Venezuelan authorities sift through the effects found in a Colombian paramilitary camp within Venezuelan territory. It’s yet more evidence of crimes that have been terrorizing Venezuelans from the border regions all the way to Caracas, and significant enough that a high-ranking member of the federal government showed up to clarify to the media exactly what it was all about:
Yesterday afternoon, the Venezuelan vice-president, Jorge Arreaza, toured the “La Invasión” zone near the Venezuela-Colombia border, where the Venezuelan federal criminal-investigative police, the CICPC, had found a brothel and a centre for extortion and kidnappings, used by paramilitary groups.
“Who knows what they did to young Venezuelan or Colombian women, to persons they kidnapped, how many families suffered with those paramilitary groups putting people in this cellar to make them suffer by way of extortion,” Arreaza said.
Arreaza also commented that in said house they had found photographs of various houses in the El Rosario sector of Colombia, as well as an agenda containing amounts, in [Venezuelan] bolivares, for “services” already paid.
He also announced the finding of a metal building which functioned as an explosives factory.
“We found a shack which was used as an explosives factory. Also, there were paramilitary elements such as balaclavas, masks, gloves, computers, cash money, petrochemical materials, and uniforms of groups called the Red Scorpions and Anti-Guerrillas, among other things.”
“These are aspects of the Colombian internal conflict, which have nothing to do with Venezuelan reality. They are Colombian gangs and problems which have been exported to Venezuela, a peaceful territory which should not have been the object of these menaces.”
Finally, Arreaza said that “paramilitarism will not be able to take place in Venezuelan territory, no matter how much the right-wing is against the decisions the government takes in favor of the people.”
So it would appear that Colombian paramilitaries are not only being used by the opposition to terrorize the people of Venezuela and artificially inflate the crime rates (no doubt in an effort to make the Bolivarian government look ineffective, which it certainly has NOT been); they’re also human traffickers and sex slavers, as the brothel would indicate. And they’ve been carting women from at least two countries there, as well as other kidnap-extortion victims.
And this is just one finding among several, all indicating that paramilitarism — product of one Álvaro Uribe Vélez, ex-president of Colombia and rabid fascist — has been playing an active role in propping up the increasingly farcical Venezuelan opposition. The finding of the facemasks, one might say, is more than a little symbolic, as the masks of the oppos keep falling off their faces at the most inopportune moments.
That sonic boom you just heard was the other shoe dropping. One of the suspects in the brutal murder and dismemberment of Liana Hergueta sang like a nightingale for the Venezuelan federal police, and in the video above, he names a veritable rogues’ gallery of right-wing politicians, not only from Venezuela, but from neighboring Colombia, and even from the US. And none other than the president of Venezuela himself was on hand to make the information public to all the TV viewers of the land:
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, presented a video in which one of the men accused of dismembering a woman in Caracas, and who has ties to the opposition, states that he received, via intermediaries, money from US Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, in order to finance the “protests” of 2014.
José Rafael Pérez Venta, who says in the video that he belonged to the opposition parties Voluntad Popular (VP) and Alianza Bravo Pueblo, states that Rubio, as well as fellow Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent money to him via a person named Betty Grossi, though he did not specify the amount nor explain how he knew it came from the US politicians.
After naming the US congress members he maintains that “[Ros-Lehtinen] earmarked a certain amount in dollars which she or they sent, sending it in an envelope, or directly to [Grossi’s] account, and [Grossi] made the conversion and handed over the money herself,” Pérez Venta explains in the interrogation video.
Pérez Venta also says he received “a contribution of $1,000” from Phil Laidlaw, whom he identified as a chargé d’affaires from the US embassy in Venezuela, and who, according to Pérez Venta, used Gaby Arellano, a known student leader and VP party member, as intermediary.
He does not explain either, in this case, how he knows that the dollars Arellano gave him come from this supposed functionary.
Maduro said on tuesday, on his weekly TV/radio program, that Pérez Venta, as well as other prisoners, “have served as bodyguards to the principal leaders of the Venezuelan opposition”, and stated that “like this group, we have detected 30 groups trained and financed from Colombia, by the paramilitaries of [Álvaro] Uribe.”
