Maduro inflames tensions by insulting opponents

Maduro inflames tensions by insulting opponents

With 19 days to go before the presidential election, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has expanded his repertoire of insults aimed at his opponents. It’s no longer just a matter of warning about the dangers of “fascism” and “oligarchy.” His main challenger, Edmundo González Urrutia, 74, has called himself “the decrepit old man of unbridled capitalism.” Right-wing leader María Corina Machado, their main defender on the streets of several Venezuelan cities, is a “decrepit old woman.” Some analysts have wondered whether the new insults are a symptom of personal fears ahead of July 28.

Maduro discredits the polls that favor the candidate of the Democratic Unitary Program (PUD). The president himself, who also lived in the Palau de Miraflores for 10 years. Maduro occupies all the fronts of the Venezuelan conspiracy: he meets with evangelical pastors to get his heavenly blessing or suddenly announces the resumption of negotiations with the United States. At the same time, he replaces the language of the trench with the practice of banality. “Karol G sent me a song for my campaign,” he said during one of his rallies.

The candidate moves to the beat of his new promises of wealth. “We will open the doors to a beautiful era of happiness and sovereignty. Venezuela needs a new revolution and I will do it with the support of the people.” At the same time, he hints at his verbal assault.

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Opposition Challenge

González Urrutia did not ignore the grievance: “We will build a state where the president is not insulted.” The mobilization he is leading is surprising in its own way and also strange. Rafael Céspedes was an adviser to Hugo Chávez in the 1998 elections, and although he immediately broke with the Bolivarian president, he found a kinship between the opening scenes of Chavismo and what is happening to the UDNR standard-bearer. “I think it was a carefully chosen piece,” Urrutia says. “His work looks like a play, because it is one thing, but it embodies Maria Corina.”

Machado was unable to compete, despite winning the primary last October. A court maneuver pushed her out of the way. However, the Fente Venezuela leader decided to transfer her political capital to the former diplomat, who has surprisingly become a rival to Maduro. Part of that mission appears to have been accomplished. Machado said that thousands of groups, called comanditos, have been created across the territory to support González Urrutia’s electoral aspirations. “The Venezuelan people know how to organize themselves to defend themselves.”

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