Fascist threat in Venezuela

For the third consecutive day, Venezuela was the scene of heavy fighting on Saturday. Sectors of the opposition returned to focus on the explicit goal of using violence to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, who was democratically elected last year. These groups, some with fascist overtones, openly preach "Out" , the deposition of the current ruler.

By Altamiro Borges

Given the seriousness of the situation, the government warned that there is an ongoing new coup attempt - like the failed assault April 2002 - and vowed to resist to defend democracy. In a speech during the "peace march" in Caracas, Nicolás Maduro accused the main opposition leader Leopoldo López of being "fascist".

After the conflicts of mid-week, which resulted in three deaths and 66 people seriously injured, the Venezuelan Justice ordered the arrest of three leaders of the fascist opposition - among them, Leopoldo Lopez, former Mayor of Chacao, a city of metropolitan Caracas. He is accused of inciting violence and participating directly in acts of vandalism. Nicolás Maduro also decided to bet on street mobilization "against fascism , violence and coups" and reinforced the call of  "peace march" organized by social movements and leftist parties. The climate of political radicalization is increasingly fierce and disturbing Venezuela.

The Venezuelan media, which had been was kind of shy, returned to the charge and has excitedly named the protests as being from the right. Have business sectors investing in the chaos of the economy, depleting the commodity markets and creating tensions by rising prices. On the external front, old enemies of the Bolivarian revolutionare also shaking.

On Friday, the Secretary of State, John Kerry, said he was " deeply concerned" about the rising tensions. Also, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, "asked the parties to engage in a peaceful dialogue," but did not hide her sympathy for the opposition acts.

The coup offensive grouping "La Salida", however, is not so homogeneous. In the opposition itself there are those who criticize their violent methods and the attempt to overthrow the government. Even the rightist Henrique Capriles, who was defeated in the last two presidential elections, has diverged from the tactic adopted by the fascist group. He fears that the opposition will wear with the practices of vandalism and insists that the only possible way is the "electoral process".

According to a report from the Spanish newspaper El País, recent episodes may even result in the cracking of the Democratic Unity Movement (MUD), which had managed the unprecedented feat of uniting all oppositional forces of Venezuela.

The article speculates that the recent protests "seem official opposition leadership is in a crisis that threatens to lead to the failure of a laborious drive built over the last two years." The rout of the MUD in municipal elections last December had already strained the internal division. "The triumph of the government in this election, which the opposition had granted the character of a plebiscite, was interpreted as a personal setback for Capriles "and served as a trigger for other members of the opposition coalition" who began to act autonomously. "This may explain the terrorist radicalization of these leaders who also have "presidential aspirations", according to El Pais.

Translated from the Portuguese version
By Olga Santos

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey