Connection: the inside Story of How Vladimir Putin Attacked a U.S. Election and Shaped the Trump Presidency. Twelve, 2018.

Mangan, Dan, and Kevin Breuninger. “Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr Blasts Ex-Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen for Missing Hearing.” CNBC, CNBC, 12 Feb. 2019,

McCoy, Kevin. “Here’s a Look at Michael Cohen’s Allegations about President Donald Trump.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 2 Dec. 2018,

Final Paper Joanna

Name: Joanna Ravachi

Professor: Lauren Christos

Course: How we know what we know

Date: 03-19-2019

Venezuelan Crisis

Venezuela has been in a leadership crisis for a very long time. Currently, the country is in a stalemate where two leaders Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido are competing against each other. What is at stake is the presidency; Nicolas Maduro does not want to exit the seat of power while Juan Guaido is forcing his way in. Guaido has the backing of the people and the international community who have stepped in to pressure Maduro out of office. The Venezuelan people and the international community, support Guaido’s ideologies to restore peace in the country and end the humanitarian crisis that has seen a mass exodus. Venezuelans led by Guaido have led a number of protests to pressure Maduro to exit office. During the protests by the opposition in Venezuela on January 23rd2019, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, offered compromises to the Venezuelan people by swearing in front of everyone that he will fight for a better Venezuela and he will change the government for a new one.

The situation in Venezuela has been aided by the information systems in the country and the outside world. The deep focus of the situation by the international media prompted the increased demonstrations in the country. Many international media houses have focused on Guaido’s agenda of restoring democracy in a bid to end the authoritarian leadership. The Telegraph, a UK based newspaper, terms Guaido as the “interim president” of Venezuela. In the newspaper report, the focus was on Guaido’s strategies to restore Venezuela’s democracy. According to the article, Juan Guaido is focusing on taking control of the military as a way to take over from Maduro who has led to the destabilization of the country through his unproductive and authoritarian rule. The article also focuses on Guaido’s ideologies of restoring democracy (Alexander and Cody). The call on the military who are backing Maduro to defect is a strategy to strip Maduro of power.

The international community is another factor that has influenced the situation in Venezuela. Many western countries have thrown their support behind Juan Guaido. The main reason for this massive support is to protect democracy from authoritarian leadership led by Maduro. Therefore, they do not wish to lose Venezuela in communist ideals. According to the Guardian Magazine “European countries including the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden, and Denmark have recognized Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela in a coordinated move made after a deadline for Nicolás Maduro to call presidential elections expired” (Jones and Patrick). The UK becomes the second after America to declare Juan Guaido as the interim president of the South American nation. This gives him a lot of leverage in winning against Nicolas Maduro.

The main focus of the international community is to build a stable country. The first step to achieve this is to support Juan Guaido, a candidate whose main aim is to restore power to the people. Guaido does not share the authoritarian ideologies as the previous Venezuelan leaders, and therefore, it would be easier for the international community to work with him. Chavez and his predecessor effected populist strategies to propel them to power. Moreover, they engaged in dubious and bloody ways to rise to power. According to Ryan Brading’s book Populism in Venezuela, democracy in the country had been compromised especially during Chavez’s administration when he wanted to rule indefinitely after the 2007 elections (Brading 135). The main concern for the international community is to end the old regime and starts a new one that is popularized by democracy. This could only work for them when they have an ally, and thus the support of Juan Guaido.

The role of the media, in this case, is to popularize Guaido’s ideologies, and therefore, makes him identified more by the people. They see him as the right person to deliver them from the high cost of living, intense corruption, and humanitarian crisis. A number of sources have compared Nicolas Maduro’s leadership as the ripple effect of Hugo Chavez. He exhibits Chavez’s an authoritarian leadership that plunged Venezuela into corruption and many other upheavals. According to an article assessing the situation in Venezuela, the author states that Nicolas Maduro is still holding on to the dysfunctional opposition whose main ideologies were to manipulate elections (Buxton 3). The information systems both in Venezuela and the international community have antagonized Maduro. The support Guaido enjoys not only popularizing him but also makes him a hero to many people in and outside Venezuela. His ideologies are based on correcting the wrongs written by Maduro. He hopes to restore democracy and end the humanitarian crisis, corruption, and improve the economy.

The freedom of information is a challenge in Venezuela. The government during Chavez and Maduro’s regimes have been in constant conflict with the media. The government restricts the freedom of information and sensors what to be expressed by the media. According to an article assessing the relationship between the government and the media, there has been a poor relationship between the two and this has seen violence being effected against the media personnel. The article argues that there should be a balance between a reasonable regulation of media and rights protection to avoid conflicts and biases (Carney). The suppression of freedom of information in the region leads to the media houses to focus more on the popularization of the interim president Juan Guaido.

