by Stephen Lendman
Ongoing street violence isn't happenstance. It didn't erupt spontaneously. Dark forces planned it. On Friday it continued. More on this below.
Washington's dirty hands are involved. Longstanding US plans call for regime change.
Obama deplores democracy. He tolerates none at home or abroad. He wants Bolivarianism crushed. He wants social justice ended.
He wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Venezuelan independence. He wants control of Venezuela's vast oil reserves.
On Thursday, President Nicolas Maduro blamed fascists for stoking violence. "The violent events on Wednesday had only one political intention," he said.
Anti-Bolivarian extremists "want to defeat a legitimate government, protected by legitimacy and constitutionality."
"I will tell these fascist fugitives...you are responsible for violence." Masterminds and perpetrators will be arrested, he said. They'll be brought to justice.
Maduro highlighted security force efforts, adding:
"I have raised the path of tolerance, dialogue, peace, but from the ranks of the right has arisen violence...(It tested the) patience of the Bolivarian National Police, whom I congratulate for (their) work."
Maduro instructed National Guard forces to protect all Venezuelans. Beware of "Miami fascists," he warned.
They're manipulating people. They're "pull(ing) the strings of those groups that are now in the streets."
Nuestra Tele Noticas 24 Horas (NYN24) is an international 24-hour news channel. It's available throughout Latin and Central America. Direct TV carries it in America.
On Wednesday, Maduro ordered it off air in Venezuela. Its broadcasts were inflammatory. They misreported. They expressed anti-government sentiment.
Maduro "denounce(d) AFP for manipulating information." He accused them of "wanting to create a very similar climate to 2002. (He) asked the information minister to speak clearly with their correspondents."
He accused dominant Venezuelan corporate media of misrepresenting what's happening. He denied false claims about police suppressing peaceful protests.
Fascist elements stoked violence for days. "(W)e've had a lot of patience with them," said Maduro.
Further violence won't be tolerated, he said. "Should I allow them to burn, to destroy this country," he asked?
His top priority is restoring order. It's protecting all Venezuelans. It's preventing a 2002 coup repeat. It stopping elements inciting it.
Anti-government media promote violence. They did so in days before the April 2002 coup.
Venezuelan corporate controlled Venevision, Globovision, Televen and RCTV suspended regular programming.
They replaced it with anti-Chavez propaganda. They called on Venezuelans to take to the streets. They said do it "for freedom and democracy...No one will defeat us."
They urged Venezuelans to rebel. They knew in advance when the coup was planned. A day ahead, General Nestor Gonzales got nationwide air time. Major corporate broadcasters cooperated.
He demanded Chavez step down. He said he'd be forcibly removed otherwise. The day after the coup, the dominant corporate media revealed their involvement.
Venevision featured coup plotters on air. They thanked corporate media channels for support. Coup leader Pedro Carmona used Venevision facilities as a "bunker."
It was a staging area for what followed. It was initiated on April 11, 2002. Carmona was seen leaving Venevision for the Miraflores presidential palace.
He did so to replace Chavez as president. He signed the infamous Carmona Decree. It named him head of state. It crushed democracy. It dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court.
It annulled Venezuela's Constitution. It ended Bolivarianism. It replaced it with fascist extremism. It did so in league with Washington.
Carmona's tenure was short-lived. It lasted 48 hours. Mass Chavista activism restored Chavez to office.
Is history repeating now? Are coup plans unfolding? Are dominant Venezuelan media involved? Did they have advance knowledge of what's happening?
Is something more sinister than street protests in play? They're violent. They're destabilizing. They continue. Participant numbers are too small to matter. So far at least.
The vast majority of Venezuelans oppose them. On April 13, 2002, hundreds of thousands of Chavez supporters rallied. They took to the streets.
They demanded his reinstatement. They did so while dominant TV channels aired old movies, cartoons and other distracting programming.
While ongoing, coup plotting got no coverage. Not on corporate TV. Not in dominant broadsheets. State television was suspended for 48 hours.
Venezuelans were on their own to act. They did so until conditions normalized. It was an impressive moment in Venezuelan history. Will they respond again now if needed?
Bolivarianism is too important to lose. So is sovereign independent freedom. Fascists want democracy crushed. They want social justice ended. They want hardline rule restored.
Their ability to achieve a successful coup is hugely constrained. It's possible. It's unlikely. Maduro knows what happened earlier.
He's instituting all measures possible to prevent it. He announced a Peace and Coexistence Plan. He wants it serving all Venezuelans responsibly. He involved state governors and cabinet ministers to implement it.
He ordered the arrest of opposition fascist leader Leopoldo Lopez. A previous article discussed him. He stoked street violence. He barely stopped short of urging national insurrection.
