By: Ryan Mallett-Outtrim, July 25th, 2013
Head of Venezuela’s National Assembly Diosdado Cabello has stated that he will make public “hard evidence of assassination attempts” targeting himself and President Nicolas Maduro “in due course”.
“We know who they are, what they are, what they want, and we will find them,” Cabello told legislators during a special session of the assembly in Zulia state on Wednesday.
The alleged plot was first revealed by Maduro during a street government in Monagas state the day before, when he said that “fascist” groups operating in Venezuela “have crazy plans”.
“I have appointed Diosdado Cabello as political head of the PSUV to find the truth of how they have prepared for attacks against me for months,” Maduro said.
Maduro stated that if he or Cabello were targeted for assassination, “the wrath of god and the people would be unstoppable” adding that the political opposition would be crippled.
“I’m not here to be afraid of anything or anyone,” he said.
However, yesterday opposition leader Henrique Capriles stated on his internet show at Capriles.tv that “the worst thing that can happen to Venezuela is a coup”.
“Here the majority of Venezuelans want a peaceful and democratic change,” he stated, before accusing the government of “fascism”. He also accused Venezuelan authorities of “retaliating” against the Chilean airline LAN. During his recent visit to Chile and Peru, Capriles reportedly flew with the airline.
The Maduro government has been critical of Capriles’ regular international trips. Foreign minister Elias Jaua recently accused Capriles of neglecting his governorship of Miranda state.
Nonetheless, today during a press conference Capriles indicated that he will spend more time abroad denouncing “the reality of the country”. He hinted that his next destinations could include Brazil, Bolivia and Ecuador.
During the conference, Capriles reiterated claims that the government committed electoral fraud in April, before urging supporters to vote in December’s municipal elections.
This week, Capriles has also stated that the MUD will “continue to organise society in neighbourhoods, towns and cities, to consolidate an overwhelming majority in the December elections”.
On the other hand, the head of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) Leopoldo Lopez stated that “we are not going to wait six years to be given change”.
“There cannot be peace… when there is injustice,” Lopez stated, before urging supporters to restart street protests against the government. VP is part of the MUD coalition. Supporters of the opposition held protests across the country following the 14 April elections, after Capriles disputed the results. In some parts of the country, authorities reported that opposition protests turned violent. In the days that followed the election, Venezuelanalysis observed some opposition protesters and pro-government counter-protesters clash in the streets of Merida.
In April, Venezuela’s attorney general Luisa Ortega Díaz, stated that the violence claimed nine lives and dozens of injuries nationwide. Since then, the Maduro administration has accused Capriles of inciting the violence.
“We cannot turn the page of 14A [the 14 April presidential elections] when we said that the elections were stolen. This government does not enjoy majority support of Venezuelans,” Lopez insisted this week.
The latest poll from private firm Hinterlaces indicates that support for the opposition has fallen to 31%, while the PSUV now has the backing of 48% of the population. The results of another poll by International Consulting Services (ICS) earlier this month indicated that 55.9% of Venezuelans approve of Maduro’s presidency.
Cabello responded to Lopez’s statements on Wednesday, urging the opposition to not provoke violence.