Friday, August 30, 2013

Maduro accuses Washington of “economic war” against Venezuela

Yesterday (August 29), President Nicolás Maduro accused the United States of planning, since the end of July this year, an economic war against Venezuela “in order to generate chaos in the country.”

Here is a translation of Maduro’s words:

“In the White House, President Barack Obama -and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt because perhaps he is not aware of this information-  in the White House, there was a meeting at the end of July of the chief of the Bureau on Venezuela of the Department of State, two representatives from the Pentagon that deal with issues on Venezuela and Latin America, three representatives of the Department of State, two representatives of the National Security Agency, one representative of the CIA, and a person from the White House close to him [Obama]”

“They updated the economic war against Venezuela during that three hours meeting. Two persons from the Department of the Treasury reported on the economic war against Venezuela. We have knowledge of this.They were making calculations of a date for the economic collapse of Venezuela, then for a date for a social explosion and then, according to these macabre minds, a chaos in Venezuela as we have seen in Egypt.”

“They said that they are preparing a transition government for Venezuela to be installed following the chaos.”

“I received this information from people that love Venezuela, people that want peace. Those people are not socialists or anything like that. They come from the United States, from Washington DC, they come from there. It was a person that used to provide Comandante Chávez with key information, and this persons saved Chávez´s life several times, from attempts to kill him, and evil things that. This person alerted him of the possibility that he could be inoculated with a disease many years ago. And the same persons sent us this information, with a lot of precautionary measures, because the paper with the information has travelled around the globe until it finally made it to our hands last night.”

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Economic rationale behind sabotage claims

A note published by El Universal on Monday 27 argues that Petróleos de Venezuela could increase the amount it claims from insurance companies if it can show that direct sabotage was the cause fof the fire in the Amuay refinery last year.

The article cites sources from the insurance sector that explain that “the insurance policies contracted by Petróleos de Venezuela should include sabotage, because that has always been the case.”

But on the contrary, if the cause of the event was shown to be lack of maintenance in the refinery, as the opposition argues, the sources quoted by El Universal said that “not only could payments be limited, but [insurance companies] could reject the claims altogether.”

However they added that sabotage is very hard to demonstrate, and that PDVSA would be force to allow access to insurance companies to conduct their own investigations.

It is an interesting argument, but I tend to think that claims made by the government that the opposition is full of “wreckers and saboteurs” financed by the Empire have a broader political aim than negotiating insurance deductibles. In any case, both aims are not incompatible.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Maduro: Magnicidio was meant to coincide with attack against Siria

Today President Nicolas Maduro revealed details of the timing of the recently uncovered plot to assassinate him. According to Maduro: “The plan was to eliminate me simultaneously with the attack on Siria, in order to eliminate this moral and political portent that is Venezuela”

Maduro compared his situation with that faced by his predecessor in 2002: “the international plan was to make things coincide, the same way they tried in 2002, with the preventive coup d’état against Chávez and the Iraq invasion.”

He also announced that he had given authorization to PDVSA President Rafael Ramírez to present, in a national cadena, the evidences of the sabotage that allegedly caused a fire a year ago at the Amuay refinery. No date has been given for that cadena.

Herique Capriles has been counting conspiracy claims made by the government

I’m not the only one monitoring conspiracy theories in Venezuela. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles claimed yesterday  that this year the government “has denounced 11 conspiracies, including 4 suspected magnicidios.” 

According to Capriles, Maduro wants to break a record held by Castro: “One [conspiracy] per month. He wants to break Fidel Castro’s record of 640 denunciations of magnicidio in 48 years, that’s 14 per year, which means 1.5 per month, less than Maduro.” 

Capriles also ventured his own theory about the magnicidio claims made this week: “What I really think, and we need to pay attention to this, is that they [government officials] may try to eliminate each other. (…) Also, in the face of the elections of December 8, they could try to simulate anything, because they know what the current electoral reality is.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Maduro: Is Obama weak?

