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Published On: Mon, Aug 7th, 2017

Venezuelan military deployed against troops who declared legitimate rebellion against tyranny

nsnbc : Venezuelan government officials and military leaders say they “put down and attack on a military base in central Venezuela” after an army officer calling himself Captain Juan Caguaripano, surrounded by other officers, declared himself to be in “legitimate rebellion” against murderous tyranny.

Nicolas Maduro_Venezuela_Aug 2017Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was quick to denounce “the attack” on the Paramacay military base in Valencia as an “act of terrorism”. Maduro, without naming a country, also claimed he “terrorists” were backed by foreign powers.

However, in his video, in which Captain Juan Caguaripano was surrounded by more than a dozen soldiers, he explicitly declared himself to be in “legitimate rebellion” against what he denounced as Maduro’s “murderous tyranny”.

“We clarify this is not a coup d’état, this is a civilian and military action to restore the constitutional order and, more than that, to save the country from total destruction,’ he stressed.

So far few details about the rebellion and the socialist PSUV administration’s and the military’s response have transpired. What is known is that Venezuelan military officials say troops rushed in to “restore order at the Paramacay military base in Valencia”. Locals report hearing gunfire coming from behind the walls. Casualty numbers are unclear.

Government official describe Caguaripano as an army deserter backed by “right-wing extremists” and supported by foreign governments. No specific foreign governments were mentioned and no evidence was provided. Local authorities also reported that “several of the rebellious soldiers were arrested”.

Article 350 of Venezuela's Constitution guarantees the right to resist any government that violates democratic principles or human rights.(@ProtestasVenezuela)

Article 350 of Venezuela’s Constitution guarantees the right to resist any government that violates democratic principles or human rights.(@ProtestasVenezuela)

Article 350 of Venezuela’s Constitution, adopted in 1999 under the late Hugo Chavez, guarantees the right to resist “any regime that infringes on democratic values of human rights”. Captain Juan Caguaripano and the others behind the rebellion were, arguably, using their constitutionally guaranteed right to resist against what many describe as a constitutional coup and the implementation of a one-party-controlled tyranny in which the socialist PSUV has usurped power in almost all aspects of public, security, and civil society.

The PSUV government claims 8 million people voted in a July 30 election to choose 545 members of the newly-established Constituent Assembly. The Assembly supersedes the National Assembly in which lawmakers from the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition held an absolute majority. The National Assembly was, earlier this year, suspended by the PSUV-controlled Supreme Court which usurped the legislative powers and claimed the national Assembly was in contempt.

The MUD as well as a cohort of civil society organizations say voter turnout was less than half that of the 41.5 percent claimed by the electoral board and pre-election polls showed 70 percent of Venezuelans opposed the assembly.

Maduro has said a new constitution will bring peace and stability. Maduro and the PSUV leadership also stress that the new constitution would “consolidate the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution”. The MUD and others now in “opposition” says the Constituent Assembly is packed with Maduro supporters including his wife and son, and that it will break up the opposition-led national assembly and turn Venezuela into a socialist dictatorship.

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. (archives) 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. (archives) Photo courtesy Twitter @VielmaEsTachira

The PSUV administration already implemented “reforms” that allow “the party” to control intelligence and security services, to housing and even “prisons” not unlike the very early party-controlled Nazi concentration camps in German cities.

Moreover, the Constituent Assembly has already made its first major move by firing Attorney General Luisa Ortega, a former Maduro ally who turned against him over the attempt to replace the legislative branch of government.

Julio Borges, President of the “superseded” parliament and member of the MUD said Sunday ‘Each step by the Constituent Assembly is a step towards the precipice by this government. … ‘The only thing it has left is brute force. This is not a strong government. It’s a rotten government which is failing. The only thing it wants to do is to cling to power.”

Regardless whether one agrees with Maduro that Captain Juan Caguaripano are “terrorists” or whether one agrees with the “rebellious soldiers” that they were committing a legitimate and constitutional act of rebellion based on Article 350, it appears increasingly certain that Venezuela could be rapidly descending into a civil war. The potential for a feasible opposition, including armed opposition exists in Venezuela’s civil society as well as within its military, just as much as the potential will to crush any “rebellion” or even peaceful political challenge, if necessary by brute force, exists within the ranks of the PSUV leadership.

CH/L – nsnbc 07.08.2017

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