Maduro Follows the Footsteps of Daniel Ortega & Kim Jong-un

Dictators Daniel Ortega, Nicolas Maduro and Miguel Diaz-Canel, of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba, respectively. // Photo: EFE.

There has not been in Venezuelan history, such a fierce and sustained repressor of the working class and its leaders as the so-called worker-president

By Miguel Henrique Otero (Confidencial)

HAVANA TIMES – Venezuela enters the beginning of 2023 in an extremely dangerous phase. The illusion that better times will come only lasted a few months.

According to the narrative of a Venezuela on the route to recovery, a story that began to be forged around April 2022, it asserted that an economic improvement would come, an environment of political opening and dialogue, and programs to address the humanitarian emergency that is devastating the lives of millions of families across the country.

But the illusion has not even been sustained for six months: inflation is raging, hunger spreads throughout the country, long lines to buy fuel have returned, hospitals and health centers remain in dire conditions, policemen and paramilitaries continue extorting money from pedestrians and drivers. Persecution continues, as well as torture. Social activists are persecuted even to the last corners of the country. The disaster expands, deepens, lengthens. More than 95% of public sector workers earn a meager salary, which barely surpasses 6 dollars per month.

I say to readers of this article that close attention must be paid to what is happening. To the onslaught that was carried out last year, especially in the second semester, against media outlets, and which materialized in the closing of dozens of radio stations. Now they have added attacks on workers and their leaders, non-governmental organizations and the Catholic Church. Let’s see.

What is happening with the Venezuela labor and gild leadership is of extreme seriousness. I am not only referring to the repression of marches of teachers, doctors, or others, by military forces combined with paramilitary groups. Union leaders are imprisoned, prosecuted, threatened, and intimidated, fired from their jobs, smeared and physically attacked. The following statement can be documented: there has not been in Venezuelan history, such a fierce and sustained repressor of workers and their leaders as the so-called worker-president (Let no one forget it: a bus driver of the Caracas Metro, famous for the time he spent resting).

While the teachers are being harassed and repressed in the streets, the illegitimate National Assembly, the outcome of an illegitimate, illegal, and fraudulent regime, has passed a law, whose name is revealing of the intentions behind it: Law for the Control, Regularization, Performance and Financing of Non-Governmental and Related Organizations.”

The information website “Cronica Uno” narrates in detail the nefarious intention that has taken 17 years to materialize. It first appeared in 2006, and came back in 2010, 2015, 2021 and 2022, until this last version of 2023, which has finally been approved.

It suffices to listen to the garbage stated by Lieutenant Cabello to understand the background that rouses the law. The main and, at the same time, most precarious argument, paraphrases Daniel Ortega: accuse the NGOs of being representatives of foreign interests, in particular, the United States. They are not given the slightest consideration for the work they do. Nor to what that represents for the beneficiaries. What it is all about is to do away with organizations that defend human rights, freedom of expression and the victims of repression. In fact, with his brazenness, Cabello who enjoys total impunity, already spoke of a list of 62 organizations that are on the government’s sight. Among others, Provea and others that have been steadfast in their rebuke of human rights violations.

The law’s 17 articles expose them to the total control of the regime, which may dissolve them, intervene them, know their operations, balance sheets, appointments, their sources of financing, the list of donors, their projects, routine activities and so forth. The law completely strips them of any form of privacy. However, there are still two key issues to comment on: one, the law includes foundations of any kind, non-profit organizations no matter what their activities are, as well as social organizations. Two, article 15 prohibits activities against “national stability and the institutions of the Republic.”

I ask: Is denouncing the power that tortures, represses, partners with narco-guerrillas, corrupts and is corrupted, equivalent to an attempt against “the stability of the Republic?” Is talking about the Moron Hernandez brothers and their connections with Nicolas Maduro considered a political activity? Do corrupt politicians fall into which category: that of politics or that of crime?

The reader should add to the above, the recent attacks on the Catholic Church, and the scene will be better drawn. The regime headed by Maduro, Lieutenant Cabello, Padrino Lopez, El Aissami and others, are committed to this: wiping off the map media outlets, union leaders, trade union leaders, the Catholic Church, NGOs and social leadership. They are on the road to the perfect dictatorship, like the one headed by Kim Jong-un in North Korea: a silenced society, without leaders or complaint mechanisms. That is what they have set out to achieve.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.