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The “Facade” of Democracy in Venezuela

By: Fergus Hodgson - @FergHodgson - Jun 30, 2013, 12:00 pm

Venezuela has garnered warranted attention lately, given a Chavista-led brawl in the national legislature (see below) and bizarre shortages of even basic commodities such as toilet paper. Florida Watchdog, an investigative journalism outlet, has also covered the founding of a new organization, Justice for Democracy (@Justicia4D), which is countering the violent and repressive activities there.

Maria Trina Burgos is one of the cofounders, an immigration attorney based in Miami, and she appeared on The Stateless Man radio show to explain the situation.

“We want the United States to know what is going on there… In the facade we are a democracy, because there were elections, but everything is a fraud; everything is a lie. That’s why we want to fight, and that’s why we want to help people in Venezuela, the opposition.”

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council claims that a review of 46 percent of the vote revealed no discrepancies. However, the opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, dismisses the process, since the Council refuses to release precinct registers with voters’ signatures.

Regarding purported advances for Venezuela under Chavismo, Burgos has little patience.

“All those statements are false… The safety, the delinquency… It’s not only toilet paper, it’s all the commodities that we don’t have in the supermarket… We’re going down the drain.”

Burgos’ group’s two key proposals are no international acceptance of the latest “election,” and she would like to see a moratorium on deportations of people back to Venezuela. She also recommends that foreigners stay away, since they are likely to attract attention and risk robbery or worse.

For more on the story of Chavismo and what lies in store for Venezuela, please see Helena Ball’s excellent article, “Chavez is Officially Dead.”

Fergus Hodgson Fergus Hodgson

Fergus Hodgson was the founding editor in chief of the PanAm Post, up until January 2016, and he now studies finance at Tulane University in Louisiana and Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. Originally from New Zealand, he has also lived in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, and the United States. Follow @FergHodgson and his Facebook page.