The Maduro Government Has Become Totally Insensitive And Cynical

February 27, 2015

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When I began this blog, my objective was to show to those abroad how Chavismo’s claims were always exaggerated and inaccurate, how history was being changed and how Chavismo twisted the truth and the law just enough to get its own way to kidnap the State and its institutions. This objective of this message was achieved long ago, thanks to many people, blogs and institutions.

What Venezuela faces today is quite different. All institutions of Government, checks, balances and the rule of law are in the hands of the same ideological party and Government. Media is mostly controlled by Chavismo, and what little is not, is either being asphyxiated by the Government (Tal Cual is shutting down its daily edition today due to the lack of newsprint) or uses self-censorship in order to avoid confrontations with the Government.

But the level of paranoia and indolence exhibited by Government and PSUV officials has now reached levels of insensitivity that even after observing Chavismo for sixteen years simply flabbergast me.

Upon the death of a 14 year old school boy this week in the hands of a member of the national police, the Government machinery immediately began spinning the murder . The facts are clear, the kid was leaving school and was caught in the middle of a demonstration, he hid under car and a policeman pulled him out of  from under it. As the kid started telling the cop not to repress them, the cop simply shot at his head, with whatever type of gun he was using, killing him. As if this was not sufficient, the cops then tried to drag the body away with their motorcycle, but they were stopped by the friends of the kid and the protesters who simply could not believe what was happening.

Before any specific facts were known, Maduro, who was in Trinidad, made statements suggesting that Colombian paramilitary groups had infiltrated the country into San Cristobal (where the murder occurred) and that the kid belonged to a right wing sect…Yes, he was the member of a Boy Scout troop. Maduro also spewed out all his usual vile about the US wanting to overthrow him, the right wing opposition and the like.

Soon after that, the General Prosecutor said the cop had been detained and would be charged, among other things, with using an illegal weapon in the control of protests. This was clearly denied by both the “People’s'” Ombudsman and the investigative police, both of which said that the kid was killed with a gun that “only” shot plastic pellets. Witnesses said that the wounds the kid had in his head were not consistent with plastic pellets, as there were deep gashes and burn marks around them.

By now the Government in its cynicism, is portraying (The Prosecutor dixit) the cop and the kid both as “victims” of the right wing. Yes, the young cop is also a victim, but it is a victim of the hatred and indoctrination of the police corps, where human rights and respect are not promoted. Instead, it is a culture of repression and hate which is promoted daily in these organizations filled with loyal members of Chavismo.

And the Governor of Tachira State, gets all worked up because people are calling for the abrogation of Decree 8610, the same one that allowed the use of guns by the armed forces in the control of protests, because the murder of the 14 year old kid “had nothing to do with that decree”. Of course it does, when the Minister of Defense calls a decree which violates Human Rights agreements “beautiful”, the murder of this kid has everything to do with the culture and the atmosphere of repression created by Chavismo in Venezuela.

And to prove this point, in the last week, six young kids, all under 23, all near protests or protesting or detained during protests, were either shot dead in the head or found later shot in the head. All were students. none ever detained before.

By now,  the Government is giving, in some cases, “alternative” explanations to these deaths…

Meanwhile, the new media purchased by unknown foreign investors (not allowed by law, but who pays attention?) does not even report the death until hours later, suggesting the students were all attacking the cops or part of the demonstrations. Meanwhile, the “Dean” of Venezuelan Journalism, who presides over one of these, Ultimas Noticias, says he does not even know who purchased the newspaper, but they want to have a “different medium” and defends the concept that some sort of weird coup was indeed staged against Nicolas Maduro.

What a sad and cynical role this supposed “Dean” of Journalism and freedom of expression is playing in the Venezuelan tragedy.

And just as you think you have heard enough, Maduro tells the world (if it was listening) that the world’s powers have to “rationalize” the use of  oil. Funny point to make, from the leader of a country which has doubled daily gasoline consumption since 2001, by giving it away for almost free. But as if this was not enough, he called for the use of clean energies and techniques. I guess he is so concerned with the environment, that this is why he eliminated the Ministry of the Environment last year.

