Opposition Strategy Affects Venezuelan People, Analyst Asserts

The subversive strategy implemented by sectors of the right wing and their adventurous maneuvers to take political power affects all Venezuelans in equal terms, assured analyst and journalist Jose Vicente Rangel.

At his program Jose Vicente Today, broadcast by TeleVen, former Venezuelan Vice President considered that, due to the failure of seditious actions, the December 9 municipal council elections are a favorable opportunity to retake the democratic path.

In this sense, he indicated that destabilizing actions of the right not only harm the left-wing militancy and the government, which is facing an economic war provoked by these sectors, but also the rest of the society.

'When will they abandon subversive and adventurous politics? It's a failed strategy that affects all Venezuelans,' he questioned during his usual television program.

On the other hand, Rangel stressed the need to strengthen institutions in order to generate appropriate responses to the demands of civil society and political organizations.

The functioning of democracy and its institutions is also a key factor,' he emphasized.

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Venezuela Omdusman Slams 'Dangerous' Rise in Politically Motivated Hate Crimes

At least 86 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government began.

Venezuela’s ombudsman, Tarek William Saab, denounced on Sunday the rise in far-right hate crimes as the opposition calls for an escalation of protests against the government that have claimed the lives of over 80 people.

RELATED: Venezuelan Youth Burned for 'Being Chavista' Dies from Injuries

"Hate crimes, like lynchings, motivated by political reasons advance dangerously and with impunity in the country," Saab said.

He published a series of videos showing how a group of people protesting in the Tamanaco Commercial Center, CCCT in the capital city of Caracas tried to attack a woman and chased her down the mall. She was mistaken for Marlene de Andrade, the wife of Winston Vallenilla, the president of the state-run television station, TVes.

"We are struggling to change a country, where there is tolerance and all of us who think differently can live and facts like these do much harm. The lady here is a worker who was just doing an errand and she did not deserve this aggression," an unknown person is heard saying next to the woman in another video, in what appears to be bathroom inside the mall.

"What would have happened if the mob that chased this lady in the CCCT had managed to lynch her? Applauding this is condemnable," said Saab on Twitter.

At least 86 people have died since opposition-led protests aimed at toppling the government began, despite calls by President Nicolas Maduro for dialogue with opposition sectors. On May 1, President Maduro invoked the legal mechanism allowing him to call for a Constituent Assembly as a means to quell the unrest through a process that would include citizens in the writing of a new constitution for the South American nation. 

In addition to those killed, over 1,200 have been injured in the protests.

RELATED: Opposition Violence Suspected Behind Killing of Venezuelan Judge

Saab also accused the country's right-wing opposition of being behind recent attacks and threats against his family last week. He said some 30 people carrying flags of the opposition party Justice First attacked his family and threatened to burn their house down.

"Seeking aggression with intentions to injure or kill a human being because of their ideological stance is disgusting," Saab wrote on his Twitter account. "The justice system has can stop this despicable phenomenon that if it were to continue with impunity, would be the prologue of a civil war."

Saad denounced last week that opposition sectors have attacked eight of the headquarters of the Ombudsman's Office across the country, including an incident on Saturday when a "group of hooded men sprayed gasoline" at the headquarters in the city of San Cristobal "and attacked it with blunt objects."

Among the most shocking case of hate crime was the lynching of Orlando Figuera, who was burned alive on May 20 in affluent Caracas neighborhood of Altamira, reportedly because opposition protesters suspected that the 21-year-old Black man was a government supporter.

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Venezuela Top Court Confirms Constituent Assembly Will Go Ahead

Venezuela's electoral authority has signaled that elections to select the National Constituent Assembly representatives will take place July 30.

Venezuela’s top court rejected Monday an appeal filed by the country’s attorney general, confirming that the National Constituent Assembly called by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the Constitution will continue as planned.

INTERVIEW: Venezuela Socialist Speaks on Challenges to Bolivarian Process

"The Electoral Chamber declared inadmissable the legal action exercised by the Attorney General of the Republic for inept accumulation of claims," Venezuela's Supreme Court announced on its Twitter account to 81,400 followers. 

Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz filed an appeal Thursday to the Supreme Court calling on justices to halt the National Constituent Assembly, deepening tensions between her office and the Maduro government. 

