Sad day, Chavez clearly looking for a showdown

December 8, 2002

Haven’t blogged today, I left earliy to go to the very sad burial of the people shot Friday night. With little publicity, the burial had a sea of people, dressed in black with flags. It was eerie at times, so many people marching, so few sounds. The only sounds were either prayers, the National Anthem or the clapping sound of what has by now become the chant of the opposition: “not a step back”. Very sad, but very emotional to see so many people, particularly young ones spontaneously joining and walking from Meritocracy Square  in the Chuao area of Caracas to The Cemetery in the East, some 5 to 7 Kilometers away.

Meanwhile, Chavez is clearly looking for confrontation. He is calling this the final battle, saying his people have to take to the streets to defend the so-called revolution. Meanwhile, we demonstrate and protest pacifically and we get killed. Despite the video associating one of the killers to one of Chavez’ closest (and more violent!) partisans, he said in his nationwide speech that the assasin was a hired gun of the opposition. Moreover, Chavez claims the man entered the country after the first video. Well, that video had been shown many times before the shooting and original accusation. If the Governemnt had bothered to investigate the original case of the Mayor of the Libertador District unloading guns at 2 AM at PDVSA headquerters, they would have had a copy of the video before the shootings. The Government does not even investigate, but the President already is accusing. The night before the shootings, two men were also arrested in Plaza Altamira with guns, they had ID’s from Military intelligence, they were freed the next day. That is the anarchy we are living in.

At the negotiationg table, which finally met last night, the Government’s representatives (all but one), continued calling the strike a failure. Well, almost all of the country is out of gasoline by now. All refineries are shutdown and the country’s oil production is 50% and should be zero by tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Government claims it will reactivate PDVSA, the Government oil company, with retired and “new” workers. Good Luck!


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