But the beat goes on for Chavismo. The lines at supermarkets are invisible, non-existent and just part of the economic war. The protests are led by USA trained and backed 20 year old students, inflation is not a problem and God will provide. They hope.

And as the family of the 14 year old that was murdered buries him, there are no words of condolences, no expressions of compassion. Just a warning that if the opposition gets pesky and the protests over the deaths, or shortages, or inflation continue, the Government may be forced to ban the opposition, so that it can proceed to have elections in democracy and peace later this year.

Such is the cynical logic of Chavismo/Madurismo today. There is no gray area anymore, just cynicism and insensitivity for all …

 

 

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73 Responses to “The Maduro Government Has Become Totally Insensitive And Cynical”

    • Lee Says:

      see my comment above on his attorneys…. surprised to see that. I know Mike and his retainer is going to be almost $100K to represent this POS.

  1. Autobot Says:

    They are malandros.
    No one can expect anymore from criminals.

  2. bythefault Says:

    I spent the weekend at the country home of a Colombian senator. The view from Colombia is that no one will come to the rescue of Venezuela even if it becomes a one party totalitarian state. But balancing this view is that the Venezuelan state is on the verge of collapse from its inherent contradictions, high levels of corruption, economic mismanagement and increasing political polarization.

    Reading the comments above, I must say that this notion that Cuba is driving force behind Venezuela’s collapse is not just flights of fancy but utter delusional thinking. It is not in Cuba’s interest to have Venezuela’s as a polarized basket case nor has it been Cuban policy to export its system abroad for over two decades. There is this odd adherence to the word of Chávez on Fidel and on Cuba generally but none of of you believe anything he ever said anyway yet on this topic and this topic only, you believe him implicitly because it fits your paradigm. Chávez was bombastic and spoke unthinkingly. Castro is anything but. Whatever the faults of the Cuban Revolution, and there are many, Fidel Castro is a great political thinker and created a system that 90 percent of Cubans support and enjoy. He also did this in a bipolar world and fifty years ago. The world is nether bipolar and technologically speaking a vastly different planet. Unlike the Soviet Union which supported Cuba without reserve because it suited its geopolitical self-interest, China’s geopolitical self-interest isn’t to establish a pliant politburo in Caracas but to extract natural resources at the cheapest possible cost. Venezuela sold itself to China, a third of its oil goes directly to Beijing to pay for debts incurred. But if China can source oil elsewhere cheaper, it will and toss Caracas to the garbage heap with not as much as a tear.

    I spent some time this morning reading the Venezuelan press. I was most amused by the comments of Venezuelans on the US. Clearly their comments are as delusional as some of the ones above albeit of a different ilk. Just as there is no plot from Washington to destabilize Venezuela or any “economic war” against Venezuela, there is no plot from Havana to micromanage Venezuela. Venezuela’s problems are just that, Venezuela’s. The root causes of Venezuela’s problems are as Venezuelan as Chávez or CAP. In the recent HSBC Swiss banking scandal, it was revealed that Venezuelan nationals are the third most represented with secret Swiss bank accounts with an astounding $14 billion USD stashed away. To put that number in perspective, Venezuela had at YE 2014 $21 billion in foreign currency reserves and this year has nearly $11 billion USD due in debt maturities. María Gabriela Chávez, now the deputy ambassador to the UN and in my view the probable successor to Maduro, has $700 million USD stashed away in Switzerland according to various accounts. This in a nutshell is Venezuela’s problem, an insidious corruption that has devoured the state. Venezuela is the Zimbabwe of the Americas.

    • Dr. Faustus Says:

      “Whatever the faults of the Cuban Revolution, and there are many, Fidel Castro is a great political thinker and created a system that 90 percent of Cubans support and enjoy. ”

      Enjoy? 90%..? Could one not say the same thing about citizens of North Korea? What OTHER option do they (Cubans/North Koreans) have or was proposed to them?

