CARACAS, Friday March 07, 2014 | Update

Dissenters warn Venezuelan gov't actions "sow the seeds of civil war"

The executive secretary of the opposition alliance Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, claimed the Venezuelan president has called on collectives to attack dissenters

Aveledo: President Nicolás Maduro's statement is irrational (G. Svieykowsky)
Friday March 07, 2014  12:20 PM
The executive secretary of opposition umbrella group Unified Democratic Panel (MUD), Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, warned that the government's call on civilian groups to crack down on anti-government demonstrations could "sow the seeds of a civil war," in Venezuela.

Aveledo's statement came after President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday made several comments on the street protests that have taken place across Venezuela for the last three weeks, including fires and barricades on the streets (protests commonly known as guarimbas). Maduro made a call on his followers to "put off any fire."

"One cannot avoid linking the frenzied attack against demonstrators, locals and their property that took place this afternoon and evening (Thursday)" with Maduro's statements, Aveledo remarked.

"This is no longer the action taken by a reckless governor, like Francisco Ameliach (ruling party official) in Carabobo state (north Venezuela), who called on ruling party squads to launch ‘a crushing attack' against ‘fascism.' This time is about Nicolás Maduro, the head of the Executive Office, who ordered community councils, ‘collectives' and farm workers' associations to storm guarimbas."

"If the government reckons that by speeding up intolerance and violence it will manage to control the situation, it must be warned they are rather aggravating, widening, and deepening the crisis. Recklessness must be stopped before it is too late."