Letter published in ‘The Independent’ on Wednesday 19 February.
The violence witnessed in Venezuela in recent days follows the launching of a campaign by extremist elements of Venezuela’s opposition for the “ousting” of the democratically elected government. It is notable that other sections of the opposition, including its recent Presidential candidate, have distanced themselves from this (“A Venezuelan Spring?”, 14 February).
The tragic killing of three Venezuelans, including supporters and opponents of the government, has worrying echoes of what has occurred before in Venezuela, notably the coup d’etat of 2002. Then hidden snipers fired on crowds of people in order to create social conflict and the conditions to justify a military coup. President Maduro’s announcement that the same pistol was used in the first two of the recent killings is thus deeply worrying.