Venezuelan protesters digging in for the long haul

posted at 7:21 pm on March 10, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

It’s been about a month since groups of thousands of Venezuelan students ignited protests in cities across Venezuela over the country’s ever-deteriorating crime scene and economic instability, and while it sounds like the protesters and government forces have settled into a kind of stasis-mode, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Venezuelans gather, march, build barricades, etcetera; the regime’s police forces aggressively and sometimes violently push them to disperse — and meanwhile, Venezuela’s rampant political and economic problems are no closer to solutions.

Hundreds of National Guardsmen in riot gear and armoured vehicles prevented an “empty pots march” from reaching Venezuela’s food ministry on Saturday to protest against chronic food shortages. …

Later on Saturday, several hundred student protesters trying to block streets with barricades skirmished with riot police who fired tear gas in the wealthy Caracas district of Chacao, in what has become a near daily ritual. …

Earlier, more than 5,000 protesters banged pots, blew horns and whistles and carried banners in the capital to decry crippling inflation and shortages of basics including flour, milk and toilet paper. Similar protests were held in at least five other cities. …

“There’s nothing to buy. You can only buy what the government lets enter the country because everything is imported. There’s no beef. There’s no chicken,” said Zoraida Carrillo, a 50-year-old marcher in Caracas.

Even the celebrations for the one-year anniversary of Chavez’s death last week didn’t do much to deter the protesters, and if Maduro’s ideas for action are in a holding pattern, so are his public excuses about the reasons behind the systemic economic and crime problems: Hey, all of the violence from these protests is being instigated by nefarious imperial and opposition sources! We had nothing to do with any of it, it’s all a plot backed by the United States! Rabble rabble rabble!

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden calls Venezuela’s situation alarming in remarks published Sunday, suggesting its government is using “armed vigilantes” against peaceful protesters and accusing it of “concocting false and outlandish conspiracy theories” about the United States. …

“The situation in Venezuela reminds me of previous eras, when strongmen governed through violence and oppression; and human rights, hyperinflation, scarcity, and grinding poverty wrought havoc on the people of the hemisphere,” Biden told El Mercurio. …

Despite a growing body of evidence to the contrary, Maduro on Sunday denied that armed paramilitary supporters of the government have employed violence against protesters.

“The only violent armed groups in the street are those of the right,” he told the crowd.

In a statement issued by the presidency, Maduro also accused the opposition was “receiving financing from the United States” to undermine “a solid democracy that has had the popular backing in 18 elections over 15 years.” He offered no evidence.

Riiight.


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I wonder if there are Russians living there….

ThePrez on March 10, 2014 at 7:32 PM

If I weren’t so self-admittedly un-street-smart, I would be there right now.

I am always jealous of people who are older than me who made the trip to eastern Europe at the time that the Iron Curtain was falling.

Glenn Jericho on March 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I wonder if there are Russians living there….

ThePrez on March 10, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Well, Venezuela already is a Cuban colony.

steebo77 on March 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

If only The Obama would give one of those Nobel prize winning speeches to these students of Venezuela…..

Electrongod on March 10, 2014 at 7:46 PM

Take Maduro out with an airstrike and then arrange for a joint Central-Latin American force to oversee free elections. Hopefully this time they won’t elect another Chavez type.

sharrukin on March 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Funny, the usual Hollywood leftist apologists for the Regime are nowhere to be found.Go figure.

jeffinsjvca on March 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Doctors:

Venezuela political protests 2014
1h
Photo: Doctors stage a protest in Venezuela over hospital conditions – @AFP

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/443114512640524288

https://twitter.com/AFP/status/443114512640524288/photo/1/large

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM

So when does Obama unilaterally dispatch US forces to “stabilize” the situation and “support” the “legitimate” Maduro administration?

Because you know he wants to. It will help clear up any misunderstandings and show Maduro that the US isn’t so bad, just those evil righties like he has to deal with.

battalion on March 10, 2014 at 7:56 PM

* GaffeBiden Hits the Reset,…er,..Alarm Button *
(sarc)
=====

Mar 09, 2014, 10:07 PM GMT 1d
Vice President Joe Biden, in Chile for Michelle Bachelet inauguration, describes situation in Venezuela as ‘alarming’ – @guardian
read more on theguardian.com

http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/venezuela-political-protests-february-2014/

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Hmmmmmmm, ……Pinko Commie Countrys are restless sumpin sumpins!!

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Hundreds of National Guardsmen in riot gear and armoured vehicles prevented an “empty pots march” from reaching Venezuela’s food ministry on Saturday to protest against chronic food shortages.

That there is such a thing as a “food ministry” kind of begins to tell you where things are going wrong with communism/socialism.

Bitter Clinger on March 10, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I am always jealous of people who are older than me who made the trip to eastern Europe at the time that the Iron Curtain was falling.

Glenn Jericho on March 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

I’d give Venezuela a little longer before you buy your tickets.

hawkdriver on March 10, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Hmmmmmmm, ……Pinko Commie Countrys are restless sumpin sumpins!!

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Dude, you made me lol.

hawkdriver on March 10, 2014 at 8:19 PM

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Dude, you made me lol.

hawkdriver on March 10, 2014 at 8:19 PM

hawkdriver: Anything for you Hawk,….ya its Pinko Kill’n Open
Season between the True-Believers and the Believers,

wait,…wrong group,….:)

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

The forgotten revolution =( the media not covering this is tragic but i guess with that horrible government banning reporters and CNN it makes it pretty difficult

sadsushi on March 10, 2014 at 8:38 PM

In case anyone needs a laugh,..er, ..or not:

So,..DemocratGreenGoons have given up on Job Creation,
to fill there/their viods with this wacko-doodle folly:

C-SPAN 2

NOW: U.S. Senate: Climate Change

http://www.c-span.org/live/?channel=c-span-2

canopfor on March 10, 2014 at 8:42 PM

Even the celebrations for the one-year anniversary of Chavez’s death

LOL… you mean memorials or commemorations, Erika? Celebrations is a bit Freudian, isn’t it? But I do agree with where you’re comin’ from.

