Given the media barrage surrounding Venezuela’s “humanitarian crisis”, recent tensions on the Venezuela-Colombia border, and talks of “military options” and coup attempts, it was hard to know what to expect on returning to the country for the first time in five years, writes Federico Fuentes.
In early March, Green Left Weekly's Federico Fuentes travelled to Venezuela as part of a fact-finding mission. He visited Caracas’s poorer neighbourhoods, rural and border states to hear from those voices deliberated excluded from the media discussion on Venezuela.
In January last year, Henry Ramos Allup, president of the then newly-installed Venezuelan parliament, hastened to make a demonstration of institutional power. The opposition bloc had obtained a strong victory in the 2015 legislative elections and the veteran political leader of Democratic Action (AD) was probably thinking that Venezuela would soon follow Argentina’s suit and do away with its leftist government.
Opposition groups in Venezuela are currently engaged in a campaign to overthrow the democratically-elected government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Portrayed by the media as a peaceful, democratic movement, it is clear that what Venezuela is experiencing is a right-wing destabilisation campaign that not only seeks to remove Maduro but to roll back the important gains of the country’s Bolivarian Revolution.
The right-wing opposition has put its foot down on the accelerator, it is moving all of its pieces at once, and aims to shatter the balance of forces through a coup. It has made it clear: the opposition has June and July to achieve its objective.
It has declared that, backed by article 350 of the constitution, it does not recognise the government. Nor does it recognise the call for a National Constituent Assembly and it is organising to impede the elections for the assembly going ahead on July 30.