Archive for June 13th, 2003

Violence again

June 13, 2003

Today’s rally in the Petare region of Caracas generated violence, but this time it was quite different from the one we have been accostumed to. While the rally was schedule to start at 2 PM, violence began early in the morning as the police moved in to protect the areas where the rally was to take place, some cops were injured in this early stage. Later, once the opposition crowd moved in, the pro-Chavze protesters, who could not even come close to where the opposition rally was taking place, attempted to take adavantage of the arrival of a National Guard convoy to break through the police barrier two blocks away from the rally. This led once again to violence which essentially lasted all afternoon. Five people were injured as the police and the National Guard tried to not only contain the protesters from burning tires and throwing tear gas at them, but also stopping them from literally destroying the police builinding which guards the area. (see picture below). Five people were injured three cops and two of the pro-Chavez protesters. The violence did not reach, for once, the people participating in the opposition rally.

The Government reached today the level of the ludicrous with their accusations about the rally. MVR Deputy Tarek Wiiliam Saab claimed those with red berets, protesting the rally, destroying buldings and burning tires, were actually opposition people organized to create the violence and make the Government look bad. Meanwhile the Vice-President, who happens to be the father of the Mayor of the municipality is located, said he was going to sue the Governor of Miranda and the Mayor of Caracas for provoking the violence. He made no mention of the National Guard which the opposition does not control. He argued that the pro-Chavez people don’t hold rallies in Altamira, but not ony do their marches go through Altamira, but La Campina, where the PDVSA headquarters is located has been a continuos rally since December without permission in what one would consider opossition territory.

But perhaps the saddest personality today was German Mundarain, the “People’s” Ombudsman who held a press conference to announce the novel concept that it is those that hold the rally that are responsible for security.  Mundarain, this sad character of the Bolivarian revolution,. who seldom says much in public, even when people are killed, did take a lot of time to explain that yesterday’s decision by the court did not mean that PDVSA had to hire back oil workers, acting once again, more like the Government’s ombudsman, than the position he was appointed to fill. Very sad indeed.


An outlaw Minister

June 13, 2003

The Minister of Energy and Mines showed his ignorance of what a democracy should be and his lack of respect for the law when, after the Court’s decision voiding the decision by the Minister of Labor which essentially says they could not be fired, he stated in his best totalitarian style: “Under no circumstance will they come back to the industry”. Can this be interpreted in any other way? What if the decision is ratified? An oulaw Government, an outlaw Minister.

Venezuela in the news

June 13, 2003

For some reason major news sources had coverage of Venezuela today. The Wall Street Journal had an article on Chavez and how he manages to keep control over the country. (Need subscription to read it). Scott from burtonterrace as usual is quite diligent in making sure I don’t miss anything (He clearly wakes up earlier, I  can’t do international rounds until around noon anyway!!) by sending the Washington Post editorial on the agreement between Chavez and the opposition and Juan Forero’ article from the New York Times. As usual, I found Forero’s article too oversimplified, superficial and still shows some bias.