Why was Robert Serra murdered?

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Robert Serra (at left, with hand raised) leads a PSUV delegation through a Caracas neighborhood. On Wednesday night, the parliamentarian — Venezuela’s youngest national-assembly deputy — was brutally murdered at home.

On Wednesday night, Venezuela lost a bright, promising young parliamentarian to a vicious targeted assassination. We don’t yet know exactly who did it. But their motive? That’s not in so much doubt…

Young Chavista deputy Robert Serra, assassinated on Wednesday night along with his girlfriend at his home in Caracas, was one of those who, along with the VTV program Zurda Konducta, denounced the videos linking Lorent Gómez Saleh with paramilitarism and with an attempted coup d’état against Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.

So recounts journalist and Zurda Konducta host Pedro Carvajalino, who considers that the murder of Serra was meant to “demoralize the people”.

In an interview with the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN), in La Pastora, near the home of the murdered parliamentarian, Carvalino, who shared the show stage several times with Serra in the past few weeks, remembered the man affectionately known as “Machine Gun”, for his eloquent and energetic way of speaking.

Carvajalino pointed out that “in the almost two months that [Serra] was on Zurda Konducta, above all on the subject of the videos of Lorent Gómez Saleh and that of the economic battle, he came bringing a political team that very few people could have managed.”

“This was like how Bolívar received the news of when they murdered Sucre,” said Carvajalino, expressing the grief felt not only by the Zurda Konducta team, but also by his comrades and colleagues, over the brutal assassination of Serra. “He always had a close relationship with this neighborhood, in this community. He bought his house here, and led his political and personal life here,” said Carvajalino, emphasizing Serra’s down-to-earth ways.

“The plan to demoralize the people and get a reaction is still going on. They touched a sensitive nerve, a sensitive guy, with close ties to the 23 de Enero neighborhood and here in La Pastora. He wasn’t a guy who went from here to there, like others, one who could have lived in a fancy apartment [elsewhere]. He stayed here in La Pastora.”

Translation mine.

Serra denounced Lorent Saleh, the right-wing Venezuelan “youth leader” terrorist, and his putschist plans. Was that the reason he was murdered? Probably, but it was surely not the whole reason.

Serra was the youngest parliamentarian in the Venezuelan national assembly, and one of the brightest of its rising stars. A Chavista to the core, he showed what he was made of seven years ago when he took on the right wing’s then golden boy, Yon Goicoechea, on a TV talk show, and basically bowled right over him. Serra was just 20 years old at the time. Yon-Yon has since sunk back into obscurity, but Robert Serra kept right on going, from strength to strength…until now.

There is no doubt that the energetic, charismatic and popular Robert Serra stood to be another Chavecito, given time. Of course, that’s why it was all taken away from him by an assassin with a high-powered rifle at his home in the modest Caracas district of La Pastora on Wednesday night. And if you wonder who was behind it, guess what: It’s the same bunch that’s ALWAYS backing the Venezuelan right-wing. And the authorities are onto them, right up to the president himself:

During memorial services for parliamentary deputy Robert Serra and [his girlfriend] María Herrera, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro affirmed that his government has denounced the existence of multiple terrorist plans, many of them “financed by factors of the Miami far-right and paramilitary groups in Colombia.”

The president said that the opposition has “banalized” and “made fun of” the many denunciations the government has made of their destabilization plans, but that “you can see in the opaque gleam of their eyes an underlying desire for what has happened.

“We have aborted many of their plans before they began, sometimes beyond the borders of Venezuela, many times we detained them before we denounced them. One of them is Lorent Saleh, whom we caught with proof in hand. We have captured others from their networks the same way; I can tell you that recently, in the run-up to this weekend, we detained four different groups which were coming to wreak violence and carry out attacks in the centre of the land, including Caracas.

“We caught them with the evidence, with explosives, I denounced that and I hereby ratify it: Terrorist groups supported by elements of the Venezuelan far-right and Colombian paramilitary groups are behind the plans to bring violence into our land. We have succeeded in dissipating part of those plans, and we will continue to battle for peace in our land.”

The president exhorted the opposition to dissociate itself from the violent groups who have hidden behind political parties, and called upon members of his own party to “close the lines”: “Let us exercise revolutionary vigilance in communities and neighborhoods, the length and breadth of the country. I ask for the collaboration of all Venezuelans, so that together with the intelligence services, we will capture the assassins of Robert Serra and dissipate the terrorist groups. Locating them is a battle for all the people. It is a battle for all the people, the battle against terrorism, against criminal violence. It is a hard battle, elements of the imperial right-wing of Miami are behind this crime. We are close to dealing a heavy blow to this band of assassins and criminals.”

Maduro affirmed that the investigations into the killing of the parliamentarian are advancing, and that it is only a matter of time before the material and intellectual authors are found.

“The proofs are all lined up, advanced, to identify the material authors. And at this point, after having spoken with those directing the investigation, I believe that we are close to dealing a heavy blow to this band of assassins and criminals,” said Maduro.

The president assured that in the hours to come, the government will release further details, and that he personally is watching the development of the investigation. “There will be justice for these criminals, but the greatest justice there could be is that this revolution consolidate itself toward the future, and we will do it for this homeland, the homeland Robert Serra dreamed of,” Maduro exclaimed.

Translation, again, mine.

We know how Robert Serra was killed; we even have a fair idea of why. Now, it only remains to be seen who, exactly, is behind all this. I predict we’ll be seeing a fair number of Usual Suspects, and that their networks will be traced all the way back to Miami, just as Nicolás Maduro has said.

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