Archive for May 1st, 2003

Maruja sends in posters and pictures of the march

May 1, 2003

Corn Bread (Harina Pan) is a national symbol  you can’t eliminate it    Marisabel: History will not absolve you, complicity is also a crime

Another unemployed one                                          Inflation comparisons

Simplistic solution                                                    The country’s problems

Head of Intelligence police says it was nothing more than a discussion

May 1, 2003

The Head of the intelligence police just came on TV and said that the death was nothing more than a discussion between two people and one ended up shooting at the other one, contradicting what various witnesses have said about a motorcycle showing up and one person shooting. The Head of the intelligence police , called DISIP, then said that this was just the opposition trying to increase hate within the population much like the case of the explosions at embassies. Asked by the reporter then what he could say about those explsions which took place two months ago he said something like ” I can’t say much because this is in legal proceeding and part of the summary, however, when we reveal what we know the world will know what type of opposition Hugo Chavez is facing”. How ethical, no?

It looks like history will be changed, once again, as we watch……It would be interesting for him to explain to us then if the opposition is to blame for everything, how come the whole downtown area has now been taken over by Chavez’ supporters who are now rioting with covered faces, armed and blocking traffic, very close to where the murders took place. These people are better than Goebbles!:

Note added: Union Radio is now reporting that the intelligence police car that took the assasin away had plate numbers 21534. Of Course, the Director of the Intelligence Police Miguel Rodriguez, alias “Goebbels” has already denied that this ever happened and the police car does not exist.

Opposition groups are now also blocking a local highway in protest. They are not armed.

Posters from the march

May 1, 2003

An anti-communist group                                          Through the mouth dies the fish “If people ask me….leave now!”

The true devil, get rid of him                      Enough deaths, enough unemployment, enough bla! bla!

Eclectic Sign: Long live diversity!            I am not a coupster nor terrorist, I have a Bachelors in business and a Doctorate in unemployment thanks to the robolucion

Different neighborhoods tells Chavez they don’t like him

Pictures from today’s march

May 1, 2003

A women’s Group                                                            The Malriologist complain

unemployed says the sign                          women for freedom

University Professors ask the Government for their salaries     Stilts? Not sure what they were doing

The Bandera Roja group, the country’s most radical group

Some pictures from another tragic march

May 1, 2003

Before the shootings I took some pictures of the marchers. Above left, the leaders of the Federation of Unions CTV with the union’s flag. Above right an older man with a sign that said “At 69 I fight for you and for them too”. Maruja M. also sent a whole bunch of pictures of the march and the posters which you can see in those sections.

Another senseless death

May 1, 2003

During the opposition march celebrating MayDay a person in a motorcycle showed up and killed someone and apparently injured another one at the square that was the ending point of the march. The murdered person was a union worker that was in the march. Very confusing right now.

The march had not ended and most of the people had not reached the square, people are furious on TV, singing the national anthem as the police stops them from moving on.

Uinion Radio says that the shooting was part of a trap by Chavez’ supporters while TV station Globovision (live) is saying that curiously right before the shooting the municipal police disapeared. The intelligence police went into the building where supposedly the assasin was hiding and as they came out the outraged crowd started throwing stones at them. The police then started using tear gas on the demonstrators.

Now a group of Chavez’ supporters has shown up taunting the opposition people and a fight has started, people are throwing bottles and stones and the cops tear gas.

While witnesses are saying that it was indeed a trap in which a group of people showed up shooting, the Government is saying that it was a discussion between two people that ended up in a shooting. Another witness is saying that the shooter climbed in a police car after shooting. A Deputy is saying that the man was trapped and handed over to the cops and then the cops started shooting at the marchers too.

The dead worker was a construction worker from the West of Caracas. He was 46 years old. Two hours after his shooting, not a single Government authority has said anything or appeared on TV, including the Minister of the Interior and Justice who is in charge of security.

May 1, 2003


The US State Department said today that Venezuela has become a source of concern over terrorism. The Department mentioned Chavez critique over the use of force by the US in Afghanistan and his “mixed posture” in general over the fight on terrorism. This was par of the Department’s annual report on terrorism. The Department also accused Venezuela of not backing investigations and the “persistence of unconfirmed versions that there are links between the Venezuelan Government and the Colombian Revolutionary forces FARC. The full report in English is here and the section on Venezuela is here.

Chavez increases minimum salary

May 1, 2003


President Hugo Chavez announced today the increase in the minimum salary. The increase will take place on July 1st. and will take the minimum salary to Bs. 218.592 on that date and later on Oct. 1st. it will rise to 237.600. The numbers are somewhat unclear as Chavez spoke of percentages which do not correspond to the announcements. Apparently the correct percentages are 15% in July and an 8% on top of that in October which would not correspond to the numbers announced by the President. The increase is compulsory for both the private and public sectors. People do need increases as inflation last year was 34% and it has topped 10% so far this year. However, the economy contracted more than 10% last year (we are still awaiting the statistics) and is expected to shrink by more than 10% this year. Thus the likely effect of the salary increase will likely be even more unemployment.


Chavez took advantage of his nationwide address to invite Venezuelans to participate in the May Day march organized by his supporters and the new Bolivarian union sponsored by his Government (One more oxymoron in Chavez’ policies). There will be two marches/demonstrations here tomorrow (which is a holiday) one by Government supporters and another one by the opposition. Their paths do not overlap, but there is always a risk of violence.

El Nacional prematurely begins to charge

May 1, 2003


Local daily El Nacional began charging today for using its on-line version. The paper will charge US$ 40 per year for its on-line version.  I doubt the policy will last as they will likely find that their on-line readership will drop off dramatically in the next few days. I would pay for it if it were useful for the information I try to document in my blog, but I actually find it to be a terrible source to use. First of all, if one looks at the prior editions section, one can only look at the last week or so which is too limited (Using the search engine is simply too cumbersome). But perhaps the most important reason is that El Nacional is using a software, apparently developed locally, which does not allow me to link to specific pages. (Tal Cual is using the same software). Thus, you will likely see more of El Universal links here, which has been the case ever since El Nacional began using the new software.