Reuters is up to its old dirty tricks in Venezuela

Oh Reuters. You nest of hacks. Do you think Venezuela isn’t onto you? Or, for that matter, every person with a brain? It’s not like you’ve never tried THIS before…

The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, denounced a media campaign by the Reuters news agency against Venezuela to create an opinion matrix of a country supposedly in “default” or unable to make payments.

“Venezuela has the economic and financial capacity; the resources, the strategic politics and the supreme will to continue on its path and comply with international financial commitments,” said the president during a meeting of the Federal Council of Government taking place at the White Palace in Caracas.

“I denounce this news agency, Reuters, because they are doing harm with all their international wire stories, trying to create alarm in Venezuela,” said the president, regarding news published in recent days of a supposed case of ebola in Venezuela.

Maduro emphasized that the interest of the journalists is monetary, “being paid in dollars to do damage to their country. There is a Venezuelan journalist working there.”

Translation mine.

“Being paid in dollars” means something more in Venezuela than it does, say, in North America. Journalists being paid that kind of salary are not only being paid in non-local currency; they are also being paid to promote non-local interests, albeit covertly. If you’re working in Venezuela and drawing your pay in dollars rather than bolivars, that’s a handy way for employers to foster loyalty to foreign interests and causes. And in a country like Venezuela, where disloyal locals are all too easily riled up by irresponsible reporting by private media interests (who do you think has been actively promoting all those coups?), it doesn’t take much to start the next round of bogus accusations and calls for foreign “intervention” from the not-so-loyal opposition. If Reuters is smart, they’ll watch their backs…and not try to pass off rumormongering as “reporting”, as they’ve done all too often in the past. Otherwise, they’ll find themselves personae non gratae.

Young Communist office in Caracas firebombed

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(Photo: Yury Weky.)

The Communist Youth of Venezuela building in Caracas was firebombed by vandals, no doubt fascist in nature, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Note the streaks of soot around the door and window of the building. Here’s the story:

The Central Excecutive Commission of the Central Council of the Communist Youth of Venezuela (JCV) denounced a terrorist attack in the early morning hours of Tuesday on their head office in El Paraíso, Caracas.

In a communiqué, the JCV indicated that the installations were attacked by incendiary artefacts launched simultaneously from various points, affecting the front of the building, the meeting room, and constituting an attempt on the lives of members of the brigade, who were working at that hour on a propaganda offensive.

The communiqué affirmed that “this incident is part of the escalation of violence imposed by fascism since February of this year and executed by mercenaries and paramilitary groups in the service of the pro-imperialist far right.

“Its objective is none other than to infuse terror, attempting to demobilize the combative revolutionary student movement of Venezuela,” says the communiqué, which calls for militancy in “responding with the organization, mystique and discipline which characterize our lines.”

The vice-president for Agitation, Propaganda and Communication of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Ernesto Villegas, expressed on behalf of president Nicolás Maduro and the political organization he represents, his solidarity with the political bureau of the Communist Party of Venezuela and the JCV following the violent events.

On his Twitter account @VillegasPoljak, he stated that the message of support is directed especially “to the young comrades of the JCV, victims of terrorist practices of a right-wing profoundly anticommunist and antinational.”

Villegas also stated that “the president has ordered an exhaustive investigation” to find those responsible for the attack. “We are certain that this act is one more in a long list of historic aggressions by fascism against the Venezuelan communists and could not have existed without the commitment to revolutionary ideas and practices,” he added.

“We have offered support for the prompt rehabilitation of the burned building, which serves as the national directorate of the JCV,” said Villegas.

He added that thanks to the opportune intervention of the Firefighters’ Corps of the Capital District, it was possible to save the lives of the five young Communists and two other persons, one 48 and the other 80 years old, who were in the building.

The fire started on the first of the two storeys of the building, around 3:00 a.m., leaving traces of violent combustion on the building’s front, says Villegas. “The flames destroyed a small stencil-type printing press. There are no signs of defects in the electrical system.”

“Once more they call for cowardly attacks against our young people, such as what occurred with the abominable crime against our comrade Robert Serra,” Villegas emphasized.

Translation mine.

So we can see that here again, the pattern of fascist violence repeats itself. While most of the assaults have been against members of the United Socialist Party (PSUV), the Communist Party (PCV) has also been singled out in this instance because, while it didn’t opt to join the PSUV when it was formed, it tends to vote along the same lines on issues of importance, and there is strong solidarity between the two separate entities.

