The Cubanization of Venezuela: Prisons, protests, and military control
Over the weekend, thousands of Venezuelan exiles gathered at Calle Ocho in Miami's Little Havana to protest the Cubanization of their country.
Venezuelans rally on Calle Ocho to allege fraud in presidential elections
Several thousand Venezuelans gathered in the heart of Little Havana on Sunday in one of a string of rallies around the world to voice their allegations of fraud in April elections officially won by President Nicolás Maduro.
Under a sea of red, blue and yellow Venezuelan flags and amid chants of “fraud,” the protesters packed a stretch of Southwest Eighth Street west of 12th Avenue while speaker after speaker denounced the balloting and its official results.
Organizers said similar protests were scheduled for the same day in more than 60 cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, San Juan, Mexico City, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, London, Frankfurt and Madrid.
Maria Conchita Alonso, the actress and singer born in Cuba and raised in Venezuela, said the rallies represented an effort by the sometimes-fractured Venezuelan opposition to show a unified front in the complaints of fraud in the April 14 election.
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Meanwhile, American filmmaker Tim Tracy remains imprisoned by the Cubanized dictatorship of Venezuela, who have taken a page out of the Castro dictatorship handbook and transferred him to one of Venezuela's most notorious prisons:
U.S. Helmer Jailed in Venezuela Moved to Notorious Prison
U.S. documentary filmmaker Tim Tracy, arrested in Venezuela for alleged espionage last April, was transferred May 29 to the notorious El Rodeo II prison outside Caracas.
Tracy and 20 others were transferred from their cells within the government intelligence service building because of a severe bacterial outbreak. Tracy is slated to attend a hearing on June 11, which will determine whether his case will proceed to trial or he will be released.
Human rights director Patricia Andrade of Miami-based Venezuela Awareness Foundation said the El Rodeo II prison is virtually a death sentence for him.
“He’s a political prisoner and I don’t understand why the Venezuelan government is committing the horror, not error, of sending him there,” said Andrade. “ El Rodeo is for convicted prisoners and Tracy hasn’t even been tried yet, and he can’t even speak Spanish well.”
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Naturally, the most efficient manner in which to fulfill the complete Cubanization of Venezuela is to give up the control of the military to agents of the Castro dictatorship:
Defense minister says Venezuela gets military advice from Cuba, denies Cuban control
CARACAS, Venezuela – Defense Minister Diego Molero says Venezuela is receiving military advice from Cuba, but says officials from the communist-led island do not influence decisions within the armed forces.
Molero did not provide details regarding Cuban military advice during an interview broadcast Sunday on the Televen TV channel.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has alleged that Cuba has growing influence over Venezuela's government and military. While the government proclaims close ties of trade and friendship with Havana, it insists the Cubans do not determine policy.