Venezuela’s Maduro chooses to fight far-left Chilean President Boric
CARACAS — Venezuelan socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro lashed out at left-wing politicians who criticized him for being a dictator — without naming one in particular — during an event at the infamous Forum in Sao Paulo on Friday.
The Venezuelan capital is hosting the current version of the summit, an event dedicated to unifying and aligning the policies of far-left leaders in Latin America.
Maduro has dared leftist critics to sit down to “debate face to face” the “democratic truth” of his authoritarian rule.
“There are those who accuse us of being dictators. I understand that Sebastián Piñera [former president of Chile] the fact, I understand that Jair Bolsonaro accuses me, I understand that fascism accuses us”, Maduro said. “But, from the left, anyone who tries to accuse us will have to sit face to face with us to debate the truth of Venezuela.”
Maduro also claimed that the criticisms some left-wing leaders in the region have allegedly espoused are aimed at “normalizing the attacks” on authoritarian regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
The Sao Paulo Forum is a coalition of left-wing governments and political parties in Latin America and the Caribbean, founded by the Workers’ Party (PT) of Brazil in 1990. The founder of the PT, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was again elected President of Brazil. last month, narrowly beating incumbent Bolsonaro.
The socialist dictator has clung to power in Venezuela since sham elections were held in 2018; he has served as president since the death of late dictator Hugo Chávez in 2013. His refusal to step down at the end of his six-year presidential term in 2019 prompted the country’s National Assembly to act in accordance with what the constitution dictates and appointed Juan Guaidó, the head of the legislative branch, as interim president – causing a still unresolved presidential crisis in the country. Maduro and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) still exercise full control over all branches of Venezuelan power.
While his initial crisis did not name a left-wing politician, the socialist dictator later took the opportunity to castigate Chile’s far-left President Gabriel Boric, questioning his “lack of leadership” and lack of commitment to the left-wing cause while accusing Boric of leading a “repudiated” government that has “more than 2,000 political prisoners”.
“In Venezuela, unlike Chile – unfortunately, I must say, with pain for Chile, with pain for the people of [Salvador] Allende, with the pain of over 2,000 young political prisoners who are still in prison,” Maduro swung, offering no evidence. “I must say that in Venezuela a people rose up, in Venezuela a leader rose up, in Venezuela a project rose up, and in Venezuela this project, this people, became a Constituent Assembly and later became a victorious founding constitution of a new republic.”
At the Sao Paulo Forum event, Maduro condemned Boric’s “lack of leadership” for massively lack replacing Chile’s 42-year-old constitution with a radical new leftist constitution that international media had described as the “most progressive” legislation in the world.
“There was a people but there was no vanguard, there was no leadership, there was no project. And in the end, people ended up voting against themselves,” Maduro said. “They ended up voting against a rejected and repudiated government in Chile. It’s unfortunate, and where can you discuss it? At the Sao Paulo Forum, the stage to discuss these issues.
Boric, who during his presidential campaign ideologically describe himself as “on the left” of the Chilean Communist Party, has criticized the Maduro regime in the past for its human rights abuses. In 2019, Boric, then a member of Chile’s Chamber of Deputies, critical the left for not condemning the authoritarian regimes of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Boric also had sentenced the Maduro regime for its human rights violations in 2019.
In September, during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Boric again sentenced leftists who turn a blind eye to human rights abuses in authoritarian regimes in the region like Nicaragua and Venezuela.
“So it really pisses me off when you’re on the left, so you condemn the violation of human rights, I don’t know, in Yemen or El Salvador, but you can’t talk about Venezuela or Nicaragua,” he said. said Boric at an event. held at Columbia University in New York.
Since 2019, the United Nations Independent International Fact-Finding Mission has published three reports which detail and document in detail the human rights violations and crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime, including extreme acts of torture and sexual violence. It is estimated that in October, the Maduro regime currently holds 314 political prisoners.
The conditions and consequences created by the Maduro regime and its “Bolivarian socialism” have created the worse migrant crisis in the region, rivaled only by the migrant crisis in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.
In January, Boric describe Venezuela as a “failed experiment”, noting that Chile is among the countries that now have the largest number of Venezuelan migrants who fled the Maduro regime and his socialism.
Boric’s criticism of Venezuela had drawn Maduro’s ire on previous occasions. In February, Maduro accused Boric and other left-wing politicians, including then-Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, of being part of a “cowardly, failed, anti-Bolivarian left” for daring to criticize his “successful” socialist regime and ” victorious”.
Despite criticizing and distancing himself from Maduro, Gustavo Petro chose to approach and legitimize the socialist dictator, restoring diplomatic relations between Colombia and the Maduro regime shortly after Petro took office.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.