Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Venezuela Update: Maduro's Christmas Coup versus The Democratic Opposition's Call for an Amnesty

"We knew that they were elections in a dictatorship; that is why we fought in the streets and tables. Today, it is the same dictatorship, defeated politically and electorally." - María Corina Machado, Venezuelan opposition leader over twitter on December 22, 2015

Maria Corina Machado, Leopoldo López Mendoza, on February 18, 2014

Venezuela is not a democracy but a country where contested elections are held within an anti-democratic regime. This has meant that the opposition had had to take to the street to ensure that the vote be respected on and following December 6, 2015. There are prisoners of conscience today in Venezuela and the democratic opposition is demanding their release in an amnesty before Christmas which Maduro has rejected. 

Furthermore the Maduro regime has packed the Supreme Court and is seeking to use this court to undo the results of the National Assembly elections by challenging the results in 22 races. By denying the opposition its super majority it opens the path to gutting the National Assembly's powers replacing it with a newly created and un-elected communal congress. This is generating a political crisis in Venezuela. 

However the opposition understands that this is a political struggle with a dictatorship and is waging a nonviolent struggle to regain the rule of law and the respect for democratic practices.
Their message is a transparent and open challenge to the continuing irregularities of Nicolas Maduro and his regime. Freddy Guevara of the opposition party, Voluntad Popular over twitter declared: "Let it be clear: We defended the December 6th vote and didn't allow one deputy to be stolen. Now they are less able to do it. Strength and faith!"
Prisoner of conscience Leopoldo López Mendoza from his prison cell got the following message out: "If Maduro and the rest of the powers kidnapped by a corrupt elite torpedo change then we must remove them." Leopoldo is a prisoner of conscience who is falsely imprisoned because of his massive popularity and nonviolent defiance of the Maduro regime. 

The democratic opposition has had a message of reconciliation and a call for an amnesty for political prisoners following their December 6, 2015 victory while Nicolas Maduro has rejected call and is trying to carry out a Christmas Coup against the newly elected National Assembly that has the support of a vast majority of Venezuelans. 

For more information on developments in Venezuela:

The anti-democratic maneuvers of Venezuela’s leaders / The Washington Post 

U.S. says $1 billion linked to Venezuelan energy corruption scheme / Reuters

Venezuela-Argentina spat over human rights comments / BBC

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