President Maduro reacted strongly to revelations by Rodríguez Torres that two sicarios were apprehended yesterday near Caracas, allegedly with orders to carry out the assassination of Maduro or Cabello. The President repeated claims made earlier that the conspiracy had been plotted from the United States: “The conspiracy comes directly from the United States and we have enough proofs of that.”

He also directly questioned Obama: “President Obama, is it that you don’t know that in the United States there is a conspiracy, by the group of Posada Carriles, monitored and tutored by Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, to carry out terrorist acts and a magnicidio in Venezuela? Is it really that President Obama doesn’t know about this? Or is it possible that President Obama is so weak that decisions to kill a head of state in Latin America are being taken in the United States, and he knows nothing about it? Or maybe he does know, but there are power groups in the United States that have decided to assassinate me and he cannot stop them? Or could it be that he has decided to eliminate me physically.”

Maduro went on to complain that the local opposition was trying to ridicule the conspiracy  allegations: “They show a strange nervousness, they think it’s a joking matter.” On the contrary, Maduro claimed it is very a serious issue because, he said: “after the physical loss of Comandante Chávez, the international right began a conspiracy process against Venezuela in order to destroy this prodigy [portento] we have become. (…) I have no doubt that the main leaders of the fascist right agree with these types of magnicidio plans. They don’t accept the fact that the Venezuelan people are now the government, they don’t accept that this man here [Maduro], this man of the streets, is the President of the Republic and that he is consolidating the Bolivarian Revolution.”

After explaining that the leaders of the opposition wanted a scenario similar to that of Syria, Egypt, and Libya, “war of all against all, chaos and the intervention of the United States Army disguised with blue helmets,” Maduro warned the opposition that “the wrath of the gods, of the people, will fall on you, leaders of the right, and our fatherland will then enter the most feverous of general insurrections.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rodríguez Torrez: Two Colombians detained for magnicidio conspiracy

Today Interior and Justice Minister Rodríguez Torres announced that during a government intelligence operation denominated “Yellow File,” two Colombian citizens have been captured in a hotel near Caracas. According to Rodriguez Torres two rifles with telescopic sight, ten Venezuelan military uniforms, and “pictures of Maduro and Diosdado Cabellos,” were found in the hotel room. Authorities are still searching for third suspect.

Rodriguez Torres stopped short of accusing the Venezuelan opposition of being behind the plot, but he did claim that Colombian ex-President Uribe Velez has knowledge of it: “He has a relation [with the plan] and he is linked to drug trafficking groups.”

Minutes ago President Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) tweeted the following:

“The immediate reaction of the right in the face of the capture of the sicarios confirms their lack of scruples. Alert!”

“It is also an indication of the dangerous game in which they are moving. We will continue to guarantee peace even in the face of conspiracies.”

“I want to thank the Colombian Government for its cooperation in the identification of the sicarios and the rest of the hired gang recently captured.”

“I want to congratulate Minister Rodríguez Torres and all the patriotic personnel of SEBIN for the impeccable work they are doing for the peace of the country.”

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Atilio Borón: Chávez was inoculated with cancer by the CIA trough a microphone

Atilio Borón is a Marxist Argentinian political scientist who was recently awarded the eight edition of Venezuelan government sponsored Premio Libertador al Pensamiento Crítico for his work América Latina en la Geopolítica del Imperialismo.

On an interview on the state TV channel VTV (August 19), Borón assured that he has become increasingly convinced that Chávez was killed by the United States government. He argued that the CIA has been, since the 70s, developing the technology needed to inoculate cancer cells or to “generate heart attacks in its enemies.” He added that: “with the technological advances that there have been, I have no doubt that this people [the CIA] could have developed a vector to generate cancerogenic processes trough malign cells. (…) A trustworthy scientific source confessed to me that there are methods for activating radioactive processes of malign cells contained in a microphone, that could have been placed in front of the Head of State and that could have been activated by some sort of remote control to introduce the lethal microscopic particles.”

