Thursday, September 1, 2016

The coup narrative is back

Ahead of today’s opposition march, the government has reedited its coup d’état narrative. “In Venezuela we have to stop the coup d’état which is ongoing, I am calling the National Guard of the people, and the security forces to be on their guards in order to guarantee the peace and the right to live,” declared President Maduro yesterday.

The pro-government Telesur news channel explains: “From September 1 to December 31 Venezuelans will mobilize to reject the violent acts planned by the right-wing of the country, framed by the new Condor Plan in Latin America.”  
As usual, the government is accusing the “Empire” of being behind what it says is the local opposition’s coup plans.

Some new elements in this new “revelation” of a coup plot:

- Crackdown on Vountad Popular: Including the arrest of several leaders of the party and the harassment of its followers. (See my detailed account in the WOLA bolg.)

- Air gun conspiracy: A couple was detained on August 29 in Carabobo. Douglas Rico, chief of the investigative police body CICPC, declared that they carried in their car “four imitation air gun rifles and one imitation hand gun.” This is the government’s explanation: The couple planned to dress as National Guards and fire with their air guns at the opposition crowd at today’s march. Then they would scape and a second military clad group would fire live rounds at the people. This second group is still at large, according to Rico. The aim of this plot would be to produce a massacre and to blame the National Guard and the National Bolivarian Police for it. No explanation was provided by Rico as to why the air gun prelude to the real massacre would be necessary for the massacre plot.

-Discourse Analysis: President Maduro has said he will name a commission of “national and international legal experts, psychiatrists, linguists, and sociologists,” to “analyze” the discourse the president of the National Assembly Henry Ramos Allup. The ultimate end of the analysis will be to start a law suit against the opposition leader for “spearheading a hate campaign and for promoting violence in Venezuela.”

-Guns at school: The government is claiming that the opposition is storing weapons in the campus of the private Jesuit Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB). The first to make the accusation was PSUV’s vice-president Diosdado Cabello. But the claim has been repeated by the Minister of Interior Nestor Reverol as part of his revelations of a “destabilizing plot for September 1.”

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