Together with her appeal, Ortega Diaz urged Venezuelans to reject the constituent assembly process, arguing that it went against the legacy of late President Hugo Chavez, who oversaw the creation of the counry's current 1999 Constitution, regarded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. 

Members of Maduro's PSUV party have accused Ortega Diaz, long considered an ally of the socialist government, of acting with bias. 

Maduro called the National Constituent Assembly last month in a move to promote dialogue amid an ongoing wave of opposition protests that have increasingly turned violent. The announcement has further ignited flared tensions, as opposition leaders have refused to back the process. 

The National Constituent Assembly's 545 members, including regional and sectoral representatives, are set to be elected on July 30. Maduro has vowed that the new Constitution resulting form the constituent assembly process will be approved in a referendum. 

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Venezuela Opposition 'Escalates' Anti-Government Protests, Remains Silent on Right-Wing Violence

President Nicolas Maduro has accused right-wing opposition leaders of being complicit in fatal violence with their silence. 

Right-wing leaders in Venezuela have called for an escalation of protests as a fresh set of marches for and against the government are set to hit the streets Monday and political tensions continue to run high after nearly two months of opposition demonstrations aimed at forcing President Nicolas Maduro out of office.

RELATED: Venezuelan Opposition Mob Beats Retired National Guard to Death

Opposition groups will march in Caracas towards the Ombudsman’s office Monday, while government supporters will head toward the Miraflores Presidential Palace under the banner of “Peace, Life and Constituent Assembly.”

Ahead of the latest round of opposing demonstrations, opposition leader and vice president of the National Assembly, Freddy Guevara, called on supporters to “get ready for an escalation,” saying anti-government groups will “significantly” increase “pressure” in the streets against Maduro.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Henrique Capriles, head of the opposition Justice First party who lost the last two presidential elections while representing the opposition MUD coalition, stoked the opposition protests — which have increasingly spilled over into violence — by accusing the government of being responsible for violence.  

“The government’s hand is behind the burned buses, the barricades, the acts of vandalism,” Capriles said, according to Venezuela’s El Universal.

A total of 51 buses were burned last week in an attack on a transport company in Puerto Ordaz. Capriles took to Twitter after the incident to blame the government, writing, “They burn, loot, destroy everything to try to detract from the legitimate protest of the people.” On the other hand, the ruling socialist party governor in the state of Bolivar, Francisco Rangel, slammed as an opposition “terrorist act” on his Twitter account.

Maduro called on the opposition Sunday to condemn such “terrorist acts,” accusing right-wing leaders of generating violence.

“The opposition, by silence, is complicit in criminal terrorism that murders innocent people in the streets,” the president said in his weekly program, arguing that it has been already made clear that the opposition is to blame for violence. “The ultra-right is held hostage by terrorist groups that they themselves created.”

RELATED: Venezuelan Women Debate Constituent Assembly Proposals

More than 60 people have been killed in incidents linked to protests since the opposition launched an ongoing wave of anti-government demonstrations at the beginning of April, according to government officials. In the latest violent incident, a former member of the National Guard was beaten to death by an opposition mob Saturday in the state of Lara in what Maduro condemned as a “hate crime … by a group of criminals, murderers, violent protesters.”

Although the dozens of people killed amid protests have died from a range of different causes — including at least 18 shot by assailants during protests, 13 killed during looting, eight killed at violent barricades, and five killed by police — right-wing leaders have painted the death toll as the result of a violent crackdown on the opposition marches by government forces.

Monday’s opposition march claims to be in memory of those “fallen” in recent weeks of protests, but leaders have failed to condemn the violence that has repeatedly broken out in the ranks of its supporters during demonstrations.

“Today May 29 begins another stage of greater constitutional pressure,” Capriles wrote on his Twitter account. “We Venezuelans want answers and solutions to the crisis!”

The opposition has rejected Maduro’s national Constituent Assembly — called to initiate a democratic process to rewrite the country’s constitution and promote dialogue as solution to the intense political deadlock. Instead, right-wing leaders have called for an “escalation” of protests against the socialist government.   

Maduro described the Constituent Assembly Sunday as a process of "revolutionary change" and a "great power" for a "new stage" in Venezuela.