What makes this attack truly cowardly is the fact that it was waged against young people. Like the murder of 27-year-old Robert Serra, the PSUV’s youngest parliamentary deputy, and one of its most energetic, charismatic and beloved figures. It seems pretty clear that this attack was meant not only to kill, but also to demoralize and demobilize the young Communists. Luckily, no one died, and if anything, this attack will only serve to steel their spines against the attackers…whoever they turn out to be. The old-order antisocialists and anticommunists are losing, and they know it; hence their desperate and ugly tactics.

¡No pasarán!

Majunche’s not-so-excellent foreign adventure

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Ah, Keanu. Well might you ask. It turns out that the answer may be as simple as that old biblical saying: By their fruits shall ye know them.

So, by Majunche’s fruits, what can we know about him? Well, a certain vice-president of Venezuela has some ideas:

Venezuelan vice-president Elías Jaua denounced on Saturday that the upcoming trip by opposition politician Henrique Capriles Radonski to Spain and the United States is part of a “destabilization campaign” to “interrupt democracy” in Venezuela.

Jaua pointed out that Capriles plans to travel between October 20 and 24 to Spain and the US to meet with representatives of the far right to receive “outlines and financial oxygen to continue the destabilization campaign against Venezuelan democracy.”

Jaua also informed that president Nicolás Maduro has ordered the Legislative Council of the state of Miranda, of which Capriles is governor, to demand explanations of the opposition politician as to why he is absenting himself from his functions for five days.

Jaua, also a former foreign minister, called the claim that Capriles is the most moderate of the Venezuelan opposition a lie, recalling that the governor of Miranda plays a principal role in “a game to interrupt democracy and the plan to destabilize our homeland.”

He also deemed “absolutely irresponsible” the declarations of Capriles over a supposed cutback in the Miranda state budget due to the fact that the price of oil established in the national budget does not correspond to the real prices established.

In this context, Jaua emphasized that Capriles, a representative of the opposition “Democratic Unity Table” (MUD) party, uses such allegations as excuses for not dedicating himself to his duties, such as attending to culture, sport and education in Miranda.

Venezuelan authorities have accused the sectors of the Venezuelan opposition on repeated occasions, supported from abroad, of plotting to launch a coup d’état against the Maduro government.

Translation mine.

It’s already well known that Spain and the US (and the far fascist right of both) have active, vested interests in seeing Venezuelan democracy kicked to the curb. Both were, in fact, found actively backing the coup of ’02. Does anyone seriously believe that they’ve since changed their stripes?

If you do, you might be as big a doofus as Bill. Or Ted.

If you don’t, keep watching Majunche. Or this space, which will certainly keep its eyes trained on him.

More fallout from the Serra assassination

The social networks of Venezuela have been buzzing with messages surrounding the death of deputy Robert Serra. And some of what’s been Facebooked and tweeted is truly vile, as the National Assembly president, Diosdado Cabello, reads out above. Here’s a quick summary of the highlights (if you can call them that):

On his VTV show, Con el Mazo Dando, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, informed on Thursday of the detention of Victor Ugas, who spread a photo via social networks of the assassinated deputy Robert Serra in the morgue, as well as the detention of a tweeter known as “La Negra Hipólita”.

“This week they also captured Victor Andrés Ugas, alias Víctor Hugo, who took the photo of comrade Robert Serra [in the morgue]. You’ll have to say who gave you the photo. Also, Daniely Benítez was detained, she’s the one called ‘[La Negra] Hipólita’. She’s very good at predicting things. On September 4, she said that the National Assembly would be in mourning, that we would be buying white candles [for wakes], but she’s so good at predicting that she never predicted that she would be jailed. That’s because the whole thing is suspicious.”

[...]

Cabello also informed of the detention of other citizens who had made threats or jokes around the assassination of Serra, as well as investigations of other Venezuelans who committed the same crimes and are not in country.

Translation mine.

Yes, that’s right…some punk leaked a photo of Robert Serra’s body in the morgue. And another one appears to have had advance knowledge of an assassination to come, one that would have vigil candles burning in the National Assembly (where, in fact, Serra’s body and that of his girlfriend, María Herrera, did lie in state). Just a macabre joke, I’m sure. Or a damn good crystal ball…one that, as Diosdado Cabello ironically remarks, somehow failed to predict that its psychic owner would land up in the slammer.

