This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Chavez attacking his opposition

On the first day of April, officials from Venezuela's Military Intelligence Division (DIM) arrived at the house of former Defense Minister Raul Isaias Baduel. They said they had a warrant, but never showed the papers.

When Baduel resisted, the men drew arms and forced him into their awaiting car under duress.

Baduel's lawyer is worried that he may be killed while in custody.

As you may recall, Baduel made a very public split from Chavez ahead of the November 2007 Constitutional referendum. One story on Chavez's defeat and Baduel's role is here.

A piece I wrote at the time is here.

In other news, another leader in the Venezuelan opposition, former presidential candidate Manuel Rosales, went into hiding on 31 March as word of investigation into corruption swirled in Venezuelan national media.

A Reuters story is here.

Bottom line, Chavez is worried. He's targeting the most powerful members of Venezuela's traditional opposition ahead of the next round of elections.

Finally, I'll add that a new opposition party has emerged in Venezuela. As reported by Southern Pulse | Networked Intelligence on 24 March, the National Assembly in Defense of Popular Power held its first party meeting on 23 March in Caracas. The name suggests that this party will go after winning votes from the poor Venezuelans who have become disillusioned with Chavez.

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