Archive for June 2nd, 2007

Images from the well funded, well coordinated, well coreographed, badly attended Chavista march

June 2, 2007

While low angle front images showed a high density this had to be one of the worst attended pro-Chavez marches, despite the payments, the buses (more than people?) and the entertainment.

The Economist “gets” freedom of speech under Chavez

June 2, 2007

(Thanks M.!)

Not the most succesful day for the free speech student movement in Venezuela

June 2, 2007

Today was one of those days in which the lack of scruples of the Chavez revolution and their total control of institutions is used to limit freedom and liberties and not much happens. Being Friday, the events today simply will dissipate the student movement, which was simply trumped up by the Government and its institutions and fell for the Government’s strategy.

The students had decided yesterday, more than 24 hours before the fact, that they would march from El Paraiso to the National Assembly to demand an apology from the Assembly leaders. In good faith they asked for the permits, organized themselves and were ready to go, only to find that the permits were not approved, because the students did not know the detailed procedures and the Mayor of Libertador District, oh shucks, could not grant them the permit if all the i’s and t’s were dotted. Thus, their basic rights were denied by the same bureaucrats that allow pro-Chavez marches on the spur of the moment, such as the one on Tuesday that was allowed to march all the way to the Presdiential Palace under the escort of the metropolitan police and the National Guard.

Early one, it already looked unlikely that the marchers will get to the National Assembly. Chavista thugs in motorcycles showed at a Plaza La India in El Paraiso ready to threaten under the claim that first of all, Plaza La India was their territory and second of all they would not allow a march to destabilize their revolution. Of course, these thugs had no permit either, nor did the thousands of red-shirted Chavze supporters scattered around downtown Caracas ready to protect their revolution.

Thus, the police was sent en force to block the students from marching when they announced that given that they were not being allowed to march, they would still go to the National Assembly, simply using the sidewalks in order to behave like law abiding citizens.

But even the sidewalks were barred for the students as the police used the technique of blocking the students inside the University, with the fence meant to keep thieves away at night becoming their own jail. In the only probable victory the students had all day, this police barrier seen in the pictures above (Thanks YB!) dissolved as the students from Universidad Central marched to the rescue of their fellow students from the Catholic University.

At this point the students relinquished their rights and rather than go to the Assembly, they went to the Episcopal Conference where they would hand over their document to some representatives from the National Assembly. Thus, while the Foreign Minister insulted them, Deputy Tascon insisted the students were being manipulated Deputy Iris Varela called them yuppies and destabilizers, the students met with none other than Ismael Garcia, the Secretary General of Podemos, who clearly could only represent himself since he is now in the Government’s doghouse because his party will not join Chavez new, unique party.

Thus, the students accepted that their rights were not respected once again and clearly there are two types of citizens in this country and they do not belong to the class that has all of the rights and today they showed they will yield to that.

So, the students left with the promise that they will be invited for “a dialogue” at some point with the National Assembly, while the true leaders of Chavismo continued the same insults towards them that were the motive for today’s march. There was no apology, no retraction by the Assembly leaders. Whether we (or you) like it or not, they were treated in the same way as the opposition was treated three years ago before the RR: Yes, let’s sit and talk, we will work it out, but in the end you don’t have the full rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

And of course, the march tomorrow by the Comando Nacional de la Resistencia (CNR)can not get a permit either because a part called PUSV already had requested it, hours before the CNR did. Sorry, first come first served in this revolution which is so respectful of the law and regulations. And next week, the students will not be allowed to march because, they will be invited to the Assembly a day before the meeting and they will not be able to have the permits either.

And of course, nobody will retract their insults or apologize to them, there is nothing in their hearts and minds, to apologize for.