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Violent Opposition Protest Burns Hugo Chavez's Childhood Home

A day of heated protests in the western Venezuelan city of Barinas took aim symbols of the socialist Bolivarian Revolution.

Opposition protesters in Venezuela attacked the childhood home of former President Hugo Chavez and destroyed five statues commemorating the late leader in a day of increasingly hostile anti-government demonstrations that spilled over into violence and led to the death of at least one person.

RELATED: Most Victims of Fatalities in Recent Venezuela Violence Weren't Protesters: Government

Demonstrators set ablaze Monday the house in the western Venezuelan city of Barinas where Chavez, a native of the neighboring town of Sabaneta spent his teenage years.

Anti-government protesters, who have been in the streets for more than 50 days of protests aimed at forcing the government of President Nicolas Maduro out of office, also set fire to public buildings, including the National Electoral Council, lawmaker Pedro Luis Castillo reported. Five statues commemorating Chavez and the headquarters of the Regional Housing Institute were also vandalized. There were also reports of looting in parts of the city.

Amid the hostile protests, 19-year-old Yorman Bervecia was shot and killed. The Venezuelan Attorney General's office ordered an investigation into the deaths of two people during the protests and promised to prosecute those responsible for the attacks. 

According to Venezuelan authorities, the death brings the total of fatalities to at least 60 since large opposition protests against the Maduro government began in early April.

RELATED: Here’s Your Guide to Understanding Protest Deaths in Venezuela

The opposition called for a strike by health workers in Barinas in the southwestern part of the country, and several main roads in the city were blocked in the morning.

Ernesto Villegas, Minister of Communication and Information, criticized the opposition for attempting to blame the dozens of deaths on the government, arguing that the right-wing leadership "uses the pain of relatives to plant a truth that can not be reversed."

The government has also condemned a series of violent acts by the opposition, including burning down public transport units, attacks on public and private property and looting, and has called for a "Great March for Peace, Life and Coexistence" in Caracas.

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Venezuela’s opposition seeks chaos, not election to depose Maduro – Constituent Assembly director

Venezuela’s major opposition is not interested in taking part in free general elections, but instead, seeks ways to create chaos and violently oust President Nicholas Maduro from office, the head of the commission for the newly introduced Constituent Assembly told RT.

“They are not interested in taking part in the elections when the situation is politically, economically and socially stable. Now they are not planning to run for elections at all, but initially they wanted the election to take place amid economic and social chaos in the country, thus they could have won by creating a mess in our society,” Elías José Jaua Milano, who was appointed president of the commission for the National Constituent Assembly, said in an interview with RT Spanish.

 

“This is their goal. They are not striving for elections taking place in normal conditions so that our people could freely express their political will,” Jaua Milano noted.

Protests have gripped the country since March 29, after the Supreme Court ruled to take over the duties of the National Assembly, a ruling many saw as undemocratic. Although the Supreme Court repealed the decree three days later, it was not enough to assuage anti-government protesters.

The opposition has demanded the government hold fresh general elections as soon as possible, while the government believes that holding a constitutional convention instead, is the only proper way to national reconciliation.

“We believe that President Nicholas Maduro must complete his legal [presidential] which expires in January 2019, and the presidential elections should be held in 2018,” the head of Constituent Assembly said.

After a month of violent street protests which has claimed the lives of at least 39 people, so far, Maduro invoked article 347 of the Bolivarian Constitution, which allows for the convening of a national constituent assembly with the aim of “transforming the state.”

Maduro also urged for a national dialogue. He has asked the Constituent Assembly to cooperate with all representatives of the opposition – many of whom themselves disagree with the actions and methods chosen by the senior opposition members representing the elite, according to Jaua Milano. The idea of all-inclusive talks have been supported by a number of Latin American nations as well as the Vatican.

“Nicholas Maduro decided to seek advice from the sovereign people’s government so that the legally elected members of the assembly could establish grounds that would allow for an elementary understanding and mutual respect between the parties to the conflict,” Jaua Milano explained to RT.

As public disorder in Venezuela enters its second month, some members of the Venezuelan opposition has refused to participate in the National Constituent Assembly convened in order to hear the voice of the people, and if necessary, amend the constitution.

Critics of Maduro say that his intention to negotiate with the opposition is in fact an attempt to delay regional and municipal elections slated for this year.

