Miami has its Little Havana. Now it has its Littler Caracas.
Venezuelans fleeing the late Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution have transformed pockets of south Florida, and if you take President Nicolas Maduro’s word for it, they’re trying to transform Venezuela, too.
Maduro accuses the Florida transplants of engineering coup attempts, plotting assassinations, and engaging in a “permanent conspiracy” designed to send Venezuela’s economy into free fall. In February, he unveiled a letter that, he said, helped prove his claims.
Written in Florida, the letter urged sanctions against allegedly corrupt Venezuelan government officials—punitive measures similar to those President Barack Obama eventually enacted this month. At a rally in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, Maduro vowed to expose the letter-writers as traitors bent on undermining their homeland.
“Those who signed that statement must be seen, with their names and faces shown on national television,” he said.
Sure, said Jose Antonio Colina on Twitter. I’m one of the authors.
Maduro should know that name well. Colina, a former Venezuelan National Guard lieutenant, was accused by former president Chavez of involvement in a failed coup in 2002. A year later he was charged with terrorism for allegedly planting bombs in the Colombian and Spanish embassies in Caracas. As recently as last year, Maduro accused Colina of plotting an additional coup attempt from south Florida.