The political brutality of Chavismo is usually a measure of its weakness. The formula would indicate that as the chances of survival are reduced, authoritarian common sense of the Venezuelan experiment.
This has been the case for the last 25 years of national control by this force that pretends to be revolutionary and libertarian so that violations are allowed that are not accepted by regimes with a right-wing public profile. This is what has just happened, in the midst of an overwhelming Latin American silence, with the ratification by the Chavista Supreme Court of the banning of the main opposition leaders, among them the unifying candidate of that district, María Corina Machado.
The desperate nature of the offensive is seen in the fact that this step ruined the strategy woven by Chavismo to whiten the investment-thirsty regime with a rapprochement with the US. This movement had achieved in October a broad relief from North American sanctions, the door to business.
But now the autocracy has injected itself with a considerable dose of the despotic Nicaraguan formula embraced by the hardest wing of the regime led by former captain Diosdado Cabello. Reports of coup plots and assassination narratives also returned with the CIA, of course!, conspiring. Tricks to justify everything. A familiar menu.
The recovery of the initiative by that sector, even more obscurantist than the rest, is a consequence of a realistic resignation. It is the first time that Chavismo can attend to the collapse of the building built by Hugo Chávez since the last year of the last century.
One of the attempts to reverse this panorama was the recent Revoleo nationalists of the centuries-old dispute over the sovereignty of Essequibo, a demand that all Venezuelans share from the cradle. This rich oil, gas and mining territory is under the administration of the neighboring former British colony of Guyana.
Falklands and Kuwait
The case has some similarity to the Argentine drama over the Malvinas, although Guyana is a country that gained independence from London in 1966. Another key difference is that the dispute is being judged by the UN International Court in The Hague which is expected to be issued this year. . But perhaps the most interesting similarity is found with dictator Saddam Hussein's 1990 attempt to take Kuwait and seek to escape bankruptcy with the oil of that territory.
Opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, censored by the AFP regime
Like the Iraqi satrap, Maduro sought to put in the window the perspective of a Venezuela reborn by the economic power that the assault on its neighbor promised. In 2022 Guyana grew 57.8% and another 39.2% last year, no less!, due to Essequibo. This mirage he combined with a jingoistic inflammationin the style of Galtieri with the Malvinas, which Maduro did not doubt would keep him in power and thus condition the opening on his terms.
It didn't work, of course. The most significant step of that broken ladder was the referendum of last December 3 in which the regime called to support Venezuelan rights over the territory and turn it into a province with the deployment of a victorious military force. They discounted the positive vote that Sunday. But people completely avoided the polls.
Less than 10% of the 20.6 million registered voters would have voted. A number far below the disciplined participants in the June internal competition of that year that crowned Corina Machado. A devastating oil test for the regime. Not long before, in 2022, they had a preview when the nomenklatura received a harsh slap in Barinas, Chávez's home state, where the opposition won. With the aggravating factor that the same Court, aligned with the Miraflores Palace, annulled that election and ordered it to be repeated. Again and with other figures the opponents won.
The rapprochement with the US made sense for both sides. He mounted the global crisis due to the war against Ukraine based on the enormous Venezuelan oil wealth. Chavismo contemplated its own emergencies. The country lost half of its GDP in the last decade, and oil production plummeted to less than 700,000 barrels a day, barely enough for local needs.
The collapse of the only box that provided dollars blocked the cycle of the exchange system that He made fortunes among the regime's pimps who sold the foreign currency produced by crude oil on the black market. The profitable business of gasoline smuggling to Brazil and Colombia, which was based on subsidized fuel prices, went down the same drain. Reversing this black panorama demanded income. Urgently.
The dollarization and opening to the private sector, carried out by Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, a close adversary of Cabello, but protected by the powerful first lady Cilia Flores, was the most serious attempt to reverse the economic nightmare. In part it was successful in recovering supplies and reducing inflation, although at a significant social cost and with internal fights due to the “right-wing” of the government proffered by the old leaders of the regime.
The opening sector had its reward when Washington announced that October and for six months, the lifting of the sanctions imposed since Maduro's questioned re-election in May 2018. Caracas, suddenly, was filled with oil businessmen from all over the world. There was even a cross-release of prisoners: eight Americans left Venezuela.
The alleged businessman and partner of Nicolás Maduro, Alex Saab Moran Reuters
Secrets of Alex Saab
Washington, in exchange, handed over to the “businessman” Alex Saab Morán, a Colombian who was a partner of Maduro and another Colombian, Álvaro Enrique Pulid or Vargas, in a “company” based in Mexico, the Group Grand Limited (GGL), which achievement millionaire contracts with Chavismo.
Pulido Vagas has a history of drug trafficking. Saab, washing. He had been arrested in 2020 in Cape Verde and extradited to the US. File reference at the bottom of the page: The Group Grand Limited placed the meager bag of food in Venezuela Clap which should constitute aid for the poorest population, but It was diverted to the black market at a luxury price. These relationships fuel the old version that Maduro is as Colombian as his associates. Bullshit of imperialism.
The regime now, forgotten about Essequibo and its ingratitude, returned to the path it knows best. He denounced a coup plot, demoted around thirty soldiers and advanced on the opposition, linking it to that supposed sinister operation. At the same time, his officials confirmed that the autocrat will appear in the electoral parody scheduled for the last half of the year with the argument that It is justice and not themwho disqualified the leaders.
The six months of penalty relief expire in April. The US gives the regime that period to review and reconsider. Hard to do it. In between, Corina Machado decided ignore the ban and maintain his campaigna skillful gesture because it puts her in the spotlight of the world.
Nicaraguan Cristiana Chamorro, banned by the dictatorship and the model that Venezuela uses to repress Corina Machado AFP
But I shouldn't be naive. In Nicaragua, a woman also challenged the dictatorship of Daniel Ortega, Cristiana Chamorro. Like Machado, she was a wide favorite to win the November 2021 elections. In June of that year The political police of the tyranny raided her home and arrested her. by “order of a judge.”
Two years later she was expelled to the United States along with two hundred other opponents and their citizenship was taken away. The danger is like this today also in Venezuela if the region and not the US, Brazil in particular, does not end up understanding that it is time to set a limit.
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