Nicolás Maduro holds up evidence of a Salvadoran mercenary cell in Venezuela, complete with pictures of the individuals involved, the cars they drove, and where they met. He connects them to both a leading opposition party co-ordinator, and the US embassy in Caracas.
Well, that didn’t take long. If anyone thought the US State Dept. was through meddling with Venezuelan elections now that the man they hated most is dead, you can think again. They haven’t given up the old bag of dirty tricks; they’ve simply opened it up on a new man…the current (and soon to be duly elected) president of Venezuela:
The presidential candidate and current acting president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, made a denunciation during a meeting with residents of the state of Bolívar as part of his electoral campaign.
“We have found a group of Central American merceneries, co-ordinated with the right-wing in a Central American country and with a person close to the opposition, who are here to raise the homicide rates and scandalous crimes to exacerbate public fear. Their second objective is to go on sabotaging the electrical system.
“The third objective of these mercenaries is to kill me. They want to kill me because they know they wouldn’t win any free elections. Roger Noriega and Otto Reich and the Salvadoran right-wing have sent some assassins, paid by them, to kill me, and I denounce this to the world,” Maduro said.
“I won’t let them kill me, that’s for certain, but they won’t get me out of the streets,” Maduro continued, adding that “if anything happens to me, you know what to do.”
The PSUV candidate also informed that “a woman from the United States embassy held a meeting [for the purpose of] causing a massive blackout in Bolívar. She met with the co-ordinator of the Primero Justicia party, Wilson Castro.”
Power blackouts are nothing new in Venezuela, and ever since Chavecito became president, they — and oil industry lockouts before that — have been an opposition sabotage strategy of choice. The reason? Simple: The opposition can then plausibly (or so they think) claim that the PSUV is “causing insecurity” or running things incompetently, and that the only way to get things back on track is to elect Capriles & Co. to privatize everything. (And if you think I’m joking, there’s another video of him here, taken in 1999, when he was still with the old conservative party COPEI — he’s now with Primero Justicia, the same party as Wilson Castro — in which he’s actually on record as saying that all Venezuelan state assets should be privatized. He also calls for the firing of half a million state employees, an idea which should go down like a load of bricks with the old AD/COPEI bureaucrats who occupy a lot of those jobs to this day!)
A few days ago, President Maduro ordered extra security precautions for the national electrical system. With the election now just one week away, things are getting tight, and anxieties are running high…and in Maduro’s case, there is good reason to fear for his life. He is, after all, Chavecito’s designated successor. If anything happened to him, the next in line, per the constitution, would be Diosdado Cabello, the National Assembly president, also of the PSUV. No doubt he too is watching his back…and the power grid…and the streets of all the major cities, very closely. Because the last thing Venezuela wants, at this juncture, is another snap election, another round of dirty State Dept. tricks…and another death of a popular leader.