Archive for November 7th, 2007

Students march peacefully, but are met with violence on their campuses as they return

November 7, 2007

Students marched today and introduced an injunction in the Venezuelan Supreme Court asking that the proposed reform be postponed because it is illegal and has not been known and discussed by the people. I was very impressed by the clarity of the concepts expressed by the students that were allowed to speak, as they outlined very succinctly the reasons why they think the proposed changes, as well as the procedures followed, were absolutely illegal and fraudulent.

The march was peaceful, as pro-Chavez groups were kept at bay (at last) by the police, so that they could not interfere with the march. However, as the students returned to their universities, armed groups in motorcycles showed up in at least two universities in Caracas and Merida and began shooting at the students. There are at least nine injured as I write this, and while there has been rumors of one dead person, but this has been denied by authorities.

Below images of the shooters on the left, trying to push a door open to shoot at the students as well as a lone man with a gun and hooded face shooting at the students. There are videos that should reveal more later on. For now, just note that the student on the right has a gas mask on and a t-shirt that says “NO” to the Constitutional reform, clearly coming from the march. One of the guys on the left trying to push the door open has a gun and is trying to shoot them. Who do you think is the aggressor here?

The Minister of the Interior is on TV saying that the students returning from the march ¨trapped¨123 students (how precise!) and tried to lynch them and that is what led to the shootings. Curiously, he did not explain how the motorcycle riders got through the police barriers that were supposedly ¨blocking all entrances¨ to the University or the fact that the students who are injured are mostly coming from the march (I do not say all, because I can not confirm it). The Minister says that the students were frustrated because their march was peaceful. He did talk about the “party” surrounding the approval of the Constitutional reform.

Chacumbele’s cynicism by Teodoro Petkoff

November 7, 2007

Chacumbele’s* Cynicism by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

In front of a crowd that arrived at Avenida
Bolivar without asking for a permit from the Mayor, that marched
without any repressive core opposing them with tanks and water whales
and without anybody throwing stones and bottles at them, Chacumbele
demanded of his henchmen that they prohibit student demonstrations and
that they punish the media which he claimed were trying to stage a
coup. This is the last straw, coming from someone who seems to have no
limit to his abuses and arbitrariness, and above all, his cynicism.
While a gang of motorcycle riders with red t shirts goes into the
Central patio of the Capitol building without being stopped, the
students, in order to hand over a document to the National Assembly,
have to arrive protected by the National Guard and avoiding bottles
thrown by Chacumbele’s hoodlums. Could a group from the opposition have
been standing at the corner of the CNE while Celia Flores and her
pathetic combo marched to hand over the reform proposal to the CNE?
Pointless question. On the other hand when the student commission
arrived at the CNE it was stoned by hoodlums, happily gathered in the
neighboring corner. This inequality, this trampling of denying some
people what is allowed to others is at the origin of the tensions. It
is the feeling of abuse, of cowardly and immoral advantages, which
eventually stirs emotions and also, one should add, facilitates the
actions of the provocateurs interested in creating disturbances. We can
admit that the attitude of some of the young people, hotheaded in the
face of the tanks and the police line of the Metropolitan force, was
not politically the most convenient thing to do (without discarding the
action of the provocateurs) and that trying to chain themselves at the
CNE was not either, and moreover that it was an error. But the
President should not rip his clothes over this, how many burnt vehicles
have in their trajectory the various Ministers, some of them part of
the old hooded demonstrators of UCV? How many fights between police and
students have there not been in this country, so that now Chacumbele
pretends to nullify this constitutional right to demonstrate, since the
events of last Thursday? He must be quite nervous with the numbers in
the polls, so as to prohibit the public rallies of his opponents and to
silence the media through which they express themselves. We do not
share at all neither the tone of the speeches of the sector that met on
Saturday in Avenida Victoria, among other things, because of the
insults that were proffered against other sectors of the opposition,
but the media is not responsible for what was said there, the same way
that the swaggering, the threats and other offenses that Chacumbele
issued in his speech on Sunday,were also registered by the same media.
Take a tranquilizer please.

*Chacumbele killed himself by trying out his own poison, in this case it refers to Chavez