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Venezuelan Government Uncovers Video of Opposition Destabilization Plan

Caracas, November 30, 2007 ( Venezuelan Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon presented a video revealing the opposition strategy of destabilization for Sunday's referendum at a press conference on Thursday. In the video, opposition leaders call on their supporters to reject the results of the referendum and to take part in nation-wide protests to overturn the constitutional reform. Two opposition leaders are being investigated for inciting violence and calling on supporters to break the law.

In the video that has been posted on the internet at various web pages, including YouTube, leaders of the Venezuelan opposition can be seen speaking to supporters in a church in Caracas, calling on supporters to create "pockets of protest" all over the country after the national vote this Sunday.

"It is a more efficient mechanism that generates a political crisis and a crisis of instability that forces the regime to withdraw the reform," says opposition leader Alejandro Peña Esclusa in the video. Esclusa insists that the plan for massive protests must be a group effort all across the nation, making the government unable to control it.

Alongside Esclusa is opposition mayor Leopoldo Lopez, who also speaks in the video, making the case that the electoral results cannot be trusted, but he does not give explicit support for the destabilization plan.

"The worst part," said Minister Chacón, "is that the mayor of Chacao and leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo [the opposition party A New Era] appears in the video. We'd like to know if Mr. Leopoldo López will tell the nation that he does not believe what Esclusa says, and that if the CNE says that the reforms are approved, if he will respect the results."

Chacón stated that he was not surprised upon seeing Lopez in the video and assured that he and Exclusa are not democrats, but rather "fascists." He also accused the bishops of the Catholic Church of endorsing the destabilization plans of Esclusa and called on the Venezuelan Catholic hierarchy to reflect on their use of the church to hold these kinds of meetings, and incite the Venezuelan people to the use of violence.

"How is it possible that the temple of God be used to incite violence?" asked Chacón. "The pulpit should be used to call for peace, not for violence."

As a result of the finding, the Venezuelan government launched an investigation of two opposition leaders, Alejandro Peña Esclusa and Carlos Guyón Celis, for publishing various videos online that incite violence. Government intelligence will investigate the two leaders for their involvement in calling on sectors of society to not recognize the results of the national vote on Sunday and to break the law.

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez denied the accusations of the Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon and assured that he does not agree with the plans of Esclusa.

"It is not true that I said to not recognize the electoral results, or to create protests in that meeting," said Lopez. "On the contrary, I had a different position than Peña Esclusa, who didn't want people to go vote. I have always been working in favor of voting."

Minister Chacón called on all Venezuelans to respect the electoral process on Sunday, and to respect the results, no matter what they are.

"I imagine that the Venezuelan people that vote ‘yes' and ‘no' are going to respect the results. Because if not, what they are preparing is a situation of destabilization and violence on the night of December 2nd, which the government is not going to permit."

"We are not going to permit a situation of destabilization and violence on December 2nd," assured Chacón. "We are going to respect the results on Sunday, whatever they are."

Link to destabilization plan video (in Spanish)

Published on Nov 30th 2007 at 9.38pm