Venezuelan government officials and public media have recently announced that the “on-going coup d’état,” they claim has been attempted since February this year, has been finally defeated. In the official rhetoric this should be understood to mean that the guarimba [barricades] street protests of the last months are decreasing.
President Maduro however announced yesterday that this is not necessarily the case, and that the “on-going” character of the coup should be understood to mean that it is truly constant and continuous.
According to Maduro opposition leaders have recently met to plan the “collapse” of the country by the month of June. He says he had access to information about this meeting through “internal informants” he has inside the opposition ranks.
“They say that June will be the month of collapse, that in June the people will rise against the Government, that June is the month of the coup d’état, that June will see the end of the Revolution. (…) The crazy coup mongers will try to promote violence in June,” Maduro warned.
He also insisted on the claims previously made by Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres that drug use is driving the street protests: “Some perverse coup mongers and guarimberos have been hiring criminal bands, and they are paying them with drugs and other means so that they can act violently and go out and kill. In some cases they are well known political and television figures. They want to drive the country into chaos. I denounce it. We have been constantly denouncing it.”
Maduro also said that he had ordered Rodriguez Torres to show the evidence of the government’s claims, because “there can be no softness or impunity with these coup mongers, these guarimberos, no matter what their last names are, no matter what their position is. Whoever is against the Constitution and the peace of the country will have to face justice. No one can blackmail me. No power will force me to give in [torcer el brazo].”