A tapped conversation between MUD deputy María Corina Machado and a close friend, the historian Germán Carrera Damas, illustrates how leading sectors of the opposition are conspiring with the USA to precipitate a crisis leading to a coup or civil war.
The tape, made public by the ruling party PSUV in TV, shows that Machado feels displaced within the MUD by Secretary General R.G. Aveledo and that there are some serious differences between both about the international and national strategy to follow, including it seems the strategy of de-stablization of Venezuela a so called "coup" or "self-coup". The particulars are not too clear so judge yourselves but my impression is that Aveledo wants to trigger a crisis and promote a coup, while Machado, while very extremist herself, seems more interested in diplomatically isolating Venezuela instead. But it's hard to discern the details. Judge yourselves because I have transcribed all the relevant discussion (essentially a nervous monologue by Machado) below:
MCM: I am seeing that of Henrique Capriles, who has taken some firm stands but who when retracted on that Wednesday 17 gave us a horrible signal. If you say that you were robbed the election, then you are elect president, right?
MCM: If you are elect president...
GCD: ... either you act as such or you are admitting that yours has been, don't know, a fall a...
MCM: No, and then another thing: the reaction of Guillermo Aveledo to the meeting of Jaua and [US Senator John] Kerry seems to me so terrible. Let's see: which was the answer? "It is marvelous that relations are reestablished because we want Venezuela to have relations with all countries"...
GCD: No, please, not that.
MCM: But didn't you see what he declared?
GCD: I saw it, I saw it, I saw it. I was almost crying. I said: well, this people...
MCM: Also more untimely it could not have been. I feel outrage also because I should have gone earlier to the Department of State, I should... you know? We should have done other things. One has to meet with the key actors, bringing them key information, let the Congress react! So it can be that here it's happening what is happening in Venezuela and the people doesn't know because the Department of State don't think this is severe. Or because it does not have the slightest idea of what to do with Chávez and Chavismo. They are very scared: they fear that I go and meet with the Department of State, with the senators, or with people who may have influence, and set up a radical line, as they describe me: "non-dialogging confrontations" (nervous laugh) "not electoral"...
GCD: Great, right?
MCM: How? Now, I learned that Ramón Guillermo Aveledo has told... Yes, sir, Ramón Guillermo Aveledo has told the Department of State that the only way to exit this is to provoke and deepen a crisis. A coup d'etat or a self-coup because... Or a process of screwing and domestication in which a system of total social control is generated.
GCD: He's putting himself under the shadow of the Empire, isn't he? ... Ramón Guillermo?
MCM: Yes, sir. And not just Ramón Guillermo but the group which surrounds Capriles asked him... Then I tell you, doc, it is very hard. Because I for example went to Washington and Ramón Guillermo goes next week. And he decided to go after a conversation with me because, what's the matter?, he doesn't want me to be in charge of the international area, and he said already at the Board that a requirement, an element... a honor point for him to preserve, for him to be the Secretary General of the MUD is that the coordination of everything international remains in his hands. So he wants both hats, just as you hear it: they want to kick me out!
GCD: But that's disrespectful!
MCM: No, no, disrespectful! And then look: I think that there have been many achievements in these times but you have to acknowledge that these achievements of today are product of the work done before... and that the context changed. I... don't know, yes... surely the context changed. That's what we have, what he says, the things he says. I listened to him and I said... I didn't imagine the meanness and pettiness in a man whom I have respected so much always, didn't I? This...
GCD: Listen: this you're telling me I have got stuck inside.
MCM: It gave me...
GCD: He gave me that impression as well.
MCM: ... there's people who say he's a misogynist, I wish he was misogynist, I wish he was misogynist! But I believe it is worse than that: he has a strategy different to what I represent. He thinks it is dangerous to have me as a free electron, legitimated, saying what I want and also saying that in the name of the Board of Unity. Because we have to raise the political cost to these vagabonds, beginning by the Gringos and following by the Colombians and the Brazilians. Well, those got the record prize, I mean the Nobel, the Oscar.
GCD: But you have to bite your tongue, hear?
MCM: No, I know, but I have so much inside that I am relieving with you. Now, what I do with Ramón Guillermo?
GCD: Dribble him, as they do in football.
MCM: I think I could gain some time but I don't see... I mean: advancing my stuff... but I don't see easy that I could keep a whole parallel structure and that Ramón Guillermo approves it. Because he sees me with... That is... Because he has a huge blackmail capability. Look, doc, one last thing: with the military issue and what we commented of the coup that already happened...
MCM: Do you think that I should insist on that matter?
GCD: I think so.
MCM: I have an email... you, I have to open for you a hotmail. A hotmail is a safe mail, very safe, encrypted. It is very easy to open and there we could send each other safe information.
GCD: Ah, good, I'd like that very much.
MCM: The last thing I want is someone watching me sending that mail.
MCM: Because I don't want to appear as if I would be undermining, conspiring against Henrique. I don't want.
GCD: Against what regime?
MCM: Against Henrique Capriles!
GCD: Ah, against Henrique.
MCM: But in any case I am conspiring with you...
GCD: You don't know how good it feels seeing you, doc, truly...
MCM: I see that at least I'm being useful to you to sort up your thoughts (laughs).