The following is a letter to the New York Times by the Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the US, Maximilien Sánchez Arvelaiz, in response to "Conspiracy Claims in Venezuela", an editorial published on February 24. This response was published on February 27, 2015.
Unrest in Venezuela
FEB. 27, 2015
To the Editor:
Your Feb. 24 editorial “Conspiracy Claims in Venezuela” dismisses the unveiling of a serious plot to destabilize the democratically elected government of President Nicolás Maduro through violent actions, including an attempt on his life.
It seems as if you consider it normal for opposition leaders to publicly lay out a transition plan, when presidential elections are not scheduled until 2018. Likewise, confessions of military officers involved in a plot targeting civilians are brushed off as a “diversion strategy.”
Not surprisingly, there is little mention of last year’s violent protests to force the president out of office that left 43 dead and were instigated by the same opposition leaders now facing justice.
“Forcibly unseating a democratically elected leader ... is never something to cheer,” The Times recognized in a 2002 editorial after initially applauding President Hugo Chávez’s brief ouster (“Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator”).
If you are truly concerned about championing “democratic principles,” then you cannot ignore the attempts of an extremist opposition to undermine the will of the Venezuelan people and the democratic values of our Constitution.
A version of this letter appears in print on February 28, 2015, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: Unrest in Venezuela.
The online version was published originally in The New York Times