According to this news item, the photos of Serra’s corpse on the slab have been under investigation since October 10, and the suspect believed to have tweeted them was arrested on Wednesday. He remains in custody.

Meanwhile, we now know the amount of money Serra’s assassins got to do the job. A cool quarter of a million gringo dollars, according to the justice minister:

The planned and executed assassination of socialist National Assembly deputy Robert Serra cost its intellectual authors $250,000 (US), monies which came from Colombia, according to the minister of Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodríguez Torres.

[...]

“With Lorent Gómez Saleh in prison, we now know that they were starting to eliminate 20 leaders,” said the minister, recounting that the terrorist plans, orchestrated in Colombia, which extremist groups were to carry out in Venezuela, and to which Saleh belonged, were to be carried out only against the leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution who mobilized the people to militancy with the greatest strength.

“They came from Colombia with that amount of money, which not just anyone would have, and killed our comrade Robert Serra,” Rodríguez Torres said during an assembly in Propatria, Caracas.

Translation, again, mine.

Money from Colombia? Surely that wouldn’t be traceable back to El Narco, would it? Miguel Rodríguez Torres thinks it would, and he would know, as justice minister and as one privy to all the information surrounding a crime of this magnitude.

Meanwhile, seven arrest orders are currently awaiting fulfillment, and Interpol is on red alert for the individuals in question. The eighth suspect is already in detention: Edwin Torres Camacho, the corrupted bodyguard who let the killers into the home.

Pablo Neruda’s prophetic words are about to come true; the cowards’ moon is hanging low in the sky. Not much longer now…

Video shows assassins entering and leaving Robert Serra’s home

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro himself narrates this video, which shows just how quick and efficient the killers of Robert Serra were. The full security video from the night in question is just 11 minutes long, and the segment showing the entry and exit of the killers clocks in at a mere six minutes. That’s right: Just six minutes from the time they entered the house, with the help of a paid-off bodyguard of the late parliamentarian, to the time they exited and buzzed off, some on motorbikes, a very typical mode of transportation in Caracas. This video shows clearly why there were no signs of forced entry at the home, indicating an apparent inside job. With a paid-off bodyguard to unlock the door for the killers, there would be no need to break in, calling unwanted attention to themselves and wasting valuable minutes, as well as making it that much harder to escape in time.

So who are the killers? Well, the head of this particular band of assassins is a Colombian paramilitary by the surname of Padilla Leiva; his nickname, and the name of the band as well, is “El Colombia”. How original! Maduro also gives the nicknames of the rest of the killers, in the order in which they appear and enter the home. Their real names are presumably known to the authorities, but not mentioned in this clip.

Meanwhile, here’s a tape of the corrupted bodyguard, Edwin Torres Camacho, who let the killers into the house:

And here’s a transcript of what he said:

“It all began three months ago, I was talking on my cellphone with deputy Robert Serra, when I was approached by ‘Colombia’, one of the authors of the death of the deputy. Then he asked me ‘Anything else? Is everything all right?’ This in a normal discussion with my boss…

“He told me that…he broke into the situation to tell me ‘let’s go, let’s go screw him, let’s go there’, with such insistence, I fell into temptation and from the Wednesday of the week before the deputy’s death, uh…they were talking about everything they were going to do that day…

“We left there…on a Sunday we swung by the deputy’s house in a pickup truck, burgundy and black, and the same again on Monday, two days before the deputy’s death, they lent me a cellphone with which they told me that we were going to work that day.

“The day of the incident, Wednesday, they gave me the motorbike on the Cristo corner, and I went out to look for it. From there I went toward La Pastora, met with ‘Colombia’, who got on the bike with me, and we went to the deputy’s house. When we arrived there, I opened the door with the motorcycle key, forcing the lock, and ‘Colombia’ entered behind me. After that, he went ahead and neutralized María [Herrera, Serra's girlfriend], then two others entered, and the other four: ‘Eme’, ‘Dany’, ‘Oreja’ and ‘Tintín’.

“At that moment, I walked toward the kitchen…’Colombia went up with ‘Tintín’ and that’s when they neutralized Robert and brought him to his study. Then I gave him a kick in the neck and I was getting on top of him when Tintín was on top of Robert with a knife in his hand, with an awl…and I saw that the deputy was already gagged and mortally wounded.

