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, Pablo Medina Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, Enrique Tejera París, Marcel Granier, Oscar Garcia Mendoza 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