Jose Vicente Rangel, a well-known journalist, interviewed Maduro today. Below, a segment of the interview with my translation:
Jose Vicente Rangel (JVR): … it’s common among other people and socio-political sectors. Now, what makes you presume that something like this could happen? A military-backed coup d’eat or a popular insurrection? Is there any possibility at this time of a military coup d’eat?
Maduro: I think that these right-wing sectors underestimate the morality and the cohesion of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces. The compromise their leadership has with, above all else, the Constitution, with the constitutional process, with the constituent process. This is the soul of the Constitution, the rebirth of a country, the revolution. What is the Bolivarian revolution? The permanent rebirth of our country. Let me tell you, in these past few months – and even before – I entered a process of deep understanding of the armed forces. And I can tell you today, as President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, that I know the officers and the commanders of our National Bolivarian Armed Forces well. I know their compromise, their humanity, their respect for the people, their profound love for our history, of their identity – linked with the thoughts of Commander Chavez. I know of their plan to continue the civic-military union, to join more and more the work of national development.
Let me tell you something, Jose Vicente. 2014 has been a great teacher. For the whole country in general. Let every person draw their own conclusions. Now, this is more true for the armed forces. The armed forces has seen the face of this monster, because the armed forces have been tasked with looking in the eyes of the processes of speculation, hoarding, of shameless theft against the country. Not only in the main cities in the country, but they have also seen the monster on the border with Colombia. On the border with the Caribbean. There’s nothing you can say that would surprise a military commander of our homeland on how the economic mafias move against and conspire against our country. Of how they try to destroy supply chains and damage the internal logistics of the country. It’s been a great teacher, and it’s reinforced our values, our compromise.
If you could see the indignation they feel – everyone from the youngest soldiers up to the military commanders – from the different integral defence regions and zones. From the battalions. They call me and tell me about the battle they’re fighting against the mafias. I want to tell the National Bolivarian Armed Forces on behalf of the entire country: thank you very much for all of the support you’ve given the country during 2014 and for your loyalty in spite of conspiracies and all of these perversions.
JVR: The other hypothesis: popular insurrection. For example, like during the Caracazo.
Maduro: The only people who can direct and create a popular insurrection are the people of Venezuela, and the people have had their hearts forged over the past 15 years. For at least 15 years. Forged in a battle, a struggle… — the only way for a massive popular insurrection to occur in Venezuela is if there is a big disturbance. We’ve analysed the scenarios, Jose Vicente. We’re ready for everything. For everything. And I am personally prepared for everything. I come from the streets, Jose Vicente. I lived through February 27 and 28 . In Caricuao, San Agustin, right here on Urdaneta Avenue. In the 23 de Enero, in Catia. You can’t talk to me about that. I wasn’t at some club in New York City. I was here. I lived February 27 and 28 in my heart – the massacre of January 1 [sic] — March 1, 1989, I was in El Valle. The bullets almost got us. I was in Coche when they assassinated Costa Carles [??}, I saw them bring his corpse out.
We come from that struggle, Jose Vicente. And, well, after that, our great history with Commander Chavez with April 11, 12, 13 , on the street with the people. Look, we – I, as President – I am the best guarantee for peace that this country has. The only way for a popular insurrection to happen – among the scenarios we’ve analysed – is that for the right to do something to me. Then, millions of men and women would take to the streets. Or, if they do a terrorist attack against some kind of important Venezuelan objective. That’s the only way for this country to move past Chavez and become, once again, Boves’ [Jose Tomas Boves, a dictator] Venezuela. That’s the only way. As for the rest, all of the difficulties we’ve lived through – which we’re living through now – our people understands them, takes them on with conscience and patience, and with the hope that we will overcome them sooner rather than later.
During the same interview, Maduro also said that the guarimbas [street barricades] were this year’s biggest challenge. Overall, he categorized 2014 as the year of the “permanent assault against socio-political stability”.
Maduro: U.S. Congress Full of “Imperialist Imbeciles”
During a televised event last night, Maduro called members of the United States Congress “imperialist imbeciles” while speaking about the sanctions approved by the legislative body earlier this week. Maduro also said:
If their stupid sanctions law is good for anything, if it’s been good for anything, it’s to strengthen the combat morale of the officers of the National Bolivarian Armed Forced who now stand firmly behind the revolution and socialism.
Maduro made the comments during an event during an event called “Network of Intellectuals for the Defence of Humanity”.
MCM: Government “Capable of Anything” to Stay in Power
The government’s brutal response to the democratic and civic expressions of February cannot be ignored. To us Venezuelans, the institutional paths to exercise our rights are being closed off, and our means of communication to denounce abuses are being extinguished. The right to protest is entrenched in the Venezuelan Constitution. That disproportionate response to those protests is evidence to this fact regarding [the governmnet’s] true nature: it is a regime capable of anything – without any qualms – to stay in power.