“After he went down, Tintín went back down, and the others, with weapons in hand. I went down last and saw how ‘Colombia’ was on top of María. I couldn’t see what he was doing to her, but I could see that he was on top of María. Then it was ‘let’s go, let’s go” and we left the house. As we were leaving the house I turned back to open the door for them, I opened the door electrically, then they left and I hung back, looking around, because I didn’t have the motorcycle key in my pocket, the one with which I opened the door and forced the lock.

“After I came out, because I couldn’t find the key, I had to push the motorbike downhill. I pushed it along with ‘Tintín’. I came out last and from there, we went down two blocks. I dropped off Tintín, I don’t know which way he went, he went his way and I went down three more blocks. I left the bike someplace, and I don’t know what happened to it. I caught a taxi and went home.”

Translation mine.

So now we know how this was possible. Even with bodyguards, Robert Serra wasn’t safe, because the assassins were able to bribe one of them. One corrupto was all it took to end Robert Serra’s life…well, one corrupto and half a dozen killers.

And three months of planning, and a huge whack of dinero, too.

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Fuck Columbus, and fuck the plague-ridden ships he rode in on. The natives are taking their country back, peacefully and democratically. And in yesterday’s presidential elections, Bolivia made that abundantly clear:

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I believe this is what’s known as a LANDSLIDE.

Viva Evo PRESIDENTE, carajo.

EDIT: The landslide is even bigger than it looked yesterday. Here’s the latest:

The Bolivian president was re-elected for the second consecutive time, according to an exit poll by the Mori firm, published last night by the newspaper El Deber, of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

According to the poll, the president won in eight of nine Bolivian departments [provinces], and carries the support of at least 25 senators and 86 deputies, which approaches control of two-thirds of both chambers.

His closest follower, Samuel Doria Molina, received 24% of the vote, according to exit polls. Meanwhile, former president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga took 9.6.%.

Although presidents of Bolivia can only take two consecutive terms, Evo Morales was able to run a third time, since the Constitutional Tribunal considers that his first term took place before the refoundation of the land in 2009, and for that reason, doesn’t count.

In 2005 Evo Morales won more than 50% of the vote, and in 2009 he increased his support to more than 60%. More than 5 million Bolivians went to the polls, and not only in Bolivia, since, for the first time, Bolivians residing in 33 foreign countries were able to exercise their right to vote as well.

Thousands gathered today to celebrate the president’s victory. Murillo Square, near Quemado Palace, the seat of the Legislative Assembly and the Foreign Ministry, was filled with people cheering their president.

An emotional Evo Morales called out hurrahs to all the Bolivian departments amid the jubilation of the people, who were carrying flags in the blue-and-white colors of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).

“I want to tell you, after hearing the news of the results of these elections, in my own name and that of my brother the vice-president [Álvaro García Linera], and of those who fought alongside us for our freedom, thank you for this great support.

“Many thanks, brothers and sisters, for this new triumph of the Bolivian people. In all departments, we have grown and in eight departments, we have won. There could still be a surprise in one department [Beni, the only one not won by MAS]. The fight is neck-and-neck,” Morales pointed out.

Morales also recalled that there is “a feeling of liberation for our peoples. How much longer will we be under the thumb of the North American empire and capitalism? This triumph belongs to the anti-imperialists and the anti-capitalists. It belongs to the Bolivian people.”

Also, Morales considers that “it has been important to seek the integration and unity of the Bolivian people. Once more we have ratified that in Bolivia there is no “Media Luna” ["Half Moon", a reference to the departments who tried to break away during the failed coup of 2009], but a Full Moon!

“Now, with more than 60 percent, nationalization has won,” said an emotional Morales, as the people chanted his name.

“Your efforts, those of your comrades and base directors, and the commitment of the national directors, of CONALCAM [the National Confederation for Change] and the Bolivian Workers’ Central, of the ministers, the institutions, has not been in vain,” Morales insisted.

“I want to say to the people of La Paz and Bolivia that we must always think of the great and the small. When we talk about satellites, some said that that was for the United States and Europe. And now we have a satellite,” Morales recounted.

Morales also emphasized that “when we say we want atomic energy for peaceful purposes they said that that was for developed countries. And we will have it, we will think of the great. And we will be the energy centre of South America.

