Friday, April 7, 2017

Miguel Rodríguez Torres: From conspiracy theorist to conspiracy theory victim

General Rodríguez Torres was Maduro’s Popular Power Minister of Interior Relations, Peace and Justice, from 2013 to October 2014. He was part of Chavez’s 1992 failed coup, but is best known for being the public face of Maduro´s government during the 2014 opposition protests.

In 2013 a group a Venezuelan human rights organizations published a press release expressing concern for Rodriguez Torres’ public claim that the president of the NGO Control Ciudadano, Rocío San Miguel, was a CIA agent. Rodríguez Torres never provided evidence of his claim.
During the violent first months of 2014, Rodríguez Torres often gave news conferences claiming that the opposition protests were no more than part of a plot to overthought Maduro’s government. The conspiracy was, according to Rodríguez Torres, led by the Department of State of the United States, and also included Colombian ex-president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, and a long list of opposition leaders. Short of evidence to back his conspiracy claims, Rodríguez Torres often illustrated his press conferences with screen graphics linking pictures of opposition leaders and their foreign puppet masters.

But since January 2015, after his dismissal as Interior Minister, Rodríguez Torres has become increasingly critical of the government, making statements about the government’s food program CLAP, for example, and claiming that “Venezuela needs a spiritual revival.”

Now, according to the Venezuelan news portal El Estímulo, the military intelligence agency DIGCIM could be about to accuse Rodríguez Torres of being part of a conspiracy to oust Maduro. El Estímulo claims that the General will be presented as the head of a “great military conspiracy movement” operating in Venezuela.

This comes a day after PSUV leader Diosdado Cabello announced on his TV Show Con el Mazo Dando, that the government has discovered an ongoing conspiracy which the international reaction to the coup against the National Assembly, and street opposition protests in Venezuela. Cabello implicated opposition party COPEI leader Roberto Enríquez among other opposition leaders in the plan, but said that unnamed “members of the armed forces” are also part of the plot.

“Don’t be surprise if we come knocking your door, tun, tun, tun… we are working for peace,” said Cabello referring of possible night raids to come.

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