Yesterday evening, the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) announced what it hopes to be its largest mass mobilization this year: the Gran Marcha a Caracas [The Great March To Caracas], and scheduled it for September 1.
The MUD made the announcement through a press release, which I’ve translated below:
Hunger, pain, and the people’s anger no longer allows for more delays, more tricks, more “Operacion Morrocoy” [literally “Operation Turtle”, the term used to describe when state institutions deliberately slow processes down] by the corrupt against the hopes and the rights of the people.
This is why every Venezuelan from every political party and every affiliation, [including] all independents, ALL OF US TOGETHER call for a #GreatMarchtoCaracas on September 1.
In peace for peace, so that the corrupt and inefficient regime will feel the legitimate and overwhelming pressure from a people who are ready to end hunger and violence, and so that the world can see the immense size of a country that wants change.
The fountain of all legitimacy is the people’s opinion, [which] is sovereign. This is what we demand: let the sovereign speak! Consult the sovereign as outlined in the constitution through the recall referendum.
The people don’t want an “explosion” [of violence], nor a collapse, nor a coup d’etat, nor anything that will result in more chaos. The people want to vote their way out of this tragedy and open the door to a new historic movement of peace, prosperity and respect.
This September 1, all of Venezuela will march to Caracas for the recall referendum in 2016!
The long run-up to the march appears to suggest that the opposition hopes to make this their biggest demonstration this year, and follow comments by MUD leadership recently that opposition demonstrations appear to be getting smaller and smaller each time they are held.
Lopez Speaks in Favour of March
Jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has spoken through his Twitter account in favour of the Great March to Caracas. In a series of Tweets, Lopez said:
The people will not accept more delays. The [recall referendum] must be held this year. All of us, together, call for the #GreatMarchtoCaracas on September 1.
The [MUD] has met all of the requirements to hold the recall referendum this year, even those that the [Consejo Nacional Electoral] made up to placate the government.
The government is afraid because it knows that if the recall referendum takes place this year, they will be defeated by more than 80% of Venezuelans.
A government that does not respect the [right to vote] is a dictatorship. It’s unbelievable that in Venezuela we must have [street protests] in order to demand a constitutional right.
Let’s march together on September 1 to demand our constitutional right to get out of this disaster.
Maria Corina Machado: The Time For Civil Disobedience Has Come
Former National Assembly deputy and head of the Vente Venezuela party Maria Corina Machado told supporters yesterday that Venezuela is a dictatorship, and that it is foolish to simply hope that the government will act democratically and let the recall referendum happen this year.
We have to call things by their names: in Venezuela we have a military dictatorship, a corrupt mafia. This regime is cornered, and it’s acting recklessly.
According to Machado, the only viable option available to Venezuelans now in their quest for a democratic, peaceful solution to the crisis is civil disobedience. Machado said:
It’s time for civil disobedience.
The Venezuelan Constitution establishes the duty to civil disobedience in the face of dictatorship in Article 350, which reads:
Article 350: The people of Venezuela, true to their republican tradition and their struggle for independence, peace and freedom, shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights.
Guevara: Voluntad Popular May Invoke Art. 350
National Assembly deputy Freddy Guevara, the leader of the Voluntad Popular (VP)party, announced today through his Twitter account that VP may make a push to invoke Article 350 of the constitution if the national government continues to block electoral means to remove Maduro from power.
Guevara made the announcement seemingly after a VP meeting. Guevara said:
Approved by VP: Push for massive civil struggle mobilizations for the recall referendum, and invoke [article] 350 if [the government] closes down all electoral paths.
ABC: More Indictments Coming
Span’s ABC published an article today in which it claims that a DEA source has said that there are more US indictments coming for PSUV officials suspected of being involved in international drug trafficking operations. According to the publication, the source said:
It’s only a matter of time.
The news comes a week after the unsealing of an indictment filed in a US court against Ernesto Reverol, the current Minister of the Interior, accusing him of being involved in the drug trade. Edylberto Jose Molina, another high-ranking military officer and current military attache to Germany, was also named in the indictment.
The DEA source told ABC that the worsening crisis in the country is causing many mid-level officials to flee Venezuela, taking with them valuable information of the PSUV’s involvement in the drug trade. The source said:
It’s every man for himself. At last, the narco-state that Chavez instituted over the years is coming to light.
The source – which correctly told ABC back in January that Reverol had been indictment, but that the indictment was sealed – also said that there are at least six more indicted high-ranking National Guard officials, but that those indictments are also sealed.
Seven National Guard Soldiers Murdered for Weapons
An unknown number of attackers descended on a National Guard roadside outpost on the highway connected Anzoategui and Monagas states and killed seven National Guard soldiers stationed there.
El Nacional reports that the outpost was attacked in order to steal weapons.
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