Venezuela: Support, intimidation, censorship, and strategy

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From international support to repression, Venezuela seeks a way out of the political crisis

Venezuela: Support, intimidation, censorship, and strategy

The beginning of the year for Venezuela was a very turbulent one. First, Nicolás Maduro was sworn in as president under international scrutiny and rejection. Second, Juan Guaidó, who for many was an unknown name, proclaimed himself interim president of Venezuela under the support of the National Assembly, an organization that since 2015 is managed by the Venezuelan opposition.

Leer en español: Venezuela: Apoyo, intimidación, censura y estrategia

In recent weeks, and throughout the country, several marches have been held that demand that Nicolás Maduro leaves power, and thus support the opposition to take control of the country, which has been mired in a crisis political, economic and social in recent years. However, these marches have been countered by the people who support the Chavista regime.

Juan Guaidó and international support

Several Latin American countries have supported Guaidó as president and have rejected Maduro as the legitimate president. As if it were a domino, international support has been deployed, as both organizations and countries have recognized Guaidó as president. Thus, from the UN to several members of the Lima Group, they have turned their support towards the leader of the opposition; The last institution that presented its support was the European Parliament, through a session held on Thursday, January 31.

In this way, this institution becomes the first European to present its support to Guaidó. As stated by Clarín, the text where the recognition was presented was approved by 439 votes in favor, 104 against and 88 abstentions. Within the same text, the request is also made for European governments to "immediately recognize Guaidó". In the proposal, promoted by "the conservative and consensual group with the liberals and social democrats", they also affirmed their rejection of any type of violence as a means to resolve the crisis.

As a result of international support, Guaidó began to appoint ambassadors in 10 of the Latin American countries, ratifying his role as interim president and improving relations that Chavismo helped to deteriorate.

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Intimidation and censorship

As expected, Nicolás Maduro could not remain quiet or silent about the situation in his country. In statements to those who support him, he said that he would not relinquish power and that the entire international intervention was a plan to destroy the country. Similarly, he stressed that international aid had no reason to meddle in Venezuelan affairs, stressing that Venezuela was a country that was governed by the Constitution.

However, as if cornered, the Chavez government resorted to suppressing the press and entering the house of Juan Guaidó. In the first situation, 3 journalists, 1 Spanish and 2 Colombians, were arrested by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin). EFE, the agency to which the journalists belonged, made the denounce to what the Venezuelan government answered that the journalists did not have the necessary permits to work. However, EFE was not the only agency that reported the arrest of journalists, as RSF Spain also reported a similar situation.

On the other hand, and as another method of intimidation, on Thursday, Juan Guaidó denounced that several elite security forces special forces were near his home in order to intimidate his family. In a public act, he denounced that "The FAES (Special Actions Forces) is in my house, asking for Fabiana (his wife). At this moment, the dictatorship believes that it will intimidate us. "In the same way, he condemned Chavism for anything that could happen to his 20-month-old daughter.

Added to the above, in Venezuela and according to El Clarín, 39 people have died as a result of the repression in the marches, who were violated by means of shots in the head and/or chest. According to figures from the Observatory of Conflicts and the Venezuelan Criminal Forum, there are already 939 arrested for the participation of protests against the regime. Of that number, there are still 755 people locked up.

There is no doubt in the face of these figures, that the Maduro government resorts to repression and the violation of human rights to try to silence the Venezuelan population who feel increasingly tired because of the lack of guarantees in basic services, promised by the government. Chavez government.

Read also: Venezuela: the amnesty law does not work

The departure of Guaidó

Juan Guaidó, is certain that in order to take full control of the country, military support is necessary. So in recent days, announced the "law of amnesty", which aims to solve civilians and military who acted contrary to what the Constitution dictates. With this, he intends to attract the main military forces to join him and help to end the Chavez regime.

However, for Human Rights Watch, a change in the law is necessary. According to the organization, the amendment is relevant "to ensure that it complies with international human rights standards".

For José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch, "the imprecise and vague provisions contained in the amnesty bill could allow impunity to be guaranteed to state agents responsible for serious abuses (…) any amnesty that prevents investigation and prosecuting public and military officials responsible for serious human rights violations is incompatible with Venezuela's international legal obligations", as reported on the Organization's website.

On the other hand, one of the issues that can most concern and need to be addressed is the help that Russia and China gives to the country. Faced with this, Guaidó, in an interview with Reuters, affirms that he has sent several requests to those countries, stating that "what is most convenient for Russia and China is the stability of the country and a change of government," he said.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Venezuela: apoyo, intimidación, censura y estrategia"

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