Maduro’s government, in turn, accuses the opposition of refusing to engage in talks but instead looking to oust him by any means necessary.

“They are rejecting taking part in a dialogue and in the elections because they actually don’t want to resolve this conflict through elections. They are trying to depose President Nicholas Maduro,” Jaua Milano said.

The Venezuelan people, including those opposing the government, are against violence, but opposition figures are deliberately pushing for an escalation of the conflict, Jaua Milano believes.

“Venezuela’s top opposition officials are acting on the instruction of most radical parts of the US government… and are carrying out the White House’s request to start a kin-on-kin war in Venezuela,” he said.

Speaking of the underlying reasons for such actions, Jaua Milano said the United States is trying to “punish people who dared to be independent” since Washington “can’t let true democracies to exist.”

“Those from the United States who are trying to ignite this conflict should have…more carefully analyzed the scale that the civil war in Venezuela could achieve,” Jaua Milano said, warning that such a war could set the entire region on fire.

 
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The head of the Constituent Assembly stressed that authorities are not resorting to lethal weapons and are not responsible for the mounting death toll in the ongoing protests.

“In Venezuela, representatives of law enforcement agencies are not allowed to shoot at protesters. And although [the protesters] have already resorted to the use of firearms, the commanders of special forces still have orders to use only water cannons and tear gas,” Jaua Milano told RT.

“The death of people during the riots was often caused by the actions of the rioters themselves. They either walked into the crosshairs of the opposition snipers or found themselves in chaotic situations that led to their death.”

The goal of the opposition is to present the government as an oppressor that violates human rights, and to depict a failed state by encouraging chaos that leads to casualties, Jaua Milano said.

“This is a war in which dramatic pictures attracts most attention: Nudists, standing in front of police. People throwing themselves into the river as a result of alleged police harassment,” he said.

“This is a comprehensive strategy aimed at creating chaos in state institutions, in society, provoking clashes among the civilian population in order to prove the state’s failure and justify a foreign military invasion.”

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CARICOM Leaders Urged to Send Fact Finding Mission to Venezuela

The objective of the fact-finding mission would be present accurate and objective analysis of the situation.

Leaders from the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, have been called on to send a fact-finding mission to neighboring Venezuela in order to make an informed analysis of the ongoing situation in the country.

RELATED: Socialist Venezuelan Student Leader Killed After Backing Maduro

David Comissiong, the interim Chairperson of the Caribbean chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity, said in a letter Sunday that it was vital for CARICOM governments to get a clearer picture of the events unfolding in Venezuela. He stated the objective of the fact-finding mission would be present accurate and objective analysis of the situation.

Comissiong accused Luis Almagro, the General Secretary of the Organization of American States, of leading a "wicked campaign against Venezuela," with the OAS head championing the application of the organization's 'Democratic Charter' against the country.

"Luis Almagro, the current Secretary General of the OAS, is a virulent right-wing former Foreign Minister of Uruguay who possesses a deep hatred of President Maduro and his PSUV administration," he said in the statement.

The Clement Payne Movement founder also said the opposition-led National Assembly was refusing to carry out their lawful duties, rendering the government dysfunctional.

"They (opposition parties) were publicly declaring that they had no interest in carrying out any law-making functions other than to use their time and energy to somehow get rid of President Maduro before his lawful, constitutional term of office comes to an end in 2018."

He said violence and vandalism of during opposition-backed protests were "consciously designed manifestations orchestrated by the wealthy elitist opposition politicians."

Comissiong also urged media houses in the English-speaking Caribbean to send an investigative team to Venezuela, saying western media's reports on Venezuela are skewed and distorted.

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Despite repeated calls by the Venezuelan government for peaceful dialogue and negotiations with the opposition, protests have continued in the streets, with more radical elements employing violence in efforts to force an ouster of President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro has looked to ease tensions by calling for a National Constituent Assembly that would open up discussions with civil society on a broad restructuring of the state, but opposition leader have also rejected the call and set off a fresh wave of protests which have led to the deaths of some three dozen people in just over a month.

The United States government, a long-time opponent of the left-wing government, has recently set its sights on the Caribbean as part of a strategy to isolate the country.

