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Venezuela hard-Right back coup to oust elected government

Prominent, hardline elements of Venezuela’s right-wing opposition have launched and widely circulated what has been termed a “coup petition” against Venezuela’s elected Government, in one of a series of recent attempts to destabilise the situation and undermine the country’s elected government, which enjoys clear majority support.

The petition’s preamble calls on “the Venezuelan democratic society and their Armed Forces to restore the Constitution and to free themselves from Cuban tutelage.Those who have signed include prominent figures such as Diego Arria, Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, Marcel Granier and MP María Corina Machado (pictured above with George Bush.) Worryingly, many of these are often quoted in the international media, with Machado in particular recently quoted by many sections of the British press on matters of the Venezuelan Constitution!

In light of numerous other recent clear examples of destabilisation attempts by Venezuela’s right-wing this ‘coup petition’ is all the more worrying. These have included riots in Tachira, a revealed plot to murder Vice-President Nicolas Maduro and National Assembly Head Diosdado Cabello, sections of the right-wing media including Globovision irresponsibly leaking a police raid on a prison, and the assaulting of a journalist at an opposition rally.

Hysterically claiming that “the government of Venezuela has repeatedly violated the constitution and outrageously is subordinate to the Castro-communist regime of Cuba,” and that “for 14 years Venezuela has been the victim of a Cuban Castro-communist invasion,” the detailed petition justifies its opposition to the democratic will of the Venezuelan people by bizarrely claiming that “to guarantee their control over Venezuela, the Castro-communists have designed an electoral system designed to their benefit, which allows them to manipulate the will of the electorate, through opportunism, abuse, coercion, buying people’s consciences, and endless vices and irregularities.”

Setting the scene for their demand of urgent action by “democratic society and the armed forces”, the petition argues that, “Worried about the possible death of president Chávez, the Cuban regime designed a mechanism in order to perpetuate their control over Venezuela.  The manoeuvre includes propping up a successor who is obedient to their interests, Nicolás Maduro,” and that “this strategy is supported by various Latin American presidents, including from Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Uruguay; the majority of whom not only share this same ideology and political goals, but also benefit from the economic support they receive from the Venezuelan government.”

These ramblings show the true nature of the hard right in Venezuela, which is increasingly isolated from developments and the political mainstream across the region, with even the Washington-based OAS defending the constitutionality of recent decisions in Venezuela, where the Supreme Court ruled President Chavez’s new term started on January 10, following his landslide victory in October.

Accusing the legal, elected and constitutional government of Venezuela of recently forming “a coup d’état in favour of a foreign power” which they claim  “means, in the long run, the transformation of the Venezuelan State into an annex of Cuba,” the opposition petition concludes with a clear call on the armed forces to turn against Venezuela’s elected government, saying:

Over the next few days it will be decided whether Venezuela ceases to exist as a nation, and instead is converted definitely into a colony of Cuba; or we recover our identity and our historic destiny.  We are convinced that our Armed Forces, supported by all sectors of civil society, will take charge and prevent the dissolution of the motherland.”

Speaking after elements of Venezuela’s right-wing rioted in Tachira, where public buildings were attacked, Venezuela’s Vice-President Nicolas Maduro recently said that “We have information that more violence is planned,” adding that “we cannot allow anyone to inflame this country”. Massive marches have also taken place in defence of the revolution.

Supporters of democracy and social progress in Venezuela internationally need to heed the warnings in the current situation and be more vigilant than ever at this vital time for the country. The Venezuelan people alone have the right to determine their country’s future.

An unofficial translation of the ‘Manifesto’ is copied below

Manifesto to democratic Venezuelan society and the National Armed Forces

(Preamble)

The government of Venezuela has repeatedly violated the constitution and outrageously is subordinate to the Castro-communist regime of Cuba.  We call on the Venezuelan democratic society and their Armed Forces to restore the Constitution and to free themselves from Cuban tutelage.

Petition:

To all democratic sectors of the country and especially to the National Armed Forces: Let us obey the Constitution and prevent Cuban domination!

We, the undersigned, write to all democratic sectors of the country and especially the members of the National Armed Forces, in this tragic hour for our homeland, to outline the following:

  1. For 14 years Venezuela has been the victim of a Cuban Castro-communist invasion.  This invasion has been encouraged and protected by the government.
  2. The Cubans have slowly and progressively taken control of our notary publics, the registers, the system of identification and immigration, foreign policy, and important sectors of the national economy.  The control exercised by the Cubans includes over our police forces and Armed Forces, to the detriment of the security and defence of the State.
  3. The consequences of the Castro-communist domination are seen is all areas of our day to day lives.  This has meant, amongst many other things, the destruction of our oil industry; the dismantling of our rural and industrial production; the progressive elimination of civil and economic liberties; the advancement of drug trafficking, guerrilla forces and organized crime.
  4. To guarantee their control over Venezuela, the Castro-communists have designed an electoral system designed to their benefit, which allows them to manipulate the will of the electorate, through opportunism, abuse, coercion, buying people’s consciences, and endless vices and irregularities.
  5. The resources of the VenezuelanState are no longer invested in resolving the many problems facing our people, but are openly used to finance the expansion of Castro-communism throughout the whole region.  It is for that reason that parts of the international community, bribed with Venezuelan petro-dollars, support and legitimise the Cuban invasion in Venezuela.
  6. It is public knowledge and obvious that Venezuela’s destiny is no longer decided by its own authorities, but is shamelessly determined in Havana, with the open participation of the Castro brothers.
  7. Worried about the possible death of president Chávez, the Cuban regime designed a mechanism in order to perpetuate their control over Venezuela.  The manoeuvre includes propping up a successor who is obedient to their interests, Nicolás Maduro, and promoting a “pact” between different sectors of the PSUV, which guarantees the continuity of Cuban interference in our country.
  8. This strategy is supported by various Latin American presidents, including from Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Uruguay; the majority of whom not only share this same ideology and political goals, but also benefit from the economic support they receive from the Venezuelan government.
  9. This constitutes a clear violation of the Constitution and laws; it forms a coup d’état in favour of a foreign power; and it means, in the long run, the transformation of the Venezuelan State into an annex of Cuba.
  10. Despite our reasonable, democratic and constitutional approach, government spokespeople and some sectors of the opposition have labelled us as “coup plotters”.  However, it is precisely the opposite; the coupsters are those who have been systematically violating the Constitution.   There is an explicit mandate to re-establish its validity, as set out in Article 333 of the Constitution.

Over the next few days it will be decided whether Venezuela ceases to exist as a nation, and instead is converted definitely into a colony of Cuba; or we recover our identity and our historic destiny.  We are convinced that our Armed Forces, supported by all sectors of civil society, will take charge and prevent the dissolution of the motherland.

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