Toucan Memes Crap on Maduro


EspañolIn the evening hours of Thursday, February 12, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro informed the nation that a plot to assassinate him and overthrow his government had been foiled.

The conspiracy? Venezuelan air-force officers planned to direct a Tucano (Toucan) fighter aircraft to attack the Miraflores presidential palace, among other locations. Social-media users, however, were quick to mock Maduro’s claims — apparently the 26th plot against his government since he came to power in April 2013 — as both lacking in any evidence and completely infeasible.

But as Maduro continues to stick to his story on the coup d’état — excusing himself from the inauguration of Uruguayan President Tabaré Vázquez to avert the purported risk of an uprising — it’s worth revisiting the social-media backlash to see how Venezuelans ridiculed, and disproved, their president’s far-fetched claims.

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“Toucan Sam arrested as the prime suspect in the attempted attack against Nicolás Maduro #Tucano.”

“Nicolás Maduro: ‘They wanted to attack me with a Tucano.'”

“This is the Tucano Maduro is talking about.”

“Tucano1 to base: target reached, I repeat, target reached!”

“Tucano aircraft to be used in the alleged coup.”

“Here’s the Tucano attacking Maduro.”

Moreover, several commentators have noted that the Tucano aircraft deployed by Venezuela could hardly be used successfully in the kind of operation described by Maduro, given their small armaments and lack of speed.

“The experts say that any Russian aircraft, or an F-16, would take down a Tucano easily: they’re slower moving than a line outside a store waiting for soap.”

“The Tucano is an excellent aircraft, but it’s just not used for what Maduro thinks it is.”

“A hostile action by a Tucano plane, against the anti-aircraft systems of the [Venezuelan Armed Forces], wouldn’t even last three minutes in the air.”

“They chose the Tucano because they used it when they were active military officers (…) The only thing they’ve updated is their bank accounts with dollars.”

Translated by Rebeca Morla. Edited by Laurie Blair and Fergus Hodgson.

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