      By the way, you made some strong points on the theory of limited Cuban participation in Venezuelan affairs. Perhaps. Maybe. It’s really difficult to be accurate on this point without knowing what’s taking place behind closed doors. But, ..but, Cuba’s economy has been WHOLLY dependent on Venezuelan crude for nearly 15 years now. Without that 5 billion a year free oil, their economy collapses. Period. So, yeah, you make some good points, but I think Cuban participation is much greater than any of us could imagine. It would be silly of them not to be dabbling in Venezuelan politics.

    • m_astera Says:

      Since 1958, Cuba has been nothing but a parasite on welfare. What was for centuries one of the most productive countries in the Americas became a charity case overnight and has remained that way for fifty seven years. While the Castros and their cronies live in unimaginable luxury, the other 99% of the population are slaves and prisoners.

    • Ira Says:

      You mean the thousands of Cuban intelligence workers in Venezuela aren’t really there? And Maduro hops onto his flying bus every other day to Cuba just for the cigars?

      Talk about delusional, and a few other adjectives I’ll rerain from adding.


    • I’m sorry to disappoint you but Venezuela’s take over was thoroughly planned. Castro convinced Chavez to allow cubans to penetrate, obtain information to blackmail, and get intelligence. The carrot was chavez becoming eventual ruler of a United federation. This was thrown in disarray when castro got sick, then got Alzheimers and chavez got cancer. At that point the cubans decided to maneuver Maduro to be president, and killed chavez in December 2012.

      The problem the cubans face is the internal chavista conflicts and Maduro’s tendency to improvise. The Cubans also have internal conflicts with a Neo fascist faction being opposed by hard line Marxists. This is why the whole mess is exploding in their faces. Meanwhile obama seems to be doing his best to leave both cuba and Venezuela as slaves of one of the sickest and most criminal groups of Mafiosi, communists, parasites, and fascists I have seen.

    • Roy Says:

      “Fidel Castro … created a system that 90 percent of Cubans support and enjoy.”

      You are wrong. I spent about eight months there. And I traveled nearly the length of the country. The people are resigned the system, but they do not support it, and they certainly do not enjoy it. And unless you know the people you are talking to well enough for them to trust you, they will not say what they really think, because they are always worried about snitches.

      As for Maduro being a puppet of the Castros, I think there is room for debate over exactly how much control Havana has over Venezuelan policy, but to say that they have nothing to do with it would extremely naive. There is just way too much evidence and too many Cuban soldiers and intelligence officers in Venezuela for it to be otherwise.

  3. Paco Says:

    Castro had to put up a bit of a dirty fight and an untruth here and there in order to get his hands on Cuba but he was handed Venezuela on a plate.
    “Here, take it, do what you want”.
    You don’t have to be a grandmaster tactician when faced with a not so bright opponent.h

  4. Roy Says:

    We often remark that the policies and decision making of this government come not from Maduro, but from Fidel and Raul Castro. While we have no way to prove this, many of the strategies employed by Maduro do have a striking similarity to those employed by Fidel Castro when he was consolidating power in Cuba. Furthermore, Maduro just doesn’t seem bright enough to come up with this stuff by himself. So, let’s say it is all true and Maduro gets his orders from Havana. Does that guarantee he will succeed as the Castros did?

    I would argue not. Fidel understood Cuba and the Cubans intimately. He knew just how far he could go, what he could do, and what he could not. The Castros do not have that degree of understanding of the Venezuelans. Trying to govern by remote control does not work. Imagine trying to sail a boat with only a video camera image. You cannot feel the waves and the wind. You cannot feel the beat and rush of the water on the hull. You will not hear the sails luffing when you turn too high into the wind. You will not have the full range of data input that is required for delicate control. As a result, we are seeing a very clumsy and ham-handed handling of the ship of state in Venezuela and the ship is foundering.

