No end in sight to Venezuela’s ongoing protests

posted at 7:01 pm on March 22, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Venezuelans are now almost six weeks in to widespread protests and ongoing violence, and there’s just no end in sight — and the death toll from those protests is now up to 31 people, with hundreds upon hundreds more injured and thrown in jail. The scapegoatism and the wild conspiracy theories about imperialist instigators and greedy businessman supposedly waging an “economic war” against Nicolas Maduro are still the only responses to the basic-good shortages and rampant crime rate crippling the country that the regime has to offer, besides trumped-up arrests and sending military, paramilitary, and vigilante forces into the fold to try and deter large groups of mainly middle-to-upper class young people from assembling. The latest from the BBC:

Riot police in Venezuela have clashed with anti-government demonstrators who were protesting against the arrest of two opposition mayors. …

The clashes came a day after Daniel Ceballos and Enzo Scarano were detained over their alleged role in weeks of unrest that has left 31 people dead. …

[Maduro] has blamed the violence on “fascist groups”. …

Juan Requesens, a student leader at the protest, said the two mayors were “victims of persecution, abuse, and wrongful arrest”. …

Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez tried to distance the government from the arrests.

“It’s important that Venezuelans understand that the bodies of the state, in this case not the government, act to protect the right of majorities, and not the rights of a small group that wants, under the guise of the right to protest, to mar the lives of Venezuelans,” he said in a televised news conference.

Huh. ‘Small groups’ with ‘minority’ opinions have no rights? …So that’s how they do it in Venezuela. Man, I can really see what Maduro means about these protests being all about fascism/terrorism:

Venezuela’s president said on Friday that street protests for the past month have caused at least $10 billion in damage, accusing hardline foes of carrying out terrorist acts to sabotage public assets.

President Nicolas Maduro did not say how the government arrived at that figure from the clashes between demonstrators barricading roads, pro-government radicals and security forces that have killed at least 31 people.

“The minority who want a coup have done so much damage to the country … they burnt a public university where hundreds of young people studied,” he said in a nationally televised speech.

“This isn’t protest. It’s vandalism. It’s terrorism.”

…The heart bleeds. Meanwhile, over in the U.S. Congress, a handful of senators are rallying support to try and push sanctions, via BuzzFeed:

Both the House and the Senate have passed resolutions condemning the actions of the Maduro regime — but lawmakers are impatient for more action, especially from the Obama administration, and exasperated by the lack of American media coverage.

“I wish the Malaysian jet would land in Venezuela because then we would get coverage,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican.

“What’s going on there is horrific, it’s horrific,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, another Florida Republican said. “What’s going on there is getting very little attention and almost no attention from our administration.” …

Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balart are leading the House effort to rally support for a bill that would impose sanctions on Venezuelan officials and authorize funds for civil organizations and protesters; a companion bill is currently working through the Senate.


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Maduro gets ousted before June.

He’ll probably get replaced by something worse though.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:13 PM

Huh. ‘Small groups’ with ‘minority’ opinions have no rights? …So that’s how they do it in Venezuela. Man, I can really see what Maduro means about these protests being all about fascism/terrorism:

Obama believes the same thing. Opposing his “Glorious Agenda” is criminal in his mind, and has all but been MADE a crime with the numerous abuses of federal power Obama has made.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Builds character. Let it continue!

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Just another example of collectivism via dictatorship of the majority – one of the great fears of the ‘Fathers’, hence our Constitutional ‘checks and balances’; which are constantly being sabotaged by the Executive, as aided and abetted by sycophantic traitors in Congress. The ‘individual’ (citizen) described in the writings of the Fathers and Constitutional works has been vilified in the modern era as ‘racist white men’, while leftest defined ‘groups’ have taken preeminence. Just another step to our own version of Venezuela, et al.

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Um…. Europe is about to go up in flames thanks to Obama. Let’s keep our eyes on the real story.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Um…. Europe is about to go up in flames thanks to Obama. Let’s keep our eyes on the real story.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

And no one was MADDER about that than Obama when he noticed it in the paper when he had his breakfast at 10AM yesterday morning.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Just another example of collectivism via dictatorship of the majority – one of the great fears of the ‘Fathers’, hence our Constitutional ‘checks and balances’; which are constantly being sabotaged by the Executive, as aided and abetted by sycophantic traitors in Congress. The ‘individual’ (citizen) described in the writings of the Fathers and Constitutional works has been vilified in the modern era as ‘racist white men’, while leftest defined ‘groups’ have taken preeminence. Just another step to our own version of Venezuela, et al.

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

The primary purpose of the Constitution IS TO DENY POWER to majorities to usurp the Rights Endowed by our Creator to minorities…

And the smallest minority of all is the INDIVIDUAL.

I’d rather live under an average monarchy than a true democracy.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:22 PM

http://datechguyblog.com/2014/03/21/putin-gets-his-license/

“Europe” and SA are more related than you might guess.

