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realclearworld

The Cubanization of Venezuela: Spiraling deeper into Fidel’s Inferno

Instead of slowing the death spiral into the darkness of oppression, the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez appears to have sped that country's plunge into the abyss of Fidel's Inferno. Faced with an electorate that has rejected the corruption and repression of Chavismo, Nicolas Maduro, the appointed heir to the Chavez dictatorial regime has expedited the Cubanization of Venezuela by turning to bloody violence and doubling down on corruption in a desperate effort to maintain power.

Upon illegally taking the presidency, Maduro has shown his affinity for corruption by naming his intelligence chief, Miguel Rodriguez Torres, as the country's Minister of the Interior. Rodriguez Torres is a known drug trafficker, named as such in a U.S. Congressional Report in 2009. And his new Sports Minister, Alejandra Benitez, has the dubious distinction of having posed nude in a magazine.

Naturally, leftists throughout the world have rallied in defense of the corrupt and violent Venezuelan dictatorship. Their latest campaign comes right out of Lee Harvey Oswald's handbook: "Hands off Venezuela!"

And here are some more updates on Venezuela's plunge into Fidel's Inferno:

Via ABC News/Univision:

Did Venezuela's Government Threaten Voters on Election Day?

PHOTO:  Venezuela's newly sworn-in President Nicolas Maduro, second from right, attends a military parade.

A political group that works for the Venezuelan government tried to scare thousands of people into voting for Nicolas Maduro on April 14th by telling them that if they backed the opposition candidate their social benefits would be taken away, an investigation by El Nuevo Herald suggests.

The Miami-based Spanish language newspaper -- which shares offices and staff with the Miami Herald -- says that it got it information from an internal campaign strategy document written by the Francisco de Miranda Front, (FFM). FFM is a political organization that is made up of government workers and volunteers and helps to staff hundreds of social programs in Venezuela.

Continue reading HERE.

Via the AP in the Las Vegas Sun:

Maduro certified as election winner amid protests

Venezuela's government-friendly electoral council quickly certified the razor-thin presidential victory of Hugo Chavez' hand-picked successor Monday, apparently ignoring opposition demands for a recount as anti-government protests broke out in the bitterly polarized nation.

People stood on balconies banging pots and pans in protest as the electoral council's president proclaimed Nicolas Maduro president for the next six years. In the evening, they did it again, a raucous clanging in neighborhoods rich and poor, including the one surrounding the presidential palace where Maduro was holding a news conference.

In the afternoon, thousands of young people clashed with National Guard troops in riot gear who fired tear gas and plastic bullets to block the protesters back from marching on the city center. The demonstrators threw stones and pieces of concrete. Protests also were reported in provincial cities.

Continue reading HERE.

Ray Walser at the Heritage Foundation's The Foundry:

Venezuela: The Wrong President Takes Office

There is good reason to believe that Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate president of Venezuela. Nonetheless Maduro was sworn into office on April 19 as Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor after winning a tight presidential contest days before.

In the April 14 election, Maduro claimed a narrow majority—235,000 votes out of 14.5 million votes cast—over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. The opposition, however, promptly listed some 3,200 incidents of electoral rules violations that include intimidation at polling places, illegal campaigning, and non-functioning voting machines. The opposition has argued that these violations were sufficient to alter thousands of votes and tip the outcome in Maduro’s favor.

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