    • Ira Says:

      Nothing for nothing…

      But what did Fidel not do because you say he knew that he couldn’t “go that far?”

      I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I don’t understand what you’re saying here at all.

      • Roy Says:

        I couldn’t pick any particular example. But, he did have his finger on the pulse of the Cuban population. For all his failures as a human being, Fidel Castro was a brilliant politician and statesman. Fifty years in power is a long time. Most dictators make too many mistakes and get overthrown long before that. I am saying that you just can’t duplicate that from a distance. You have to be able to respond instantly and correctly to events. Maduro’s response to events have been late, too strong, too soft, or just weird. Cuba tells him what to do, after it is already too late, and he and his government have already made statements or taken actions in conflict with the new orders. The results are muddled and conflicting messages. Plus, the Cubans don’t have as good of a feel for how the Venezuelans will respond in any particular situation.

        My point is that just because the Castros were successful in Cuba does not mean they can be successful at manipulating Venezuela with the same strategy and tactics, especially when they are counting on substandard lackeys for implementation. Looking for a little hope here…

        • Dean A Nash Says:

          For starters, Castro was “blessed” with an opposition that, if today were Tuesday, and Castro pronounced “today is Tuesday”, they would vehemently disagree. Unfortunately, Venezuela’s opposition looks every bit as incompetent.


  5. This is somewhat unrelated, but I want you to understand what the future is going to be like for venezuelans.

    http://translatingcuba.com/olpl-in-a-new-u-s-cuba-policy-did-cuba-win/

  6. Carlos Says:

    amen

  7. Noel Says:

    US citizens now required to obtain a visa to travel to Venezuela

  8. Tom ODonnell Says:

    “Instead, it is a culture of repression and hate which is promoted daily in these organizations filled with loyal members of Chavismo.”

    Yes – the long, long, longtime mutual extreme polarization that so many social scientists had written about and that on the chavista side was given an arrogant self-assurance and invoked as an ‘answer’ to every and any criticism or failure of bolivarian governance. And, in time, it has became pure, illogical hatred..

    This hatred is no different than the class and social hatred exhibited by Pinochet and his military thugs and the ruling elite of Chile, or the Brazilian and Argentinian dictatorships of the same era against workers, students, national minorities, the poor and all the other ‘other’. And, it reminds me of a lot of people of the IVth Republic (though by no means all of whom by a long shot) whom I met in Venezuela and spent many many hours visiting and socializing with and interviewing all of whom could spew all sorts of fantastic, chauvenistic and hatefull things against barrio residents, workers, students and especially chavistas. And, then there was the coup mongering and the fervent hopes for

    It clearly has for a long time also existed among certain sections on the other side, and still does. But, it is the HC followers who have state power and the guns and are doing the killing.

    • Tom ODonnell Says:

      My editor posted the comment above as I was still writing/editing it still. But, I let it stand.

      Your post was very moving, Miguel. You hit a nail on the head with the phrase I cited at the beginning. Class hatred it alive and well in Venezuela.

      Too much of the once-humanist, so-called ‘left’ across Latin America has made the same arrogant and self-righteous mistake as did Hugo C, though generally to a lesser degree than did he, of assuming that, because the ‘other side’ were fascists first, that no matter what they now do, they are ‘better than’ the guys on the Right who came before them. Since ‘god/God’ and/or ‘righteousness’ and/or ‘history’ are on your side, no matter how far wrong you go, you can never actually be ‘evil’ yourselves since you came from a fight ‘against evil’.

      Some guys at PDVSA (rojo rojito, and quite sincere social activists whom i cannot personally fault for any of their activism that I ever saw) told me once, rather furtively, as we discussed how clueless and incompetent Hugo C. was proving to be, that: “Well Marx says that this class struggle leads to the victory of the proletariat.” To which I said, “Well, that isn’t exactly the whole of what Marx said” They said, “What did he say?”

      I said ‘Look at the Communist Manifesto, He said, over centuries, class struggles sometimes led to the ‘revolutionary reconstruction’ of society, but there is another possibility.” They said, “What’s that?”

