Venezuelans Resist an Illegitimate and Violent Regime
A majority of Venezuelans has voted for change and now has no choice but to resist a regime that can hold on to power only with violence.
Is the election in Venezuela over? Apparently not. The self-declared winner, Nicolás Maduro, is behaving very much like a man who knows he lost on April 14. In resorting to violence and brute force to silence the opposition’s demand for an honest recount, Maduro has signed the death warrant for chavismo’s legitimacy.
Numerous videos of soldiers and other chavista thugs chasing, beating, and shooting unarmed protesters have circulated around the world since last month’s election. Last night, video from Venezuela’s national assembly showed opposition members being beaten as they protested a gag rule imposed by assembly president Diosdado Cabello.
Post-election analyses have shown that even many of those who supported caudillo Hugo Chávez were among a majority of Venezuelans who voted for change last month. And that majority now has no choice but to resist the Cuban-backed regime that cannot hold on to power, let alone govern, unless it uses violence against the Venezuelan people.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski has called for a peaceful protest today in Caracas, and the Maduro regime has summoned its supporters to a competing demonstration. Chavista leaders have threatened to prosecute opposition leaders for inciting violence and sowing the seeds of a “civil war.” But it is clear that chavista leaders are eager for a confrontation. The competing demonstrations are on the opposite sides of metropolitan Caracas, so if the government’s backers want trouble, they will have to go looking for it.
If there is widespread violence, it should be remembered that it is the regime that has purchased $9 billion in Russian arms and distributed thousands of weapons to militias. It is the chavista movement that has deployed motorcycle-borne gunmen, modeled on the Iranian basij, to attack opposition protesters. Maduro and his Cuban handlers are deluding themselves if they think they can elude responsibility for escalating violence.
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Capriles won’t get chance to become leader in Venezuela
Slowly, a growing number of Venezuelan exiles living in South Florida are realizing it will be hard for Henrique Capriles Rodonski to peacefully get the government of Nicolás Maduro to accept a true recount of the vote count in the presidential election of April 14.
Capriles has the facts to back up the charge the government cheated to win the election.
He has pointed out that in 737 voting precincts his supporters were ousted by government thugs at gunpoint; at another 39 voting precincts Maduro got 100 per cent of the vote; and in 1,176 precincts; Maduro, whose ineptness as a speaker and leader has been acknowledged by many, got more votes than his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, who had defeated Capriles by more than 1.5 million votes in last October’s elections.
Unfortunately where governments rule by force, being right does not mean those in power will play by the rules. Capriles probably won by several hundred thousand votes, but the National Electoral Council, where Maduro has a 4-1 majority, determined the former bus driver had defeated Capriles by 250,000 votes. At first they said they were willing to accept a recount of the votes, but slowly they have been turning away from that promised.
Instead, Maduro and those in power are following the advice of Cuba’s Fidel and Raúl Castro that have not permitted one of their candidates in their hemisphere to lose an election since Violeta Chamorro surprised Nicaraguans and defeated Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega in 1990.
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