“I am amazed and this class of results will commit us much more to keep fighting for the Bolivian people. In these elections solidarity has won, unity and sovereignty of the Bolivian people have won, and this triumph will be dedicated to all the peoples of Latin America and the world who fight against capitalism and imperialism. This triumph is dedicated to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, may he rest in peace,” Morales concluded.

Translation mine.

So, there you have it. Definitive proof that Bolivia has arrived in the 21st century. And thanks to Evo’s already impressive achievements, it’s going nowhere but up. This is a big fuck-you not only to the conquistadors of 500 years ago, but their wanna-be emulators of 2009, whose misadventures I’ve documented here. Remember how those foreign mercenaries came to grief when half the Bolivian provinces tried to break away, taking the oil and gas with them, so that the privatizers could keep their loot? Yeah, this is a fuck-you to THEM, too. And one they could not deserve more. And it was handed to them, not from above in La Paz, but from below, by the people of all of Bolivia.

¡¡¡VIVA EVO PRESIDENTE, CARAJO!!!

Lorent Saleh, terrorist, in his own words

Coño, what’s this? Oh, just a cute little student opposition leader from Venezuela, showing his true (terrorist) colors. ¡Qué bolas!

On the VTV show Cayendo y Corriendo, yesterday, a new video was broadcast showing Venezuelan right-winger Lorent Gómez Saleh admitting that he was a terrorist.

“My profession is terrorist,” the right-winger asserted.

As well, Gómez Saleh says in the video that he has plans to disturb the peace in the city of San Cristóbal in the state of Táchira, and that he is counting on the aid of 20 young people, Venezuelan and Colombian, calling them the “elite group”, in order to carry out this type of terrorist acts.

“And 20 is a lot, brother; we don’t need more people because these are detailed things,” he says.

“Táchira will be our bastion, there we’re going to put up a good fight. And we’ll heat up Táchira little by little, you haven’t yet seen how Táchira is catching fire…right now we’re raising the pressure bit by bit,” says Saleh.

In one part of the video, Saleh comments: “We want to hit ‘em in the pocket…We want to start a shitstorm and it’ll be simultaneous, because we can’t be starting a shitstorm today and every day.”

He also reiterated that the groups of terrorists he runs are armed.

“We have some good cellphones, some good computers, some cameras, and weaponry,” he assures.

The far-right activist also spoke of his allies in the encampments at Alfredo Sadel Square, and of the work they are doing.

“In Caracas, ‘Guerrilla’ (Ronnie, co-ordinator of the violent acts in Caracas) was the chief at Sadel. The strong arms of combat have arrived at the camp at Sadel.”

He also referred to terrorist plans to be executed in the capital.

“With 10,000 dollars we’ll plant a good sniper there in Caracas.”

In another video presented on the program, Gómez Saleh states that he will be meeting with the press representative of the NGO “Operation Freedom”, Gisela Matamoros, who works for the ex-deputy, María Corina Machado.

It bears recalling that Gómez Saleh has been photographed with various political spokespersons of the Venezuelan opposition, among them Antonio Ledezma.

Translation mine.

Antonio Ledezma, alias Grandpa Monster, is the right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas, and a key figure behind the guarimbas there.

Notice, too, that San Cristóbal is mentioned? That’s where some other guarimbas took place earlier this year, with an eye to ousting Madurito, during the epic fail known as “La Salida” (The Exit). Wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that little Lori-Sally was in cahoots with the fascist mayor of THAT city, in addition to the aforementioned Grandpa Monster.

Oh yeah, and there’s more incriminating video, too:

In this one, Lorent Saleh is admitting that he has ties to another familiar face of the Venezuelan opposition: Maricori, a.k.a. María Corina Machado. Another prominent putschist, in other words.

Such respectable ruling-class types, these old-line Venezuelan oligarchs. And such a firm commitment to democracy, too! Why else would they be so desperate as to associate with known, and self-admitted, terrorists?

A memorial tribute to Robert Serra

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The quote from Pablo Neruda reads:

“I am with those who, one day, will come to avenge you…Let those who killed you know that they will pay with blood, that your martyrdom will not be erased, and your death. Above all, their cowards’ moon will fall…”

And since it’s from Neruda, you know it will come true. After all, Neruda is the same poet who said that Bolívar wakes every hundred years, when the people awaken. And we saw how that has come true in Venezuela…land of Bolívar, land of Chávez, and land of Robert Serra.

