Thursday, August 09, 2018

Assassination in Venezuela

A former police chief has claimed responsibility for the "drone thing that might have been an assassination attempt" against Nicolás Maduro.

Lucchese described the incident as part of a sustained, armed effort against Maduro. He declined to describe his precise role in the operation, in the broader resistance or identify others involved, citing the need to protect their identity. 
“We had an objective and in the moment we were not able to materialize it 100 percent,” Lucchese said in an interview in Bogota, where he is traveling because of activities with other opposition figures. “The armed struggle will continue.” 
Earlier this year, Lucchese parted ways with Popular Will, a prominent opposition party, saying he disagreed with its continued dialogue with Maduro’s administration.
Is this legit? We have no way of knowing. We do know that the opposition is split on tactics and certainly plenty of people see violence as the only means of political change. And we know that such moderate/violent splits are common--even the norm--in such contexts.

My main thought here is that this particular tactic is a bad idea. There was no doubt that Maduro would use any such attack as a pretext for repression, which he has done. Half-baked assassination plans (and this seems half-baked from what I've read) are far worse than doing nothing because you give the government cover to crack down even more on the opposition.

Lest you think I am calling for fully baked assassination plans, I think successful assassination would make things worse as well. My own preferred solution is one that sadly won't happen, which is coordinated Latin American pressure. The logic of assassination strikes me as Steve Bannon-ish, where your goal is to throw the country into such turmoil that you can build something new from the ashes. That's not how it'll work.


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