“This group, which was connected to the highest level of right-wing leaders in Colombia, and of the Venezuelan right, had plans to assassinate well-known political leaders, of the opposition right wing, and of the Revolution,” he added.
In the video, Pérez Venta says that, on an unspecified date, he was in the western Venezuelan state of Táchira, where he received “money from Colombia implemented by some people who handled the fabrication of explosives and the location of this type of artefacts.”
He also states that in the neighboring country, he met with Colombian ex-president Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010), as well as Oscar Iván Zuloaga, one of his ministers.
He indicated that the attack on the Public Ministry in Caracas, following the anti-government march of February 12, a date marking the beginning of a six-month wave of anti-government protests throughout the land, was prepared by the VP leader, Leopoldo López, currently in jail for crimes related to the same.
Also implicated are parliamentary ex-deputy María Corina Machado and the metropolitan mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, who is under house arrest following accusations of conspiring.
He also accuses the president and editor of the daily newspaper, El Nacional, Miguel Henrique Otero, of “complete and perpetual financing for the confrontations” which took place in the upper-class Caracas suburb of Chacao.
Of course, the opposition are all up in arms, as usual, and claiming the government is trying to “smear” them. Hardly! As you can see in the video, the prisoner has not been tortured and is making all his statements freely, without needing to be prompted in any way. (The interrogator’s voice is disguised for security reasons, hence the subtitles.) It’s not the government smearing the opposition; it’s one of their own henchmen pointing the finger back at his bosses.
And those bosses are, as my entry from the other day says, not native to Venezuela. At least two of them are Colombian; three from the US, two of them members of Congress, and the other an embassy official; and lower on the food chain, all the usual suspects of the Venezuelan opposition: Prettyboy Leo, Maricori, Majunche Capriles, Grandpa Monster, and Miguel Henrique Otero, the crappiest newspaper proprietor in all the land. Plus Gaby Arellano, the opposition student leader, as bag-girl and messenger for the gringo financiers and the terror-cell killers.
Bolivarian socialists — a majority of Venezuelans — call their opposition leaders “sinvergüenzas”, meaning shameless people. As you can see, they come by the term honestly…well, as honestly as one can, if one is of the Venezuelan opposition. And honesty is not one of their policies, to be quite honest.
“He was Leopoldo López’s bodyguard — the DISMEMBERER of Liana Hergueta. Roll video!”
It’s always SOMETHING with the Venezuelan opposition, isn’t it? And by SOMETHING, I mean MURDER. Take, for example, this guy…who has a lot more to answer for than just a grisly murder-dismemberment of a woman:
José Rafael Pérez Venta (27), one of those implicated in the case of a dismembered woman, Liana Hergueta (53), stated in his testimony to the authorities that retired general Antonio Rivero trained him when he was working as a bodyguard for opposition leaders, according to the Venezuelan minister of the Interior, Gustavo González López.
Pérez Venta was a bodyguard for spokesmen of the Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party for several years, the minister pointed out.
Rivero, exiled in Miami, is wanted in Venezuela for his suspected participation in acts of violence which occurred in the early months of 2014.
The minister for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Gustavo González López, said on Saturday that there are direct ties between the suspects in the homicide and dismemberment of Liana Hergueta, and military officers, journalists and politicians of the Venezuelan opposition.
“The detainees have given important clues for the effective development of the investigation,” the minister said, assuring that at an opportune moment, he would offer details of the second phase [of the investigation] of the crime, which he called “atrocious and abominable”.
As well, he stated that the man who received the payment in bolivares for the transaction in dollars “has been fully identified”. However, he added, these dehumanizing crimes “are not native to Venezuela”, for which reason it has upset the citizenry and confirmed the activities of paramilitaries [from Colombia] in the land.
González López reiterated that Hergueta and her killer were both on the same side politically, for which reason he emphasized that we must wait for new results from the next phase of investigations to reveal the names of those connected to the authors of the crime, intellectual as well as material.
