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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Thinking for Ourselves About Venezuela

Black Agenda Report 
Netfa Freeman

The U.S. thinks it has found a formula for regime change, beginning with destabilization from within. Venezuela’s democratically elected government has long been a target. “Over the last decade or so we have seen this strategy attempted in Zimbabwe, Libya, Iran, and Syria.

The political plan for Venezuela took stage in the streets of Washington DC February 15, 2014. Passers-by on Georgetown’s 30th Street on a freezing Saturday were perplexed at the standoff between two groups assuming opposite sides of the street. One ethnically mixed group of mostly Latino, Black, and White had taken the side of the street in front of the Venezuelan Embassy to show solidarity with Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. The group on the other side was the all white, privileged youth of the Venezuelan elite residing in the U.S. who want to see their country’s return to the days when they dominated the economic and political process.

The latter are hoping that the recent unrest in their country signals the end of the Bolivarian process and the overthrow of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late President Hugo Chavez. The protest they staged at the Embassy was to help this become so.

The current situation started in Venezuela February 12, 2014 with violence perpetrated against the democratically elected government and civilians resulting in three deaths, 61 persons wounded and 69 detained. This followed what were, for the most part, peaceful marches marking the 200th anniversary of the battle of La Victoria, in which students played a critical role in a victory against royalist forces during Venezuela’s war of independence. Some student groups marched in celebration of the Day of the Student but violent anti-government demonstrators used the occasion to protest episodic shortages of some basic goods, persistent crime, and to demand the release of students who had been arrested in earlier demonstrations.

“In Merida… opposition students and youth, some armed, marched through the city centre and protested outside the state government building, and another small march was held in the nearby town of Ejido. Marchers chanted ‘Maduro resign now!’”
“Observers told that they witnessed opposition protestors firing live ammunition indiscriminately into buildings, throwing rocks and attempting to storm a communal house in the city centre.”

While the Obama Administration and capitalist news media want everyone to believe a repressive Venezuelan government is attacking peaceful protests, there are videos of protestors using fire and rocks against the police. The Merida state governor, Alexis Ramirez released aphoto on twitter showing one of the armed protestors. “The governor also alleged that one student who had been arrested claimed that he had been paid 150 bolivars by far right opposition leader, Villca Fernandez to protest. Almost all students protesting wore balaclavas.”

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