Chilean president-elect Bachelet blasts Venezuelan repression and Maduro
Following the bloody events of last Wednesday, while countries such as Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua expressed their full support for the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro, others were more cautious such as Washington and the Europe Union calling for restraint and dialogue, but Chilean president-elect Michelle Bachelet openly twitted her rejection to repression, to President Maduro and called for a plebiscite.
”I repudiate repression in all its forms. Venezuela must hold a plebiscite. My greatest rejection of (President) Nicolas Maduro. You do not attack the people, said president-elect Bachelet in several twits condemning the iron hand of riot police and the attacks by armed gangs against the students' massive demonstration, which left at least three people killed and over sixty injured.
Bachelet's vehement position is understandable since when she takes office next month her priority task will be precisely the issue of education: fiscal reform to collect sufficient tax-funds to make it more universal, less expensive and eventually free, as was promised to students' leaders during the Chilean presidential campaign.
The massive protests and demonstrations of students for months almost brought down the conservative government of Sebastian Piñera who insisted in keeping the higher education system mostly private, expensive and in real terms mostly accessible for the children of the rich.
Socialist Bachelet campaigned to reverse the situation and managed the support of the students' organizations, but now she might have an additional problem since her coalition allies, who will be holding some posts in the cabinet, the Communist party has officially condemned the massive protests against the government of President Maduro and accused the opposition of conspiring to promote a coup.
Maduro is doing the right thing on appealing to all the institutional force which has been built by the democratic sovereignty of Bolivarian Venezuela, said Lautaro Carmona, chairman of the Chilean communist party and elected member of Congress.
As far as the interests of the working class, and the people in general, there's nothing to be concerned about since the Bolivarian revolution has changed their lives for good,
Carmona was quoted by Venezuelan financed Telesur. He added the opposition was only 'interested in conspiring to overthrow Maduro and his government with a coup'.
Meanwhile from Brussels Catherine Ashton, EU High representative for foreign policy expressed concern with events in Venezuela and called for a 'peaceful dialogue' among all sides. She insisted that freedom of expression and the right to assemble and participate in peaceful demonstrations are essential to a democratic system.
However the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville speaking from Geneva also called on the Venezuela government but demanded that those responsible for attacks on anti-government demonstrators, be detained and sent to court.
We are particularly concerned with information of attacks against demonstrators by armed groups, acting in impunity, and we are also concerned that the situation could lead to further violence, said Colville
We have also received disturbing information about intimidation of journalists, some of which had their equipments confiscated, as well as local and international journalists who were attacked when they were covering the protests.
Finally Colville claimed that some of the arrested demonstrators will be sent to court on charges of terrorism, while others including minors, have been denied contact with their families and lawyers”.