There is even talk of a military invasion. In spite of democratic progress, the Latin American country is living through a complex situation, and its citizens must be alert to threats from abroad and the worsening of economic aggression towards it, because its opponents wish to put an end to the Chavist government at all costs.
A few days after the regional elections in Venezuela were held in which the Chavists and Left took 18 states and the opposition 5, the situation is a complicated one.
The opposition MUD or Democratic Union Roundtable, despite taking part in the elections in a fragmented way, won important states (Táchira, Mérida, the oil ‘emporium’ of Zulia, Nueva Esparta and Anzoátegui), but now its elected representatives are refusing to swear oath before Venezuala’s National Constituent Assembly (ANC), the institution which calls elections and Venezuela’s seat of sovereign power.
After its crushing defeat at the polls, the opponents of President Nicolás Maduro’s constitutionally elected government seem to be waiting for signs from those who plan and support moves to overthrow the government from abroad.
Refusing to acknowledge defeat and alleging fraud at the ballot box, government opponents are still “analysing” what action to take, which is seen as a way of gaining time in order to make themselves look good or support who knows what plans are being directed from without.
A few days ago, national leader and secretary of the Democratic Action (AD) party, Henry Ramos Allup, asserted that the opposition would have to decide whether to participate in the municipal elections and warned that defeat in the regional elections could lead to disparagement and abstention.
Many suspect that something is being cooked up in the opposition camp after their election failure and that the justification for the alleged fraud is a story being put about in order to gain time and try to steer a ship that is adrift whose captain is seated in the White House and answers to the name Donald Trump.
According to journalist Eleazar Díaz Rangel, reports of the non-existent fraud were most enthusiastically greeted abroad; in Washington, the European Union and by some governments in the region which warmly received the reports because such news would confirm the negative positions they had taken regarding Venezuela’s elections.
Added to the external threats posed by the well-known plans of OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and his close collaborator Republican Senator Marco Rubio to establish an illegal Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) as a first step to forming a parallel government in the country are the rumours of plans by some Venezuelan states to secede.
According to reports a growing danger to Venezuela’s territorial integrity and natural resources looms after the victory of opposition candidates in states such as Táchira, Zulia and Mérida on October 15.
This is what analysts and experts are warning, given the refusal of the new governors in the five states won by the opposition on October 15 to swear oath and the options it is expected US-led external powers will use to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution.
According to member of the National Assembly Julio Escalona, those who are in charge in the “crescent moon” (Táchira, Mérida and Zulia) might support a process of secession which would dismember the country and rob Venezuela of its resources.
For lawyer José Castillo, the idea of dismembering the country is not ludicrous and nor is the idea of handing over a part of it to global economic interests. The lawyer warned in statements published by newspaper Ultimas Noticias that the opposition victory in Zulia, Táchira and Mérida means that this possibility is around the corner.
In May 2008, President Hugo Chavez in edition 310 of his programme Aló Presidente (‘Hello President’) warned of this situation if the three crescent states ended up in opposition hands. “They will to try to mount a secessionist, destabilizing, coup movement,” he warned.
According to Castillo, Venezuelan opponents now “operate in the economic interests of the large global oil consortiums, in other words, in the interests of international capital”.
Under this precept, they are openly calling for a military invasion of Venezuela in which Colombia would be the main battering ram of such an offensive.
Without exaggerating, there is a lot of evidence to support this theory – from the machinations of Luis Almagro at the OAS with the so-called parallel government and Supreme Court of Justice appointed in Washington to the alleged meeting of that forum somewhere in Colombia. The pieces fit according to international political commentators.
Such is the case that since the failure between April and July of the movement to overthrow the government, the same forces that have been promoting the “crescent” movement are setting their sights on the states near the border with Colombia.
In this respect, Escalona warned about the penetration of paramilitary organizations (but not as criminal gangs) through Zulia and Táchira. “The tendency for international capital is to privatize national armies, they will try to form private international armies, because these are not regulated by international law”.
The plot (and danger) is thickening because according to some media organisations Israeli army and security agents are also present on the Colombian-Venezuelan border training Colombian soldiers and other personnel.
In addition, in this complex scenario where Venezuelans expect a more aggressive response on the part of the ANC regarding the problems affecting the pockets of people on low incomes, its president Delcy Rodriguez warned on October 21 against the implementation of an economic ‘blockade’ as revenge against the people and the government’s victory in the regional state elections.
The combination of speculation, stockpiling and high prices together with other steps may create a more explosive situation in the country which could encourage a secessionist movement, something that the government has already said it will not allow.
One solution people are waiting for is the initiation of the ‘economic commission’ to deal with this potential threat which would affect the pockets of the majority of the population, a measure Rodriguez announced for their protection.
In a recent article, journalist and president of the Foundation for Latin American Integration (FILA), Aram Aharonian, described the situation in the country and its complexities.
After the regional elections, a new period seems to be opening up: with a strengthened government from an institutional point of view, but one which is invisible and reviled by the international Right, in a country that will continue to face great economic and financial difficulties; and an opposition that will have to give fresh impetus to what it says and how it acts if it wants to challenge in the presidential elections at the end of 2018.
In absolute terms, he pointed out, the numbers provide stability for the government since the epicentre (Aragua, Carabobo, Capital District, Miranda and Bolivar) controls the central axis, without underestimating the loss it has suffered in Zulia, Tachira and Mérida, which in geopolitical terms, is extremely dangerous.
This same source expressed concern about Venezuela’s 2,218 km western and southwestern perimeter bordering Colombia, a key country in the strategy of aggression (including in military and paramilitary terms) of the US Southern Command, because in this neighbouring country Washington has deployed eight bases with troops and equipment that might be used against Venezuela.
Already, Juan Pablo Guanipa and Laidy Gómez, elected governors of Zulia and Táchira, have spoken of separatism and of opening the border with Colombia (perhaps to allow entry to paramilitary groups and drug traffickers). (PL)
(Translated by Nigel Conibear – DipTrans IoLET MCIL – firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay