A day in the life of the revolution and its limitations on dissent and freedom of expression

May 4, 2006

All in a single day of the ugly revolution:

-A group of 50 women at Caracas’ largest maternity clinic, where more than 120
women give birth everyday, holds a demonstration to protest to the Director of that hospital because they have yet
to be paid the salary increase decreed by President Chavez three months ago.
The Director of the clinic calls a commando from the irregular pro-Chavez “Tupamaro” group and
more than 50 Tupamaro hoodlums, fully armed and on motorcycles, shows up to
stop the protest and defend the Director. The protestors took their
demonstration to the street where the Tupamaros continued to intimidate them.

-A group of homeless people invades a parcel of land and refuses to move. The
National Guard shows up
and what do they do? Easy, essentially detain them by using the same fences the
invaders built to not allow anyone in or out of the property. People are not
even allowed to go out to buy food and husbands are not allowed to come in to
their improvise homes. You wonder where the People’s Ombudsman is in all this.

-Protestors begin a
in front of the Ministry of Housing and Habitat, an event
that is beginning to take place almost daily. The National Guard shows up to
guarantee public order. Annoyed employees of the Ministry go out and start
assaulting both the protesters and the National Guardsmen! They even tried to
take the weapons away from the Guardsmen so that they could preserve
order (Read: repress the protestors)

-A group of Tupamaros, who have become the law in some parts of the West of
Caracas under the eyes of the Government and the police, take
the Cultural House of the La Pastora parish in the west of Caracas.
They place the Tupamaro flag outside the building and simply appropriate the
cultural house where many activities organized by the neighbors take
place. They have gone to the Prosecutor’s office as well as the Head of the
parish to no avail. The group that runs the Cultural house was elected by the
parish to do so.

Such is the state of lawlessness and repression that common Venezuelans live in. Dissent and protests are repressed by the law and the lawless. The law is there only to defend the revolution, not those that oppose it and are not unconditional to it. “Revolutionary” groups replace the police and the army in maintaining law and order. Of course, Government leaders come out on TV and say that there is absolute freedom of expression under Chavez. And we are supposed to believe it!

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