He said that the Hergueta case is part of a “perverse cocktail” involving three structures: the intellectual authorship of a politician, assassination via paramilitaries, and common crime.
This crime, involving José Rafael Pérez Venta (27), Samuel José Angulo (23), and Carlos Eduardo Trejo Mosquera (28), all arrested, confessed and convicted, is part of a plot which brings together elements not native to Venezuelan culture. “They are inserted, placements from cultures from other countries,” the minister said.
Those involved also appear in photos with opposition leaders. Investigations revealed a relationship between Pérez Venta and a woman who worked in the Metropolitan Caracas mayor’s office, who was fired after speaking of the Hergueta case. González also indicated that according to investigators, there are links between the authors of the crime and the security details of María Corina Machado, Antonio Ledezma, and Henrique Capriles.
In prior declarations, the minister announced that they had found worrisome links between the criminals and highly noted members of the Venezuelan opposition. “We ask ourselves why they were there, who put them there. Currently, Mr. Pérez Venta and Mr. Trejo are revealing important facts about financiers, political operatives, modus operandi, training sites, and all of a scheme which will allow us to reopen and know all we’ve been working on about paramilitarism, narcotrafficking, and dollars.”
He also referred to recent statements from opposition members criticizing the captures of paramilitaries during the operations called “Liberation of the People” (OLP), executed on July 13.
“They, in their imaginations, began to ask themselves absurd things, but they’re incapable of seeing persons at their side who had paramilitary conduct…They were not capable of seeing this person who, upon seeing their political careers threatened by the denunciations of a woman [Hergueta] for fraud, were capable of organizing this atrocious crime.”
The body of Liana Aixa Hergueta González, 53, was found dismembered in her vehicle, parked on Los Manolos Street. Hours before, she was contacted and brought to Apartment 605, where Pérez Venta greeted her. His accomplice, Samuel Sánchez, administered an electric shock to her with a stun-gun. They abused her, asphyxiated her, and later cut up her body with a serrated knife. First they cut off her feet, hands and head, which they put in garbage bags. They put the trunk in a suitcase. They cleaned up the spilled blood with a rug, kitchen towels, and t-shirts.
So we can see that the Venezuelan opposition will stop at nothing to silence anyone who stands in their way, even if she is on their own side. If she talks to the authorities about swindles and frauds, it’s literally off with her head. That ought to tell you a thing or two about what kind of people these pretty, vacuous people really are. They are repeat losers, relics of the oligarchy that will never rule Venezuela again. And for that reason they are desperate, and totally devoid of legitimacy.
And yes, there are an awful lot of familiar names in there: Sob-Sister MariCori Machado, Antonio Ledezma (alias “Grandpa Monster”), Prettyboy Leo López (currently still in federal pen for his part in the attempted putsch of 2013), and Henrique “Majunche” Capriles, the last man to lose to Chavecito.
Of course, that coup failed. They all do, and they all will, because unlike the Venezuela of the Fourth Republic, this one has a real, strong, clean democracy…and it doesn’t take kindly to foreign criminal operatives and their gringo sponsors boogying with what’s left of the old guard.
And it won’t let them get away with murder, either.
PS: Apologies for the different look and wording of this, but WordPress ate my original while I was trying to upgrade to the latest version yesterday. Without a backup, I had to redo the whole thing from scratch. I guess I should be thankful I only lost two entries, but I’m still fuming.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, surprised the Bolivian president, Evo Morales, on Thursday, when they visited him at the hotel where he is staying in Havana, according to Bolivian state news agency ABI.
Fidel and Maduro showed up at the La Laguna Hotel, where Evo arrived early in the morning to celebrate the 89th birthday of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution.
“To Bolivia, all the love of the world, and my admiration,” said Fidel, according to ABI.
Evo had intended to visit Fidel at home, which is why he was surprised that the Cuban leader came looking for him at his hotel.
“I’ve come to share, to accompany our elder brother, Fidel Castro, on his birthday. I admire him greatly, I love him very much, I have learned much from him,” Morales said earlier, upon arriving in Havana.
