Venezuela’s Cuba-backed dictatorship lashes out at opposition as it braces for massive protest march today
The fear and desperation in Havana this morning must be suffocating. After investing so much time and energy in taking over and colonizing the resource-rich nation of Venezuela, Cuba's Castro dictatorship is watching their possession and the billions of dollars it pumps into their personal Swiss bank accounts slip right through their fingers.
But Havana is not giving up their prized possession without a fight. By orders from and under the direct supervision of Cuba's East German Stasi-trained State Security forces, armed Venezuelan forces are violently lashing out at the opposition, student protestors, and dissenters. And just like it happens in Cuba, those they manage to get their hands on are being viciously beaten, imprisoned, tortured, and even murdered.
The latest such attack on the opposition took place yesterday when armed forces raided the base of an opposition organization.
Venezuelan security forces raid major opposition base
CARACAS — Security forces raided the headquarters of a major Venezuelan opposition party accused of fomenting recent violence, according to eyewitnesses, after last week issuing an arrest warrant for the party's leader Leopoldo López on charges of murder and terrorism.
López is a hardline member of the country's opposition and has backed recent student protests. However, he has been in hiding since the arrest warrant was issued.
Critics of the government suspect that it is doing it utmost to capture him before a major march planned for Tuesday in which the 42-year-old, once touted as the country's next president, has said he will surrender to authorities.
The offices of his Popular Will party were stormed on Monday by what appear to be security forces in a video released by the party as well as eyewitnesses spoken to by USA Today.
"Four guys, dressed entirely in black, violently broke down the doors. They weren't police; they weren't National Guard," said volunteer Lisett Esteves, 24. "They asked for leaders of the party. Intelligence agents then came in with a warrant to take away all of our equipment."
Esteves, and other eyewitnesses, said that mobile phones and computers were taken and tear gas was released within the building when the attackers met resistance. The video showed men brandishing guns forcing their way into the party's offices. A broken door at the scene corroborated the video.
David Smolansky, the mayor of El Hatillo, one of Caracas' municipalities, was also inside during the raid. "They were looking for Leopoldo and all the leaders of our political party," he said. "It's more proof that in Venezuela we don't have democracy."
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But the violence and repression unleashed on the Venezuelan people by their colonial masters in Havana may not be enough to keep hold of their colony. A massive protest march is scheduled to take place today and Havana, their puppet dictator, and the colonial regime the Castro dictatorship installed in Venezuela is bracing itself.
Showdown looms for Venezuela as protest leader Leopoldo López vows new march
MEXICO CITY — After five days of bloody student-led street protests, Venezuela appeared headed for a dangerous new showdown as opposition leader Leopoldo López said he will emerge from hiding Tuesday to lead an anti-government march.
The Venezuelan government charged López with “terrorism” and other crimes after demonstrations Wednesday in Caracas left three dead and more than 60 injured. Smaller protests in the capital and other cities have followed, including on Monday, setting the country on edge and pitting sometimes-violent demonstrators against police using batons, water cannons and tear gas.
Meanwhile, President Nicolás Maduro announced Sunday that he had expelled three U.S. Embassy officials, accusing them of conspiring against his government. It is the third time in less than a year that Maduro has ordered U.S. diplomats out of the country.
“Go back to Washington and conspire,” Maduro said during a televised address. “Leave Venezuela alone.” The State Department denied that it was helping to organize the protesters or trying to undermine Venezuela’s leftist government.
López has emerged as the most forceful and fearless critic of Maduro, at a time when annual inflation is topping 50 percent and the oil-rich country’s economy is tanking, with citizens facing chronic shortages of toilet paper, milk and other basic goods.
The former mayor of a Caracas municipality, López, 42, released a three-minute video statement Sunday calling for a fresh rally against the government in the capital Tuesday and said he would end the march by offering himself up for arrest.
The announcement raised the possibility of new clashes if protesters rush to his defense.
“I have nothing to fear,” López said in the video. “I have committed no crime. I have been a Venezuelan with deep commitments toward my country and my people.”
Maduro and other Venezuelan officials have goaded the protesters for days by calling them “fascists” and depicting them as U.S. agents involved in destabilization plots.
The protests are the most serious challenge to date for Maduro, 51, who was narrowly elected in April to succeed Hugo Chávez, his mentor. Chávez ruled Venezuela for 14 years until his death from cancer last March, and Maduro has adopted Chávez’s blustery rhetoric to vilify critics as “parasitic bourgeoisie” and traitorous Nazis.
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Today may not be the end of Cuban colonial rule in Venezuela, but we may be witnessing its final death throes.