September 6, 2019 / 8:15 PM / 9 days ago

Amazon's 'Jack Ryan' TV series lambasted for promoting Venezuela 'invasion'

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela’s culture minister has accused Amazon television series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” of promoting an invasion of the South American nation, following a trailer for the second season that appears to put Caracas at the centre of a global conspiracy involving nuclear weapons.

FILE PHOTO: Cast member and executive producer John Krasinski poses at a premiere for the television series "Jack Ryan" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., August 31, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

Venezuela under President Nicolas Maduro is suffering an economic meltdown that has fuelled mass migration.

U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017 mentioned “a possible military option” while discussing approaches to the country’s humanitarian crisis, and officials routinely say “all options are on the table” when discussing Venezuela.

In the second season of “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” a CIA analyst ends up on a mission spanning Venezuela and Russia to “bring stability to a country on the brink of collapse,” according to a synopsis by Amazon Studios, which distributes the show.

Venezuelan Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas took to Twitter on Thursday evening to describe the show as: “Crass war propaganda disguised as entertainment.”

“The military intervention of #Venezuela, put “on the table” by @realDonaldTrump and his gang of fanatic supremacists, is supported by the gringo propaganda machine. Here is a fragment of their ‘cultural offerings,” he wrote, linking to the trailer.

The fictional thriller series is based on the best-selling books by Tom Clancy and stars John Krasinski as CIA analyst Jack Ryan.

Its second season will start streaming on Amazon on Nov. 1.

Amazon Studios, a unit of Amazon.com Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

More than 4 million people have left Venezuela to escape hyperinflation and rising malnutrition, creating a regional migration crisis. Maduro blames the situation on U.S. sanctions that have hobbled the country’s oil industry.

Venezuelan officials for years accused the United States of preparing an invasion to steal its vast oil resources.

The country’s socialist politics, rampant crime and open confrontation with the United States has made it attractive to the U.S. entertainment industry.

Action adventure video game Mercenaries 2, released in 2008, was set in a fictionalised war-torn Venezuela. That fuelled outrage among Venezuela’s ruling Socialist Party, who called it an apology for U.S.-backed violence in the region.

In a 2013 episode of Showtime spy series “Homeland,” the main character was held hostage in an unfinished Caracas office building turned squatter settlement known as the “Tower of David.”

Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, Vivian Sequera and Shaylim Valderrama in Caracas and Jill Serjeant in Los Angeles, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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