While the United States has maintained close ties with Colombia and Chile, helping the former end a guerrilla warfare crisis perpetrated by left-wing leaders in the nation, the generation of leaders calling themselves Bolivarian socialists in Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and, to a lesser extent, Peru have all expanded their ties with Russia.

Murphy9 on March 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

So it’s a lot like ObamaCare then.

VorDaj on March 22, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Um…. Europe is about to go up in flames thanks to Obama. Let’s keep our eyes on the real story.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Meanwhile around 25,000,000 invaders are still in America while our politicians negotiate with them on bended knee for terms of our continuing surrender and tribute payments.

VorDaj on March 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

And no one was MADDER about that than Obama when he noticed it in the paper when he had his breakfast at 10AM yesterday morning.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:21 PM

Well he’ll be even madder when he reads that the $9K a night suite in China at the Westin is insufficient. We taxpayers are footing the bill for the Yeti, the Yeti’s mother, and the worthless brats and 70 others. But he’ll be mad that the Yeti didn’t have enough towels or something.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Meanwhile around 25,000,000 invaders are still in America while our politicians negotiate with them on bended knee for terms of our continuing surrender and tribute payments.

VorDaj on March 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

What are the welfare parasites going to do when the Dollar collapses and their food stamps (denominated in Dollars) buys nothing?

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Well he’ll be even madder when he reads that the $9K a night suite in China at the Westin is insufficient. We taxpayers are footing the bill for the Yeti, the Yeti’s mother, and the worthless brats and 70 others. But he’ll be mad that the Yeti didn’t have enough towels or something.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

What he’s going to be MAD ENOUGH TO NUKE SOMEPLACE about is the fact that it’s leaked to the press that the Empress of Kashyyyk is hated by the hotel staff there because of her mother’s barking.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM

What are the welfare parasites going to do when the Dollar collapses and their food stamps (denominated in Dollars) buys nothing?

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

The government just keeps increasing the dollar value to compensate. The only people who will suffer are the people who are on fixed incomes.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM

China is suing the Ukraine for the return of $3 billion dollars

In 2012, The State Food and Grain Corporation and the Export-Import Bank of China agreed to provide Ukrainian corporation loan of $ 3 billion, which was planned to be on the spot and forward purchases of grain for future delivery to China.

Obviously the Ukrainians don’t have the money but any money the EU forwards to the Ukraine will be required to be paid to China.

So far Russia hasn’t acted to call any of their loans.

sharrukin on March 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Funny how that Fascist meme keeps popping up. Here and in the Ukraine.

Disturb the Universe on March 22, 2014 at 7:37 PM

The government just keeps increasing the dollar value to compensate. The only people who will suffer are the people who are on fixed incomes.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:36 PM

You mean they keep DECREASING it. If the value of the Dollar increased people on fixed incomes would have more spending power, not less.

The value of the Dollar has been in almost continual decline since FDR in the 1930′s.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:40 PM

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:40 PM

I meant the dollar value of the benefits to the moocher class. $500,000,000 in food stamps per month.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Um…. Europe is about to go up in flames thanks to Obama. Let’s keep our eyes on the real story.

Happy Nomad on March 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM

Quite frankly, negotiating with Barack Owebamao is kind of like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, shyts all over the board, and then struts around like it won the game. This communist wannabe and boy-blunder is as utterly clueless, naive and petulant a manboy as I’ve ever seen in my adult life, lol

PootyPoot on March 22, 2014 at 7:42 PM

I meant the dollar value of the benefits to the moocher class. $500,000,000 in food stamps per month.

astonerii on March 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Wiemar Republic, here we come!

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Constantine, you helped make my point. To the Fathers, the individual is sovereign. They knew that true democracy would simply devolve into mobocracy. Hence, our Repuplican form of government. But, I sense that I’m ‘preachin’ to the choir’. I also sense that O’ would prefer a ‘Benevolent Dictatorship’.

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Constantine, you helped make my point. To the Fathers, the individual is sovereign. They knew that true democracy would simply devolve into mobocracy. Hence, our Repuplican form of government. But, I sense that I’m ‘preachin’ to the choir’. I also sense that O’ would prefer a ‘Benevolent Dictatorship’.

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

The best and most efficient form of government IS a benevolent dictatorship, when the dictator is truly benevolent (has never really happened in history). Obama is certainly not benevolent, he is malevolent.

The best and most efficient PRACTICAL government is a Constitutional Republic, in which the government (and therefore the people) are castrated against being able to interfere with the rights of individuals. And that’s what we are supposed to have. But we really haven’t in 100 years, and we are rapidly ACCELERATING to “democratic” tyranny.

ConstantineXI on March 22, 2014 at 7:52 PM

Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock

help! I’m held hostage by a “Too Cute” marathon on Animal Planet!