The Bolivian leader had come on Thursday to attend an event in Havana in which there would be a donation of computer equipment for the “Plurinational State of Bolivia” primary school, according the foreign ministry.
His last previous visit to the island was in December of 2014, when he attended the eighth ALBA Summit in Havana, and met with Cuban president Raúl Castro.
How do you like that? Fidel doesn’t receive birthday presents on his big day; he GIVES them. And since Cuba has been giving so much to fellow Latin American countries like Venezuela and Bolivia over the years, boosting their own revolutionary leaders and processes, that’s really saying something. Cuba may not be swimming in dollars, but it’s not poor as long as it can still give so much.
A. A Spanish one who used to be prime minister, once upon a time:
That’s Felipe González, right of centre, plus a whole lotta unsavory Venezuelans. None of whom, incidentally, are socialists themselves. Not even in name only, as Felipillo is. And the president of Venezuela was not impressed by the company his former counterpart from Spain chose to keep while he was there:
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, appeared Wednesday night on the VTV program, Con el Mazo Dando, and reiterated his criticisms of the visit of Spanish ex-president Felipe González to Venezuela to meet with the opposition.
“Whoever messes with Venezuela hangs himself out to dry. Felipe, you’re going to dry up. Your first step toward infinite dryness is having fled like a coward from Venezuela,” said the head of state, adding that the permanent battle is against capitalism.
In that sense, he told the opposition that every time they make an attack on the dignity of Venezuelans, the people reject them.
“The opposition wastes its time dragging foreign ex-presidents in to govern our country…Felipe González will never govern Venezuela.”
And Madurito’s buddy from Bolivia, who also hasn’t exactly been on the receiving end of any “socialist” solidarity from Spain? Well, he was even more to the point:
Bolivian president Evo Morales criticized politicians who join the right-wing campaign against Venezuela.
The head of state, in a televised interview with Russia Today, emphasized that “the age of military dictators is part of the past”, but recalled that some European politicians have arrived in Venezuela to visit with right-wing politicos, those who tried to destabilize a constitutionally elected government.
“I can’t understand how Felipe González, who comes from a socialist party, could meet in Venezuela with right-wingers…We respect our differences, but there are politicians and parties who use ‘socialism’ to serve capitalism,” Morales remarked.
Again, translation mine.
Oh, that Evo. Isn’t he the sly one, pointing out the inconsistencies between Felipillo’s party name and the company he chose to keep? And the fact that those same oppo leaders who appeared in Felipillo’s photo-op there are the very ones who have tried, repeatedly, to oust first Chavecito, then Madurito, with (among other things) military coups and failed attempts at dictatorship?
Well, who can blame them for trying to burnish their badly tarnished image with a “socialist” has-been from Spain? After all, democratic socialism is very popular in Venezuela. And they…are not.
And neither, I suspect, is Felipillo. Especially with all those real socialist upstarts making inroads in Spain right about now, following the good example for their Venezuelan counterparts. Ha, ha.
The new electoral pact, anchored around the Scottish Socialist Party and the grassroots Scottish Left Project, will meet representatives of Greece’s ruling party Syriza in Edinburgh today, as well as members of Spain’s left-wing Podemos movement.
The gathering is expected to discuss tactics for the 2016 election, when the new Scottish anti-austerity coalition hopes to return Socialist MSPs through the regional list system.
The development comes just days after Quebec Solidaire, the radical coalition in Quebec’s National Assembly, agreed to give its support to the Scottish alliance.
Delegates unanimously backed the move at their conference in Montreal last week, at which Scottish trade union activist Cat Boyd spoke on the Left’s post-referendum revival.
And yes, that IS a Canadian connection there. We have at least as many Scots here as there are in Scotland, it seems.
And this unite-the-left move gives a boost to those on this side of the pond, as well:
Amir Khadir, a Quebec Solidaire National Assembly member, said: “Austerity, whether British or Canadian, has left the vulnerable behind and impoverished ordinary people.
