WASHINGTON — Venezuela’s government has (again) accused opponents of trying to foment a coup and rebellion, with U.S. government support, against the Socialist government regime under Hugo Chavez pupil Nicolas Maduro.
Reuters reported that this time, opposition leader Maria Corina Machado is to blame. Another opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, was arrested and now sits in a Venezuelan prison. Machado was a close ally to the imprisoned Lopez.
Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, who barely lost to Maduro in a heavily contested election, has avoided criticism by the Maduro government. Capriles avoided rhetoric of violent protests and pushed for more peaceful resolutions, while the Venezuelan people endure rationing of items like wine and toilet paper, as well as brutal beatings by government supporters after protesting their worsening living conditions.
Machado has been accused of leading three months of anti-government protests and being backed by American interests to unseat Maduro. Her supporters have denied these accusations, accusing the Maduro government of using this as a ruse to distract from the country’s rampant crime and economic problems.
Local broadcasters had to attend and do a live broadcast of the government’s accusations at a news conference, which denounced Machado and others for supposed assassination and coup plots against Maduro.