Borón warned that the method could be used again by the CIA against President Maduro or other Latin American Presidents, such as Evo Morales or Rafael Correa. He therefore urged the Venezuelan government to take precautionary measures “because they [the CIA] are capable of anything, I mean, they killed Lubumba, they killed Che, they killed Allende, they killed Torrijos, and I believe they killed Chávez.”  Therefore Venezuela should “work with the best scientists that are moving forth the field of biological sciences, so that they can develop antibody mechanisms to neutralize these weapons.”

According to Boron the CIA is also behind a destabilization process in Venezuela which includes hitting the economy with food shortages: “A systematic, synchronized and organized campaign of harassment against the population through the creation of scarcity.”

The complete interview is an interesting example of the argument that the CIA has been behind every single event of Latin America modern history, but the bit about magnicidio is at the end, from 43:42 on.

Maduro: dirty electoral campaign for municipal elections financed by the CIA

President Maduro warned yesterday (August 24) that the “Venezuelan right” has begun a dirty war campaign for the municipal elections of December 8.

He declared: “Let us be ready to face all the psychological wars, the dirty wars, let us prepare the consciousness of the people so that we can win.” He mentioned as an example of a “dirty war in order to generate chaos,” the recent news that young women were assaulted in Maracaibo and had their hair forcefully cut in order to be resold as hair extensions. According to Maduro, those claims are only rumors: “Who created that dirty war of young girls having their hair stolen? It was J.J. Rendón [opposition electoral campaign consultant], he was the one that created that rumor. One day he will face Venezuelan justice. He is part of a psychological campaign to affect our youth with the elections in view.” 

Maduro added that “There are proofs that some of these groups that are now part of the apátrida right have been trained in the United States and in some countries of Europe and that they are directly financed by the CIA.”

Opposition Gay and Transvestite Juvenile Prostitution Ring

Last week (August 23) President Maduro announced that a “juvenile gay prostitution ring” is being run from the offices of the government of Miranda (where opposition leader Henrique Capriles is Governor). Maduro declared: “A juvenile gay and transvestite ring, right there in the office of the Governor of Miranda. Do you imagine that I can remain silent about this? No, I cannot remain silent.”

Maduro assured he possesses photographic and video proofs of this prostitution ring, but that they are too dirty to be shown to the general public: “There are things that I cannot show in public because of ethical issues, because we have ethics. But I will show them to each opposition deputy.”

Maduro: Amuay refinery explosion was sabotage by the right

Yesterday (August 24) President Maduro repeated the claim that the explosion a year ago at the Amuay oil refinery was the result of sabotage by the right: “Sabotage has been proven, I want to announce it. It was sabotage by desperate sectors because they believed that by burning down a refinery they could win the elections against Chávez, but not only did they not win, they were swept [coleteados] by the people.”

Maduro also announced that the evidence of sabotage will be made public in the next days: “The fire at Amuai was the product of sabotage, the proofs uncovered by an international technical investigation will be shown in the next few days. The right has no scruples when it comes to harming the fatherland.”

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Maduro will take measures against the economic war

As commented before in this blog, President Maduro does not believe that the recurrent scarcity problems in Venezuela are due to price controls, an increasing reliance on imports, and a decrease in local production, as some specialists think, but to an “economic war” waged by the “fascist right” and its foreign supporters.

Yesterday (August 23), Maduro announced that he will hold a meeting with his economic cabinet “in order to face the economic war that is being sustained by some sectors. We will defeat them, so I don´t want them to complain later.” He added that “those that are making some products scarce, what they are really doing is waging and economic war against the people.”

Referring to previous meetings he held in May this year with local business owners, he declared that “we went to them in good faith, with an open hand and with a smile. But some are insisting on sabotage. (…) Enough! Some sectors do not understand good manners.”  

Opposition legislators believe Maduro’s anti-corruption campaign was designed in Cuba

In the context of the debate over President Maduro having asked the National Assembly for especial habilitante powers to “fight corruption,” 67 opposition representatives signed last week (August 22) a public communique criticizing that petition.