“But there is hope, as Cat Boyd reminded us about the struggle of ordinary people in Scotland and how Yes voters said Yes to a new and different country.
“The rising momentum behind the Scottish Left Project gives us hope and courage to fight for justice at home and solidarity abroad.”
Having a united left party puts Scotland not only on a par with Greece and Spain, but also Venezuela, whose ruling party, the PSUV, is the example to follow. When Chavecito first became president in late 1998, he was backed by Venezuela’s many small leftist parties, as well as his own, called the MVR (Fifth Republic Movement). This coalition broke the four-decade-old Fourth Republic duopoly of the “liberal” AD and the religious-conservative COPEI, which was put in place by the Punto Fijo pact after the ouster of Venezuela’s last military dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez. Prior to that, there were many leftist parties and splinter movements breaking off of each from time to time, but with no single presidential candidate to back, they lost to the corruptos of the ruling class every time. No matter how unpopular an AD or COPEI candidate was, he could still roll right over the leftists, even though their combined numbers were greater. It took an outstanding candidate — Hugo Chávez, already a national hero since his failed uprising in 1992 — to change all that. He later united all but a few of his leftist supporters in one party, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), while in office. (The Venezuelan Communist Party, the PCV, supported him and still supports his successor, Nicolás Maduro, but would not come under the PSUV umbrella, preferring to retain a separate party identity. Splinter factions of various other pre-existing left parties also chose to go their own way; their lack of power and conviction speaks for itself.)
If the yet-to-be named Scottish left party manages to follow Venezuela’s example and get behind a candidate who is intelligent, brave, and serious about unity, like Chavecito, it should have nowhere to go but up. In spite of wankers like this:
Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone said: “It’s no surprise to see this group modelling itself on a party currently presiding over the most chaotic economy in Europe.
“I’m sure they can come up with enough of their own crazily damaging ideas without getting input from other radical left-wingers.”
That’s right, Alex, sneer while you can. You won’t be able to work up the energy once one of them has taken your seat!
Video of Venezuelan National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, on his VTV show, Con el Mazo Dando (“Giving it to them with a club”), promising that soon, the Colombian paramilitary thug who murdered PSUV deputy Robert Serra and his girlfriend, María Herrera, last October in their Caracas home, will be extradited to face justice in Venezuela. That extradition took place yesterday, as Venezuelan federal officials arrived at Simón Bolívar Airport in Maiquetía to pick up the trash:
Meanwhile, it appears that the assassin’s gruesome work was a family affair. From Últimas Noticias, via Contrainjerencia, we learn that the ringleader’s wife and son were in the bloody tapioca up to their eyeballs, too:
The criminal named Padilla Leiva, known as “El Colombia”, who planned and directed the crime against Venezuelan parliamentary deputy Robert Serra and María Herrera, has the distinction of being a bloodthirsty man and also, of having taken the lives of two men in La Yaguara two weeks before the assassination, according to sources linked to the investigation.
According to the source, “El Colombia” and his son, known as “El Eme” (“M”), were the ones who proceeded to kill Serra and Herrera with an icepick and a knife, since the idea was not to make any noise. They stabbed him 20 times in the chest and four in the back. One of the final stab wounds, which penetrated from the side, is considered to be the mortal one, since it affected several vital organs. President Nicolás Maduro said, on Wednesday at a press conference, that first they took the life of the parliamentarian and then, as they were on their way downstairs and out of the house, they killed María Herrera.
The wife of “El Colombia” and mother of “El Eme”, a woman named Neila Palomino, had also taken part, as she was in charge of acquiring the cell phones used in the criminal operation, which were returned once the deed was done.
The source indicated that “El Colombia” was contracted for a large sum of money by another Colombian, linked to Colombian paramilitary gangs. His capture is considered key by the authorities.
According to the source, the group had been contracted to commit the crime against the deputy and the planning of the assassination took place in Caracas more than two months before. There arose the need to buy off one of Serra’s bodyguards and that is when they managed to contact Edwin Torres Camacho, known as “El Poli”, who facilitated for them all movements within the home, the parliamentarian’s routines, the exact location of the rooms, and how to enter. As well as furnishing them with all the information, the day of the crime, Torres was the person in charge of opening the door to the house and letting in the rest of the five criminals.