      I said: “He said, “OR TO THE MUTUAL DESTRUCTION OF THE CONTENDING CLASSES”

      To which, they sort of just looked at me quietly for a second and then, one said, rather solemnly. “Oh, yeah, Venezuela.”

      Thank you, Hugo Chavev, Maduro et al You are arguably more destructive, hateful and dangerous than any of the people you supposedly came to power to counter.

      Apologies for the meandering rant.

  9. Island Canuck Says:

    Roy:
    “a two-year old girl was raped” – turns out that she was 12 not 2 – not that that makes the crime any less horrendous.

    Your second report about the children & organs was being uploaded on Twitter during the day & was denied strongly by the police & HLO where the bodies were supposedly taken. I have a suspicion that this is some troll trying to get attention by creating fear. The story has disappeared from twitter & there’s nothing on sites like RC.

    Can you supply any kind of a link to a reliable news source that is reporting this as fact?


    • Spreading alarming misinfo is irresponsible in a situation as volatile as is vzla right now.

      • Ira Says:

        I hear what you’re saying, but if misinformation is what it takes to instigate change, so be it.


        • That is attrocius. Are you prepared to die in a civil war that is likely to solve nothing? Or volunteer your kids if you have them?,Maybe you are just that insane??

          • Ira Says:

            Maybe you’re an idiot who knows nothing about history?

            Look up a war…ANY war…and see how much of the hearsay was actually accurate.

            Where did you grow up–Sweden?


            • I say he is not innocent from what I know. But it is also apparent he is not alone in his culpability. Likely he never was properly trained and likely had no competent supervision. None of which let’s him off the hook.


            • You are ready to lie your own country into a civil war?

              It is an honor to be hated and lied about by someone like you.

            • Ira Says:

              Eugene…

              Enjoy the honor… of being an ignorant putz.

            • Ira Says:

              Maybe no one in the GN is properly trained these days:

              Or are you ignoring the fact that their training parallels the Brown Shirts?

              Eugene, you are the biggest idiot I’ve come across anywhere on the Internet. And that’s saying a LOT about how stupid I think you are!

    • Roy Says:

      Island,

      I did not get these stories from established news outlets, but they were being discussed on the radio on Thursday and yesterday. I first heard them from Venezuelan friends here. I could easily have misunderstood the details (dos/doce). It is even possible that that they are completely irresponsible rumors.

      But, when the government and official sources are known to lie consistently, when the media is intimidated into self-censorship, and stories in the news morph from one day to the next, how is it possible for us to know with any degree of certainty what the truth is?

      • Island Canuck Says:

        You were correct with the original report of 2 years.
        A lot of news media started reporting it but then later in the day they all corrected the story to 12 years.

        The story about the organs – I don’t know – if it were really true you think that the pueblo would make more of a stink about it or that it would be in Sol de Margarita or Reporte Confidencial. After burning for a few hours the story suddenly disappeared.

        Unfortunately it doesn’t take much to start rumours these days.

        I may be wrong but it sounds like a troll that was believed by lots of people who are ready to believe anything.

        • Roy Says:

          Well, sham on me for spreading rumors. I should know better. Still, the fact that people were prepared to believe it says something too.

      • Island Canuck Says:

        You’re right

      • BoludoTejano Says:

        But, when the government and official sources are known to lie consistently, when the media is intimidated into self-censorship, and stories in the news morph from one day to the next, how is it possible for us to know with any degree of certainty what the truth is?

        In addition, rumors spread in the absence of trusted news sources. Since the official news is not to be believed, people latch on to rumors. Misinformation begats misinformation.

    • Lee Says:

      Minors are being abused in Venezuela in every way imaginable. There is no law and order and impunity rules the day. This is not a problem unique to the 5th as perverts and pedophiles where around in the 4th. The more powerful they are, the worse the abuse. There are plenty of rich and powerful men who like minors down there and get away with it. It’s a business.

