The violent repression of the Catalonian independence referendum seems to be helping the Venezuelan Head of State
Leer en Español: Rajoy está ayudando a Maduro
This past Sunday, the Spanish Government tried to stop the Catalonian independence referendum. The Spanish president, Mariano Rajoy, decided to send over the Spanish police, instead of the Mossos d'esquadra, which are the official Catalonian authorities, to prevent voters from issuing their suffrage in Catalonia. However, Rajoy's actions seemed to be everything but ideal. The Police clashed with several pro-referendum supporters. The images travelled across the world and showed officers trying to suppress civilians through violent actions. Regardless of said barricades, Catalonian authorities assured that more than 2 million people voted in favor of Statehood.
The way the Spanish Government managed the referendum was criticized not only by the majority of the Catalonians, both in favor and against independence, but also by the International community. Various political leaders stated that the actions were "violent" and anti democratic. On the other hand, said disturbance placed the Catalonian Governor in what seems a better place for future negotiations between Madrid and Barcelona.
However, the consequences of the gory repression were not only within the Hispanic peninsula. Spain has been an important player in the Venezuelan crisis. The Spanish Government is the firmest opponent of Maduro's presidency in all of Europe. The large amount of Venezuelans living in Spain seem to have given Mariano Rajoy the authority to talk about the South American leader and give all of his support, including that of the US government, to the opposition party.
One of the most important arguments against the socialist regime was the lack of humanity in Venezuela. The Spanish government accused Maduro of using violence against civilians. More than 100 Venezuelans, mainly civilian protesters, died during clashed between political opponents and the Venezuelan police. However, after the Catalonian incident, Maduro knows he can fight the Spanish accusations accusing them of being hypocrites.
Maduro is seems to be taking advantage of the situation and is currently giving out interviews to all state owned media within Venezuela talking about how "imperialist Spain is hurting their own citizens who are trying to vote".
The regional Venezuelan elections will be held this month. A crucial election where a seemingly diminished opposition has the opportunity to gain local powers. If the opposition party obtains a considerable amount of voice, this can help them recover momentum not only in the national agenda, but it can increase the international pressure to call for a new presidential elections. But after the Catalonian clashes, if the international community still wishes to call the Venezuelan Government a dictatorship, Maduro now has a few interesting responses up his sleeve. At the end, at the international table, Rajoy just helped Maduro.
Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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