Nicolas Maduro poured more gasoline on Venezuela’s political crisis during the weekend, ensuring that Sunday would be anything but quiet.
Maduro convened a peace conference of all political sectors for next week but yesterday also ordered loyal Bolivarian revolutionaries to unleash a civil war if anything happens to him.
Maduro also illegally sent Sebin, DIM and National Guard goons to arrest retired Army brigadier general Angel Vivas for allegedly causing the death of a ‘motorizado’ that collided with a cable strung across a street in Caracas.
General Vivas said Maduro is lying.
General Vivas, who retired from the Army about three years ago, spent almost five months in a military jail some years back after he publicly rejected President Hugo Chavez’s ordering the adoption by all members of the Bolivarian armed forces and National Guard of the Cuban communist phrase “Patria, Socialismo o Muerte.”
General Vivas to this day maintains the position that Chavez willfully surrendered Venezuela’s sovereignty to the communist Castro regime in Havana.
Maduro’s Sebin, DIM and National Guard goons tried to arrest General Vivas today (Sunday) at his residence. But General Vivas declined to surrender. Instead, General Vivas and his family have now barricaded inside their home.
General Vivas also took up his assault rifle and sidearm, donned his bulletproof vest, climbed out on his roof with all weapons hot and declared to Maduro and goons:
“(You) can have my body but you won’t have General Angel Vivas. I will remain calmly where I have always been, In Venezuela, in my home, with my wife and my daughters, beside whom I want to live and die. The Cuban pro-consul in Venezuela, complying with orders by Fidel Castro, has ordered my detention and then they intend to kill me. I will not surrender. I will not surrender to Fidel Castro and I recommend everyone do the same.”
Perhaps Maduro’s goons would have stormed the general Vivas home, or else a sniper might have shot him from a distance, but a standoff ensued when defiant officer’s neighbors poured into the street with their smartphones to oppose the regime’s heavily armed goons. Maduro’s goons finally appeared to withdraw – for now.
What are Maduro’s options now?
Maduro could stand down, but this would only serve to confirm even more that he has no capacity to govern Venezuela.
Maduro also could order his goons to blast their way into the general’s home, and Vivas likely will be killed, and possibly his wife and daughters too. But this would only confirm to Venezuela and the rest of the world that he is a thug dictator.
A third option would be to lay siege to Vivas in his home by shutting off the water, electricity and communications links, and barring the entry of food. But it’s certain that the general’s neighbors would supply him with electricity, water, Internet connectivity and food supplies.
This Gringo spoke with his Venezuelan army friends today, who admiringly described General Vivas’ defiant public stance, weapons at the ready, as “a big gesture” that could strengthen the resolve and courage of Venezuelans who oppose Maduro’s tyranny and have been under assault since daily protests erupted in Tachira at the start of February.
“Many people have been afraid,” a senior former army intelligence officer remarked today. “The National Guard, “colectivos” and , yes, Cubans in Venezuelan guard uniforms and infiltrated among the ‘colectivos,’ have been attacking residential neighborhoods in Caracas and at least nine other cities practically every night, smashing into private residential buildings, burning vehicles, and firing gas grenades and bullets indiscriminately in all directions,” he said.
General Vivas is no conspirator, this officer added. “But his stand against Maduro’s abuses show that he finally is fed up…and he’s certainly not alone.”
The Maduro regime has been seeking to silence the protests with terror, but the ceaseless attacks by regime goons have stoked more rage. “Neighborhoods are starting to organize, there’s no one chief or politician or group involved, this is spontaneous and very local…and the message these people are getting from general Vivas now is don’t be afraid,” the former army intelligence officer said.
He described the month-long daily protests as follows: “The protests started with students, but when Maduro unleashed the Cuban-infiltrated National Guard and “colectivos” to kill the students, he involved the parents who never sent their children out to protest but who now are joining and supporting the students – their sons and daughters. Even grandmothers are now contributing bags of garbage to help block streets in some neighborhoods…Maduro’s tactics have only thrown more wood on the fires.”
Maduro’s increasingly erratic personal behavior also is backfiring against regime attempts to quash the political crisis quickly.
Yesterday Maduro called for a national peace conference but ordered his followers to spark a civil war should he “disappear” someday.
Today Maduro hosted a public party where he laughed and danced with fellow thugs and brain-dead supporters while the rest of Venezuela mourned the murders of at least nine unarmed anti-government demonstrators this month, and the brutal maiming of over 150 others by National Guard, PNB and “colectivo” goons.