Paragraph 7 of the text states that: “We must alert the country about the facts and the information we have in our power and that lead us to the conviction that the petition by the President of special powers, supposedly to combat corruption, has in reality an electoral aim of being used to justify executive procedures against the government’s political adversaries so that the Venezuelan people is precluded from knowing what is really happening in our country. This plan has been devised in Cuba so that it can continue to have access Venezuela’s resources.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Finally, coming next week, proofs of the Magnicidio conspiracy

For years the Venezuelan government has been announcing that it will make public the evidence of a continuous plot to kill the President (Chávez, and now Maduro).

Yesterday, Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres, again declared that in the “coming days” he will hold a press conference in which: "we will inform on several successful operations we have conducted in the last days, even with the collaboration of the Colombian Intelligence Services that have allowed us to make some situations clear. We will inform the country once we have access to some details that are still missing.”

Maduro and Ramírez: plans to destabilize the oil industry

Here is the complete note published yesterday, in English, by the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias on the claims made by Maduro and Ramírez that “unpatriotic rightists” are plotting to sabotage the oil industry. (The translations by AVN of declarations by Ramírez and Maduro are slightly different than mine.)
Caracas, 22 Ago. AVN.- Conservative groups would be devising plans in state-owned oil company PDVSA to destabilize the oil industry as they did in 2002, causing losses by at least 18 billion dollars, warned Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
In his Twitter profile @NicolasMaduro, the President called on PDVSA workers to be on the alert and mobilized.
At a first message, he urged: "Watch out comrades in PDVSA. Those people have plans to harm the industry once again and blame the Revolution, let's be active and mobilized."
Then, Maduro called on PDVSA president and oil minister Rafael Ramirez to go on with Venezuela's main economic activity through a socialist and revolutionary path.
"PDVSA has proved that it is stronger than the entire evil of unpatriotic rightists. Come on Rafael Ramirez, let's defeat through the path of revolution."
Similarly, president Maduro expressed solidarity with PDVSA workmen who suffered aggressions on behalf of conservative legislators at Paraguana Refinery Complex.
In turn, minister Rafael Ramirez informed that a group of conservative legislators had attacked a manager at Paraguana complex, so he called on the population to defend the oil industry.
"We condemn fascism and offensive on behalf of far rightists against PDVSA and its workers. Venezuela shall be respected," posted Ramirez also in the social network.
In the face of this situation, president Maduro said: "To PDVSA workers, my entire support and solidarity for the aggression endured yesterday from rightists who insist on sabotaging the country."
 AVN 22/08/2013 15:47

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rafael Ramírez announces that the “extreme right” is sabotaging the oil industry

Rafael Ramírez, President of Petroleos deVenezuela (PDVSA), announced that a recent fire in the Paraguaná oil refinery was caused by “direct sabotage.” Ramírez declared that “we had a meeting state security agency because we have detected that there has been direct sabotage in the recent events. (…) There are sectors of the extreme right associated with violent scenarios that have sabotaged very specific equipment.” Ramírez did not show any proofs of the sabotage nor did he announce if he will be showing them in the future.

President Nicolas Maduro backed Ramírez via twitter: “PDVSA has shown that it can beat the evil of the anti-fatherland right.” And “Alert compañeros from PDVSA, these people have plans to harm our [oil] industry and to blame the revolution…”

Monday, August 19, 2013

Magnicidio, again…

On his weekly Confidenciales José VicenteRangel asserted that “even as the media, in the service of the region’s right wing, has made efforts to minimize the importance of my denunciations, plans of killing president Maduro are still on-going.”

Rangel also gave details of how the plot is progressing: “the activity is now in the hands Colombian personnel. Snipers have been selected and five lots of planes have been acquired in the United States, these planes are now in Colombian bases controlled by North American officers. One of these planes has been armed and prepared to act at the time determined by the circumstances. The plans have been projected for the electoral event of December and they are related to the activities that the opposition is preparing for right after the municipal elections.”   

