EspañolOn Sunday, the president of Venezuela and successor of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, performed a celebration commemorating Chavismo’s 15 years in power. From the Miraflores Presidential Palace, Maduro began his speech stating that “we are Chávez’s children, the greatest Bolivarian man that has ever existed in two centuries in this land.” The president focused his speech on two fundamental ideas: “conspiracies from the right-wing” and his threat to “radicalize” the authoritarian political model even further.
Maduro emphasized the achievements of Chávez and his regime, through the missions (social welfare programs) that he enacted since the beginning of his tenure in 1999. At that time, he alleges, the country was in a “social crisis, with 80 percent poverty, 40 percent of misery, 25 percent structural unemployment, and 60 percent of people resorting to the informal economic sector, with no right to health care.” He also threatened to radicalize the revolution, in case the opposition started any conspiracies against him.
The president noted his participation in the recent CELAC summit, and he accused the United States of aiming to divide Latin America.
“Don’t be mistaken with Latin America; we are going to answer back with the forcefulness that commander Chávez taught us. . . . We have enough strength to defend our union.”
On the same day, members of the opposition protested against the government at Brión Plaza in the Chacao Municipality, near Caracas. Leaders of the opposition also organized a large rally in the capital and in other main cities of the country. According to Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas and leader of the opposition, this is the moment to “move for our homeland and its best destiny. If we don’t do it, we’ll be responsible for the loss of our democracy, and its most valuable asset: liberty.”