Capriles to foreign governments: Don't cross this line

In a forceful performance today, Henrique Capriles outlined the opposition’s stance re. January 10th.

With Lara Governor Henri Falcón by his side (Hint: these two are a team) the governor of Miranda warned foreign governments about endorsing the PSUV’s plans to take over the government unconstitutionally. To sum it up, his position, and the position of the MUD, is crystal clear:

  1. Yes, January 10th matters.
  2. If Chávez doesn’t show up for his inauguration that day, a temporary absence of 90 days should be declared.
  3. No, VP Maduro cannot hold office during that time because his mandate expires January 10th.
  4. In a great line, he said that Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly, is next in line and should hold temporary powers while Chávez is inaugurated, although he personally considers this “a national tragedy.”
  5. He warned foreign governments not to mess around with Venezuela’s Constitution, and to withhold support for the chavista interpretation that is clearly illegal.
  6. He warned that a sector of the Armed Forces supports the Constitution, and said they would be within their rights to act in the presence of a power grab.
  7. He called on the Supreme Tribunal to act, but warned that if they come down against the Constitution, there may be anarchy and they will be judged harshly by history.

Foreign governments, particularly Brasilia, Bogotá, Washington, and Havana, have a hot potato in their hands. If they support Maduro holding on to power after January 10th, the opposition will (rightly) claim they are supporting a coup. But if they fail to support Maduro, they may see their access to petro-dollars severely rationed.

If they support Maduro and Capriles were to win a subsequent election, well … let’s just say those Summits will get mighty interesting.

Time to work those diplomatic chops and find a solution that satisfies the opposition, chavistas, and the Constitution as well.

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