How should you interview a dictator? That was the question I asked myself before my conversation with Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela in Caracas on Feb. 25.
I have only words of encouragement and admiration for the millions of Venezuelans currently fighting for their freedom. There is no way of knowing for certain..
Juan Guaidó is really shaking things up in Venezuela. Twenty years after the Bolivarian revolution was begun under Hugo Chávez, Guaidó, the 35-year-old opposition politician, has finally forced the government of Nicolás Maduro to play defense.
Nicolás Maduro’s lack of legitimacy lies at the very heart of the Venezuelan crisis. Why isn’t he the rightful president of the country? Well, for starters, the two elections he won (in 2013 and 2018) were fraudulent. On top of that, he has “killed hundreds of young people in the streets,” according to his former intelligence chief, Hugo Carvajal, and has used repression to crush his people and hold on to power. It’s no wonder Venezuelans call him “the usurper.”
“If the devil offered me an interview, I’d go to hell.” — Julio Scherer García, Mexican editor and journalist.
I interviewed Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas recently. Unfortunately, it’s quite possible that nobody will ever see the footage. Just 17 minutes into our conversation at the Miraflores presidential palace, Maduro stood up and called the interview off.
Have you ever seen a tear gas canister? Some resemble large bullets, about 2 centimeters in diameter, metallic, with a sharp point. Authorities shoot them toward empty spots in a crowd; the canisters then explode and spew a cloud of noxious gas.
It pains me deeply to watch the turmoil afflicting Mexico and Venezuela, two countries I love. Both are suffering so much internal strife that they seem on the brink of war — not with each other, or with other nations, but with themselves.
Some books are written with ink on paper; others, on laptops. But a new book by the Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López was partly written on skin.
Dictators — and their imitators, petty dictators — never yield power in an orderly fashion. They have to be forcibly removed.
You can’t force a fish to walk, just like you can’t force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to accept the recall referendum now underway to remove him from office.