The government announced the creation of the new Guayana Esequiba state… administratively based in Tumeremo, Bolívar. The Maduro regime also gave an ultimatum for oil companies operating in the area and launched a new wave of persecution against the opposition.
The Esequibo War Begins… Internally
Nicolás Maduro proposed that a bill be sent to the National Assembly for the creation of the Guayana Esequiba state in the disputed state. Nevertheless, the state will be administratively and militarily managed from Tumeremo, in Bolívar. Maduro also ordered PDVSA and the CVG to issue oil, gas and mining licenses immediately. The new official map will also now include the “Reclamation Zone” as an official state, without the usual stripes.
The regime also gave an ultimatum to oil companies working under concessions given by Guyana to withdraw their operations within three months. If not, these companies won’t be allowed to operate in Venezuela. Chevron is one of them.
On Wednesday, the regime issued arrest warrants against two Americans, a group of opposition figures in exile, two Chavista former ministers in exile, the director of electoral NGO Súmate and three important members of María Corina Machado’s team. The Public Ministry accused them of having ties and receiving financing from ExxonMobil.
Barely a month and a half after the Barbados Agreements, the Venezuelan regime starts a new wave of political persecution built upon the Esequibo referendum. Yesterday, a Chavista-aligned figure also denounced electoral journalist Eugenio Martínez with the Public Ministry.
“They are making a mistake. They are not going to stop us. Quite the opposite. This gives us more strength”, María Corina Machado said.
Sunday’s low turnout and messy numbers reveal that Chavismo’s electoral machinery is more rusty than expected. Will the regime replace Maduro, and seek legitimacy, or bet for a Nicaraguazo in 2024?
María Corina Machado Won’t Appeal The Ban
María Corina Machado won’t appeal her ban in the Comptroller’s Office. “What act can be appealed if it does not exist?”, she said.
“This is a political and not a legal fact and they have just confirmed it with the persecution of honorable Venezuelans”, she said, as the government simultaneously announced arrest warrants for her team, “I can assure you of a robust day-to-day strategy to legally and politically confront these acts. There is nothing to appeal because there is no decision and there is no compliance with any agreement (…) The regime is currently violating the agreements it signed in Barbados. Let’s see what is going to happen in the next few days.”
Maria Corina Machado and her allies must prepare for scenarios where Maduro sets up uncompetitive elections and the Biden administration doesn’t fully retaliate. The White House is eyeing a working relationship with Miraflores, whoever governs beyond 2024
Venezuela’s authoritarian regime is holding a referendum over a claim the country has kept for decades. Why? To face the opposition, measure its mobilization power and stroke electoral nationalism before the 2024 elections
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