For anyone wondering if the fight in Venezuela against corruption and paramilitary terrorism is going to let up now that Chavecito is no longer there, wonder no more. It’s still going strong, and it’s turning up criminals all over the place:
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced on Sunday that state security forces had captured two paramilitary bands intending to attack Venezuela.
On his Twitter account, @NicolasMaduro, he wrote: “We have captured two paramilitary bands which came to attack our Venezuela, one in Táchira and the other in Portuguesa. Details to come.”
Later, he wrote: “Justice Minister Rodríguez Torres will give more information on Monday. Congratulations to our security forces. We must remain alert for our nation’s peace.”
On Sunday, Maduro also announced that an anti-corruption operation by defence forces had dismantled a band which was extorting the proprietors of commercial establishments. He also thanked the people for their denunciations, and added that “corruption is a disease of the antivalues of capitalism,” and called upon all the country to confront it.
And here’s one big example of how serious the Maduro government is about fighting against corruption: they’re not about to spare civil servants or government appointees caught with their hands in the cookie jar, either:
Authorities detained the national director of inspections for the Institute for the Defence of Persons in Access to Goods and Services (INDEPABIS), Trino Martínez, member of a gang which had been extorting proprietors of businesses in Caracas.
In an exclusive broadcast on VTV, the subject was apprehended in El Valle by police agents. A large sum of money and a firearm were seized.
Martínez was advisor to the former president of INDEPABIS, Consuelo Cerrada, who was fired on Sunday.
The president of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro, announced via Twitter (@NicolasMaduro): “Early this morning we began an anticorruption operation in Indepabis against a group of extortionists. We’ll get to the bottom [of this in the fight] against corruption.”
Again, translation mine. Here’s the video of that arrest going down:
The new director of INDEPABIS is Eduardo Samán, who has occupied that position before. His prior experience should stand him in good stead; he knows the agency inside and out. He’s also an outspoken critic of the “bolibourgeois” corruptos, and that bodes well for his dedication to the task at hand. When a government agency in charge of making sure that people get access to the goods and services they need is eaten from within by those who would deny them that access, a radical approach is needed, and Samán’s radicalism is just what the doctor ordered. The time for so-called realpolitik is over.
Samán’s words from three years ago ring true now: “To believe that we have to strengthen a bourgeoisie to develop capitalism in order to later go to socialism is to jump over hurdles. I think this is incorrect because we’ve had a dose of it and we have gone backwards. Here, the Bolivarian bourgeoisie was strengthened and look what the results have been.”
Indeed. A director fired, her advisor arrested…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Add to it the usual assortment of imported Colombian mercenaries, serving some really bourgeois right-wing politicians and land- and business owners, and you get corruption networks all across the board. Maduro’s got his work cut out for him, but this is a very good start.