The situation in Venezuela is critical, and the support by the international community on Juan Guaido is influenced by the need for restoring democracy in the country. The poor leadership that has crippled the economy of the nation led to a humanitarian crisis, and the relationship between the media and the government are some of the factors that put pressure on Nicolas Maduro to exit. Information systems are popularizing the Venezuelan situation in a bid to pressure Maduro out of power. Both the local and the international media as the right person to save the country have popularized the interim president. Therefore, this gives him an advantage over Maduro.

Work Cited

Alexander, Harriet, and Cody Weddle. “Venezuela’s ‘Interim President’ Urges Military To Defect Amid Promise Of Possible Amnesty For Nicolas Maduro”. The Telegraph, 2019,

Brading, Ryan. Populism In Venezuela. Routledge, 2013.

Buxton, Julia. “Situation Normal In Venezuela: All Fouled Up”. NACLA Report On The Americas, vol 49, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-6. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1298235.

Carney, Molly. “Balancing Regulation And Rights In Venezuela’S Media War Molly Carney”. Loyola Of Los Angeles International And Comparative Law Review, vol 35, 2013, pp. 273-312., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.

Jones, Sam, and Patrick Wintour. “EU Countries Recognise Juan Guaidó As Interim Venezuelan Leader”. The Guardian, 2019,

Team 20 Fake News Assignment: President Donald Trump Diagnosed with Cancer


Team Assignment 3: Fake News Story

Photo: Ashley Fernandez

Tweets: Deyanira Morgado

Quotes/Sources: Shelby Touze

Article Writer/Editor: Daniel Blanco


President Donald Trump Diagnosed with Cancer


President Donald Trump took to Twitter Monday morning to reveal that he could be diagnosed with cancer.

White House staff member John Smith reveals that he has been looking at the president closely for the past few days after noticing him coughing loudly during a meeting.

“I noticed throughout the past 2 days that the president would complain about a pain in his chest and a migraine,” Smith explained exclusively to Team 20 Magazine.

“However, I knew something was going on when I noticed that President Trump didn’t want to use Twitter. I had to do something.”

Smith, feeling worried about his boss, took it upon himself to go online and look up his symptoms.

The website, which Smith claims is “absolutely reliable, credible, and trustworthy,” lets a user type up the symptoms in question and after a few seconds tells the user what they have.

When Smith entered the symptoms into the site he was shocked to see the website page say “CANCER” in the center.

This site is a well-known public medical information hub called WebMD. In Smith’s words, “I was taken aback completely. Considering the condition I’ve seen the President in, it was a morbid affirmation. If the internet says its cancer, then it must be!”

“I noticed how he had more complaints of a weakness in his limbs at times and difficulty keeping food down. And that was before the cough. Initially I levied the blame to Father Time, but he continued to deteriorate.”

Smith planned on contacting the surgeon general directly, but felt there would be an effort made to conceal Trump’s condition.

Smith believes the public has every right to be made aware of the health status of their President. This will prove to be a devastating circumstance under which Trump and the GOP will have to campaign in 2020. There already exists a strong sentiment that he is the epitome of incompetent, and a serious disease like cancer doesn’t help keep an image of an able bodied leader.

President Trump was also secretly taken to the hospital late Monday morning. A doctor at the hospital spoke exclusively with Team 20.

“I didn’t actually see the president, but my friend and dear coworker was the one who looked over him, and she said that it might be bad.”

When asked further details, specifically what kind of cancer the president has, the doctor did not have much to say.

“My friend hasn’t told me what kind of cancer he has, but she says it might be really bad.”

One question everyone has been asking since Trump sent the tweet is: Where’s Melania? The First Lady was seen in New York on Sunday, but no word has come out on what she was doing there. She was also not seen at the hospital when President Trump was first admitted.

Many other media sources have been trying to figure out where Melania is and why she wasn’t at the hospital immediately after he was admitted. Monday afternoon, however, Melania gave an update on her whereabouts on Twitter.

Team 20 called Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for comment, and this is what she had to say.

“We are very saddened to hear about the president. We are trying our best to get our own accurate and credible information as quickly as we can and we will hold a press conference to inform the fake media on the president’s condition.”


Reflective Paragraph

We wrote this story because we wanted to try and take a story that may seem outlandish and make it sound as real as possible. In order to achieve this, we decided to use ethos as our rhetorical appeal for the story. Our intended audience was the general public, because the situation we presented could greatly affect the entire nation. We used the picture of Trump in the hospital bed as the hook to lure readers to the story and made tweets to keep the reader’s attention throughout the article. News stories also use this tactic in order to give credibility to what they are saying as well as prove readers that what they’re reading is true without them having to look for the proof themselves.