Posted in Huguito Chavecito, Quotable Notables. Comments Off »

Assassination: CONFIRMED.

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Venezuelan justice minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres talks about the Serra case on his radio show. See that bar across the screen? It reads “Assassination Confirmed”. Meaning, the murder of deputy Robert Serra and his girlfriend, María Herrera, was NOT part of a botched robbery or any “ordinary” violent crime. Here are the details, courtesy VTV:

The Popular Power minster for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Major-General Miguel Rodríguez Torres, announced that according to investigations of the killings of Robert Serra and María Herrera, there was detailed planning involved.

During his radio show, the minister explained that it was a planned crime. The Scientific, Criminal, and Penal Investigations Service (CICPC) has collected sufficient elements to make possible a reconstruction of the incident. The hypothesis includes the number of individuals involved, how they entered, and how they exited.

“What happened that day, without a doubt, was the doing of someone who wanted to end the life of this important young leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela,” Rodríguez Torres said.

He assured that “there had been a previous stakeout, in order to know exactly what was Robert Serra’s routine, and that of those who accompanied him.” Rodríguez Torres did not specify further details, in order not to alert the criminals.

He also ruled out robbery as a motive for the homicide: “We are 95% certain that they did not come to rob Robert Serra, but exclusively to kill him, because they didn’t steal anything. They didn’t touch his briefcase with his laptop and tablet, and that is an element of value for a normal thief.”

As well, Rodríguez Torres stated that the pronouncements of opposition leaders with regard to the case were self-serving, to “make us see that this crime is imputable to citizen insecurity as common crimes. [They are] trying to justify the unjustifiable.”

Rodríguez Torres recounted all the paramilitary actions that have taken place in Venezuela, planned by sectors of the Venezuelan and Colombian right wing.

He pointed out that the violent acts originated by the Venezuelan opposition began “coincidentally” after Álvaro Uribe Vélez won the Colombian presidential elections in 2002. From that moment, “Henrique Capriles Radonski and Leopoldo López made contact with Uribe to receive advice, directions, blessings and maybe a few other things as well.”

“That same year, López asked Uribe to be his security advisor, and the former mayor of Chacao, Emilio Graterol, contracted his services as police advisor to José Obdulio Gaviria, who is a cousin of [notorious Colombian drug lord] Pablo Escobar Gaviria.”

Rodríguez Torres also recounted how a series of violent events in April 2002 were planned and organized at Plaza Altamira, among them the placing of C4 explosives at the consulates of Colombia and Spain. There were several persons injured, and damage to the infrastructure. “There was participation from the right-wing political sector, and it was a purely terrorist action,” the minister said.

In 2004, 150 Colombian paramilitaries resided at the Daktari ranch, located between the municipalities of Baruta and Hatillo, with protection by local police. “They were led by Comandante Lucas, an assassin for the paramilitary Salvatore Mancuso, who testified in the United States that these Colombians were in Venezuela on the orders of Álvaro Uribe Vélez,” the minister explained.

“This case clearly demonstrates the presence of militarism in our country as a means of trying to rise to power. I name them case by case to remind you of the right-wing leaders and the barbarities they have wrought in this land,” Rodríguez Torres said.

Translation mine. Here’s the video of the minister’s radio appearance:

So we can see that all the key players of the Venezuelan and Colombian far right are involved in this assassination, as they were in the attempt on the life of Nicolás Maduro earlier this year, and in the attempt on Chavecito’s life as well, in April 2002.

Colombian interference in Venezuelan politics goes back at least that far; further, probably, if we examine the life of El Narco more closely, since his own involvement in the far-right politics of his land, and his use of paramilitary terrorism in it, goes back very far indeed. Remember, he’s an old friend of Pablo Escobar, the infamous drug lord killed by the DEA. And as governor of the Colombian province of Antioquia, he signed off on flight permits for Escobar’s drug runners, enabling them to get their wares to market out of country. Since Venezuela was, at that time, very much a point of transit for Colombian cocaine, it’s quite reasonable to assume that a great many of Escobar’s pilots were flying into Venezuela, offloading their drugs at local airports like Maiquetía to be transferred to international flights and ships, and returning to Colombia to repeat the process countless times.