Torres Camacho, who at the time of the crime was an active functionary of the Caracas police, was at Serra’s wake, attended the entire funeral and even participated in the murdered politician’s honor guard at the National Assembly. He was interrogated on a Saturday night at the CICPC [criminal-investigative federal police] headquarters, after Serra’s burial, along with all the persons who comprised the inner circle of the deceased (bodyguards, assistants and some family members), and later was detained by the SEBIN [Bolivarian Intelligence Service] in the residences of the Housing Mission beside the Los Leones bridge, in the La Paz suburb.
They committed the crime. Six days before the double murder, several of the criminals were on site to corroborate and verify the entire zone, the escape routes, and the means of entering the home.
The day of the crime, Serra was in a political meeting, and that night, when he returned home, he called his brother and invited him to dinner, since María Herrera was cooking.
Almost immediately, the criminals arrived at the deputy’s residence in La Pastora, in a red Ford pickup truck and on a motorcycle.
When the criminals entered the home, they overpowered, bound and gagged the victims before killing them. All of this took place between five and six minutes. “They went directly to kill him,” said president Nicolás Maduro, after showing a video in which one could see the entry and exit of the criminals.
The assassins stole a watch from the deputy, and carried off a computer, maybe thinking that all the closed-circuit TV recordings [from the security cameras] were stored in it. There were other objects of value in the house, such as cellphones, laptops, an iPad, and tablets, which were not removed by the criminals.
When they left, there was a problem, because the keys to the motorbike were not there. Torres Camacho related, in a video shown by the president, that they went three blocks with the motorbike turned off, and later abandoned it and exited the area in a taxi.
Jesus H. Christ. Imagine being so cold-blooded a contract killer that you’d even take your own young son along to help you overpower, tie up, gag and then stab two good, innocent people to death. Even the Mafia could take lessons in sheer gruesomeness from the Colombian paracos.
And the sheer amount of planning and premeditation needed to commit so grisly a crime in so short a time span is remarkable, too. Two months, or more, just to buy off a police bodyguard, and familiarize themselves with the house and the neighborhood. Little wonder that it only took them five or six minutes, from entry to exit. That’s the mark of professional killers, hired by somebody with an awful lot of motive and means. This was not a botched armed robbery, in other words.
Who hired them? Robert Serra knew who the likely culprits were; he even called them out by name not long before he was murdered. The Venezuelan federal authorities undoubtedly know who they are, too. Several of them are in custody; others are on the run. And they are running scared.
And the fact that they have ties to Colombia can only mean one thing: that El Narco Uribe himself was, and still is, a key player in the plot to balkanize and subdue Venezuela, starting with its westernmost states, which border on Colombia and see a lot of spillover of military and paramilitary anti-guerrilla crime from there. After all, paramilitarism flourished on his watch, as part of his scheme to destroy the FARC. How it must gall him to know that he is out of office, for good, while they are still alive and operating without missing a beat!
Oho, what’s this? Another putschist conspiracy in Venezuela? ¡Por supuesto! And this little conversation between two big pieces of shit was captured in none other than the jailhouse where the two are currently cooling their heels. Here are the details of what’s being said, courtesy Contrainjerencia:
On Monday, exclusive audio was broadcast in which a conversation between the far-right-wing politician, Leopoldo López, and the former mayor of San Cristóbal, Táchira, Daniel Ceballos, was revealed. The two were making plans to destabilize Venezuela, similar to the violent acts of early 2014, from their respective cells in the Ramo Verde jail in Caracas.
The recording was presented on VTV’s “Cayendo y Corriendo”, hosted by Miguel Pérez Pirela. It reveals step by step the strategy by López and Ceballos to foment new acts of violence with the objective of “turning the country around”.
In the recording, one can hear López calling for a street demonstration on next Saturday, May 30. “Lots of kids are going to throw [a demonstration],” he said, meaning he is ordering young people out as cannon fodder.