Very well-done Team #21. Excellent reflective paragraph, good images (sent via email) Overall, good writing, good work!!!



Well-done Joanna. Good annotation, good sources!

Name: Joanna Ravachi

Course: IDS 3309

Date: 03-09-2019

Venezuelan Crisis

Thesis Statement:During the protests by the opposition in Venezuela on January 23, the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, offered compromises to the Venezuelan people by swearing in front of everyone that he will fight for a better Venezuela and he will change the government for a new one.

Annotated Bibliography

Alexander, Harriet, and Cody Weddle. “Venezuela’s ‘Interim President’ Urges Military To Defect Amid Promise Of Possible Amnesty For Nicolas Maduro”. The Telegraph, 2019,

This article focuses on the interim president’s strategies to re-instate Venezuela’s democracy. According to the article, Juan Guaido is focusing on taking control of the military as a way to take over from Maduro who has led to the destabilization of the country through his unproductive and authoritarian rule. The article focuses on Guaido’s ideologies of restoring democracy.

This article is important for the essay in addressing some of the promises the interim president is offering to the people of Venezuela. It will also be important in assessing whether he is a better candidate than the sitting president. The article will provide information to determine whether Guaido is the right person for Venezuela.

Brading, Ryan. Populism In Venezuela. Routledge, 2013.

This book analyses the origins of the populist ideologies in the leadership of Venezuela. It goes down history lane to analyses how Venezuela’s leaders have since risen to power in dubious and bloody means in the past. It also focuses on the humanitarian crisis that results from the poor leadership in the country for a long time. The poor economy despite being one of the largest producers of oil and the division of people.

This book will be important in relating the past events from what is happening currently in Venezuela. It will assist in observing the pattern of leadership in the country while relating it to Maduro’s leadership.

Buxton, Julia. “Situation Normal In Venezuela: All Fouled Up”. NACLA Report On The Americas, vol 49, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-6. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1298235.

This article assesses the damage and the ripple effect that Hugo Chavez’s regime caused in Venezuela. It focuses on aspects of Maduro’s regime that are relatable to Chavez’s. The article identifies common characteristics between Chavez’s regime and his successors Nicolas Maduro such as the poor economy, intense corruption, and humanitarian crisis that is plaguing the nation. The article seeks to portray a dysfunctional nation which needs to be rescued from the hands of Nicolas Maduro and his cronies.

This article will be significant in assessing the challenges that the Venezuelans are going through under the Maduro’s presidency. It also demonstrates the need for a new leadership in the country.

Carney, Molly. “Balancing Regulation And Rights In Venezuela’s Media War Molly Carney”. Loyola Of Los Angeles International And Comparative Law Review, vol 35, 2013, pp. 273-312., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.

This article tries to find a solution between the Venezuelan government and its media. The author calls for a balance in the rights for free press. The Venezuelan government has been in constant conflict with its media for a long time. This has seen violence being effected against the media. The article argues that there should be a balance between a reasonable regulations of media and rights protection to avoid conflicts and biases.

This article will be essential for the essay in assessing some of the possible solutions for the conflict between the Venezuelan government and its media. The media is an important tool in any country, therefore, when there is a harmonious co-existence, then this means that there will be objective presentation of information.

Jones, Sam, and Patrick Wintour. “EU Countries Recognise Juan Guaidó As Interim Venezuelan Leader”. The Guardian, 2019,

This article focuses on the disputed leadership of Venezuela and how the international community is weighing on to the same. It demonstrates reasons why the European Union is supporting the leadership of Juan Guaido as the interim president of the country rather than Nicolas Maduro. The European Union reached to the decision after Nicolas Maduro failed to call for an election. The main purpose for the European Union for supporting Guaido is to promote democracy in the country.

This article is important in demonstrating the importance of a new leadership in the region. Democracy is at stake in Venezuela is at the verge of authoritarian leadership under Nicolas Maduro. Therefore, this article will provide essential information for the support of Venezuela’s new leadership.

Smilde, David. “Can A Revived Opposition Stop Venezuela’s Authoritarian Slide?”. World Political Review, 2017, pp. 1-4., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.

This newspaper article demonstrate the impacts of the leadership dispute in Venezuela. It focuses on the human rights violations that has resulted in the killing of many people demonstrating for their rights. The author suggests that the opposition may be the best solution to the country’s problems, especially its democracy. He argues that Venezuela is on the verge of sliding into authoritarian regime.

This article is important in demonstrating the need for Juan Guaido to take over the leadership of Venezuela as a way to save it from plunging into authoritarian leadership. It gives reasons why there is the need for a change in leadership as the only way of ending the current humanitarian crisis which has seen tens of people dead.










