The Dark Side of the Venezuelan Opposition

Behind calls for an electoral solution to the political situation, are violent acts, murders, and a terror agenda.

The dark side of the Venezuelan opposition is the one responsible for the planning and execution of the coup d’etat and the killings of peaceful demonstrators on April 11, 2002. That is what former CNN correspondent Otto Neustald has said, and today it is confirmed by the investigations of the scientific police which determined that the Metropolitan Police controlled by opposition Mayor of Caracas Alfredo Peña and National Guard officers under the command of opposition military, are the main responsible in the killings. The judicial process against 8 political opposition activists who violently took over the Governor office of Tachira State during the April coup, also confirms the opposition’s role in violent acts.

The dark side of the Venezuelan opposition is also responsible of the criminal sabotage against the oil industry that caused the bankruptcy of small and medium businesses, losses for more that 8 billion dollars, the blockade of exports, deep harm to the oil company PDVSA’s infrastructure, and a historic economic contraction of 28% during the first trimester of 2003.

The dark side of the Venezuelan opposition is behind the murder of 72 farmers and human rights activist Jorge Nieves, the abominable rime of three young dissident soldiers in plaza Altamira, and the terrorists acts executed against the diplomatic offices of Colombia and Spain, as well as in the Presidential Guard, sheltered by the silence of the media.

According to various sources, activist Jorge Nieves was murdered by paramilitary cells with the complicity of powerful Venezuelan ranchers when he was participating in a peaceful demonstration to support the farmers of the Apure state. Venezuelan Ambassador to Brazil and journalist Vladimir Villegas said “Jorge was always under the sight of Colombian paramilitary forces and corrupted political sectors in our country, that never forgive him his frontal conduct.” (El Mundo, 30-Apr-2003) In February 1999, Villegas and Nieves denounced general Enrique Medina Gomez, then the chief of the Military Operation Theater in the Apure state, for “promoting torture, bad behavior and paramilitary groups in the region accused of several murders in Colombia.” (Así es la Noticia in Provea, 1999)

General Medina Gomez is precisely one of the military that participated in the coup against Chavez, and leads the group of military in plaza Francia in Altamira. Among this group is general Felipe Rodriguez, also known as “El Cuervo”, and colonel Yucepe Pilieri leaders of a secret group that tortured and murdered three young officers because they were though to be in contact with groups sympathetic with Chavez’s government. Scientific police not only determined the responsibility of these military officers in the crime, but also their direct participation in the bombing that destroyed the physical infrastructure of Colombia and Spain diplomatic offices. (Panorama, 15-May-2003). Because of his link to the fascist conspiracy against the Venezuelan government, United States refused the visa to Medina Gomez citing its legislation against terrorism. (Miami Herald, 11-Jun-2003)

In this context, the opposition had no other choice but to accept the government proposal in the Negotiation and Accords Table to resolve the political crisis by peaceful and democratic means. At that time, the country though that with the signing of this pact, the political wing of the opposition will finally prevail over its dark side. However, obtaining more than 2 million signatures to request the recall against Chavez, as the constitution states, has become a titanic task too difficult to accomplish by a discredited opposition. Thus its dark side is once again attempting to impose its terror agenda.

In recent months, in a “Ku Klux Klan” style (El Mundo, 9-Jun-2003), the dark side of the opposition hanged several dolls by its neck resembling president Chavez in different avenues of the capital, as the “political wing” of the opposition called for demonstration in poor areas where Chavez has an enormous support in order to create a violent and intolerable atmosphere. However, the hypocrisy to sell themselves to the poor sectors of society as social justice promoters, fell by its own weigh when the opposition strongly opposed the government alphabetization campaign directed to more than 2 million people, the medical assistance campaign for the poor that has had a tremendous success not only in Caracas but across Venezuela, and the program to allocate more than 500 thousands high schools graduates into universities across the nation.

For the Venezuelan opposition it has been impossible to win the majority of people to their side, and therefore has had to resort to violence in order to achieve their goals. If they continue walking on the streets free in spite of committing so many crimes, they will keep showing their dark side and doing harm to the country.

Antonio Guillermo García Danglades, MA
Ottawa, Canada