Trump’s statement marks the debate on Venezuelan politics

Trump’s statement marks the debate on Venezuelan politics

By Douglas Bolivar reporting from Caracas / Venezuela

With a resounding but predictable statement from María Corina Machado, the Venezuelan political class in general reacted with nuances to the horrifying confession of former United States President Donald Trump, who admitted that the intention of his administration with respect to Venezuela was to provoke a collapse to seize the oil. This passage from the American Republican leader will undoubtedly permeate the Venezuelan political debate until the end of the 2024 presidential process.

“When I left, Venezuela was about to collapse. We would have seized it, we would have kept all that oil,” Trump declared urbi et orbi.

“This deserves my total and absolute rejection,” replied César Pérez Vivas, a Social Christian politician, former governor of the state of Táchira and a several-times deputy. He is touring the country in his aspiration to become the presidential standard-bearer for the self-proclaimed G4 coalition.

In turn, Felipe Mujica, Secretary General of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), whose main international reference is the late Teodoro Petkoff, came out to confront Trump: “This is a crazy and unacceptable statement that the former US president has given”.

“When studying the history of humanity, it is difficult to find that a personality of these dimensions, with that level of responsibility, one day comes up with something like that,” Mujica continued at a press conference.

Luis Vicente León, a partner at the Datanálisis firm and at the same time a political and economic analyst located in the opposition camp, was not indifferent to Trump’s admission: “It must be an incomparable trigger for national unity, since I doubt that any Venezuelan opposition group in his right mind vindicates that barbarity.”

“Rational Venezuelans must reject it altogether and propose national agreements that prevent this from happening,” added the spokesman for Datanálisis, one of the main pollsters in Venezuela.

Henrique Capriles, also the opposition pre-presidential candidate, reacted against Trump too, but with his characteristic lukewarmness: “The oil of our Venezuela is and must be of and for the Venezuelans. It is our main source of income to rebuild the country.”

“Whoever wants Venezuelan oil must pay for it,” Capriles agreed with the government’s position. To date, Datanálisis places Capriles behind among the opposition’s preferences for the primary election on October 22.

Former congressman Luis Florido emerged from within Leopoldo López’s group, but was later ousted being accused of improper handling with funds from the United States to attend to the Venezuelan exodus. After being fired from Voluntad Popular, he ended up at Un Nuevo Tiempo, founded by Manuel Rosales, current governor of Zulia state.

“Donald Trump’s statements only show that he is not right in the head. No one in their right mind can want to take over a country, much less try to lead it,” said Florido, who has tried unsuccessfully to become governor of Lara state.

Another was ready to express anger on what Trump had said was Claudio Fermín, head of the opposition party Solutions for Venezuela, which is part of the G4.

“Trump declared with morbidity that he had Venezuela in the collapse, that they were just about to take all our oil. That’s what the internship was for. That is what the blockade is for,” explained Fermín, a former member of Acción Democrática and presidential candidate of this organization in 1993, the year in which Rafael Caldera won after splitting from Copei.

The so-called Unitary Platform, the political leadership of the G4, issued a statement regarding Trump’s confession, which it called unacceptable, inappropriate and irresponsible.

“We regret that national oil is being used as a US campaign issue,” added the brief newsletter of the Unitary Platform.

Bernabé Gutiérrez, a former partner of Henry Ramos Allup on board Acción Democrática, whose legality he provisionally maintains in spite of his former friend and boss, spoke in the following terms: “I alert Venezuela and the world that the G4 continues in its adventures with Donald Trump to sell Venezuela for scrap to the United States.”

Gutiérrez, national secretary general of Acción Democrática and also a presidential candidate for the opposition grouped in the Democratic Alliance (which has said that it will not hold primaries), called on the G4 to give an explanation to the country, of what he called the Trump Plan to deprive Venezuela of its oil and its resources.

“That G4 that accompanied Donald Trump in this macabre plan to forcibly strip Venezuelans of their homeland, their oil and their resources to sell us for scrap to the United States. They have to answer to the country for their stateless actions, which put the Nation at risk.”

“I call the country to alert, because those same representatives of the Venezuelan ultra-right continue in their adventures with Donald Trump and continue to inflate his presidential candidacy, to finish achieving their macabre objective of taking over the country.”

“We do not accept interference from any government that intends to set the political and social pattern of the country. No sir, in Venezuela we solve our challenges and problems internally”, concluded Bernabé Gutiérrez.

For his part, Eustoquio Contreras, national coordinator of the Movement of Independents for Venezuela (MiVenezuela), proposes a special session of the dialogue in Mexico so that the Venezuelan government and the opposition refine a joint position of rejection of the accusations of former President Donald Trump.

He explained that it is a matter of very high importance and considers that this coincidence should be taken advantage of so that they gather and go further “in a vision of high national interest about global international relations of the Venezuelan State .”

The TIAR in the political forum

Naturally, the National Assembly (AN) addressed the issue and did so from various perspectives. The main one referred above.

The organization’s president, Jorge Rodríguez, proposed investigating the consequences of Trump’s actions and determining who received and carried out the orders.

“It is not a thing that Trump snapped (sounded) his fingers and things were fulfilled, here were people who followed orders, perpetrators of actions against humanity against a peaceful people, because it was not that he messed with us, he cowardly messed with the children of Venezuela, with the grandparents”, lamented Rodríguez.

Without mentioning her, Rodríguez alluded to María Corina Machado: “This lady requested intervention against Venezuela. Are you a pre-candidate tha at the same time has encouraged the murder of Venezuelan men and women?”

Rodríguez went full lenghts and said: “I will not accept pre-candidates who requested the application of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) against Venezuela.” This is the case of Machado.

In turn, deputy Pedro Infante, vice president of the AN and vice president of mobilization of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), proposed punishment for treason against opposition candidates in the opposition primary election.

He made direct reference to Henrique Capriles Radonski (Primero Justicia), María Corina Machado (Vente Venezuela), Freddy Superlano (Voluntad Popular) and Carlos Prosperi (AD of Henry Ramos Allup).

“All these pre-candidates have to explain to the country that Trump was the head of the Venezuelan opposition, he gave them guidelines and they accepted them. The opposition has to face the country, it has to assume its responsibility”, Infante thundered from the presidential podium of the legislative branch.

Infante invoked articles 128, 129 and 132 of the Venezuelan Criminal Code, which establish a prison sentence of 8 to 30 years for those who attempt “against the independence or integrity of the geographical space of the Republic; who requests or manages the intervention of a foreign government to overthrow the Venezuelan government; those who conspire against the republican institutions and to destroy the republican political form that the Nation has given itself.

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May 2024