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
"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
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
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