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Vielma Mora criticises Maduro's repression

This is an important development. Governor Jose Vielma Mora of Tachira State, where student protests started on 2 Feb., declared in a radio interview this morning (here alternative audio source) that he is against the brutal repression with which the Maduro regime has deal with protests. He also said he disagrees with keeping political prisoner Ivan Simonovis and opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez in jail.

Vielma Mora is one of the most respected figures of chavismo. He comes from the military (participated in Chavez's 1992 coup) and gained a degree of admiration after taking over and restructuring SENIAT, Venezuela's tax agency, between 2000-2008. Vielma Mora has been referred to, perhaps wrongly, as the only efficient chavista.

That he is seeking to put distance with the brutality that Maduro has unleashed on students across the country could signal the first open, and public, schism within of chavismo. Vielma Mora graduated with Diosdado Cabello (Tomas Montilla Padron, class of 1987), and his loyalty rests with Cabello.