Thursday, June 27, 2013

The María Corina Conspiracy

Jorge Rodriguez and Ernesto Villegas revealed yesterday an audio recording of a conversation between opposition leader Maria Corina Machado and historian Germán Carrera Damas.

In the recording Machado says that Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, secretary of opposition MUD, told the US Department of State that “the only way to get out of this is to provoke and to accentuate the crisis. A coup, or an auto-coup.”

Government officials are already presenting the recording as proof of a wide raging conspiracy to destabilize the country.

The audio does show that there are sectors of the opposition that favor a radical and conspiratorial strategy. This is publically known to be the case of leaders such as Maria Corina Machado and Diego Arrias.

But Machado is also heard venting her frustration at what she considers is a soft and non-confrontational course taken by Henrique Capriles. She argues that Capriles should not have called off the April 17 opposition march, and criticizes Aveledo for having praised the Kerry-Jaua meeting.

Machado further seems to complain that she was the one 
that should have met the Department of State instead of Aveledo, but that they (it’s not clear if the government or the opposition leaders themselves) are afraid of her because they consider her a radical. She clearly thinks that the “soft” course has the upper hand inside the MUD.

Capriles has declared in relation to the recording that “a violent outcome in the country is the worst that could happen, it’s the worst scenario. If I am sure of something is that in the mind of Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, and of those that conform the Unity [MUD], there is no other idea different form the peaceful and democratic outcome.”

Clearly some opposition leaders could use a bit more conspiracy theory paranoia themselves. It is well known that Venezuelan intelligence services tap phone conversations and then leak them to the official media channels. From the Machado-Carrera Damas case it also seems that they record open conversations in public places.

(For a more detailed analysis of the possible fall out of the recording read the article by David Smilde in Venezuelan Human Rights and Politics.)

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