The state-owned public television network of Venezuela has launched an anti-Bitcoin campaign. In a recent article published on their website, ‘Corporación Venezolana de Televisión’ claims that the bitcoin is “the ideal currency of ‘the dark side of the internet’, a kind of tax haven for drug dealers, rapists or any criminal”.

‘Corporación Venezolana de Televisión’ is the Spanish for Venezuelan Television Corporation. It is based in Caracas, Venezuela.

‘Tool to evade taxes, launder money and damage the economy’

In a translation of the article from Spanish to English, provided by Reddit user, /u/Avatar-X, the article opens with the very bold statement:

“Is it a coincidence that the criminal groups and terrorists of the world are the main activists and defenders of Bitcoin?”

The opening statement sets the tone for the rest of the piece, and after offering a brief and error-ridden explanation of Bitcoin and the ‘Deep Web’ with a rather humorous description of Bitcoin’s creator - “a group hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ - the article continues its tirade against the cryptocurrency and its community:

“...this could be the ideal currency of ‘the dark side of the internet’, a kind of tax haven for drug dealers, rapists or any criminal”

“A tool to evade taxes, launder money and damage the economy of the country.”

“In Venezuela, there are groups dedicated to promoting the use of Bitcoin, who don’t doubt its qualifications for dealing in actions with a subversive air”

“For Venezuelans, it is not a secret the damage that it has caused to the economy and that it is being pushed and promoted via website like Dollar Today, that it has got an illegal and criminal exchange rate that has caused severe damage to the national economy, causing increased levels of inflation which don’t match normal parameters of economic development.”

“...many people have started to use Bitcoin as an alternative to evade the currency exchange policies enacted by the Bolivarian government to guarantee correct development of the economy.”

The article concluded in much the same way that it started:

“What is clear is that its use produces a negative effect to the national currency, to the use of legal commodities and to the productive growth of the economy.”

Corrupt Government

Many have already dismissed this article as propaganda disseminated by the notoriously corrupt Venezuelan government, as evidenced by the World Justice Project’s ranking of Venezuela of number 99 out of all 99 countries surveyed in its 2014 Rule of Law Index. In an attempt to deflect blame for the economic recession and huge inflation rates that have faced Venezuela since 2014 following their over-reliance on oil exports, they have created a scapegoat of Bitcoin so as to not admit any fault on the part of the government.

The full article (in Spanish) can be found here.