Later Ceballos can be heard planning to pitch camps in front of the United Nations office in Venezuela, in order to obtain “some kind of impact” in the National Electoral Council (CNE).
Later, both can be heard plotting how to make “viral” the new protest in the right-wing news media, and proposing to “buy time” by staging a hunger strike of five to ten days.
“We have to figure out where we’re going to put the beasts,” that is, the paramilitaries from Colombia who are already in country, say Ceballos and López during the conversation.
Leopoldo López has been in Ramo Verde prison since February 2014, after handing himself in to the authorities days after promoting and inciting the vandalism and guarimba violence that left 43 dead, with the intent of deposing the legitimate president, Nicolás Maduro.
In March, members of the Committee of Victims of the Guarimba met with the High Commission of the United Nations for Human Rights, Zed Raad Hussein, and fingered Leopoldo López and other opposition leaders as responsible for the violence that took place in 2014, leaving more than 600 injured and 43 dead.
Ceballos, for his part, went to prison for supporting the violence in the city of San Cristóbal, a locality designated by the right-wing as a bastion to initiate destabilization.
A few days ago, the People’s Ombud of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, stated in a special interview with Telesur that the opposition is seeking to demolish the democratic institutions of the land, with threats of new demonstrations over the supposed “violation of the rights of López and Ceballos”.
Saab made the statement following the broadcast of video recorded by Leopoldo López, in which López makes a call for violence and announces a hunger strike along with the ex-mayor of San Cristóbal, Daniel Ceballos.
Well, how do you like that? Prettyboy Leo (who, by now, is showing his age and thus, not such a pretty boy anymore) has decided to pay back Madurito for saving his miserable, no-good life…by trying to kill him all over again. And his ol’ buddy Ceballos, who brought Colombian paramilitaries in through the border state of Táchira and let them terrorize his own city, San Cristóbal, is in on it too.
So, kiddies, long story short: If you see anything about “pro-democracy” demos in Venezuela in the next few days, don’t believe a word of it. They’re not demonstrating for democracy, but against it. As usual. Because the Venezuelan opposition are sore losers for whom democracy means nothing. They showed as much in 2002, when they tried and failed to dislodge the democratically elected (and hugely popular) Chavecito. They did so again last year, trying and failing to dislodge the also-democratically-elected (and also popular) Nicolás Maduro. They did it in October of last year, too, when they brought in Colombian paramilitaries to murder the popular, democratically elected young parliamentarian, Robert Serra of the PSUV. And they’ve got more Colombians in country now, posing as Venezuelans in order to destroy Venezuelans. They fully intend to keep on trying to destroy democracy in Venezuela.
They don’t have a democratic bone in their bodies.
No, not Isabel Allende the author; she’s the niece of the fallen president, who died on the heels of a coup in 1973. This one is the other Isabel Allende, the late former president’s daughter. And here’s what she had to say upon being elected to lead her father’s old, proud party:
“It’s an immense honor to be the first woman to lead you in 82 years of [the Chilean Socialist Party’s] existence,” said Senator Isabel Allende, upon officially assuming the presidency of the party, replacing Osvaldo Andrade.
The daughter of [late former president] Salvador Allende committed to continue supporting the programs of president Michelle Bachelet, at the same time placing an accent on strengthening democracy in the midst of the crisis of credibility affecting Chilean politics.
“When politics weaken, it’s the people who suffer, because they lose they only tool for social change that they really hold in their hands. We already know what the absence of democracy is, we know what it is to suffer under a dictatorship. For that reason, we value democracy, even when it is weakened; we respect it, in the same way as we commit to respecting it,” she said.
The ongoing weakness of Chilean democracy is a problem that has afflicted the country ever since it was “restored” in 1995, with the resignation of the dictator, Augusto Pinochet. Many Chilean laws, policies and systems today are direct holdovers from the Pinochet era. And there is tremendous resistance to change on the part of Pinochet’s conservative partisan successors, who are all members of the same repugnant old oligarchy that supported the coup in the first place.
