Speaking on television last night, Maduro accused Lorenzo Mendoza of unspecified crimes stemming from a conversation Mendoza had with economist Ricardo Hausmann on possible scenarios for Venezuela’s economic future. Mendoz is the head of Polar, the country’s largest food producer.
Last night, Maduro said:
The authorities must react. The pelucon mayor [a derogatory term that roughly means “big cheese” in this context] committed a crime and they should proceed [with laying charges].
While Maduro did not explain exactly which law(s) he believes Mendoza broke, it is clear that he took exception to a telephone conversation Mendoza had with Hausmann involving Venezuela’s economic options, including possibly asking the International Monetary Fund for aid.
Hausmann was Chair of the IMF-World Bank Development Committee, and was the Minister of Planning in Venezuela in 1992-1993.
It’s a crime to speak on behalf of the motherland. Hausmann is a financial assassin who’s looking for the IMF and the World Bank, because if the opposition wins they will privatize education, expel the Cuban doctors and apply a counter-revolutionary shock. In Venezuela, there is no opposition: only counter-revolution.
Mendoza Left Wondering Why Gov’t Records His Calls
On Friday, Mendoza issued a statement decrying the fact that his private telephone appears to have been tapped, as evidenced by the fact that the national government has a recording of his conversation with Hausmann.
Mendoza also said that as a businessman and head of one of the country’s largest companies, it is not at all unusual for him to talk with economists about a wide range of topics.
Mendoza released a statement condemning what he considers to be the governmnet’s attempts to “manipulate public opinion” against him, part of which reads:
In fact, it’s not at all unusual for leaders and experts of different economic and political viewpoints to consider it an urgency to implement economic changes in the country, as the national and international media commonly point out, and as Venezuelans point out every day.
In the same statement, Mendoza also reminded Venezuelans of his commitment to “contribute to the development of Venezuela” by investing in production in the country and providing jobs.
Maduro: “1,000” Cells Ready for December 6
I’ve said that we are going to win these elections by any means, so I’m asking the people to get ready to win by any means (…) Do you know what “by any means” means? “By any means” means against the economic war, electric sabotage, against the paramilitary war, by any means against the threats of violence. Peace has to win by any means… but of course, we have plans to guarantee that the elections are peaceful, as they should be, and for the results to be recognized and to guarantee that those who cause violence find a direct path to a prison cell. We have 1,000 cells ready in Guarico, they’re all ready. [Minister of Penitentiaries] Iris Varela has them all ready, and the law will simply come down on anyone who tries anything funny.
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