Wednesday, June 12, 2013

May 2013. The “Mercenaries Plot” and other various miscellaneous plots form May

(Parts of this chronology were previously published in the blog Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights)

May 4, Maduro renews his accusations made in March, mainly against Alvaro Uribe, ex-president of Colombia, but also against Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, of being behind a plot to kill him: “We have the proofs and sufficient elements to think that there are plans, directed from Miami by Roger Noriega and Otto Reich, and form Bogotá by Alvaro Uribe to make me physically disappear. Uribe is behind a plan to murder me. He is a murderer.” He elaborates the denunciation claiming that there are “sectors of the right” that are in cahoots with Uribe and with paramilitary mercenaries that are “trying to penetrate the country through jungle trails.” On May 3 Maduro had also accused Uribe of being behind a crime that shocked public opinion, the assassination of Johnny González, a sport journalist shot dead in Caracas. Maduro claimd that “we have to be careful, behind all this could be the hand of Uribe Vélez, of the paracos (Colombian paramilitary).” On May 7 the Colombian Foreign Minister María Ángela Holgín met the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bogota Iván Ricón, and short of presenting a formal protest note, she did express the dissatisfaction of the Colombian government for the treatment the ex-president had received form Venezuela. On May 8, Uribe´s lawyers asked the asked the IACHR to extend a precautionary measure in his favor as he is the victim of an “irresponsible public persecution.”

May 4, on a cadena, Maduro accuses opposition Mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma of being a “traitor to the fatherland” for meeting Mayors of the Miami area, and calls the on the General Attorney (Fiscal General) to open an investigation on him for “calling for a foreign intervention in Venezuela.” On May 5 Maduro further criticized Ledezma´s visit to Miami and called him an “adeco mequetrefe (good for nothing member of Acción Democrática), corrupt, traitor to the fatherland,” and a murderer. He insisted that “The Fiscalía has to look into this and see if there are elements, according to the law, to qualify this as treason to the fatherland, because we cannot accept someone asking for the interventions of a country like the US in internal matters.” Ledezma answered that in fact he did meet with local Miami officials during his trip and with representatives of the Venezuelan exile community in Miami in the local Venezuelan hangouts “El Arepazo” and “Café Canela”, but that he has never called for a foreign intervention. On May 8, PSUV representatives to the Municipal Council of Metropolitan Caracas Nahum Fernández and Alexander Nebreda, denounced in a press conference that Ledezma has been using public resources to travel around the world to “conspire against Venezuela”. They claim that Ledezma, on his trip to Miami, ostensibly to meet Mayors of the city, in reality had met with “agents of the spying web of the Israeli Mossad.” They added that “He has travelled to Miami in order to conspire in a campaign that seeks the international non-recognition of our leader Nicolás Maduro, legitimate President of the Republic.” Ledezma answered on his twitter account: “The only treason to the fatherland is to give our oil away to the Cuban government.”

May 4, in the same allocution in which he called on an investigation on Ledezma, Maduro named the US President Obama as the “chief of the devils.” He lamented that “Obama has been dragged to ultra-reactionary position by the Pentagon,” and alerted “all independent governments of a plan by the North American government to produce what has been called ´The War of the Dogs´ in Venezuela, to justify an imperialist intervention. Know, all friends of the world, sons of the Liberator and of Hugo Chávez, that we are ready to defend our right to be free from any form of imperial domination.”

May 6, the new Justice and Interior Minister, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, in a television interview with José Vicente Rangel, gives details of a “conspiracy plan” that has links with foreign agents. The objective of this plot is to “intoxicate society with fear and destabilization” by making demands for the non-recognition of established institutions (he does not specify if he is referring to the similar, previously denounced, “April Connection” plot). The conspirators include NGOs, political parties, the media, and social media web sites. As proof of this plot Rodríguez Torrez mentioned a 2010 meeting in Mexico between Freddy Guevara, Yon Goicochea, Lester Toledo (opposition leaders) and “two retired Generals” to “talk about a plan for civil resistance.” The plot would further include Alejandro Plaz Castillo who would have, according to the Minister, presented the MUD with a “rapid action plan” to cry fraud after the 2012 presidential elections (although the MUD did not claim fraud at the time). This plan would include Armando Briquet (head of the Capriles campaign) and Herique Capriles himself. The far reaching plot thickens with “important components such as Álvaro Uribe, Otto Reich, and Roger Noriega, (…) with the aim of creating the conditions for a civil war in Venezuela.”

May 14, Maduro announces that there is a plot to make him quarrel with National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, and then “physically eliminate” one of the two, so as to blame the survivor for the crime: “They attack us and say that we hate each other. You know what´s the objective? To promote demoralization and division. (…) The objective, this may sound macabre, is to try to physically eliminate one of the two and blame the other. These are the perverse and macabre objectives and sentiments of those behind these plans.”

May 15, PSUV Governor of the State of Táchira, José Gregorio Vielma Mora, reveals a plot by paramilitaries to assassinate him. The plot was discovered after investigations by intelligence services in the State of Zulia, governed by the opposition. Vielma Mora claims to have been named first in a list of politicians of Táchira that should be assassinated “with two shots, in the areas of the back of the neck and the head”. The Governor does not inform who are the other politicians named in the list. 

May 16, during a visit to the State of Barinas Maduro suggests that at least part of the citizens insecurity problem in that State is due to the plotting of the “fascist right”. He declares that he has “no doubt that the right, and external factors, are bringing in groups in order to kidnap and kill for money. (…) You know who those external factors are, you know who they are because I won´t be naming the devils in this sacred home [Chávez´s family house in Barinas], but I have no doubt that they are moving the buttons of paramilitary and that they will try to bring in groups, just as they do in Barinas with the sicarios, and in that way they will keep setting on the insecurity issue.” He added that “they did the same thing by bringing in hard drugs to our barrios, to give away for free to young people.” 

May 20, after the opposition reveals a recording of Mario Silva supposedly reporting to a Cuban agent, Silva writes on twitter that it is all a montage and that “Zionism is doing a good job.”

May 27, in an interview in State channel VTV, Maduro accuses CNN of promoting foreign intervention and a coup d’état in Venezuela. According to him the international news broadcaster is “at the service of destabilization, (…) openly calling for a coup, (…) and has turned into the spearhead of the promotion of intervention.” CNN answered in a communiqué that it had repeatedly and unsuccessfully invited Maduro to an interview.


May 27 Maduro alerts that there is a foreign plan to sabotage his citizens security initiative Plan Patria Segura which includes the deployment of military officers to the streets. Maduro explains that “some characters of the fascist right are planning a meeting, we know where, how, and when, in a neighboring country with a sinister character who is used to violence. The plan is to sabotage the Plan Patria Segura. (…) We have to be alert against sabotage. They want to bring groups of sicarios, drug traffickers to bring in hard drugs. People, be watchful of these groups.” The Technical Secretary of the Presidential Commission for Arms Control, Pablo Fernández, reaffirms Maduro´s theory declaring in an interview in the public VTV that “they [the opposition] are looking for international alliances in order to sabotage the advances in the security policies.”

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