Texas Gal on March 10, 2014 at 8:49 PM

“There’s nothing to buy. You can only buy what the government lets enter the country because everything is imported. There’s no beef. There’s no chicken,” said Zoraida Carrillo, a 50-year-old marcher in Caracas.

They probably have more than they need in Colombia. But Maduro doesn’t let Colombian imports in, so Venezuelans don’t see the benefits of a free market.

Now if we declared an embargo on Venezuelan oil, that could bring Maduro to his knees. But Smart Power in the White House would rather buy oil from Maduro than piped in from Canada. They just can’t handle global warming in Nebraska, so we pay the tyrants instead.

Steve Z on March 10, 2014 at 8:52 PM

That there is such a thing as a “food ministry” kind of begins to tell you where things are going wrong with communism/socialism.

Bitter Clinger on March 10, 2014 at 8:06 PM

We have a Department of Agriculture in this country, which forces us to burn corn in our cars, and buys lobsters for beach bums in La Jolla. They haven’t managed to empty the shelves…YET.

Steve Z on March 10, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Does parrot taste like chicken?

wolly4321 on March 10, 2014 at 9:45 PM

To bad we have a president that is more worried about his NCAA picks and his next fundraiser than the young students of Venezuela protesting for their freedom. An other example of why the 2nd amendment matters.

Unlike Ukraine this is on our side the globe, and does have a major impact on our national security. These folks need support, money and guns, also a little military support when needed.

Venezuela is more important than Syria is, or Afghanistan for that matter.

William Eaton on March 10, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Also if the GOP was smart they would now demand that if we are not going to get involved in Venezuela to help the young students fighting for liberty, we should give those people a safe haven in the U.S. and a chance at U.S. citizenship.

Don’t the left care about oppressed Latinos?

We all know why the Dems will be against it no doubt, nothing screams future Republican voter like someone who has just been oppressed by a bunch of communist thugs.

William Eaton on March 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM

Venezuelan protesters digging in for the long haul

…we’re in our 5th year!

KOOLAID2 on March 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM

Venezuela and the Hypocrisy of the International Left

Resist We Much on March 10, 2014 at 9:15 PM

That was a great read, even with the inevitable Left spin (well, the author is a card-carryin’ Leftist, after all). Look at the money quote:

Socialism without democracy is simply a dictatorship.

I have never seen it stated so bluntly, and so naively.

Socialism even with democracy always becomes a dictatorship, because socialism always involves taking from some person or group of people to give to someone else.
That’s what socialism means.

Democracies only remain free when they keep government limited to a few basic functions, which do not include guaranteeing any person or group of persons anything more than security of person and property (that includes the right to bear arms), freedom of speech and association (that includes religion), and an honest post office.
Heck, the PO doesn’t even have to be all that efficient!

Funny how trying to “even things out” always involves corrupting the true functions of government to make it happen — and it still doesn’t work.

AesopFan on March 11, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Venezuela and the Hypocrisy of the International Left

Resist We Much on March 10, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Gonna add some more to this one, because it’s such a clear view of the Left (and the Right, coming up on the other side).
Somehow people can always see hypocrisy when something they value is getting the shaft.

But the Left is nothing but hypocrisy, because all of its “causes” are fake.
Leftists are not really concerned with the rights & plights of women, or blacks, or Latinos, or the poor, or the environment, or anything else.
All of the major battles have already been won, but the Left won’t let the armistice begin, because dissension serves the purpose of maintaining them in power.
What might remain to be reformed could happen much more quickly and effectively through co-operation and reasonable compromise, but that doesn’t serve the agenda of control and gain.

The sad thing is that this passionate Venezuelan patriot can see it so clearly here — why isn’t the International Left protesting all the things which they usually assert, so fiercely, that they despise?

Unfortunately, from the tone and substance of his article, he will never realize that those failings are not particular to his complaint, but are emblematic of the True Principles of the Left: all for me, and nought for thee.

Useful idiots, indeed.

AesopFan on March 11, 2014 at 12:18 AM

A similar cri de couer could be written from the Conservative viewpoint on the hypocrisy of the Political Elite of the GOP.

Come to think of it, a couple of people already have.

AesopFan on March 11, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes.

Will you join in our crusade
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free!

Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs
Will water the meadows of France!

Do you hear the people sing!
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!

Unfortunately, when protests start from a foundation of despotic socialism, things don’t generally end well.

AesopFan on March 11, 2014 at 12:23 AM

In a statement issued by the presidency, Maduro also accused the opposition was “receiving financing from the United States” to undermine “a solid democracy that has had the popular backing in 18 elections over 15 years.”

Oh, please…
Who would believe that Obama would offer any assistance to a foreign rebel group, unless they were linked to the Muslim Brotherhood? Those demanding a free market – never!

ReggieA on March 12, 2014 at 3:40 PM

“There’s nothing to buy. You can only buy what the government lets enter the country because everything is imported. There’s no beef. There’s no chicken,” said Zoraida Carrillo, a 50-year-old marcher in Caracas.

Ah, the joys of the Socialist Worker’s Paradise! How many times are countries going to have to do this experiment before learning that it does not work?

America, see your future if we keep going down this path!

s1im on March 12, 2014 at 10:12 PM