  10. Humberto Says:

    Good piece Miguel.

  11. Roy Says:

    Miguel,

    In the interest of accuracy, the boy was killed by a shotgun loaded with plastic pellets of the kind used for riot control. These are considered non-lethal, when fired from a distance. In this case, the policeman fired at the boy from point-blank range. Even the barest minimum of training and common sense should have informed him that such an act could be fatal. The policeman is guilty of murder.

    However, the real guilt lies with the government for creating the atmosphere in which anyone protesting has been dehumanized in the eyes of the police, by the incessant rhetoric of labeling the Opposition as “fascists”, “terrorists”, etc… It is the government’s own irresponsible and barbaric charges and the elimination of public space for civil discourse that has created this atmosphere.


    • As far as I know the cop who murdered the boy is facing murder and other serious charges. President Maduro has condemned the shooting and offered condolences to the child`s family. Police all over the world carry firearms as well as nonlethal force type weapons at demonstrating. These should only be used in extreme situations. I don’t doubt that the unprofessional and underpaid police in Venezuela could use retraining. Setting up barricades, burning tires and debris in the streets and lighting up Molotov cocktails are forms of protest that will be suppressed with force anywhere.

      • moctavio Says:

        Eugene: It was the Prosecutor that strongly accused the cop the first day, that later said the cop was a victim…


        • Sounds really fd up. Well sure in a manner of speaking the cop could be considered a victim as he was sent into a situation that he was neither trained for nor properly led. This seems to have been the situation back in 1989 as well. Some things sadly never seem to change. So the entire blame falls on the little guy who rightly shares the blame but perhaps doesn’t really own the entire blame.

          • Ira Says:

            Oh yeah:

            The cop who killed a kid is the actual victim.

            Of course, you don’t anything about what transpired at all, but your narrative and agenda makes the murderer of an unarmed 14-year-old “innocent,” and not the brutal animal he actually is.

            My God. Let me hold my tongue until I read some more of your ignorant posts.


            • I say he is not innocent from what I know. But it is also apparent he is not alone in his culpability. Likely he never was properly trained and likely had no competent supervision. None of which let’s him off the hook.

      • Charly Says:

        Eugene, my old friend from Oil Wars and now a troll on both the Devil’s Excrement and Venezuela News and Views. Who do you think is the best president to improve the lot of Venezuelans, the galactic corpse or the hyper democratic cucuteño?


        • A stupid question. The lawful President I’d Nicolas Maduro. The opposition can peti for a recall vote. They can also take the National Assembly. If they were not so tainted with class and race arrogance and the stench of coup_ guarimba and treason they’d be a shoo in. As is the population is so disgusted the opposition has a chance in spite of its baggage.

          The political grouping I feel most aligned with is Marea Sociialista. I don’t see much to laugh about in the current situation

          It’s really quite saddening_ wouldn’t you agree ?


        • PS- I see Venezuela has its own birther cult.

    • moctavio Says:

      Roy:

      The Prosecutor initially said they were metal pellets and that the weapon was illegal for protest control and that the cop would be accused for this. Then, the Cipc and the People’s Ombudsman said they were plastic. A Doctor said on the radio that the wounds were not consistent with plastic pellets as they were large entry points, which does not occur with plastic bullets. The Prosecutor has not changed her story. Who do you believe?

      • Roy Says:

        Miguel,

        The first reports I heard were that they were plastic pellets. At point-blank range, a wad a paper could be fatal. So, I accepted that report. Now I am not sure, anymore. “Fog of war…”

      • Roy Says:

        And in any case, my real point was the second paragraph. It is the government’s campaign of polarization of the society and the dehumanization of the opposition that has created the atmosphere and tensions that made this possible.

        • moctavio Says:

          Here is one report where confusion reigns:

          http://panorama.com.ve/portal/app/push/noticia140842.php

          Ortega lamentó este miércoles el asesinato del joven e instó a los cuerpos policiales a “actuar moderadamente, con control”.

