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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 11 of 190 irregularities had occurred during the electoral process19 and demanded a recount, in light of the refusal of the NEC to audit the results. 20 The government initially responded by deploying National Guard Riot troops with armoured vehicles, which fired tear gas, but it later withdrew them. 21 Scores of demonstrators were detained.22A group of political parties – called the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD)) also challenged the result through national courts, but their claims were dismissed.23 Facing this mass popular challenge to his leadership, 24 Maduro and members of his inner circle, which he had placed in strategic positions in the GoV due to the broad scope of powers attributed him as the President, designed a campaign to quell and silence dissent against the regime in order to maintain power by any means including the commission of crimes against humanity against civilians. Firstly, as early as in May 2013, Maduro and members of his inner circle in high level government positions developed a policy of exploiting real or perceived grievances between different political ideologies, promoting the idea of a polarization between those aligned with him and the perceived dissidents which he considered to be threats to his government. Maduro himself, his inner circle and high level public officials started to loosely brand anyone who disagreed with the regime, whether they are students protesting against the crime rate, citizens pacifically demanding changes to GoV policies, mayors, political opposition members or journalists as ‘fascist’ to identify them as enemies of the state. Maduro himself promised to use an “iron fist” against the fascists and to put them all in prison, turning them into criminals. Maduro made personal threats against many individuals including Leopoldo Lopez,25 Antonio Ledezma,26 19 ICG. (2013) Venezuela: A House Divided. International Crisis Group. [Online] 16 May. Available from: house-divided.aspx. [Accessed 19 October, 2015] p.6. 20 NOTICIAS24. (2013) Este es el discurso completo de Tibisay Lucena durante la proclamación de Maduro. Noticias24. [Online] 15 April. Available from: durante-la-proclmacion-de-maduro/ [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 21 ICG. (2013) Venezuela: A House Divided. p.7 22 ICG. (2013) Venezuela: A House Divided. p.12 23 EUROPAPRESS. (2013) Equipo de Capriles rechaza supervisar la auditoria de las presidenciales por metodos empleados por CNE. Europapress. [Online] 30 April. Available from: auditoria-presidenciales-metodos-empleados-cne-20130430201348.html [Accessed 19 October, 2015] 24 ICG. (2013) Venezuela: A House Divided. p.7 25 EL UNIVERSAL. (2013) López a Maduro: Aquí el asustado eres tú porque presentamos tu ilegitimidad. El Universal. [Online] 7 May. Available from: politica/130507/Lopez-a-maduro-aqui-el-asustado-eres-tu-porque-presentamos-tu-ilegitim [Accessed 19 October, 2015]; ULTIMAS NOTICIAS. (2013) Maduro: En su momento mandaremos a Leopoldo López a Tocrorón. Ultimas Noticias. [Online] 21 November. Available from: mandaremos-a-leopoldo.aspx [Accessed 19 October, 2015]; CRONIASTA. (2014) Violencia en

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