Chavecito’s election in 1998 spelled the end for that, as he was not tame to the interests of the drug cartels or the US. And worse, Chavecito was hostile to the CIA…which we now know, thanks to the great investigative reporting of Gary Webb, was actually behind the crack-cocaine epidemic in the poor neighborhoods (predominantly black) in the US. And of course, the CIA was behind every right-wing “leader” in Latin America, whether “elected” (note the quotes) or simply imposed by coup. So of course it stood to reason that when El Narco rose to the rank of Colombian president in 2002, one of his first acts, however unofficial, would be to send paramilitaries to neighboring Venezuela to “help” the old political ruling classes there regain the power they were about to lose for good. And their role in the April coup of that year is getting harder and harder to dispute, as more evidence arises that they were involved in every act of political unrest that followed on the heels of Chávez becoming president.

We can also see clearly that there are ties between paramilitarism and Chavecito’s last would-be political rival, Henrique “Majunche” Capriles Radonski, as well as Leopoldo López and María Corina Machado. All of them would never be freely elected by the Venezuelan people, so of course they rely on manufactured riots, insecurity, instability and product shortages created by organized hoarding. Which they then crassly blame on the PSUV government. The fact that nobody is really convinced is a major strike against them, and means they will remain unelectable for as long as they live.

It also means that they will go on resorting to criminality, right up to and including murder, in their attempts to bring a legitimate government down.

Little wonder, then, that Robert Serra named them all as intellectual authors of what was to be his own murder, just days before it happened.

Robert Serra names his assassins

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Who says dead men tell no tales? Not I. And not the Argentine journalist Fernando Vicente Prieto, who wrote the following article for the Correo del Orinoco about the recently slain young Venezuelan deputy, Robert Serra:

It’s been 48 hours since they killed Robert Serra and, in the same criminal operation, María Herrera. Robert was a kid, a Venezuelan boy. He was a deputy for four years, and he was only 27. He was the youngest parliamentarian in Venezuela. His killers knew of his unwavering commitment, his firm and potent voice, because he represented the best of a revolutionary youth, prepared to go the full distance.

They thought they killed him completely in that cruel and, at the same time, perfectly rational act. They wanted to kill in him a generation, called by Hugo Chávez to the most difficult and beautiful task. But Robert Serra continues to speak after his death and from there, he points in his eternal gesture at the assassins. They wanted to kill him again and again, and on October 1 — sadly — they succeeded. But not completely.

Even though they killed him 48 hours ago in La Pastora, I turn on the TV and there’s Robert, talking again, and this time of his own death. He’s conversing on the show Zurda Konducta with other guys like him, some dressed like journalists. Robert is waving his hands and speaking clearly. He’s analyzing the moment of the Revolution, describing the job taken on by the youth after Chávez, and suddenly he begins to tell who assassinated him, why, and in what context.

“The country should observe what’s going on. Why was Álvaro Uribe Vélez the first one to come out in defence of Lorent Saleh? Because there are interests directly related, between the paramilitaries he personally directed and still directs in Colombia, and these despicable acts.”

“If we look retroactively at the fallen during the last guarimbas, [we see] a well-aimed shot to the head, with 9mm or high calibre bullets. A well-aimed shot. Not just any shooter has the ability to do that,” says Robert. “Let’s remember what happened in April 2002, with the coup against Comandante Chávez.”

And from that context, he comes back to talking about the present: “And look at this shameless Lorent Saleh, who says: ‘we have the diplomatic façade with this Operation Freedom’.” He is eloquently referring to the leader of Operation Freedom, one of the “peaceful students against Maduro”, as the private media call them.

“He says that, straight up, that crook says ‘we have the diplomatic façade of the altars of the defence of human rights’. And you see how when our state security corps come out to guarantee peace in the land, they are the ones who get converted into victimizers by the opinion shapers. I want to see CNN replay these videos that are coming out now. I want to see that woman-abuser Fernando del Rincón replaying that. I want to see Patricia Janiot. I want to see all of those who have initiated a media campaign against our country,” Robert insists.

He doesn’t stop; he keeps pointing out tactics and responsible parties. He recalls how the paramilitary groups planned to attack discos and bars in San Cristóbal: “Even their own guys,” he exclaims, “so that the social breakdown would be much greater.”

Later, he directly addresses Antonio Ledezma, the right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas. “I know you must be watching me,” he tells him. And reads one of many tweets Ledezma immediately put out to defend the paramilitary group.