Work Cited

Alexander, Harriet, and Cody Weddle. “Venezuela’s ‘Interim President’ Urges Military To Defect Amid Promise Of Possible Amnesty For Nicolas Maduro”. The Telegraph, 2019,

Brading, Ryan. Populism In Venezuela. Routledge, 2013.

Buxton, Julia. “Situation Normal In Venezuela: All Fouled Up”. NACLA Report On The Americas, vol 49, no. 1, 2017, pp. 3-6. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/10714839.2017.1298235.

Carney, Molly. “Balancing Regulation And Rights In Venezuela’S Media War Molly Carney”. Loyola Of Los Angeles International And Comparative Law Review, vol 35, 2013, pp. 273-312., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.

Jones, Sam, and Patrick Wintour. “EU Countries Recognise Juan Guaidó As Interim Venezuelan Leader”. The Guardian, 2019,

Smilde, David. “Can A Revived Opposition Stop Venezuela’S Authoritarian Slide?”. World Political Review, 2017, pp. 1-4., Accessed 9 Mar 2019.


Final Essay Draft- Group 20 Deyanira Morgado

Hi Deyanira,

Be sure to add images! Good work, good analysis, good writing style. I enjoyed reading this and you did a good job with a challenging topic.


Journalist attacks and murders are prevalent in non-democratic countries and are now increasing in popularity in the United States, as observed on February 12, 2019 when a reporter from BBC news was attacked by a Trump supporter. On one hand, Trumps’ administration and Trump himself used rhetoric and social media to present the event as unexpected and safely controlled .On the other hand, among the journalists and news organizations who follow the critical perspective , the event was portrayed using social media, newsletter , articles, and television as dangerous to  the future of journalism and democracy in the United States.

Trump utilizes his presidential status as an appeal to ethos, mainly for his supporters, to present news organization, including the New York Times, as fake news and as a threat to Americans. He constantly questions and uses derogatory language to refer to the news by posting anti-journalist tweets, Instagram posts, and while giving speeches during his presidential campaigns. Moreover, in an interview with Sulzberger , when faced with questions about the effect this is having in the American society and global impact , Trump appeals to pathos by stating he is a victim of the press  and that the press has been tough on other politicians , but in his case it has been a lot worse. The White House press secretary Sarah Sanders also addresses the question by stating that Trump is the victim and uses words such as “tough” and “fighter” to defend Trumps actions. Moreover, she appeals to supporter’s pathos by using repetition in her public speeches to say that the president is constantly attacked and that he is simply fighting back because the American people chose a president that does not step back and take no action. Lastly, she denies Trump is initiating violence towards journalist. Moreover, Trump t appeals to logos and pathos by mentioning the negotiations he has done to prevent the United States form going to war with North Korea and falling to the hands of China for economic reasons. Lastly, to address the attack on BBC camera man, Trump simply confirmed the reporter was okay and applauded at the audience which was shouting TRUMP!   after the violent act on the journalist. Through this body language and choice of words, the president made the event seem insignificant and did not even bother to condemn violent acts against journalists. 

On the other hand, the news organizations and journalists have better and more valid arguments to prove and convince the American public that Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is increasing violence toward journalists not only in the United States but all around the world as well. For example, during the same interview, Sulzberger appeals to logos by providing examples around the world where dictators and tyrants are using the term fake news to ban the free press and justify the murder of journalists. Moreover, Sulzberger appeals to pathos by mentioning the fact that many journalists are risking their lives to show the world the truth, while Trump is encouraging  press violence  and putting the First Amendment at risk simply because Trump can’t handle the criticism and scrutiny that  comes with free press and freedom of speech, and a democratic society. 

Additionally, on an article written and posted by BBC news, the author  Jon Sopel  uses the metaphor “Ron was the media”, to emphasize that any journalist is prone to these attacks, no matter no matter how honest and hardworking they are because they represent  the media which Donald Trump Hates and attacks daily. He also appeals to logos by describing the lack of security and police intervention to convince the audience that this is an issue and it must be corrected. 

The journalists and organizations are following the critical perspective by questioning Trump’s statements and assumptions he uses to attract supporters. The news also works for the betterment of society by avoiding the oppression of the news and defending the freedom of speech and the security of journalists and reporters. Lastly, journalists expand the bounds of debate by providing the American society and the world with the debate whether Trump’s anti-press rhetoric is creating more violence against journalists. On the contrary, Trump and his administration do not follow the critical perspective because they continue using the term “fake news” to refer to the press and continue denying the global impact this is having. 

Overall, the news is more effective because they use more than written articles, tweets, and pictures. They have the ability to show films of Donald Trump and facts undermining Trump’s statements and presidency.