No one enjoys seeing Venezuelas going hungry, being oppressed by the military or not having electricity or running water. Venezuela is a very rich nation and should be in complete ruin as it is now.

It is true that Hugo Chavez and now Nicolas Maduro have served as oficial destructors of a nation that once was one of the most bountiful in the region, but it is also true that the instability in the South American country has also been spurred by American interventionism, both direct and indirect.

Today, we have another example of that interventionism as US President, Donald J. Trump has called the Venezuelan opposition’s plan to create a parallel government an “unmistakeable message” as he threatened to impose strong sanctions against the Venezuelan people if Nicolas Maduro dares to carry out a referendum.

Not everyone in North America is insane to threaten a population that is hanging by very thin threads. Both Mexico and Canada support Maduro’s initiative. It is within his purview as the democratically elected of President of Venezuela to hold such referendum.

Despite the legality of the referendum, the Venezuelan opposition announced on Monday, the day after achieving massive support among their fellow citizens in a symbolic referendum, that this Wednesday it will lay the groundwork for forging an unconstitutional “unity government” – with the incognito of whether it will include critical Chavistas – and call a general strike for Thursday.

The National Assembly will also appoint new judges for the Supreme Court on Tuesday – another illegal initiative – according to the announcement of the opposition deputy Freddy Guevara.

Almost midnight on Sunday, rectors acting as guarantors of the unpublished consultation reported that, with 95% of the votes counted, 7.2 million people had heeded the opposition appeal to express their rejection of the future National Assembly , Which the government of Nicolás Maduro promotes, and to support in turn the formation of a unity government. In other words, the opposition, although not elected by the popular vote, desires to gain power without going through the proper channels, which is the true meaning of a Coup d’Etat.

“On Wednesday we will announce preparations to form a government of national unity,” Guevara told a news conference.

On Sunday it was speculated that a parallel or shadow government would have beforehand the recognition of international powers and other governments in the region.

“This Thursday we are preparing for a 24-hour national civic strike,” he added. The measures announced by the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD) seek to make the referendum an ultimatum to the Chavista regime.

“Sunday’s consultation is something that has neither parameters nor antecedents,” warns the political analyst and professor at Caracas Simon Bolivar University (USB), Colette Capriles.

“It was something between an election and a protest, something that perhaps could be called an electoral protest, that nevertheless cannot be measured neither with the criteria of one nor with the criteria of the other.

But it was not the rout that the MUD had wanted in an ideal scenario: the goal would have been to surpass the figure of the 7.5 million votes with which Nicolas Maduro won the presidency in April 2013.

“I think the results have a tactical and a strategic significance,” says Capriles, who is not related to the opposition leader. “The first is that the National Assembly, so battered, is relegitimized to resume its powers and advance in the appointment of new members of the Supreme Court and Electoral Council, the other is the mandate to form a government of national unity.”

Any new step acquires urgency as it approaches July 30, the date on which the electoral authorities, allies of the Government, have scheduled the elections of new deputies who will form the National Constituent Assembly.

This is seen by its proponents and opponents as the final twist that the Chavista regime will try to close the possibility of having an alternative government.

The MUD, which has given definite term features to that date, announced that Sunday’s popular consultation also marked the beginning of a zero hour or countdown to prevent the Constituent Assembly from being held. Thus the MUD intensifies the pressure that has been putting on the streets since April, when a wave of protests began in which a hundred people died.

Trump threatens “strong economic actions”

In a statement Monday, the president of the United States warned the Maduro government that he will take “strong and quick economic actions” if necessary should the Venezuelan government dare to hold the National Constituent Assembly convened for the 30 of this month.

“On Sunday, the Venezuelan people clearly repeated that they support democracy, freedom and the law, but their brave and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator,” Trump said.

The US president also assured that the US will not remain still before the collapse of Venezuela. Unfortunately, the US has been and continuous to be involved in the collapse of Venezuela.

The declarations come a day after more than seven million Venezuelans, both inside and outside the country, voted in an unofficial popular referendum organized by opposition leaders, who are supported by the American government, to test their strength among the citizenship.

Success for them is a rejection of the Assembly planned by the Maduro administration. On Monday, Freddy Guevara, one of the deputies and organisers of the consultation, announced that the opposition will use citizen support to justify the appointment of new judges to the Supreme Court and to establish a government of national unity.

The threat launched on Monday is a tightening of Washington’s discourse to the actions of Maduro, who for months has been trying to cling to power with small concessions such as the recent release of opposition leader Leopoldo López.

It also pressures Maduro with a deadline, forcing him to proceed or to retreat with his call to the Constituent Assembly, which would serve to annihilate the opposition and impose greater control.

So far, the United States has faced the Venezuelan crisis – which since early April had killed at least 90 people and injured thousands – assuming a leading role in the constant denunciations of the situation in the Organization of American States (OAS).

In addition, the Trump government has issued new sanctions in recent months against members of Chavismo such as Vice President Tareck El Aissami as well as Supreme Court justices.

These measures have served to deprive members of the Chavismo of assets and properties they may have in the United States, blocking access to economic resources. However, for months the US government has valued sectoral sanctions against the country to put more pressure on Maduro.

In particular against industries such as oil, which is an important economic support for the regime. PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company, is the third US supplier, which is why it had escaped sanctions so far.

The multilateral efforts, however, were frustrated when the OAS – the most important hemispheric body – was unable to pass a resolution last June condemning the Maduro regime.

The failure, which marked the organization’s annual summit and which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not attend, was a “disappointment” for the US, Vice President Mike Pence said.

Hours earlier, White House spokesman Sean Spicer insisted on concerns over the Venezuelan crisis and applauded the massive participation in Sunday’s popular referendum organized by opposition groups to President Nicolas Maduro. Spicer, said the success of the referendum sends an “unmistakable message” to the Maduro regime.

“We’ve been watching what happened. We congratulate the Venezuelan people for their massive participation in Sunday’s referendum,” Spicer said. “We condemn the violence of the groups against innocent voters as well as the government’s efforts to erode democracy in Venezuela,” he concluded.

Spicer cynically forgot to mention that much of the violence seen on the streets is carry out by agent provocateurs led by groups financed and supported by the US government.

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