He also reads out a tweet by María Corina Machado, which cynically affirms that “everybody knows what awaits Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles at the hands of the régime”. And Robert accuses: “No! Not everybody knows. You know it, shameless person, because you’re in the plan! You know it, Antonio Ledezma knows it, Leopoldo López knows it, and and Álvaro Uribe knows it, because they’re the ones who are in on the plan to destabilize our democracy. Now many of us know it.”

Robert looks into the camera. With his short, scrubby hairstyle, as always, and his neighborhood boy’s face, intelligent and naughty. Profound. Chavista. With all his life ahead of him. He thumps his chest and warns:

“And I’m certain, I’m certain, that in that macabre list I could be one of the names. Fine, let them do it. But it doesn’t matter. I’m certain that they plan to hold collectives and social movements responsible. What for? To generate the reaction that tells CNN that there is a ‘dogfight’ going on that they have set in motion for the gringos and other countries of the world to demonstrate that there is no governability here, that Nicolás Maduro doesn’t guarantee peace, and so the world’s police, the blessed gringos, have to intervene.”

And Robert goes on explaining, dead now but with his voice full of life: “We have to get to the root of this, my dear comrades. This was born at a party. I have the migratory register of many of them: how they came through Costa Rica, through Colombia, from where we denounce the so-called Mexican party. And what was the Mexican party? A party held in Mexico by a group of Venezuelan ex-bankers, fugitives from Venezuelan justice, who circulated instructions via a political operator named Gustavo Tovar Arroyo to unleash violence in our land.”

“I am convinced that they will banalize this denunciation tomorrow,” Robert continues. “They want to see the body of the president so they can say ‘Ah yes, the Chavistas were right’. And how will they banalize it? They’ll say that this is a smokescreen to cover up the problems of the land.”

The end of the program draws near. I hear [them read out] a tweet from a young right-winger which says: “I wish I had a pistol so I could shoot down all of those guys from Zurda Konducta.” Robert nods as if to say “exactly!” and says: “You see? This is a product of the hatred the right-wing has instilled.”

He adds: “Today history proves Nicolas Maduro to be right when he said: ‘Gentlemen, behind all of this lies the empire, and the hand of Álvaro Uribe’, who is thirsting for blood in Venezuela, a product of his failure in Colombia. He wants to destroy peace in our land and he has absolutely nothing to lose, because he doesn’t even have morality.”

Robert says goodbye. He talks about the importance of the 2015 legislative elections, in which the right-wing will try to take the majority so as later to deal a parliamentary coup, as in Honduras and Paraguay. “To win is to win well. Let’s build a majority with our people. What is at stake for us in the coming year will be the peace and the democracy of our land. Let us carry on the legacy of Hugo Chávez. If they ask this generation what our objective is, it’s not a term in office, comrade. It is to make irreversible the dreams of Hugo Chávez and his legacy in this homeland he built for us.”

Robert Serra. 27 years old. Young Chavista deputy. A revolutionary who never will be silent. Those who have ears to hear, let them listen. Because Robert is still speaking loud and clear.

Translation mine.

So we can see that there is, indeed, a veritable rogues’ gallery of usual suspects behind Serra’s death: El Narco Uribe, the failed ex-president of Colombia, and head of the paramilitary death squads to which Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles are now well known to have belonged. Antonio Ledezma, alias “Grandpa Monster”, the reviled right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas, and a well-known collaborator in all the violent opposition guarimbas there. And the bottom-feeding right-wing “leaders”, María Corina Machado, alias Maricori, and Leopoldo López, the pretty boy who’s still sitting in jail, safe and sound, awaiting trial for his part in the recent failed putsch against Madurito. And a bunch of bankers, fugitives from justice all, who absconded with money belonging by rights to the Venezuelan people, who are currently squatting in Mexico. Serra names them all. The only person he doesn’t name is the one who pulled the trigger on him. But it hardly matters. He knows who wanted him dead. And he knows that they had the power and the cash to hire a very cold, clever sharpshooter to do their dirty work, too.

And if you wonder why I’m still writing about him in the present tense, it’s because Robert Serra, like Chavecito before him and Che Guevara before him, is the kind of person who never really dies. He left so much of himself behind, even in his short existence on Earth, that it doesn’t matter anymore where his body is. His spirit is the kind that won’t be silenced so soon. And that irony will be the final joke on his killers, because they will fade from existence as nonentities, even though they succeeded — but only partially, as the author of the piece says — in killing him.