Merida, August 6, 2018 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Numerous governments and grassroots movements across the globe have rushed to express their solidarity with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in response to a terrorist attack on live TV aimed at taking his life Saturday evening.
Messages have flooded in condemning the assassination attempt which saw explosives-laden drones shot down only metres away from the president. Seven National Guard members were injured, though Maduro was unhurt.
As police announced a string of arrests and published the photos of citizens wanted in connection with the attack, Venezuela’s regional allies, including Cuba, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Bolivia, El Salvador, various Caribbean island nations, and the regional ALBA bloc raised their voices repudiating the attack.
“This is also an attack against the government of Nicaragua,” expressed Nicaragua’s foreign minister, whilst Bolivian President Evo Morales described it as “cowardly.”
Numerous political and social forces in the region also denounced the incident, including the Popular Vanguard (PVP) and New Nation Parties in Costa Rica, the Guasu Front in Paraguay, the New Movement Party and the Broad Front in Peru, the Communist Party of Argentina, and the FARC Party in Colombia.
“Without a doubt this act of terrorism has the stamp of Yankee imperialism,” claimed the PVP.
Prominent ex-footballer Diego Maradona also added his voice to the chorus, tweeting that “an attack on the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution is an attack on the people of Venezuela.”
Solidarity campaigns from London to Panama City, Habana to Mexico City also spoke out against the violence and demanded respect for the democratically elected Venezuelan government.
From the Middle East, both the Fatah and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine condemned the attack, with the governments of Iran, Syria, and Turkey expressing similar sentiments.
In Europe, solidarity came from the Russian government, which “energetically condemned” the assassination attempt, as well as from the newly installed Spanish government, which expressed its “firm condemnation of any type of violence for political means.”
Likewise, solidarity movements in Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels and Madrid held activities in support of Maduro over the weekend.
Messages also arrived from south and east Asia, including from Vietnam and India. International bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations (CELAC), and the World Peace Council have also published statements of support.
The US and Colombian governments both distanced themselves from the attack after Maduro blamed out-going Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday.
Only a few days before the incident, Santos stated that he saw the end of the Maduro mandate ─ which began only recently following his May 20 reelection ─ as being “close.”
“I hope it is tomorrow even,” he stated on July 30. “Colombia would be willing and ready to help in any way possible.”
He has since dismissed the accusation from Caracas as “absurd” and “baseless.”
Reaction in Venezuela
Maduro has also received warm messages of support from a range of political parties and grassroots movements within Venezuela.
His allies, the Communist Party and Homeland for All Party (PPT) both issued statements, with the communists suggesting that the attack “forms part of a multifaceted attack by imperialism,” and the PPT reminding the public that assassination of a head of state is “classed as a terrorist act by UN international agreements.”
Organisations such as the Union of Women, the Bolivarian Trade Union Confederation, and a range of community groups also voiced their rejection of the violence.Maduro’s own party, the United Socialist Party, have organised a march through Caracas in support of the government Monday.
Venezuela's right-wing opposition has, however, taken a less unanimous line following the attack, with some ultra-right activists regretting that the attack failed in its objective and others claiming that it never happened at all.
The First Justice party (PJ) described the attack as a “wake up call for the country,” and blamed Maduro himself for the attack against his life. They also indicated that such an attack may happen again, tweeting that “it would be a grave error to presume (…) that the events of yesterday won’t be repeated in the same, or a worse, way”.
Y de todo ello insistimos, es responsable Nicolás Maduro. Sería un grave error por parte del régimen presumir que, en las actuales circunstancias que se ejerce el poder al margen de la Constitución, no se repetirán acontecimientos como los del día de ayer e incluso peores. (6/9)
— Primero Justicia (@Pr1meroJusticia) August 5, 2018
Opposition hardliner Maria Corina Machado, who was previously linked to an alleged 2014 plot to assassinate the president, denied that the attack had taken place as the police authorities explained, claiming that “nobody believes” them and reaffirming her violent stance that “Maduro will only be got rid of (…) by force.”
Her sentiments echoed those of the US-backed Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro, who claimed that “the null credibility of the Maduro regime impedes us knowing the truth of what went on.”
For his part, defeated opposition presidential candidate Henri Falcon and his Progressive Advance Party denounced the use of violence, but also called for an “impartial investigation” into the deeds, alerting to what they described as a “repressive wave” of those held responsible.
Venezuela’s largest right-wing party, Democratic Action, is yet to make any official statement on the attack.