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The National Election Council of Venezuela (CNE) declare last week invalid the first phase of requirements for a referendum on revoking to President Nicolas Maduro. This time the revoking plebiscite is postponed until further judicial investigation. This very serious fact has been perceived by the opposition and the majority of the Venezuelan people as a whole attack fait against the constitutional legality.
The possibility of the revoking plebiscite was a democratic means for containment of a genuine social explosion, given the serious deterioration of the Venezuelan people’ living conditions. The opposition has declared it as a real coup and announced that of they will return to the streets to continue their protests against the dictatorial regime of Nicolas Maduro. To some of the main political leaders like Henrique Capriles and Henry Ramos, their passports have been retired in order to prevent them from leaving the country. They have stated that of they will remain united to achieve the required political change in Venezuela, and they are not fearing imprisonment, as is the case of Leopoldo Lopez, the imprisoned and isolated for months’ opposition leader and former governor.
The National Assembly, which is opposition majority, held on October 23rd an extraordinary session. The opposition deputies agreed to declare “in rebellion against the constitutional and democracy breakdown.” It was stated that in Venezuela “there has been an ongoing coup,” accusing the Chavismo of violence and corruption. It was approved a proposal for parliamentary rebellion: “Confronting the abandonment of the Constitution, the people have the duty and the right to the Rebellion”.
When the Parliament members were discussing all these matters, about 100 people members of the Chavista groups managed to outwit the Parliament’ security, and burst violently in the House, mouthing slogans in favor of Maduro. According to some media, at least two people resulted injured by the Chavistas’ aggression. The Chavista Mayor, member of the House, Jorge Rodriguez, ordered them to withdraw and then these Chavistas left the House, but not before robbing a TV camera at gunpoint from the TV station Globovision. This is how the situation looks like.
During these developments, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was in Riyadh, where he has traveled on tour to pressure the most important OPEC members of for oil price increasing. The country is suffering the most serious humanitarian crisis which Venezuela has ever reached, caused by the Chavista policies, and it has reached unsustainable levels, according to the international organization Human Rights Watch (HRW).
In recent months, many media have released details about the increasing lack of medicines and food, a lack that is increasing patients’ deaths and restricting the diet of the population. Most pf the people can now eat once a day only. Last June, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights claimed that there had been a drastic deterioration in the Venezuelan health service. The HRW report documented the situation in public hospitals, missing or shortage of sterile gloves, gauze, alcohol, scalpels, catheters and needles, among other commodities. In addition, severe difficulty in finding drugs is seriously affecting people with chronic health conditions such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and epilepsy, among other diseases.
Nicolas Maduro’s government denies such a situation and punishes those who denounce it. By contrast, the official discourse about the existence of an ‘economic war’ has served the government to justify the use of authoritarian means to intimidate and punish those critical, like the physicians pushed away from their employment for speaking publicly about the situation, and many other persons threatened by secret services’ agents just for protesting into the streets. Meanwhile, Maduro’s government not only has not sought for foreign help, but he has prevented NGOs of providing assistance within the country.
Maduro has already declared disobedience and has shown to the world his lack of respect for the Constitution and laws of his country. The Chavista regime seems to have lost the control of the country, and right now only works through those decisions violating democratic rules, such as the last weeks to halt the revoking referendum process, or directly through the violence.
For the last years, the violence consisted of Nicolas Maduro insulting to the critics, and physical attacks on the streets of Venezuela. Now they have taken several steps further and it has become so difficult and harsh to predict the way which Venezuela might take, which does not bode well at all.