Carlos Sánchez Berzaín *

The Venezuelan dictatorship of the 21st century defends its permanence in power in a violent and radical form. It is using its entire means in order to obtain internal control; it is eliminating those defenders of freedom and abolishing international support. The facts show that all actions that have been taken by the Cubans, Venezuelans and their allies have been measures of corruption in order to defend the Maduro dictatorship. The dictatorship in Venezuela still remains in power and defends itself by using corruption as their main strategic tool.

The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy states that corruption in organizations, especially in public administration, it is the consistent practice of the use of power and other means for profit, economic or otherwise". International Transparency defines corruption as "The abuse of power for private benefits which eventually hurt everyone and that it depends of the integrity of the people in positions of authority". Political corruption is the use of the public authority to achieve an illegitimate advantage, so the opposite of corruption is "transparency".

These concepts show that corruption is the action of an authority that abuses power for their own benefit, not just for the purpose of profit or economic gain, even though that benefit occurs. Any action made by people in a position of authority to obtain political benefits that allows them to continue or remain undefined and illegally in power is corruption.

Internally, the Venezuelan dictator and members of his Government are showing the corruption in the judicial and legislative branch as well as in the military command and in the Government apparatus. The Judicial System enacts orders that the dictator states through the media, and in return, they detain opponents such as Leopoldo López, and imprison them in military facilities.

A legislature that removes and doesn’t recognize Maria Corina Machado’s popular and elected representation because of accepting an invitation to denounce the dictatorship in the Organization of American States (OAS), is corrupt. A military command that lends itself to the apparent arrest of three generals to simulate a coup d'etat and later presented itself as the "defender of Venezuelan sovereignty", in Castro’s full speech, is corrupt.

All actions that the Venezuelan Government undertakes, including its daily behavior in order to remain in power, are enough evidence to prove that without corruption (without the abuse of power for their own benefit), the dictatorship would not be sustainable.

In the international sphere, when we saw the Venezuelan Representative of the OAS stating - to avoid the public meeting- that the meeting should be private by saying "because of transparency the session should be reserved", what we are seeing is an act of corruption.

At the same meeting, when we saw the Countries, that are under the Habana command protecting the dictatorship in Venezuela, by therefore avoiding the enactment of their own Democratic Charter in defense of democracy, we are witnessing an act of corruption evidenced as well, by the number of oil barrels that each of those countries (accomplices of Venezuela) receive as a direct economic benefit, which in return have generated high-profile corruption cases in each of those countries.

If we review each domestic and international action that has occurred in defense of the Venezuelan dictatorship, ranging from the criminal operations of aggression committed in the streets by the so-called "collective" units to the actions of the UNASUR Foreign Ministers, everything has a common natural characteristic: corruption.

 * Lawyer and political scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy