It’s somehow fitting that Nicolas Maduro, a bus driver by profession, is in the driver’s seat as Venezuela careens into the abyss.
A wise Venezuelan friend frequently has described Bolivarian Venezuela as a bus plunging out of control to perdition when he explains what’s happening to mostly clueless gringos in Washington, DC.
Maduro right now is incompetent, weak, frightened and generally clueless.
And Maduro clearly is a very stupid man after admitting on national television that he personally gave the orders to attack unarmed anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday night.
Maduro’s unpersuasive retraction performance at today’s monologue to the foreign press corps suggests someone with two working neurons in their brain pointed out the stupidity of Maduro’s openly admitting that he encouraged and perpetrated criminal behavior on national television.
Other Bolivarian gangsters showing signs of growing panic ahead of tomorrow’s national day of protest on 22 February include Diosdado Cabello, Elias Jaua, Rafael Ramirez, Jorge Arreaza, Luisa Ortega Diaz and the other criminals currently in power illegitimately and unconstitutionally.
Yesterday Maduro boasted to the country and world at large that it was he who planned, orchestrated and ordered the execution of the violence that rocked Venezuela overnight on Tuesday.
Maduro quite stupidly admitted that he started speaking by design on a national television “cadena” at almost the same instant that National Guard and Bolivarian National Police (PNB) forces armed with live ammunition and reinforced by anti-riot vehicles attacked students protesting in Altamira.
Maduro’s National Guard and PNB goons indiscriminately fired hundreds of gunshots at students and at the surrounding residential buildings whose residents unanimously were cheering the students.
National Guard and PNB troops also smashed their way into the buildings, fired shotguns and detonated gas bombs inside the structures, and participated in the wanton destruction or theft of parked vehicles.
Almost identical attacks against unarmed anti-government demonstrators happened all over Caracas and other cities on Tuesday night and continued on Wednesday night.
And as the sun set today over Venezuela the barricades went up again as students and generally pissed off Venezuelans of all socioeconomic levels braced for another night of fires, shooting and general mayhem.
Maduro on Thursday did not mention that the National Guard and PNB cooperated in attacking unarmed civilians nationally with hunderds of “colectivo” gunmen on motorbikes that have been armed, funded, trained and officially protected by the regime for the past 15 years.
Everything the National Guard and PNB did on Tuesday night is criminally illegal, unconstitutional and completely contrary to the National Guard’s long-established anti-riot protocols.
But Maduro actually chortled that he had ordered the National Guard and PNB to attack the “fascists.” Unarmed protesters were shot indiscriminately. Videos show National Guard troops on motorbikes surrounding lone protesters like hyenas, gunning them down and then fleeing.
Maduro appeared to be proud that he had ordered the National Guard and PNB to use live ammunition against “fascist rightwing” coup plotters.
Maduro predictably also blamed the US government for sparking the violence, and lashed out at the presidents of Colombia, Panama and Chile because so far they’re the only serving Latin American/Caribbean heads of state with the integrity and decency to stand up for human rights and democracy.
The rest of the region’s elected leaders, mostly leftists, have shown themselves to be a bunch of unprincipled, cowardly pukes whose indifference permanently stains the honor of their countries.
By today, however, Maduro’s tune had changed considerably.
Maduro held a nationally televised press conference today for the foreign news media only hours after CNN’s Patricia Janiot and her crew had their press credentials canceled and were kicked out of the country – but not before some truly despicable National Guard goons abused Ms. Janiot at Maiquetia International Airport.
Maduro spoke at length today but refused to take any questions, which isn’t surprising considering the lies he spewed to a foreign press corps that appeared visibly incredulous and even bored, with many toying with their smartphones as Maduro chattered nonsensically.
Maduro admitted today for the first time that uniformed security forces and “colectivo” gunmen were responsible for some (most, all?) of the deaths and gunshot wounds suffered by unarmed civilians at the demonstrations.
But Maduro denied he ever gave orders to attack the anti-government protesters,after boasting 24 hours earlier that he had, in fact, ordered the attacks.
“I asked that no one go out to streets, and much less with guns. And they went out with guns (anyway), and all this looks like the format of the coup d’etat (against Hugo Chavez) in 2002,” Maduro sputtered.
“I am not protecting anyone who shoots and I investigating all this,” Maduro added, noting that several government security officers filmed firing live ammunition at students have already been detained and will be prosecuted – but he didn’t say how many or give their names.
“As soon as I saw the photos I ordered their arrest,” Maduro assured the foreign reporters.
Maduro also claimed government security forces “intercepted opposition audios” that prove “a massacre” was planned in downtown Caracas on 12 February, but as always he provided no substantiating evidence whatsoever to back up his allegations.
Maduro also assured foreign reporters today that the government is searching for the armed “colectivo” gunmen photographed or filmed firing weapons at anti-government demonstrations during the past two weeks. These gunmen will be arrested “when we find them,” he added.
Hint to Maduro: Several dozen “colectivos” maintain their headquarters in 23 de Enero, which is a few hundreds meters from Miraflores presidential palace. Maduro knows where the “colectivos” hide out, but he definitely doesn’t have the “cojones” to go after them, and neither do Cabello or anyone currently holding senior military commands.
Maduro today also tried playing the victim card so often used by Hugo Chavez, whose corpse happily putrefies due to a poor embalming job atop a hill in 23 de Enero in the Museum of the Revolution.
International television broadcasters led by “CNN, Univision, Telemundo, NBC and Fox News” are engaging in “a brutal campaign of manipulation…the most brutal campaign we’ve seen since the April 2002 coup…in an effort to fill (the Venezuelan people) with hatred” and provoke a civil war that would force a military intervention by US and NATO military forces, Maduro said.
“A coup is under way in Venezuela….an economic war…and an electricity war…a campaign to demonize my image by labeling me a repressive dictator…like they sought to demonize Chavez,” Maduro raged.
Guillermo Cochez, Panama’s former Ambassador to the OAS in Washington, DC, today described Maduro’s increasingly erratic and even slightly crazed behavior over the past month as analogous to how former Panamanian narco-despot Manuel Antonio Noriega lived during his final days in power back.
“Maduro has lost the horizon of what it is to be a president and is picking fights with everyone just like Manuel Noriega wanted at the end to fight with the whole world,” Cochez said.
Cochez also dismissed any possibility of a successful dialogue between Maduro and the opposition like the one Miranda governor Henrique Capriles Radonski has been urging repeatedly this month, remarking that “dictators…don’t listen (and) never leave of their own means.”