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.

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