RELATED: US Senate Bill Allots $20M Toward Regime Change in Venezuela

The bipartisan Venezuela Humanitarian Assistance and Defense of Democratic Governance Act presented in the U.S. Senate not only seeks to pump millions to opposition efforts to undermine the Maduro government, but also looks to woo the Caribbean through a 'strengthening' of strengthen the U.S.-backed Caribbean Energy Security Initiative, as well as financially support regional investment energy diversification across the Caribbean and Central America.

As part of a wider international effort, the U.S. would leverage the Caribbean to respond to the crisis, where many Caribbean countries “which depend largely on high cost imported fuel for electricity generation, and many of which have benefited from preferential treatment by Venezuela,” the bill states.

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Exaggerated Dangers in Venezuela

Caracas, Apr 10 (Prensa Latina) Exaggerating the dangers that exist today in Venezuela seems to be part of the strategy to root the image of insecurity in order to justify a foreign intervention that will allegedly save the country's stability.

How true or false is the situation they are trying to sell to the large masses who are alarmingly observing the manipulated domestic situation, as part of a scenario that has been described as catastrophic by people like the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro?

A communiqué issued by Almagro refers to 'a killed demonstrator and dozens of wounded and arrested as the initial result of repression (on Friday), aimed at suffocating the demand for free elections, the only solution for a country devastated by the political crisis and looting.'

The peaceful protest and the right to the freedom of peaceful association, he noted, are universal rights that any government, especially the democratic governments, must respect. That shows again that there is no democracy in Venezuela and that human rights are violated regularly, the OAS chief said.

None of this fits reality. First, there is freedom to demonstrate, but authorities have the right to limit the places to prevent clashes between opposite forces, according to observers.

The violent demonstrations, according to what this correspondent has observed, are promoted by groups opposed to the government that are closely linked to 'the democrats of the continent', as Almagro calls those who 'will not accept to pay with Venezuelan blood the debts of democracy, freedoms, prosperity, the Constitution and the rights that its rulers have contracted at the people's expense,' something that these advocates cause and manipulate.

The communiqué, which was issued after Almagro met on Thursday in Washington with the speaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly, the opposition leader Julio Borges, shows that the so-called soft coup against President Nicolas Maduro is being cooked in the U.S. capital, with support from local opponents.

Big media organizations have described events that do not match reality, as they are trying to depict an explosive image throughout the country.

For example, here, at the foot of Mountain Avila, there were sporadic expressions of violence in the areas of Altamira and Chacaito, known as the capital's bastions of the country's right-wing opposition and the bourgeoisie, while in other zones in the east, west and south, there is tension, but there is no violence as predicted and announced by media opposed to the government.

That atmosphere of insecurity and violence is fueled by events like this one: 'Venezuelan tennis players had to go to Miami to compete in the Davis Cup against El Salvador. Not a single game will take place in Venezuela, because the International Federation considered that it was dangerous. But no one, either the International Tennis Federation or the IND or Min-Deportes say anything', the commentator Eleazar Diaz Rangel said.

Logically, the manipulation of the situation contributes to the atmosphere of insecurity. Everything can have an interpretation here.

For example, at 08:00 hours, local time, on Sunday, a squad of soldiers wearing the olive green uniforms of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) was deployed at the steps of the Financiero Latino building, in Urdaneta and Avenida Fuerzas Armadas.

Anyone would think that it was a scenario of violence, because the headquarters of the Ombudsman is located nearby, but it was merely a preventive exercise. The danger does not exist.

It does not mean that the country is not in tension, there is tension, ordinary people are concerned about their country and the threats coming from abroad, but so far, it has not gone beyond that, unless foreign forces attack the homeland of Simon Bolivar and Hugo Chavez. Then, there will be a dangerous situation.

However, there are still voices like that of UNASUR Secretary-General Ernesto Samper, who noted that an explicit electoral program is the best way to solve the political crisis. It was said by someone who participated in the talks between the two parties and who has promoted dialogue.

Likewise, but on the opposite direction, there is howling like that by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who speaks about 'violations of human rights' in Venezuela and calls 'to exert pressure' to cause the explosion of a bomb that can affect the entire Latin America.

In that regard, the interpretation of the dangers may change, everything depends on being at the wrong moment and at the wrong time in the sequence of a situation.

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