Here’s hoping that when she becomes president, Isabel Allende will restore the Chile that her father worked so hard to build. Let’s also hope that she can improve upon it with strong democracy, like what we’ve been seeing in Venezuela since Chavecito came to power. Above all, let’s hope that she does not meet the same sad, awful fate as her father did — and that if there ever is another coup, the Chilean people will take inspiration from their Venezuelan counterparts and restore their democratic leadership with courage and decision.
Venezuelan federal authorities are always on the lookout for paramilitaries. And no wonder: Ever since Chavecito rose to power (and Madurito succeeded him), the old ruling classes have had this ongoing problem with actual, functioning, democratically-elected government. They don’t want to fade into irrelevance; they always have to do something to keep their profile up. But since they are terminally discredited, with barely any support even among their upper-class cohort, well…they have a little problem on their well-manicured hands. And to cover up that, they have resorted to creating other problems, big ones, which they can then blame on the Bolivarian government. They hire paramilitaries from Colombia, import them to whichever part of Venezuela they’re looking to create chaos in, and turn them loose on the unsuspecting locals.
Following operations of dissuasion, prevention and intelligence, the criminal band “Gamma”, which operated in the municipality of Sucre in the state of Miranda, was dismantled, according to the minister of Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Gustavo González López.
In a press conference at the headquarters of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), in Caracas, González explained that the criminal organization was dedicated to creating fake identity cards, kidnapping, extortion, robbery, as well as assassinations, drug and weapons trafficking, and intimidating the locals.
In a broadcast on VTV, González stated that the members of the criminal band are now in custody. Among them: Minimo de Jesús González Prieto (head of the gang); Alexis Prieto (lieutenant); Roberto Prieto (chief of logistics), García Granado (chief tough guy), and the assassin. Four other persons are still being sought.
“We are after the financiers, with elements who operated in the same industrial sector of La Dolorita, in Sucre, Miranda, and we are sure that with our criminal and strategic intelligence work, we will continue to escalate until we find all the elements who are linked to the political use of criminal gangs,” said González López.
He added, as well, that other criminal gangs have been identified which operate in Sucre municipality, and reiterated the government’s intention to continue combating paramilitarism.
“Paramilitarism is basically a reaction, a structure of an economic elite, a financial elite, a political elite that seeks to maintain, in a crude and persistent manner, its power by whatever means or form,” said the minister.
González pointed out that the assassinations of political leaders, such as the revolutionary deputy Robert Serra, in October of last year, are not due to common crime, but paramilitarism.
“This perverse manner of attempting to confuse [the people] with the notion that we are in the presence of a small problem of common crime keeps mutating. I want to bring to your attention that this is not a problem of common crime, it is the use of common crime by paramilitaries in criminal gangs with processes,” added the minister.
And here’s some video (in Spanish), in which the minister — a major-general of the Venezuelan armed forces — talks in detail about the criminal gang, its organizational structure and membership:
As you can see, these are no common criminals, although they may be using common crime as a front. They used fake IDs claiming them to be workers or unionists, but they aren’t. These are highly organized criminals whose behavioral patterns bear an unmistakable stamp of paramilitarism. Their hideout even had a tunnel leading from the bathroom to a wooded area, designed for quick escapes. They’ve also been recruiting local minors — teens ranging in age from 13 to 17 — and possibly have ties to the infamous, Colombian-led group that assassinated Robert Serra, whose members are all currently in custody and awaiting trial. Their crimes serve a blatant set of political interests: namely, those of the discredited old ruling class, who are currently glorified in the media as “the opposition”. And that’s what makes them political criminals.
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All opinions here are the brain-wrackings of Sabina C. Becker, unless otherwise credited. If you cite them, please give credit where due.
Fear doesn't travel well; just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory's truth. What terrifies one generation is likely to bring only a puzzled smile to the next.
--Arthur Miller, "Why I Wrote 'The Crucible'", The New Yorker, October 21, 1996
All opinions here are the brain-wrackings of Sabina C. Becker, unless otherwise credited. If you cite them, please give credit where due.