          La investigación suma nueve personas privadas de libertad y que serán presentadas ante los tribunales en las próximas horas.

          Los fiscales 85° y 79° nacionales Harvey Gutiérrez y Dilcio Cordero están a cargo del caso.

          “Reitero que el artículo 68 de la Constitución prohíbe el uso de armas en manifestaciones”, agregó Ortega a la vez que indicó que se investigará la posible relación del hecho con la Resolución 008610.

          La fiscal hizo un llamado a la paz, a la tranquilidad, a la tolerancia y a la sindéresis ante los hechos de violencia que se han registrado durante la última semana en el estado Táchira.

          • Roy Says:

            Now, just imagine that you are a policeman, or GNB soldier… Imagine the confusion from the mixed messages you are receiving. First they tell you that you are now authorized to use lethal force and that you are to stop the protests at any cost. Then, they arrest and prosecute one of your comrades who carried out their orders.

            Mind you, I am not at all sympathetic to the uncouth bastard who did this. But, consider what this is doing to the morale of the various law enforcement agencies. I’ll bet that there are a lot of disgruntled grunts all over the country.

      • Lee Says:

        It does not matter. Plastic buckshot is lethal at point-blank range. Point-blank range in this case is defined to about 20 feet IIRC. They know this down there but choose to ignore. All riot control munititions whether gas or buckshot is lethal at point-blank range.

    • Ira Says:

      There’s no such thing as plastic pellets, as far as I know. Shotgun pellets can be coated in plastic to make them MORE lethal, so they don’t disform as much when they leave the muzzle.

      And 00 buckshot, the largest practical shell used for 12 gauge personal and law enforcement use, only has 9 pellets. A 12 gauge is 100% lethal within 100 yards, with a decently placed shot, so the round could hardly be considered “self defense” by a police officer unless he felt deadly force was necessary.

      14 year old kid? I don’t think so.

      There are plastic dummy SLUGS, a huge kind of bullet used in a shotgun, and although they can be deadly at a certain distance and the right shot/aim, it’s 99.9% improbable. And they just cause a bruise–there’s no penetration.

      There are also “bean bag” shotgun shells, with plastic pellets encased in a bag and the bag fires as a whole to knock you in the gut. Again, no skin penetration.

      But regular shot shells with pure plastic pellets? If there is such a thing, it’s obviously not tested as to non-lethal-only use, and remember that plastic can be real hard too!

      And out of a 12 gauge at close range? Forget it.

  12. Roy Says:

    A couple of examples of the general barbarity into which Venezuela is sinking from Margarita Island, which is a relative oasis from the chaos in the mainland:

    1. The other day, in a small pueblo here, a two-year old girl was raped and killed. Rather than call the police, the people of the town cut off the genitals of the perpetrator and burned him alive, knowing that they could not count on justice otherwise.

    2. A gang of organ traffickers is operating here. Yesterday, a dump site was found with the bodies of children missing eyes, kidneys, and other organs. The schools have talked to parents about being extra careful to make sure their children are not left unattended in the street.

    These stories were discussed on the radio, but were not in the local newspaper. To put it mildly, the mood on the street is grim and angry.

  13. Paul Says:

    As the economy deteriorates at a more rapid pace, expect more chaos.As the poverty rate increases so will the murders and general mayhem. Venezuela is now a lawless country. These guys have dug a hole so deep there is no way out and they are desperate.

  14. Paul Esqueda Says:

    Great essay Miguel, it is an extremely sad situation.

  15. Hector Says:

    Graphic videos of Venezuela police killings
    http://www.kaotic.com/index.php?q=&q=venezuela

    Watch what the military does to their own.

  16. Katyzuela Says:

    The complications with the economy and the Venezuelan situation in general could deteriorate even further with the current situation with the El Palito, Cardon and Amway refineries. The shortage of repair parts and the poor maintenance records will make the price of gasoline a mute point if there is no gasoline. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/venezuela-oil-refinery-idUSL1N0VZ28N20150226


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