Venezuela: Why Nicolas Maduro’s steps against opponent Guaido look comical
Caracas, Jan 31: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is under attack from various quarters - both at home and abroad and the successor to the oil-rich nation's iconic Leftist ruler Hugo Chavez can't do much about it.
The US which has backed Juan Guaido, the challenger to Maduro who also proclaimed himself as the country's interim president, has sanctioned Venezuela's state-owned oil company PDVSA which is expected to cripple an already crippled economy.
Maduro has been roaring against the US and asking it to stay away, but the leader knows he has his limitations.
Maduro's only way of showing his strength is to target the Opposition which is weak in the fragile democracy. He has ordered Tarek William Saab, the chief prosecutor of Chavismo or the Left ideology of Chavez to investigate Guaido.
Saab obliged by quickly taking to freeze the Opposition leader's assets and bank accounts and also bar him from leaving the country.
With Venezuela's economy turned into sham, what freezing accounts means?
But these measures have most of Maduro's critics amused. Venezuela has seen a complete destruction of its institutional democracy and economy over the years, thanks to Chavez's legacy and freezing bank accounts means nothing effectively since the entire economy has been reduced to sham.
"These measures (freezing assets and the prohibition to leave the country), terrifying as they may seem elsewhere, are laughable in Venezuela," said a Caracas Chronicles report.
"And why are they meaningless? Because chavismo. Chavismo created a system based in destroying the value of money and eliminating economic liberties. They quashed the local currency, and turned banks into simple intermediaries used to obtain basic staples. And so all they could do is bar Guaidó from using something worth nothing. Chavismo left Venezuelans with nothing to lose."
Maduro will think twice before touching Guaido who has US support
As far as barring Guaido from leaving the country, it too has limited scope of success since Maduro knows very well that trying to penalise the Opposition leader who has full American support could be suicidal.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already expressed concern over Guaido's safety and Washington's will to do "something" even if Maduro's challenger is touched with a rose petal.