The issue of crime is getting lots of press, a former General said today that this was a war, coinciding with our view last week.Meanwhile, a former Chavez Minsiter of Defense noted today that Venezuela has gone from a policy of international cooperation to one of international confrontation and denies Venezuela is being forced to buy all the military equipment it is buying. Then comes this very good article by Ana Julia Jatar in today’s El Nacional which combines these themes into a single article that I thought was worth translating:
Who is he aiming at with his Russian rifle? By Ana Julia Jatar
To see a President dressed in military garb
with a rifle in his hands provokes shivers through anybody’s spine. Last week,
President Chavez did it and he did with cruelty. As if the absolute control
that he has imposed on all public powers was not sufficient, with the dexterity
of one who was trained to kill in the armed forces, he held a recently acquired
Russian rifle and threatened us again.
As usual, the threats were directed to other supposed
allies of yanquee imperialism.
This time it was the turn of the TV broadcasting
We already know the game, under the excuse that we are going
to be invaded by the enemy from the North; this President steals our freedom,
arms himself to the teeth and allows for the inefficiency and corruption of his
Government to destroy the country.
To understand where the Venezuelan President is truly, truly
pointing at, it is sufficient to remember what he said at Fort Tiuna
in November 2004. At that time he told the Venezuela people:
“In this new stage those that are with me, are
with me and those that are not with me, are against me”. Thus, his battle is
not against the empire of the North, his war is here in Bolivar’s homeland and
his weapons are aimed at us. Besides, aiming at Venezuela should not surprise us;
he has been doing it since 1992 when he staged a coup against a democratically
That is why, Mr. President, who do you think
you are deceiving? You removed your mask long ago! Moreover, when you, rifle in
hand, threaten to shut down TV stations, do you think you are being original?
Don’t even think about it, we have seen that movie before in many dictatorships
and by the way the stuff with the rifle …
Only from the military and right wing at that.
Let the world of the intellectual left that you want to charm with your lies
see it: you are a soldier that is arming himself to repress the Venezuelan
people, not to defend it.
You call the broadcast media “Troy
horses of imperialism” Why? Could it be that it irritates you that we learn
through them of the stream of dissatisfaction that there exists in the country?
Perhaps you don’t even want to be reminded of a small detail; that small piece
of data missing from your equation, from your delusions of grandeur: reality.
You live happily in a miserable farce of being the people’s savior, the same
people you distance yourself more from everyday. And you know it.
You know the country is in flames. Everyday your revolutionary Government uses
force to “repress” an average of three protests against inefficiency and
corruption in your administration. Excuse me, who did you say you are arming
the military to defend us from?
Mister President, of course you have the people that protest and the broadcast
media in your sight. Everything you can’t control at your whim drives you crazy.
The broadcast media
reported during the last month dozens of protests.
For example, a protest was repressed on highway 10 that goes to Brazil because
people were asking for drinking water. Over there, in your land of Barinas
they protested the arbitrary detention by the army of 30 peasants. In Maturin, the police intervened
to control protests over to the lack of electricity. In the East of Caracas, in
Petare, and in the west, in El Paraiso, transportation drivers shut traffic
down many times because they are fed up of being killed like dogs. The students at the University of the Andes were also repressed while Minister Jesse Chacon was accusing them of destabilizing
the country. In Caracas,
Polimiranda aborted a student protest.
In Carabobo people went out in the streets frustrated by the
unfulfilled promises of housing. In Güigüe and in Caracas the same thing happened in front of
the offices of CONAVI (Housing Office). The prisoners at El Dorado went on a hunger strike while in
the El Junquito prison, three prisoners died. By the way, so far this year there
have been 117 deaths and 244 injured in our prisons. And the list of dissatisfactions
in the last thirty days continues, but I am running out of space.
Let’s remember in closing that due to your
constant preaching of war and confrontation, this land of Bolivar
has turned into the most violent in the hemisphere, 44 Venezuelans die everyday
and many of them happen in confrontations with the police and the National
Guard. And Mr. President, I am sorry, but I still don’t understand. Who are you
arming the military to defend us from?