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SOS - Venezuela Is Waiting for Our Support


The following messages were sent to TIA by the Argentinean site La Botella al Mar (Cosme Beccar Varela) and the Peruvian Radio Madre de Dios (José Raunelli Cruz). Both are in contact with Venezuelans who are writing to them about their urgent situation. Here we summarize a much longer correspondence on the internal situation of Venezuela where the people are making peaceful but strong protests against the communist government of President Nicolás Maduro, who replaced Hugo Chavez in 2013. We deem it indispensable that the American public be aware of these authentic reactions coming from the people in our dear brother-country. TIA

• March 18 - I imagine you know that at this moment in the Hague, a delegation of opposition congressmen from neighboring countries are asking for an immediate judgment of Maduro and his cohorts for their crimes against humanity.

In the meanwhile, there are already three demonstrations that are not being repressed. Someone must sound the alarm to the government regarding the the Hague international court.

The last one was yesterday evening. The National Bolivarian Guard “cleared” Altamira Square at 3 a.m, while everyone was sleeping. Maduro had planned to make a demonstration there at 6 p.m. with paid demonstrators sent by a bus to support him. However, the people who live near the square took over it before the arrival of the “chavistas” [those favorable to Hugo Chaves and his successor Maduro]. Facing the risk of a massacre, the bus driver [President Maduro was actually the bus driver] called off the demonstration

Protests in Venezuela 01

 

Hundreds of thousands call for the end of the communist dictatorship
Today, there is a demonstration planned to pass close to the prison where Leopoldo Lopez [an oppositionist leader] is imprisoned. Let us see what will happen.

• What I can say about the Armed Forces is that the whole military cupola - from Cabello down - has orders of arrest issued against them by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). In my opinion, this does not make it easy to end this dictatorship, which is now destabilized. Nonetheless, according to the authorized opinion of General Peñaloza in an article published today, the Armed Forces have no other recourse but to pressure Maduro to go to Cuba and install a transition government.

The unrest continues today in San Cristóbal, Mérida and Barcelona because the countryside has been even more strongly hit by penury, inflation, insecurity, lack of water and electricity.

• March 19 - We are living a terrible drama because it is a life or death question for the military gangsters who support Maduro for personal interests - all them are being persecuted by the DEA as drug dealers.

Today, the Panama delegate to the OEA [Organization of American States] handed over his right to address the OEA to Venezuelan Maria Corina Machado. [Corina is one of the most visible leaders of the opposition demonstrations against Maduro] I have no illusions about the positions of the bribed and increasingly hypocritical Insulza, the leftist General Secretary of the OEA, as well as the other delegates. But it is important that Maria Corina address the OEA; she knows how to do it. Yesterday, March 18, she confirmed that she will be at the OEA tomorrow exercising the right to speak offered by Panama. Good for Panama!

What gives me hope is the presence at the Hague of congressmen from 13 countries coordinated by a Bolivian politician of the opposition movement. I believe the work at the Hague is slow but will go forward.

Leopoldo Lopez

 

Leopoldo Lopez, a protest leader, being arrested by the police
Also the Democrat-Republican lobby in th U.S. is pressuring Obama to freeze the possessions of all those involved with violating human rights and money laundering. I hope the Muslims will end by doing something.

In the meanwhile, the protests increase and the economy is paralyzed. This country, once called “Saudi Venezuela” for its petroleum wealth, now has to pay in advance for all the products it imports, and there are more and more of them since the famous “law of fair prices” is destroying the local economy.

• A Colombian ex-ambassador to the OEA and ex-Minister of Defense commented that if the Venezuelan people can just endure some days more, then, according to the terms of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, countries like Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama and others will have to issue a judgment about state of non-governability of Venezuela. So let us keep going and we will see that our peaceful protests for a free Venezuela were worthwhile! And that our students did not die in vain!

Remember: “Never step back, never surrender!” “The one who gives in first is the one who will be defeated.”

If you are in Venezuela, continue the demonstrations! If you are in another country, pressure your government for democracy to be restored to our country. Collaborate at least by spreading the word to your friends.

*

• This “chavista” regime has been in power for 15 years. In the previous government of Caldera, the prices of petroleum per barrel were from US $7 to 10; In the Hugo Chaves government (the one preceding that of Nicolás Maduro), the price went to more than US $100 per barrel. The result of this rise is that Chaves had a humongous increase of money. Nonetheless, the regime accumulated a debt of more than US $200 billion.

Genesis Carmona

 

Student Genesis Carmona, shot in the head, on her way to the hospital; she died hours later
• The official currency change is 6.3 bolivars to the dollar; but in the black market the real change is 75 bolivars to the dollar. One can understand that this difference gives rise to an enormous corruption among those who have access to the official price of the dollar.

• Today Venezuela is importing almost everything. But the government does not pay its debts to the international providers. It also does not pay the private businesses that sell it things. The result is that the private businesses lose conditions to import goods.

• The country is producing very little because of the government expropriation of industries - steel, cement and electricity are just a few examples.

• In the countryside farm production is at its lowest level due to invasions, expropriations, insecurity and the low prices for field products.

• Notwithstanding this failure, Venezuela is giving money to Cuba, Argentina and Belarus. Not to speak about its purchases of weapons and military equipments at high prices from Russia and other countries to win international political support.

• The internal corruption in the government has reached unseen levels.

• The insecurity has also risen to alarming levels. Violence in the streets and kidnappings are frequent and the murder rate has risen to about 25,000 per year or 60 killings per day. It is a difficult to solve problem since 20% of the crimes are committed by functionaries of the government.

• The great majority of judges are politicized and transitory.

• The prices of basic food - milk, bread, meat, etc - are controlled and very low. The result is that these goods are not on the shelves. It is very difficult to find them and often one is obliged to go to the black market or make a private exchange - "I'll give you a can of vegetable oil, you give me four pounds of flour." Better not to speak of the lack of parts for cars.

• The social level has also dropped. The regime blamed the “parasite bourgeoisie,” the entrepreneurs, and American imperialism for everything wrong. Those in the poor neighborhoods, which used to have traditions and dignified family values, have became criminals with high usage of drugs. These neighborhoods today are controlled by malandros [scoundrels] who have become the new social models to follow.

• Given all these disasters, one asks: How is it possible that the “chavistas” win elections?

Protests  in Venezuela

 

"And who has the weapons?' - A girl stresses the peaceful tone of the opposition protests
The answer is simple. The government controls everyone in power, and manipulates votes and elections at its own discretion.

Today the government employs 3 million people - in a population of 30 million - who vote with it . At the beginning of the Chaves regime, the figure was one million.

The government also uses Cuban people who were brought to Venezuela to help it win adepts. So, they go to the barrios [poor neighborhoods] to distribute money under the pretext of giving pensions for this or that reason - to single mothers, needy adults, etc.

The government also controls all the TV channels, the majority of the radio stations and many newspapers. Thus, the people were fooled regarding the situation of the country and what caused it.

• The reality is that we live in a populist and demagogic military dictatorship which disregards the fact that more than half of the population is against it.

• We do not have a legal solution for this situation since there are no elections - if they were honest ones - scheduled for the near future. The military are bought by the government; thus, there is no possibility of an exit by force as well.

• This is why one political party of the opposition and the students started the protests. The government is repressing them with excessive harshness, force and abuses.

• What is painful for us is to see that we have received very little solidarity from other countries, which are doing almost nothing to help us resolve our problems and this extremely unjust repression.

 
Posted March 20, 2014
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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA

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