Saturday, August 17, 2013

No internal democracy for PSUV because of conspiracies

President Maduro explained yesterday why the ruling PSUV party has decided to pick its candidates for the upcoming Municipal Elections of December 18th by a “unitary method of evaluation, consultation, and decision,” and not through primaries.

For Maduro, primaries risk a “permanent threat from individualist passions of some people that aspire to public office with suspicious powers (…), suspicious in today’s juncture, with an ongoing imperialist offensive, with plans to assassinate leaders of the revolution, including me, with a psychological war unleashed as never before.”

He also advances the argument that opposition party Primero Justicia (PJ) could, in the case of internal PSUV primaries, finance parallel counterrevolutionary candidates with money from “the Empire”: “The north American elites have been building up force (…), it is a decadent but dangerous elite, and they have been building a force here. What is the yellow bourgeoisie [PJ]? (…) The yellow bourgeoisie has been expanding its tentacles, it is a neo-fascist project, and its advance is financed with money from the American embassy, we have proofs of illicit money for the conformation of a concrete political project.”

Primaries, according to Maduro, will not be held again in the PSUV until “the culture of carnival democracy of the bourgeois culture” is overcome by a “socialist ethics.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Beautiful Protection of Love against conspiracies

Yesterday President Nicolás Maduro on his TV show Diálogo Bolivariano, remembered the constant struggle of Chávez against conspiracies, and declared:

“Everyone that messed around with him (se metió con él), dried up. How many people conspired against Chávez and where are they? They are all dry. They crashed against the the beautiful protection of love that he had.” 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Going in circles with the “magnicidio” conspiracy

For those expecting the government to finally show evidence of its constant denunciations of an opposition conspiracy to assassinate both Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, yesterday was a disappointing day. Instead of proofs of the conspiracy, government spokespersons insisted on the previous accusations already made by José Vicente Rangel, and added more links to the plot they claim to have uncovered.

During the day, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello declared that the proofs would be forthcoming, only he would not be the one disclosing them as had been previously announced, but Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres. Cabello did advance that the main conspirator implicated in the plot is Posada Capriles (the aging anti-Castro Cuban terrorist living in the US that Venezuela has repeatedly asked for extradition for the bombing of a plane in 1976). He also mentioned connections between Colombia and Miami exiles, forged by the usual suspect Álvaro Uribe. The conspiracy, according to Cabello, was to carry out its assassination plans during the national celebrations of the 24th of July: “We are talking about the incursion into Venezuela, in Zulia, of more than 400 men. They had plans for an operation the 24th of July, but that fell through because of some measures we took. (…) Do they [the opposition] want to see the President assassinated before they believe that there are magnicidio plans? No, we will not allow that.” He also referred to the claims made by José Vicente Rangel of 18 war planes bough by the opposition and stationed in Colombia. He argued that the opposition is wrong to ridicule those claims because “In the United States if you have [money] you can buy a war tank.”

Next came the announced turn of Minister Rodríguez Torres. On an interview in the State TV channel Telesur, he basically repeated the accusations made by Diosdado Cabello and José Vicente Rangel. To the list of conspirators he added the names of Honduras ex-president Roberto Micheletti, and a Miami resident Eduardo Macaya. As proof of the conspiracy he showed three presentation slides with flow charts illustrating the links between the different conspirators and describing their roles in the plot. He also dismissed those who are always asking for further proofs from the government since “we are dealing with extremists groups that are always conspiring, but the President can be sure that the Venezuelan intelligence services are permanently working for his security.”

The repeatedly announced proof of the “magnicidio” conspiracy seems to be the following: Nicolas Maduro says that Diosdado Cabello will show the evidence; Cabello remits to Rodríguez Torres and also mentions José Vicente Rangel; Rodríguez Torres repeats what Cabello, Maduro and Rangel have said and also shows some slides describing the plot; Rangel repeats that Maduro and Cabello have denounced the conspiracy. The only break from this circle seems to have been the disclosure by Rangel of one of his sources: the blog La Colmena.