Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro may be facing a mutiny within his own party. After chiding longtime Chavista politicians for expressing a lack of confidence in his leadership, Maduro is now facing mass protests by Marxist groups within the country who claim they have been marginalized by the left in power.
The situation in Venezuela appears to be growing so dire that even the nation’s leftists are turning on the President. Last month, President Maduro was cornered into giving a televised speech against what he called the “hungover Left,” a group of governors and high-ranking leftist politicians whose ties to former President Hugo Chávez are older than even Maduro’s, who openly expressed a lack of confidence in the current head of state’s leadership.
Now, reports Argentine outlet Infobae, a grassroots leftist group called Marxist Tide has lambasted the Maduro presidency in an extensive missive protesting that Maduro has left the Venezuelan working class out of major government decisions. The group in particular protests a dialogue scheduled for July 19 as part of the National Open Conference, to which leftist groups that have expressed concern about the Maduro presidency were not invited.
“The internal right intends,” the document from the group reads, referring to the opposition, “to close spaces for debate and the democratic participation of the people. The expectations that could have awoken the socialist members of Congress is fading away. Because while the situation does not improve – on the contrary, it has gotten worse – the Party continues to limit the massive, democratic participation of its militancy.”
Top members of Maduro’s party have been changing the narrative of their rhetoric to properly exclude Chavistas with solid reputations among the Venezuelan left from the Revolution. Vice President and head of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello, for example, said in a speech this week that the leftist revolution must “go beyond Chavismo,” and “keep people informed so that there is a greater public conscience.” Much of the anti-Maduro Chavista sentiment has come from the military, where Maduro never served but Cabello, perennially seen as a successor and threat to Maduro, lived out most of his career. One soldier under the condition of anonymity told Venezuela’s largest newspaper, El Universal, that he opposed the idea that “we end up looking like coparticipants in this disaster with [Maduro] from the point of view of their propaganda, and none of us is willing to assume that cost, nor will we.”