Maduro, who on earth is advising you?

Opposition to Nicolás Maduro’s tenure is now increasing also among Chavistas, who accuse him not only of being no longer on the Left but of repeatedly making stupid mistakes. Español

Nícmer Evans
14 September 2016

Nicolás Maduro, Venezuela´s President.Photo: All rights reserved.

I am convinced that a consequential Left in our country cannot embrace the childish prejudice of not telling the truth because it may hurt the "process" - that is precisely what triggered everything we are experiencing today. From my perspective, a consequential Left should have its own agenda for the country, and confront arbitrariness wherever it comes from.

In this sense, I must confess that I no longer harbour any hope of amendment on the part of President Maduro’s government, because it has been a while since it stopped being on the Left. I nevertheless keep worrying about its actions which, after all, like it or not, affect all Venezuelans.

This is why I am directly asking the President: who is advising you? On issues such as, for instance, September, 1st (the massive opposition march in Caracas to protest against the government and to demand a recall referendum), when in the hours leading to it a series of arrests were made, among them that of Carlos Melo, the leader of the Progressive Advance Party, who was first accused of terrorist activities and was later released on probation ( What real terrorist in the world is given probation in a matter of hours? When, in addition to this, transport and entry of citizens heading to the concentration was hindered, notwithstanding which it was the largest concentration against the government convened by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), and the government was trying to fill Bolivar Avenue and lied shamelessly saying that they had packed it out, whereas those who saw it know full well that it was one of the most pyrrhic calls for a rally made by the government in the last 17 years, duly embellished by an overhead camera shot taken at an angle that drew together the heads of the demonstrators, when in fact people in the crowd were much more scattered, and enhanced by several platforms along the avenue, although the spaces between them were empty.

As if this were not enough, two days later President Maduro decided to visit Villa Rosa, in Margarita Island, where though the residents are Chavistas, they have been without running water for months and indignation is rampant. In an action beyond all rationality in terms of the security of presidential trips, an incident happened that is still unclear but leaves no doubt as to its adverse effect on the President’s image and security, which prompted detentions and harassment of the population in the aftermath of the episode, including the arrest of a social communicator, Braulio Jatar, who published a controversial video of the event. Jatar went missing for some hours until his arrest by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) became known, under charges of money laundering which, true or untrue, is clearly the legal argument for putting under arrest the person who revealed what happened in Villa Rosa.

Meanwhile, in the forthcoming two months, we will have to pay almost 7 billion dollars in foreign debt, and our people still suffer from shortages of medicines and food. This is not, however, the most shocking aspect of the situation: people no longer have the money to buy what they can find, because the minimum wage has gone down from $ 600 in 2007 to $ 22 in 2016.

And then, on top of this, to get out of the crisis, the government is handing over 12% of the country to transnational corporations, under the cover of the Mining Arch decree, to keep on feeding extractivism and its impoverishing effect on the "Third World".

President Maduro, after all this, if you do not answer my question, I shall answer it for you: you are being advised by your worst enemies. They are the ones who attack our people and are putting your head on sale under a pact where you are the factor to be negotiated. My main concern is that the negotiators want to snatch away the right the people have to democratically remove you from office and chart the country's course, so as to impose an agenda behind the back of the majority, as a result of your stupid mistakes.

This article was previously published by lalíneadefuego

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