So this morning students at two universities (UCAB and USB) began early to protest the shutdown of the RCTV network demonstrating peacefully, blocking the entrance to the university and chanting against the Hugo Chavez regime. After a while, other universities followed (UCV and ULA). The Minister of Interior and Justice called the protests small and said the largest was about 600 people, which did not match what was being seen on TV in Globovision or RCTV, the only two networks “actively” covering the protests.
Then, National Guardsmen in motorcycles and armored cars begin parading around Caracas, some near where the protests were taking place, other just parading around like the picture below left, which was taken near Los Ruices, far from any military facility or any university in what was a clear and direct effort by the regime to intimidate. (Notice the near 100 Guardsmen in motorcycles with anti-riot gear). The picture below right was at the Headquarters of Government station VTV, in charge of promoting Hugo Chavez and his revolution and not informing and entertaining the population.
Then the Minister of Defense going into a military parade comes in and says that “minority groups can not go against the majority feeling of the Venezuelan people to create uncertainty with the closure of RCTV, as if there was a majority support to the decision, which is in any case a legal decision and not one to be decided by popularity, but in any case, all indications are the illegal and political decision is highly unpopular, contradicting the Minister’s words. Meanwhile, as people begin checking the newssites on the Internet, Noticiero Digital, Megaresistencia and RCTV websites are taken down by denial of service attacks, the effects of which are still being felt hours later. This is compounded by problems with the CANTV network which take down some other news sites in what may be unrelated to the denial of serivce attacks, since all the others are hosted abroad.
Then the autocrat/dictator himself shows up at the military parade, the main focus of which is the new Russian planes. I had little tie to listen (or interest) to the speech, but what little I heard may have been Chavez at his nuttiest . While I will wait to have the transcript, the intimidation was there, dressed in military garb (which is illegal since he is not active), the President told his supporters not to worry that “his” new planes (on the right above) are flown by experts and carry bombs which these experts can drop with pinpoint accuracy on their targets. (Us?).
And then, as if this were not enough evidence and proof of how we have lost our rights and freedom in this country, the Constitutional Hall of the Supreme Court decides to “protect” the diffuse rights of the “people”, the same rights that it refused to protect in allowing the shutdown of RCTV, and essentially allows the Government not only to shutdown the network, but to take over the equipment rightfully owned by the owners of RCTV, all in the name of the “Law”. Gimme a f… break! This is a simple and direct confiscation of the enemy’s property, which goes beyond anything ever seen so far in the Chavez Dictatorship, as usual under the guise of “legality”.
There you have it, a President who is no longer military in military garb threatening the citizens, the National Guard intimidating protesters, the Minister of Defense threatening protesters and the Supreme Court confiscating the private property of a group whose concession has been illegally canceled to protect the “people’s rights”.
And some people still have the audacity to claim this is a democracy, the “script” today certainly proved otherwise. This is as totalitarian as modern Government’s can get without killing people.
And we can still see what is happening, imagine when we can’t! Coming soon in a city near us!