Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cubazuela, Raúl and Leopoldo

Cubazuela, Raúl and Leopoldo
JUAN ANTONIO BLANCO | Miami | 11 de Julio de 2017 - 11:02 CEST.

What does Leopoldo López's relapse from prison and placement under house
arrest entail in Venezuela's current political situation?

It is important to keep in mind that his arrest, conviction and
conditions of imprisonment in a military prison were all the result of
orders issued by Raúl Castro, obeyed by the criminal elite who
(mis)govern Venezuela on his behalf. This decision was too. The
question, then, is: why was he released from prison now?

First, this does not represent a surrender of Cubazuela's totalitarian
aims, or a departure from its decision to use force to impose it.
Rather, it is a diversionary tactic, a retreat that the Cuban-Venezuelan
leadership has been forced to beat in the face of ever more complicated
circumstances. Leopoldo has not been fully released; they now have him
at home, as a hostage, wearing an electronic shackle, until they see how
this new manoeuver works out.

What are their hopes? Internally, to revive old wariness that might
erode the current unity between opposition forces and confuse the public
by issuing misinformation, claiming that López agreed to his release to
appease the citizens.

This equation includes the intention to revive the understandable
animosity of Leopoldo and some opposition groups towards prosecutor
Luisa Ortega, who undoubtedly contributed to the conviction of López and
many others. What better way to tarnish Ortega (now turned rebel) than
to enlist ranks of the opposition, whose constitutional rights the
prosecutor valiantly now seeks to protect, at this dramatic juncture.

Through this misleading leniency shown towards a political prisoner of
López's fame, they also seek to gain potential supporters of the
constituent assembly campaign.

Externally, the hope is to promote international demobilization by
fomenting the false conclusion that the Government has righted its
course and it is necessary to give it time to see how much more it might
be willing to cede. And, of course, related to this line of
disinformation, there is an attempt to revive the hapless
pseudo-dialogue (blessed by Castro, Maduro and Pope Francisco) featuring
former presidents Zapatero, Fernández, Torrijos and Samper.

To revive the credibility of the most discredited team in the history of
conflict resolution, they have already started to propagate the claim
—even among Leopoldo's relatives— that they are responsible for the
temporary house arrest of the most famous political prisoner in the
western hemisphere. "Releasing" prisoners as a public relations ploy is
an old Castroist trick now being put into practice in Caracas.

What is not behind Leopoldo López's house arrest is —for the time being—
Raul Castro's desire to negotiate a bilateral solution, with the US, to
the Venezuelan crisis. Not because the old myth is true that "Havana
never sacrifices principles, and much less under pressure." They have
done it before. But Raúl Castro —for now— prefers to heed the old adage
that "a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush." Giving up his
mafia partners in Caracas would place the Castro family and its
associates at greater risk, endangering not just its oil subsidies, but
also the massive revenues it gets from its collaboration in criminal
activities, and expose it to prosecution by the DEA and the Interpol.
And it would not be very glamorous, ideologically, to those on the
international Left that have supported them until today.

Venezuelans will win their freedom by internal struggle, and
international pressure, not because Castro breaks with his friends at
the Cartel of the Suns. And the Castroist regime will not remain loyal
based on any principles. Rather, it just cannot do without those
connections. Meanwhile, Leopoldo's departure from the Ramo Verde prison
is a ratification of his original assertion: change for Venezuela will
come from the grass roots.

Source: Cubazuela, Raúl and Leopoldo | Diario de Cuba -

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