Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro warned in a speech Thursday that his regime would begin a “rectification” of the socialist Bolivarian revolution in response to President Juan Guaidó claiming control of the military.
Maduro’s comments about a “rectification” may be seen by some as an admission of the failings of Hugo Chávez’s “Bolivarian Revolution,” which has led the once thriving and oil-rich country into one of the world’s most dire humanitarian and migratory crises.
“I called for a great day of dialogue, action, and proposal for next Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May,” the leftist dictator wrote on Twitter. “The Bolivarian Congress of Peoples, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and all levels of government, will develop a plan for change and rectification of the Revolution. Let’s keep going!”
Convoqué a una gran jornada de diálogo, acción y propuesta para el próximo sábado #4May y domingo #5May. El Congreso Bolivariano de los Pueblos, el @PartidoPSUV y todos los niveles de gobierno, elaborarán un Plan de Cambio y Rectificación de la Revolución. ¡Avancemos! pic.twitter.com/VGya0jhBjo
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 2, 2019
Maduro’s declaration follows multiple reports of excessive violence at the hands of security forces on Wednesday, as they were forced to react against civilians energized by Guaidó’s claim of a partial military revolt. The confrontations took place on May 1, a Marxist holiday known as “May Day” or International Worker’s Day.
According to reports from human rights groups, at least one person was killed during street confrontations on Wednesday, while a further 109 people were left injured in protests across the country.
— Viva la UCV (@VivaLaUCV) May 1, 2019
Security forces mostly used tear gas and rubber bullets to push back the protesters. One shocking piece of footage showed an armored tank running over civilians.
The moment pro-Maduro tanks ram protesters in Caracas. Serious risk of violence and bloodshed in Venezuela in the next few hours/days. -> pic.twitter.com/OkyM9Atbas
— Cody Weddle (@coweddle) April 30, 2019
Addressing soldiers at the National Armed Forces Military Academy in Fort Tiuna on Wednesday, Maduro praised the armed forces for sticking by him and his regime despite some sections of the military joining the opposition.
“Soldiers of the country, the time has come to fight and set the example before the world by defeating attempted coup plotters who sell themselves to Washington dollars,” he declared. “To say that in Venezuela there is a loyal and cohesive armed force like never before.”
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that, contrary to his public declarations, Maduro was ready to step down as President and take a flight to Cuba until the Russian government urged him to stay and fight on.
“Wolf, we’ve watched throughout the day, it’s been a long time since anyone has seen Maduro,” he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “He had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning, as we understand it, and the Russians indicated he should stay. Pompeo later added, “He was headed for Havana.”