Recently I had the opportunity to do a radio interview with Osvaldo “Tuto” Marquez. This Venezuelan political opposition leader resides in Maracaibo and shared his opinion, his prognosis and his vision of Venezuela from the “trenches,”and the real reason he thinks the presidential elections were rigged.
“Tuto” Marquez was a leader of the UNT party and still a prominent opposition leader, heading up the electoral council in the State of Zulia. We had one hour to speak without censorship or interruptions, and these are, in short, the keys to the future of Venezuela at his sole discretion with the reality that the country is experiencing.
“The three branches of government: the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch, are all kidnapped in Venezuela. All the powers depend on the President of the Republic. What we are living in Venezuela is a sad fact. We cannot talk about democracy, in Venezuela there is a dictatorship run by Maduro, and through the tentacles of Cuba… definitely the Cubans are the ones managing Venezuela.”
“Maduro did not win the elections. They know it and the people know it. These traps arent done by tricking the electoral machines but by them, they won under a forced vote, a bought vote, and we have the evidence.”
“Its disgusting… to see how the government gives away electric goods, money, drawing and raffling off vehicles for voters that, in theory, will vote for them. We have to fight against the Government all the few resources remaining are for that.”
“The country will collapse; we lack everything. Sanitary paper, precooked flour fails, there are no goods. And this government depends on products from abroad to fill the gap.”
“The only solution to this serious crisis is President Maduro resigning, his Government surrendering. We need the international organizations involved in order to get out of this chaos. Unfortunately we havent been able to count on the support of the countries of the South. It is just unbelievable that the OAS has not pronounced the truth about Venezuela, and that many Governments in Latin America do not provide us aid because they depend on oil from Venezuela.”
“The situation on the streets is critical. Repression is made with unsuitable elements and thanks to it, we already have 39 dead.” “I dont magnify anything, the videos you can watch on social networks are the reality of what happens, they are unedited. The mere act of filming is reason to be arrested or beaten.
Is civil war in Venezuela’s future?
“There is no danger of civil war because this is a war by the Government against the people, not of the people against the people.”
“Its not a struggle between the opposition and the Government that is contemplated in Venezuela today, but a rescue of democracy against a Government that has to go.”
“Kidnapped powers and repression of the people are what have us cornered, but we do not lose hope. The struggle will continue because it is on the streets where we are showing that this Government is, technically, down.”
“The Government wants to bring this to a struggle of those who are with the United States and those who are against the United States, and that is not the case. But their struggle is, in fact, a struggle in favor of Cuba.”
“This country will take many, many years to recover from the disaster that this Government has made us in 15 years.”
“Within a year, the Venezuelans have to reach agreement to ensure a favorable direction, today we are aimless. After, I don’t know, but we are sure that over the next five years, we will have a difficult time. Like a postwar Europe after World War 2. Venezuela was a rich country and now its devastated and everything comes from abroad.” “The companies that didnt leave are broken, unemployment and misery grow and while theres no limits to this, it will be increasingly more serious and more difficult to get out of the hole.”
“We do not lose hope for the future. If there was an election, with international truth watchers, Maduros government would not continue. But first we have to stop this massacre.”
“It could happen that I leave after this interview and I am stopped by the police but I am not afraid to tell the truth. Everything I told you was the truth. We need help.”
I only hope Marquezs testimony is heard, along with all the voices of those fighting to recover a happy, peaceful, prosperous Venezuela.