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Published On: Sun, Feb 12th, 2017

Venezuela’s Socialism Gone Totalitarian? Rodriguez Condemns Brazilian FM for Meeting Borges

nsnbc : Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez condemned the Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra for meting with the speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly Julio Borges. Rodriguez accused her Brazilian counterpart and the Brazilian government of “seeking to conspire with the Venezuelan opposition”.  Meanwhile, new semi-fascist “anti-crime” measures that endure “party control” in law enforcement, intelligence and even the penal system, suggests that PSUV socialism is going dangerously awry.

SEBIN_VENEZUELA_INTELLIGENCEOver the past week Jose Borges, the speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly, met with a number of high-ranking Brazilian officials in Brasilia. Among the Brazilian officials was Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra. Serra and Borges reportedly discussed “Venezuela’s difficult situation”.

The Democratic Union Roundtable (MUD) is holding a majority in Venezuela’s National Assembly. That said, in January, the PSUV controlled Supreme Court, controversially, re-declared the MUD majority National Assembly and legislation passed by it null and void for refusing to unseat three Amazonas legislators who are currently under investigation for alleged electoral fraud.

The PSUV administration declared over the course of last  week that it was prepared to resume the “internationally brokered” talks with the MUD. However, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez apparently seems to be in a position where she believes she may decide which foreigners the Speaker of the national Assembly may or may not meet, or whether or not Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra followed diplomatic protocol when he met Borges.

Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodriguez (Archives).

Minister of Foreign Relations Delcy Rodriguez (Archives).

Delcy Rodriguez accused her Brazilian counterpart Jose Serra and the Brazilian government of “seeking to conspire with the Venezuelan opposition”.  Rodriguez also used her Twitter account to say:

“The corrupt, coup plotting and criminal right-wing is forming into an international cartel against the peoples of our America in favour of imperial powers”.

Rodriguez also accused Borges of “being a usurper of the functions of Venezuelan officials” and of involvement in “crimes against Venezuela’s constitutional order”. Objective journalists and observers – setting bias and favoritism aside – will observe that Venezuela is rapidly becoming ungovernable; that the PSUV’s “holding onto power no matter what” policy is forcing the MUD to lobby abroad, and that neither the USA, the current government of Brazil, or any other government will extend a helping hand to anyone without prioritizing own interests.

Totalitarian “Security and Anti-Crime Initiatives”

In January 2017 the PSUV Administration implemented a highly criticized “Security Initiative” – that suggests that PSUV socialism in Venezuela is going awry puts the country on a dangerous totalitarian course that may lead to disaster.

The administration of President Nicolas Maduro announced the implementation of a new “anti-crime strategy”. While containing social elements aimed at preventing violent crime, the plan known as the Carabobo 2021 plan includes increased cooperation between police and the National Guard, Venezuela’s controversial security and intelligence service SEBIN and the United Venezuelan Socialist Party’s Bolivar-Chávez Battle Units (UBCh).

The Carabobo 2021 plan consists of six initiatives aimed at combating crime. Venezuela is one of Latin America’s and the world’s countries with extremely high rates in violent crime.

On the level of crime prevention, the plan involves initiatives aimed at supporting community sports as well as cultural workshops organized by the Movement for Peace and Life. The movement is a government-funded program aimed at preventing crime, and especially violent crime.

More controversial is that the Carabobo 2021 plan includes re-launching the so-called “Safe Homeland Plan”. The plan aims at reinforcing and increasing local police patrols, which, considering the crime rates in the country, is welcome by most Venezuelans.

Even more controversial is that local police patrols will be reinforced by National Guard personnel which will also be used to “strengthen security in highly trafficked places, parks, avenues and plazas”.

City Councilman Jose Vincente Garcia paraded before cameras with alleged evidence by SEBIN, using media to declare him guilty in the eyes of the public before a trial. Photo courtesy Twitter @VielmaEsTachira

City Councilman Jose Vincente Garcia paraded before cameras with alleged evidence by SEBIN, using media to declare him guilty in the eyes of the public before a trial. Photo courtesy Twitter @VielmaEsTachira

Critics speak about a militarization of police and point out that National Guard personnel does not have the education required to conduct law-enforcement that is consistent with the civil  liberties and rights of the citizen. Even more controversial is the so-called Peace Quadrants Initiative. The initiative will be tasked with

“Supervising security efforts in local communities by promoting coordination between police and National Guard personnel, the National Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), the Francisco Miranda Front, the United Venezuelan Socialist Party’s Bolivar-Chávez Battle Units (UBCh), and community leaders”.

Needless to say that this initiative implies that the coordination of the cooperation between law enforcement, National Guard, as well as Venezuela’s highly questionable intelligence service SEBIN will be heavily controlled by the embattled but ruling United Venezuelan Socialist party (PSUV) with participation of “Party Battle Units” involved in law enforcement.

Moreover, the Carabobo 2021 plan includes the creation of the Popular Intelligence System – by critics denounced as an initiative aimed at building a network of “snitches”. However, SEBIN Director Gustavo Gonzalo Lopez assures that the plan merely will serve to “alert about threats in the political, economic, social, and cultural areas”. No details about the Stasi-like / Gestapo-like plan were disclosed.

It is worth noting that SEBIN has been involved in numerous highly controversial arrests of citizens who are members of opposition parties. Many of those who were “busted” by SEBIN, including prominent opposition members claimed SEBIN had planted weapons, explosives or drugs when they were arrested.

Moreover, Maduro announced that his administration would re-vamp the already highly controversial anti-crime operation, known as Operation Liberation of the People (OLP), which will be re-branded under the euphemistic name Operation Humanistic Liberation of the People (OLHP).

Finally, the Carabobo 2021 plan also involves the establishment of new “community institutions” (jails) under the name “houses of justice” which will be created as “an alternative to the penal system” for cases involving minor crimes as one of the not at lest semi-totalitarian and positive elements.

Maduro explained “The houses of justice are houses for conflict resolution, for early justice in order to combat impunity and uphold law and order within communities”. However, some critics note that the initiative also circumvents law and the prison system and puts it into the hands of PSUV-friendly vigilantes.

These “houses of justice” will “house” those sentenced to eight years or less for offenses such as robberies, assault, theft, among others. It must be noted that staff will be provided by representatives of the Ministry of the Interior, Justice, and Peace, the United Venezuelan Socialist Party’s Bolivar-Chávez Battle Units (UBCh), the National Bolivarian Militia, the People’s Guards, among others. In other words “Party Prisons”. The Carabobo 2021 plan and associated “initiatives” will be headed and supervised by the recently appointed-appointed Vice-President Tareck El Aissami.

A/N & CH/L – nsnbc 12.02.2017

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