In the dialogue session between the government and the opposition (See the live blog accounts by David Smilde in Venezuelan Politics and Human Rights and by Rodrigo Linares in Caracas Chronicles,) some of the government representatives repeated the conspiracy account of the protests that has by now become the official narrative of events. Economic war and sabotage were mentioned by Minister Rafael Ramirez; paramilitaries behind the protests by Governor Arisóbulo Izturiz; the opposition as coup mongers and the Empire lurking behind everything were stressed both by National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello and by President Nicolás Maduro.
In his live blog of the event David Smilde wrote about Minister Ramirez’s intervention: “10:25 Rafael Ramirez gives a soft spoken but very consistent and effective intervention. Reviews achievement of Chavez government, ends by talking of economic sabotage and war. The latter (but not the former) is complete nonsense in my view but polls show it plays well in larger public.”