Newtie and the Beauty on March 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Evidently the “Minister of Happiness” isn’t doing his job!

GarandFan on March 22, 2014 at 8:06 PM

i hear laughter, from far far away…

Newtie and the Beauty on March 22, 2014 at 8:08 PM

But I would suggest that O’ certainly believes himself to be benevolent, along with his policies.I can’t agree that such a dictatorship (benevolent) is the ‘best’ form of government (esp since you state it has never, truly, existed), but certainly more ‘efficient’ than any form of democracy. Freedom can be sloppy, but fun. Must agree fully with your second para, especially with Constitutionally guaranteed, individual rights. Unfortunately, I also agree that, at least since Lincoln (I’d go back further than Wilson’s Progressivism) our individual, God given rights have been watered down and redefined to mere shadows of their traditional understanding. It’s gotten so bad that the Sheeple have been led to believe that gummint not only has POWERS beyond those Constitutionally defined, but now has RIGHTS, nowhere defined except by the Executive. ‘Democratic’ tyranny fits…

vnvet on March 22, 2014 at 8:16 PM

…the plane!…The Plane!

KOOLAID2 on March 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM

And no one was MADDER about that than Obama when he noticed it in the paper when he had his breakfast at 10AM yesterday morning.

Can’t a man eat his waffle in peace?

Bertram Cabot Jr. on March 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM

Am seeing terrible photos on Twitter — fires everywhere. Feel badly for the people there, but they’ll probably just pick themselves another slimy little tyrant offering free shit – like we did.

Rational Thought on March 22, 2014 at 8:25 PM

“What’s going on there is getting very little attention and almost no attention from our administration.”

The Venezualan protesters should join the NCAA basketball tournament. Then Obama would notice them!

Steven Den Beste on March 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM

I wonder where Sean, Danny and Harry are?

Old eagle on March 22, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Where is Sean “Hugo” Penn now?

Socialism always fails.

Whitey Ford on March 22, 2014 at 8:47 PM

This is what you get when you ALLOW your government to disarm you.

TX-96 on March 22, 2014 at 9:33 PM

I have family in Caracas and Maracaibo. Here is some news from them as of last Sunday.

There are curfews everyday and the military changes the hours frequently to harrass the people’s movement even more.

Cuban military personnel are spotted daily with Maduro’s thugs and it is widely believed they are running the crackdown.

Basic necessities like food, toiletries and medicine are getting harder to find every day. Lines for everything.

You can’t get parts for anything that breaks like a washer and dryer (over 8 months now).

dddave on March 22, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Don’t know how this works. When I worked in the back country of Venezuela in the 1990′s, they were shooting and eating about every critter alive. And there were plenty of guns for everyone. I ate some things you would not believe.

kenny on March 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

I forgot to mention this was the first time we were able to communicate with them in 3 months.

dddave on March 22, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Gastroenteritus, partial stomach removal. During surgery, a young Robin popped up out of the duodenum. All resulting from the 3d World Venezuela experience where freedom is not allowed to thrive..

kenny on March 23, 2014 at 12:02 AM

American mass media are mostly pro-communist and in any case would never blame a leftist regime for causing harm, even deaths, because of course being leftists makes them morally superior and entitled to the benefit of doubt about their good intentions.

I don’t brake for reporters anymore.

Adjoran on March 23, 2014 at 12:41 AM

Rhetorical question of the day:

“Why virtually no coverage by US media of protests against a rabidly anti-American, Marxist-Goonist regime?”

Xasprtr on March 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM

Adjoran on March 23, 2014 at 12:41 AM

Beat me by one minute.

Xasprtr on March 23, 2014 at 12:43 AM

I don’t brake for reporters anymore.

Adjoran on March 23, 2014 at 12:41 AM

………………..
Classic! Can I use that one? Its just too good..

rodguy911 on March 23, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Maduro’s thinking if it worked for Castro, why not me? He’s also co-opted Reid speak. The one thing that is missing is a Che type and the iron fist.

Kissmygrits on March 23, 2014 at 8:38 AM

A couple of things to supplement:
1. The people of Venezuela are turning up en masse. Their motto is, “he who tires, loses.”

2. The Economist points out how the support of Venezuela’s poor comes with a price.

3. The news agencies like CNN, etc, wrote about yesterday’s demonstrations “as both sides march”, implying there’s equal numbers. Not so: Daniel Duquenal posts,

I dare any pro Chavez, pro Maduro, or CNN, or BBC or anything to show me a similar turnout recently for a Maduro support rally where NO buses to ferry people were used, where NO booze was given out, where NO breakfast or lunch or cookies were offered, where NO military were asked to attend. Then we can talk again about who has the most enthusiastic support in the country.

4. The death toll is now up to 34.

We need more posts like Erika’s. Keep up the good work!

Fausta Wertz on March 23, 2014 at 11:46 AM