According to Nicolás Maduro, an assasination attempt against him has been thwarted. The culprits? Maria Corina Machado, along with a bunch of opposition leaders, as well as the US Ambassador to Colombia.
Now, I don’t have the serenity to give you the details of the preposterous claim. Suffice to say they claim to have emails where Maria Corina talks about the assassination, but Maria Corina says they are a fabrication.
Now, if I were a skeptical Venezuelan on the street, the first thing I would ask myself is: why are the supposed culprits still walking around like zombies? Why has nobody been jailed for this? Luisa Ortega Díaz says investigations on this matter are ongoing. Really. Can you imagine the chief of police in Washington, DC, saying “we believe that John Hinckley, Jr., was the shooter who attacked President Reagan, but investigations are ongoing…”?
Moreover, why hasn’t the government broken off diplomatic relations with the government that supposedly wants to murder the President. On the heels of this revelation, what does Venezuela do? Why, it names its new top diplomat to Washington!
It’s one of two things: either the Venezuelan government is willfully allowing a bunch of assassins to roam the streets of Venezuela and trying to mend fences with a government that wants to kill its leader, or … the whole thing is made up.
You know the right answer. The only thing that is worth asking ourselves is why.
I think the whole show when Jorge Rodríguez – flanked by something called the “High Command of the Revolution” – showed the emails is revealing. It was a lame attempt at a show of unity within chavismo, at a time when the government’s support is crumbling faster than the country’s economy.
When Hugo Chávez was alive, every time there were tiffs or differences inside the government, out came the wild accusations of “magnicidio” to stir the pot. By driving a wedge between “they” (the assassins, which I guess includes all of us) and “us” (the revolutionaries), the government thinks it can consolidate its own factions. They seem to be saying “look, we may be incompetent crooks who are destroying the country, but they are worse than us … they want to kill us!”
It’s a cheap ploy, and it won’t work. In the face of unstoppable inflation, straws seem to be the only thing the government has to grasp on to.
The worst part is that some chavistas will fall for this. They have lost the capacity to ask themselves why the government claims an assassination has been thwarted and yet nobody is in prison.
Pity the poor Venezuelans who see the streets of Caracas filled with would-be assassins – me thinks they’ve watched one too many zombie movies. At this point, anybody who believes this stuff is beyond hope.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.