In recent days, the regime has given clear signs of the direction it is determined to continue taking in the political arena: more threats and greater repression against opponents, just like in Daniel Ortega’s Nicaragua.
Hermann Escarrá, whom they had not dusted off for a long time, threatened in an interview with María Corina Machado, without mentioning her explicitly, with disqualifying her for having requested international sanctions against the government of Nicolás Maduro and expressing herself in agreement with the punishments when they came into force . Escarrá’s intervention was followed by an agreement in the same vein by the official National Assembly elected in 2020. Later Jorge Rodríguez, considered Maduro’s dolphin, remarked that those who had supported the sanctions should be accused of “traitors to the homeland.” ” and execrate them from any political activity and public office. Being part of this combo of intimidation, Diosdado Cabello reiterated, once again, that they came to Miraflores to perpetuate themselves and that “they will not leave there by hook or by crook.”
In Ciudad Guayana, the repression against Sidor workers and their union leaders has been relentless. Just a few hours after prosecutor Karim Khan left the country, security forces beat workers, and arrested and brought three of the most prominent leaders to Caracas. The aggression against the workers was carried out by the government of the “worker president”, as Maduro’s sycophants like to say.
The main recipient of the PSUV’s poisoned darts is María Corina Machado who, for now, captures the most attention from opposition voters. The regime does not accept that such a tenacious critic of what has happened during the last quarter of a century is the one who garners the greatest sympathy from the citizens, and that his promotion takes place in the middle of a process that has been attracting the attention of a group growing number of Venezuelans, both inside and outside the country. Both phenomena worry him: the growing popularity of María Corina and the rise of the primaries. For the government it is easier to disqualify the candidate than to end with a stroke of the pen the appointment called for next October 22. The international community would see it as a grotesque act to prosecute the primaries. It would be a flagrant violation of the rights of citizens to choose their candidate for the Presidency of the Republic. On the other hand, to outlaw a particular candidate, it is enough to accuse her of being a traitor and of inciting hatred for the institutional mechanisms controlled by the regime to be activated. For that, it dominates the AN and the Electoral and Constitutional chambers of the TSJ. In those instances, you can decide to oust María Corina. Taking it out of the game would place the opposition in a tremendous dilemma (what to do in the face of arbitrariness?) and, of course, would lessen the shine and appeal of the consultation. It must be remembered that Henrique Capriles is disabled, and if his claim depends on Cabello’s will, he can forget about being acquitted.
In relation to María Corina, there is already a very important precedent. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega removed Cristiana Chamorro, daughter of former president Violeta Chamorro, from the electoral scene, at a time when she was at the top of the polls and represented a serious danger to the re-election aspirations of the Nicaraguan despot. Afterwards, all the other aspirants who could compete with Ortega and endanger his reign were beheaded. Now Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo govern in the midst of a climate of terror. They demolished the political and social opposition and are also putting an end to the resistance represented by the Catholic Church.
The atmosphere of uncertainty surrounding the primaries and the future of María Corina, Capriles and, eventually, other leaders, can only be mitigated if the opposition remains united and cohesive around the objective of holding the primaries -despite all the obstacles placed by Maduro and his people – under the leadership of the National Commission. Comments and criticisms made of this team should be for the purpose of solving problems, not with the intention of disqualifying its members or accusing them of being biased. The candidates and their commands, especially that of María Corina, have to be especially careful with the public comments they make regarding the Commission. There are some characters that should be moderated.
There is already a cloudy horizon. No need to add more shadows. The course towards Nicaragua is just around the corner and without much strength to avoid it.