A warrant was issued for his arrest. He's charged with murder, terrorism, conspiracy, incitement to crime, setting fire to a public building, damaging public property, public intimidation, and inflicting serious injuries.
He bears much responsibility for what's ongoing. He threatens Venezuelan freedom. So do other likeminded extremists.
Maduro accused Lopez of stoking violence. He compared him to 2002 coup plotters.
"There you have the face of fascism," he said. "I tell these fugitives from justice. Give yourselves up."
"They should go behind bars," Maduro added. Lopez remains at large. Colleagues said he spent Thursday with advisers.
He challenged Maduro via Twitter. "Thanks for all your shows of solidarity," he said. "I'm fine. I'm still in Venezuela, and I'll stay in the streets. Strength!"
On Thursday, violent protests continued. Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez reported four deaths. Another 66 were wounded.
Dozens were arrested. Rodriquez accused them of "burn(ing) patrol (vehicles), attack(ing) police officers, and committing (extensive) vandalism."
"The human rights of all detainees are being respected," he said. "(W)hen they go to trial, they should explain the reasons for their actions...(They'll be) punished by the weight of the law."
Investigations are ongoing, he added. Efforts are being made to "determine as quickly as possible who is responsible" for instigating violence.
Late Thursday, things were calm. Perhaps before the next storm. Authorities are assessing damage. Rodriguez urged Venezuelans to be vigilant. "(B)e alert to destabilizing plans," he warned.
He expects fascist elements plan more violence. He said suspects arrested said so. Opposition leaders got funding and training from abroad, he added.
He left little doubt where from. It bears repeating. Washington's dirty hands are involved. Maduro referenced "Miami fascists."
Strings are pulled in Washington. Obama wants hardline governance replacing Maduro. How far he's willing to go remains to be seen.
On Thursday, National Assembly (AN) Committee on Domestic Policy members urged lawmakers to investigate Lopez. He heads the hard-right Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party.
They want AN member Maria Corina Machado's possible involvement in street violence examined.
She's a right-wing extremist. She's a longtime anti-Chavista. She signed the infamous Carmona Decree.
Evidence shows her involvement in other destabilizing schemes. Washington provides generous financial support.
She urged anti-government elements to stay in the streets. She called violent protesters peaceful. She blamed police for their crimes.
United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) lawmaker Jose Javier Morales said:
"While the government is promoting measures to ensure the welfare of all Venezuelans, (Lopez and Machado) generate chaos and crisis."
"Yesterday they inspired the people to embark on this wave of violence." He suggested it resembles what happened in 2002.
"It's time for the state to act against these acts of vandalism," he added.
What happens going forward bears close watching. Chavistas support Maduro. PSUV youth wing organzer Sonny Sanchez said activists will stay in the streets.
They'll do so in solidarity with Maduro. They oppose "fascists, Nazis (and) terrorists...(They're manipulated) to create chaos in the country," he said.
Opposition leader/former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles wrongfully accused security forces and Chavistas of stoking violence.
Anti-government fascist elements bear full responsibility. Maduro won't tolerate it, he said.
"I swear by my people that there will be justice for the blood shed in Venezuela today," he stressed.
"I swear that I will do justice in Venezuela. I want peace and justice. The Bolivarian Revolution will triumph by way of the Constitution."
He charged two other prominent opposition figures with involement. Fernando Gerbasi is a former ambassador to Colombia. Mario Ivan Carratu was a president Carlos Andres Perez military chief.
Cuba expressed solidarity with Maduro. An official statement condemned street violence. It blamed fascist plotters wanting him ousted.
"The government of Ecuador...express(ed) its full support to President Nicolas Maduro against these acts of violence organized by the opposition."
Bolivia's Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca expressed "total rejection of any attempt of destabilization in Venezuela." Argentina urged "an investigation to determine responsibilities."
Maduro said "(t)here will be no coup d'etat in Venezuela, you can rest assured. Democracy will continue, and the revolution will continue."
"I have given clear instructions to state security agencies to secure the country's main cities. Anyone who goes out to carry out violence will be arrested." Order will be restored, he added.
Bolivarianism is resilient. It survived numerous US destabilizing schemes. It's institutionalized. It's part of Venezuelan culture.
It has strong popular support. It won't wane and die. Venezuelans won't let it. They want no part of returning to their ugly past.
They enjoy benefits too important to lose. Constitutional law mandates what Americans can't imagine.
Major problems remain. Maduro promised to address them. He represents all Venezuelans fairly. He won't tolerate disruptive fascist violence.
He's committed to restoring calm and stability. It bears repeating. He has popular support to do so.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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