Real life: Venezuelan officials probing opposition messages coded into crossword puzzles

posted at 7:11 pm on March 28, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

What.

Crossword puzzles in a local Venezuelan newspaper are calling readers to violent protests with conspiratorial messages, the country’s information minister said today.

Delcy Rodriguez called for an investigation of El Aragueno daily from the industrial town of Maracay, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Caracas for putting “encrypted messages” in its puzzles, she said in a post on her Twitter account. She didn’t give any details. …

Brain teasers have triggered the alarm of Venezuela’s socialist government before. In May 2012, state television accused the biggest national newspaper Ultimas Noticias of trying to organize the assassination of then-President Hugo Chavez through coded crossword messages. Chavez died from cancer a year later.

OK, crazies. Let’s put aside for a moment that the Venezuelan regime has a persistent and peculiar penchant for concocting wild, baseless, scapegoatist conspiracy theories about even the tiniest, strangest things and go ahead and flesh this theory out: Even if opposition forces were communicating to the masses through some secretly planned conjunction of 17 down and 22 across — stranger things have happened in the world of revolution and espionage, after all — what exactly would they be communicating about? Is it those greedy, subversive businessmen waging an “economic war” on Nicolas Maduro colluding about ways to jack up prices to undermine his leadership, rather than following the simple economic laws of supply and demand and trying to make a living? Or is it the political opposition leaders who have been… well, really open, actually, about their feelings on the matter and what they’re trying to acheive. On Twitter.

Nutshell translation: This government sucks.

But by all means, keep reverting to crazy stories about Venezuela has not real problems other than foreign imperialists and internal traitors to glory that would otherwise be the Bolivarian revolution. Maduro should write a book: “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.”

Brazil, Latin America’s biggest economy and diplomatic power, has toned down its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro because of disappointment over how he is handling mounting economic problems and opposition-led street protests.

The shift, while subtle, has deprived Maduro of some of the regional backing he wants at a time of food shortages, high inflation and political uncertainty in the OPEC nation.

Broadly speaking, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains an ally of Maduro. While Rousseff is more moderate, both are part of a generation of leftist Latin American presidents who grew up opposing pro-Washington governments and believe they are united by a mission to help the poor.

However, Rousseff has been increasingly disappointed by some of Maduro’s actions and has reined in the more enthusiastic support that characterized Brazil-Venezuela relations under his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, according to two officials close to Rousseff’s government.


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I have been scouring the internet over the past few weeks, especially among lefty populated sites, for coverage and commentary on the Venezuela current affairs.

From what I have read, most liberals/Obama supporters/socialists are no surprise siding with the Venezuelan government. They argue that the protesters are the ones causing the conflict, not the government, and they are initiating the violence and tension. They argue if they just shut up and supported the Venezuelan government, everything would be OK.

tcufrog on March 28, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Mwahahaha. They are totally ignoring the Sudoko puzzles.

rbj on March 28, 2014 at 7:33 PM

How soon we forget…

JohnGalt23 on March 28, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Crossword puzzles stimulate brain function.

The last thing the Venezuelan government needs nowadays is for the people to begin using their brains. They would quickly conclude that the government is trashing the nation, and needs to be overthrown.

So the Crosswords are obviously subversive, even if there are no hidden messages.

s1im on March 28, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Has the administration made any comments about what’s happening in Venezuela? People are actually dying there because of:

1. being shot and beaten by the Venezuelan government

2. citizen upon citizen violence over who’s going to get the last gallon of milk or loaf of bread

Nah, Obama wouldn’t want that to get out to the American public – some of the DWTS and American Idol crowd might begin to realize that we are quickly heading in that direction.

Flora Duh on March 28, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I was reading a thread on Venezuela at a message board that is 99.9% socialist liberal.

The thread had two types of people in it: Venezuelan citizens, and Western Liberals.

The Venezuelan citizens were against the Venezuelan regime, and wanted him out.

The western liberals sided with the regime, telling the Venezuelan people they don’t know how good they have it and how wrong they were. How the Venezuelan Citizens posting in the thread didn’t know what they were talking about, how these protests and opposition are fueled by the western capitalists and right wing facists, etc.

