Senator Marco Rubio has been a staunch critic of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, but his willingness to criticize the regime has meant that sometimes he doesn't cross-check his facts.
On Saturday, the Florida senator was left in an embarrassing position after he blamed a power outage in Venezuela on the journalist who broke the news.
"Today another transformer explosion at the German Dam in Bolivar State caused another massive blackout. The result? Critically ill patients have died, the #Caracas metro remains out of service & few if any flights have arrived at or departed from Caracas in over 20 hours," Rubio tweeted.
As it turns out, no "German Dam" exists in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar. In fact, "German Dam" is the name of a South American journalist who was one of the first people to have published the information about the blackout.
German Dam took to Twitter to draw attention to Rubio's embarrassing goof. In a reply to the Senator's tweet, Dam said that while it was true that a transformer had exploded in the Bolivar state of Venezuela, it was not in a dam -- much less German.
"Senator @marcorubio, an important transformer exploded in Bolívar and that, in part, again collapsed the Venezuelan Electric System; however it was not in a dam, much less german," wrote Dam on Twitter.
"My name is Germán Dam, I am one of the journalists who published the information."The embarrassing mistake has made Senator Marco Rubio a target of ridicule among social media users, who have expressed surprise at the fact that the senator or his team didn't bother to cross-check the information before posting it on Twitter. Even so, Rubio has not deleted the tweet, which was part of a larger thread about the blackouts under the Maduro regime in Venezuela.
There have been increasingly frequent power outages in the South American nation, with Maduro claiming last week that the blackouts were a result of "the electric war announced and directed by American imperialism against our people," according to Newsweek. The Venezuelan Communications Minister, Jorge Rodriguez, went so far as to blame Rubio directly for the blackouts during a televised speech.
Rubio responded with a tongue-in-cheek tweet, saying that it was possible that he had used the wrong app to cause blackouts in Venezuela.
"I must have pressed the wrong thing on the 'electronic attack' app I downloaded from Apple. My bad," he tweeted.
And while on that occasion, Rubio's tweet was met with applause on social media, this time it was the Florida senator causing all the mirth.