During his speech commemorating the anniversary of the Carabobo Battle, Maduro denounced that the “fascist right” was carrying on a “coordinated campaign to ridicule” the government’s slogan hoy tenemos patria.
Yesterday, in a newly invented tradition, Maduro ceremoniously received from a group of officers of the Guardia de Honor Presidencial, a red beret similar to the one Chávez used to wear. According to the officers the beret is “the presidential symbol of Comandante Hugo Chávez.”
Maduro thanked the officers and declared that: “They [the opposition], in their world of conspiracies, are sending a clear message of threat to the peace and stability of the Republic. (…) I do not fear the bourgeoisie, the fascists, the oligarchs, or any kind of empire in the world."
Fascismo is one of the most common terms used by Venezuela’s President to refer to the opposition. But not only Maduro, other government officials, and public media also recurrently make use of the term.
I did a quick tally of the number of articles that mention fascismo in the Sistema Bolivariano de Comunicación e Información (SiBCI) web page. From April 1st, 2013, to June 28th, I counted exactly 70 articles.
This is no content analysis, only a quick count, so it is likely that a few of the articles refer not to the Venezuelan opposition but to the historical “real” fascism of the XXth Century. But even those are obviously included in the SiBCI web page as illustrations of the “eternal fascism” lately resurrected in Venezuela (a good example of this is the article Fascismo by Luis Brito García.)
A sample of the articles included gives a flavor of how the term fascism is used in public media:
Fascism is linked to the worst forms of evil in the XXth century. The widespread use in public media of fascism as a term of abuse dehumanizes political opponents and precludes political dialogue. You simply don't negotiate with fascists.