It was scary. Liberals are so entrenched in their cause for socialism and utopia they will even plug their ears and shout “nananana can’t hear you” when citizens from a socialist country are calling for the ousting of the socialist regime they live under.

tcufrog on March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

tcufrog on March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Yet, if the unrest in Venezuelan were happening under an American Republican Administration, the western liberals would be in the streets and on every cable news channel, demanding that the United States send monetary and military aid.

Flora Duh on March 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

The western liberals sided with the regime, telling the Venezuelan people they don’t know how good they have it and how wrong they were. How the Venezuelan Citizens posting in the thread didn’t know what they were talking about, how these protests and opposition are fueled by the western capitalists and right wing facists, etc.

It was scary. Liberals are so entrenched in their cause for socialism and utopia they will even plug their ears and shout “nananana can’t hear you” when citizens from a socialist country are calling for the ousting of the socialist regime they live under.

tcufrog on March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Most “non-interventionist” liberals and libertarians have dismissed the Venezuelan protests as a CIA backed coup plot. The protestors are being delegitimized the same way the Ukrainian protestors have been written off as CIA-funded Neo-Nazis.

Doomberg on March 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Wait until they catch on to the Cryptoquip.

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Damn! I was so hoping this technique could be kept quiet until our own uprising!

36 D- Roof sealant (Pitch)
48 A- Bank outlets (Forks)
10 A- Sets a fire (Torches)
29 D- Blanco in SoHo (White)
65 A- Provide Shelter (House)
18 D- Suddenly Occur (Dawn)

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Wait until they catch on to the Cryptoquip.

Murphy9 on March 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

Or the Junior Scramble

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:45 PM

So sad for Venezuela … such a nice people and a promising country.
Run by dumbphucks. I am sad for the great people of Venezuela things will get worse before they get better.

Messages in the crossword puzzles? Guess the government there must hold the intellect of their population with similar low regard as King Putt and Queen Butt do ours. But in our case there is plain and simple evidence. Dear Liar, the Panahou High bench scrub was elected TWICE.

Missilengr on March 28, 2014 at 8:46 PM

But by all means, keep reverting to crazy stories about Venezuela has not real problems other than foreign imperialists and internal traitors to glory that would otherwise be the Bolivarian revolution.

Is this a new kind of puzzle where the reader has to supply the missing / correct words to make sense of the sentence?

AesopFan on March 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Meh, this is so 1980s…

Remember the “Numbers Stations?”

“Finale.”

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM

I was reading a thread on Venezuela at a message board that is 99.9% socialist liberal.

The thread had two types of people in it: Venezuelan citizens, and Western Liberals.

The Venezuelan citizens were against the Venezuelan regime, and wanted him out.

The western liberals sided with the regime, telling the Venezuelan people they don’t know how good they have it and how wrong they were. How the Venezuelan Citizens posting in the thread didn’t know what they were talking about, how these protests and opposition are fueled by the western capitalists and right wing facists, etc.

It was scary. Liberals are so entrenched in their cause for socialism and utopia they will even plug their ears and shout “nananana can’t hear you” when citizens from a socialist country are calling for the ousting of the socialist regime they live under.

tcufrog on March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Ask them what they think might happen to the Netherlands’ 3 ABC Islands just 20 or so miles north of the Venezuela coast, if things go downhill even further.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Reminded me of the story about how D-Day was almost cancelled because a newspaper published a crossword puzzle some time before the invasion, and some of the answers happened to be the code names for some of the beaches at Normandy.

CurtZHP on March 28, 2014 at 10:47 PM

4 across: “CHUCKIES”
17 down: “YANQUIS”

OxyCon on March 28, 2014 at 11:26 PM

One of the 48… Utah

Red indian tribe…Omaha

xkaydet65 on March 29, 2014 at 12:28 AM

If you haven’t joined the Venezuelan social media and voiced your support for the demonstrators, you should: #venezueladiesyouaresilent #SOSVenezueIa

Ricard on March 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM

HotAir: You should add a “like” button…some of the comments are hilarious and “thumbs up” worthy!

allstonian on March 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM