Right-wing Opposition Destabilization Plans Intensify in Venezuela

Presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro has denounced attempts by right wing opposition members, supporters of Capriles Radonski, to destabilize the nation and artificially create the chaos and panic necessary for the right wing forces to overturn the 10-20 point advantage that all pollsters are giving to Maduro for the upcoming election this Sunday.

The announcement, supported by further evidence provided by the Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua, focused on how an armed group of mercenaries who have entered the country, made contact with the ‘command center’ for Capriles’ electoral campaign, and who are planning various violent, destabilizing acts.

“A group of mercenaries has entered the country from Central America. They have 3 objectives, they are coordinating with right wing groups from a Central American country, and they have coordinated with some of the sectors connected to the (Venezuelan) opposition candidate” explained Maduro.

One of the key objectives of these mercenaries, explained Maduro, is to assassinate him just a few days before the elections, creating an electoral and constitutional crisis.

Maduro also went on to expose that Armando Briquet, leading right-wing opposition politician and confidant of Capriles, is the go-between between the mercenaries and the candidate: “Briquet is the go-between that Capriles has put in with the mercenaries which the El Salvadorian right have sent to sabotage the electrical system, mercenaries to assassinate Venezuelan men and women, who bring a plan to kill me too”.

On a further note, Maduro added that “They want to kill me because they know that they cannot win in free elections, like those which we are going to have on the 14th April.”

He continued to leave in no doubt that he is prepared to die to defend the legacy of Chavez: “I tell you all- Chavez, I swear it, people, I swear it, Christ, I swear it, I will never fail this people, I will protect them with my life it is necessary”.

Additionally, Foreign Minister Elias Jaua disclosed more details on these armed mercenaries which, he explained, originate from right wing groups in El Salvador.

Specifically, he claimed, the mercenaries are connected Francisco Chávez Abarca; to the retired Colonel of the El Salvador Armed Forces, David Koch Arana; to Guillermo Cader Acuña; and to Roberto d’Aubuisson. These men have connections with the US backed death squads which murdered thousands during the brutal Salvadorian dictatorship, and links also with Luis Posada Carriles, the international terrorist currently in hiding in the USA.

“These elements” explained Jaua “have conscripted mercenaries both in El Salvador as well as in other parts of Central America”. “We have this from a good source, of high level”, he continued, “and this is why we can make this public denouncement in a responsible way”. Opposition leader Ismael Garcia said that the threat had been invented by the Government, and called them irresponsible.

Disclosing the audio from a telephone conversation between d’Aubuisson and Koch Arana, Jaua demonstrated that these groups have coordinated with Capriles to destabilize the country.

“Capriles has found safe places for our people to be calm” the tape states. “The team has arrived and they are working in a group, one is already working in the streets to disorientate the vote”.

This “disorientation” resolves around 2 key themes of the election which the oligarchy has repeatedly used to generate anxiety in the population: crime and the electrical supply.

They are looking to “increase homicides, looking to commit scandalous crimes to exasperate public fears” denounced Maduro, speaking in the eastern Bolívar State, whose streets were crammed with Chavista supporters showing their backing for Maduro’s election this Sunday.

Apart from generating more crime, the mercenaries aim to sabotage the electrical grid, creating power cuts across the country, which will consequently be condemned by Capriles and blamed on the Government.

At each and every one of Maduro’s destinations this week, there were irregularities reported in the local electrical system just hours before, from Cumana to Barinas, eliminating suspicions of mere coincidences.

“They sabotaged the electricity because they know I am coming” he denounced in Portuguesa State, and “today they sabotaged part of the electrical system” repeated Maduro to the thousands who came to hear him in Bolívar State.

Electrical substations are now considered of strategic national interest, and have had 2,000 military personnel stationed at them to protect them from such sabotage.

“You all know that we have a lot of sabotage. We have already caught various people, and we militarized the electrical substations” stated Maduro. He also reminded the people how the oligarchy, similarly attempting to destabilize the country, sabotaged the oil production in 2004, and explained that now they are doing the same with the electricity.

A statement released from the populous Aragua State electrical network stated that “we have found tires placed in a strategic manner under the electrical lines with the intention of creating fires”.

Maduro also denounced that the opposition are conspiring for a national power cut: “They have declared war on the people, let’s go, 24 hours a day, at war to guarantee electricity to the people”. They “are conspiring to create a national power cut, but I call the people onto the streets to defend this revolution if those people dare to turn off this country”.

“I have the recording, I have the photo of the meeting between functionaries of the US embassy with a representative of (Capriles’ party) First Justice, planning a nationwide power cut” he stated.

The electrical grid is particularly delicate, due to the extensive growth in the economy, the demands placed on it by the explosion in housing, and increasingly adverse weather conditions, including earthquakes, flooding, landslides, and droughts. Simple acts of sabotage such as removing a screw, short circuiting a substation, or even turning the other cheek, create exaggerated damage. The Presidential campaign of October was scarred by numerous cases of electrical sabotage, whose culprits have been persecuted.

The President of CorpoElec, Argenis Chavez, explained that the electrical grid saw a significant rise in irregularities in the lead up to the October elections, incidents which ceased to occur immediately after election day.

Vice President Jorge Arreaza explained that measures are being taken to prevent such damaging, despicable acts: “We are carrying out inspections in the generational substations, in the distribution and transmission networks”. “We have noted some irregularities in the past few days” he added.

Similar fears of sabotage for destabilizing and ultimately political ends have been warned of in the housing sectors, the prisons, and even against the electoral machinery. The people are called upon to be alert and organized.

Capitalizing on the sabotage being committed by these mercenary groupings, TV network of the former ruling oligarchs, Globovision, have made a point of covering the most minimal power cut, and very clearly encouraging viewers to blame the government.

Regarding the capture of the mercenaries, Foreign Minister Jaua explained that the Government is dealing with the situation: “we are telling the Venezuelan people, including opposition sectors, that they can be calm. The State security organs are on top of this and we hope to identify and neutralize them in the mark of the law and Constitution in the next few days”.

He also explained that Venezuela will be working alongside El Salvadorian authorities to capture these groups: “we are going to formally notify the El Salvador Government in the next few hours, so that they can cooperate with us”.

* Edited from Paul Dobson in Venezuela, April 2013