AFTER failing in his attempt to provoke internal chaos in Venezuela, defeated right-wing presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski has turned his attention to the international arena. With a well devised and advised strategy, aided by the United States, he has undertaken a campaign beyond Venezuelan borders to delegitimize the legitimate government which won the last elections.
His method is a simple one. It is to destabilize national institutions and discredit the principal leaders of the Bolivarian process, in particular President Nicolás Maduro, with the backing of individuals such as Otto Reich and Roger Noriega.
His anything but innocent visit to Bogotá has provoked a storm which is threatening the positive climate of relations between Colombia and Venezuela, two nations with historical, economic and social ties.
Capriles stated that he began his tour to denounce the "fraudulent" popular will expressed at the April 14 elections. He went further than that, advising that he is still to meet with various other Latin American governments. "Colombia will not be the first nor last stop on this visit."
He packed his bags leaving aside accusations of his lack of governorship in the state of Miranda. Legislative Council President Aurora Morales stated May 30 that ignoring his responsibilities as governor "is placing Capriles beyond the Constitution," and recalled that the Miranda government lodged an appeal before the Supreme Court of Justice some weeks ago for clarification of the situation.
This tour of Capriles, one of the April 2002 coup leaders, is also threatening to affect the peace talks underway in Havana between the Juan Manuel Santos government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-Army of the People (FARC-EP), in which Venezuela is participating as an observer. In this way he is playing along with the Colombian paramilitary ultra –right which previously supported him and is prepared to do anything to avert an end to the conflict in that country, which has become a lucrative business
As part of the strategy, the corporate press is using these distractions to conceal other news. Little has been said of the visit by three Bolivarian government ministers to Bogotá to promote economic links, and far less of recent Colombian-Venezuelan cooperation in combating narcotics, with the extradition from Venezuela of three notorious drug traffickers.
Capriles and his allies have little concern about methods and far less for their consequences.