viernes, 14 de febrero de 2014

Venezuelan President seen "trying to crush" opponents after protests

Spain's ABC newspaper observed on 14 February that Venezuela's socialist President Nicolás Maduro was "trying to crush the opposition" after blaming it for the violent incidents and deaths that complemented student protests on 12 February. Mr Maduro once more accused unspecified elements of plotting a coup, and ordered the arrest of Leopoldo López, head of the opposition party Voluntad Popular whose offices were duly searched by security forces. The deputy-speaker of parliament Darío Vivas separately said the legislature would begin investigations against another outspoken parliamentarian involved in organising the 12 February marches, Maria Corina Machado, ABC reported. It stated that university classrooms were empty on 13 February as students observed a day of mourning for the deaths of two students the day before, while the opposition coalition Table of Democratic Unity suspended political activities for three days after the demonstrations. Mr López's whereabouts were not immediately clear though some opposition sources were saying he was at home. Writing on his Twitter account, he asked the President if he had "the guts" to arrest him, and whether or not he was waiting for "orders from Havana," Venezuela's El Universal reported on 14 February. The daily cited the parliamentary speaker Diosdado Cabello as claiming that López was trying to flee to Colombia. Another opposition leader, the Governor of the state of Miranda Henrique Capriles Radonsky told the Government on 13 February not to accuse the opposition "because there are videos and photos where groups armed by the Government shot at young people who probably only had stones...that is not how you control a people," El Universal reported. Mr Capriles was speaking in the district of Sucre. He asked the President when the Government would disarm gangs "consisting of civil servants in uniforms and holding guns...whom they take out to attack women and students?" El Nacional reported.