While media coverage of Venezuelan President
International human rights groups and Venezuelan opposition leaders say that in recent days the Maduro government has carried out a de facto takeover of
"The dispute over the election results is drawing a lot of domestic and international attention, but the world should know that what we've had here since the election amounts to a coup d'etat," says
In the aftermath of the election, at least 8 people have died and hundreds have been arrested in still-to-be-determined circumstances.
Maduro, the Cuban-backed political heir of late President
But, regardless of who is telling the truth, there's little question that the rule of law has been curtailed since
And Cabello has acted on his promise, denying the microphone to opposition legislators who are not ready to recognize Maduro's legitimacy until electoral authorities finalize a full recount of the vote, and look into more than 3,200 reported voting violations.
Machado says, "If this is not abolishing the parliament, what is it?"
Meanwhile, Maduro publicly prohibited the opposition from holding a peaceful demonstration to demand a vote recount and a full probe into the reported electoral violations, saying that he would apply an "iron fist" to crack down on any protesters.
Capriles suspended a march scheduled for Wednesday, fearing bloodshed.
Just as ominously, Maduro demanded, after the elections, that the privately owned Venevision and Televen television networks fully align themselves with the Chavista government.
"Venevision and Televen ... all the media, should define for themselves whose side they are on, (whether) with the fatherland, with peace, with the people, or whether they will once again align themselves with fascism," Maduro said. "Media, define which side you are on!"
Silencing Venevision and Televen, which within the constraints of
Globovision, the only anti-Chavez television network, has been sold to reported government cronies after suffering heavy government fines for its coverage. The independent RCTV television network was forced off the air by Chavez in 2007.
"The government of
My opinion: Maduro is off to a very bad start. With the highest inflation rate in
Much like Mexican President
If Maduro has any brains, and democratic instincts, he will do that. But so far, he has shown he has neither - just a penchant for imposing his will through brute force and that may lead to his undoing.
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(c) 2013 Tribune Media Services , "Venezuela's Maduro Off to a Bad Start "