Hugo Chavez’s ultimate back-up plan
ABC in Spain reports today on a story that has not received as much attention as it deserves. Go here for that, in Spanish (includes a video): "The Guardians of the Bolivarian Revolution." Here is a brief summary of its contents, in English.
Venezuela's election may have all of the external trappings of a real contest, but in addition to the customary wrinkles that make fraud possible under a corrupt dictatorial regime, this election is going to be affected by a much more sinister force: paramilitary brigades that do the bidding of Hugo Chavez.
Funded by Chavez, and linked to international terrorist organizations, such as the Basque ETA in Spain, (and Castrolandia, too, naturally), these armed gangs stifle dissent and terrorize the populace. Many think that these goon squads are largely responsible for Venezuela's alarming murder rate, which is the highest in the entire world: 130 murders per 100,000 citizens. In Caracas alone, there are at least fifteen such squads, heavily armed.
Some experts say that many Venezuelans will be afraid to vote for Capriles -- even though they prefer him to Chavez -- simply out of fear that anonymity is not guaranteed in the voting process, and that these thugs will wreak vengeance on anyone who refuses to vote for Chavez. Others fear that if Capriles does manage to win the election, these paramilitary forces will join with the Venezuelan army to keep Chavez in power by force. Chavez himself has threatened civil war if he should lose the election. These hired killers are an essential part of the formula.
Pray for Venezuela.