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Street Violence in Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 at 12:31 PM


Street Violence in Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman

Since Chavez took office in February 1999, Washington instigated political, economic and street violence destabilization schemes.

On February 4, right-wing manipulated anti-government student protests began in San Cristobal. They erupted elsewhere. They turned violent. Washington's dirty hands are involved.

At issue is destabilizing Venezuela. It's toppling its government. Washington tried it before. Chavistas foiled an April 2002 coup attempt.

A 64-day 2002 - 03 general strike and oil management lockout followed. It caused severe economic disruption.

An August 2004 national recall referendum failed. Chavez won overwhelmingly. Other disruptions occur regularly. They continue. Current ones are the latest. More on them below.

Washington wants Bolivarianism crushed. It wants social justice ended. It wants Venezuela returned to its bad old days.

It wants state enterprises privatized. It wants control of Venezuelan oil. Its resources are the world's largest. They exceed Saudi Arabian reserves. It's a prize Big Oil predators covet.

Obama wants Venezuela's government toppled. He killed Chavez. He was either poisoned or infected with cancer causing substances.

Maduro believes he's targeted the same way. He knows Obama wants him ousted. He wants pro-US stooge governance replacing him. He likely wants him dead. Perhaps he's plotting to kill him.

Eliminating independent leaders is longstanding US policy. Bolivarian fairness is a thorn in Washington's side.

It's the threat of a good example. Crushing it is America's top regional objective. Leopoldo Lopez is an anti-Bolivarian fascist politician.

He's a former Chacao Municipality of Caracas mayor. He heads the anti-Bolivarian right-wing Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party.

In mid-2013, he said "we are not going to wait six years to be given change."

"There cannot be peace." He urged anti-government elements to restart street protests. Last April, violence took nine lives.

Dozens were injured. Maduro blamed opposition leader Henrique Capriles. Lopez was involved. Maduro calls them fascists.

He accused protestors of wanting "injuries and deaths. They want to project images to the world in order to disrupt our country."

Student protestors are manipulated. Some wear masks and hoods. They claim they're protesting insecurity.

They blocked roads, burned tires and threw stones. They attacked a government building project. They targeted Tachira state Governor Vielma Mora's residence.

They broke through his main gate. They threw stones, bottles and "some kind of molotov bomb," said Mora. They threatened his wife.

She blamed Lopez for what happened. He denied involvement. His words ring hollow. He called for protests. Fascists love violence.

Governor Mora said 12 police guarding his residence were injured. Authorities identified the perpetrators.

Maduro said violent protestors will be punished. He urged peaceful Venezuelans not to "fall for the provocation of hate-filled minorities that want to deviate us from the construction of the homeland and fill the country with chaos."

Protests continued through Wednesday. Radical participants chanted "Maduro resign now." Witnesses reported seeing indiscriminate live fire. Various buildings were targeted.

Some protesters threw rocks. An attempt was made to storm a Merida communal house. At a main intersection, masked protesters forced passengers off buses. They did so at gunpoint.

Motorists were attacked. An independent journalist was targeted. Protesters threatened to kill her. "Give us your camera or we'll kill you," they said.

Venezuelan fascist elements manipulate students. Washington's dirty hands are involved.

Liberation is a right-wing student movement. Villca Fernandez is national coordinator. Venezuelans face "growing insecurity," he claimed.

"Maduro has to understand that the student movement will never recognize him as president."

"He should resign, and we'll be in the streets until we recover freedom." He urged "all Venezuelans (to) go out into the streets and raise your voice against the violence."

He wrongfully claims it's state-sponsored. Radical students instigated it. Lopez is involved. He was heading for Tachira state. He planned to address student protesters.

He was involved in a Caracas airport incident. He physically attacked facility staff. His flight was delayed.

Ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) leader Diosdada Cabello said he'll be prosecuted for assault.

Youth Ministry head Victor Clark called protesters a minority fringe. They don't "represent Venezuelan youth who want peace, to study, and to use the university as a space to grow," he said.

February 12 is National Youth Day. It commemorates the victorious 1814 Battle of La Victoria.

It was during Venezuela's war of independence. Celebratory events are held. This year was a bicentennial remembrance.

Central University of Venezuela student leader Alejandro Padron said Lopez and those around him called for "violent mobilizations" at this year's commemoration.

He urged protesters to "destabilize the country." He hired "organized criminals." He "promote(d) criminal acts."

Communist Youth of Venezuela secretary Hector Rodriguez said opposition elements "aim to use violence to rupture the process of change that our country is carrying out."

Maduro warned about "plans coming out of Miami to fill Venezuela with blood." He urged Venezuelans not to "fall for the provocations."

His government promotes peace and stability. Fascist opponents "combin(e) strategies of economic war, psychological war, and trying to fill the country with blood," he said.

Violence marked this year's Youth Day commemoration. Hard-right protesters attacked government buildings. Bystanders were targeted.

Two deaths were reported. Around two dozen others were injured. About 30 arrests were made.

Maduro spoke publicly in Caracas. He did so around mid-afternoon. He praised peaceful morning celebrants.

Chavista community leader Juan Montoya was shot to death shortly afterwards. Cabello condemned his killing.

He blamed right-wing extremists. "They are fascists, murderers," he said. On the one hand, they urge "dialogue."

On the other, they commit cold-blooded murder. They want Venezuela destabilized. Cabello urged calm. He cautioned against reprisals.

Hooligans attacked various government buildings. Maduro said opposition thugs tried setting five police patrol vehicles ablaze. Some targeted the attorney general's office.

Others tried attacking the Miraflores Palace. It's Maduro's official workplace. It's Venezuela's White House.

Imagine how area cops, secret service operatives, perhaps backed by heavily armed Marines would respond to this type incident in Washington.

They'd be screaming major media headlines. They'd be no mercy shown. They'd be unrestrained police state violence.

They'd be protesters' blood in the streets. They'd be mass arrests. They'd be prosecutions, convictions and long imprisonments.

Venezuelan government supporters way outnumber extremist opponents.

One pro-government Youth Day marcher said he "believes in the project of our country. (It's) important to show that we are many. There are a lot of people who" support Bolivarianism.

Others said they want Venezuela kept out of the hands of violent extremists. They want sovereign independent governance preserved.

Maduro said two killed Venezuelans were shot in the head like "sharp shooters who murdered" civilians during Washington's aborted April 2002 coup attempt.

He warned violent protesters to expect arrests. He called them "trained groups...prepared to overthrow the government in a violent way."

"They have no ethics, no morals. We will not permit more attacks," he stressed.

Foreign Minister Elias Jaua accused Lopez of being the "intellectual author of the deaths and injuries in Caracas."

A warrant was issued for his arrest. He lives in a wealthy Caracas district. His whereabouts at this time isn't known.

Protester numbers are small. They make up for size with extreme violence. Fascist extremists manipulate them.

Washington has a long history of inciting this type violence. It targeted Venezuela numerous time before. This appears to be the latest outbreak.

Whether April 2002 2.0 is planned remains to be seen. It's unlikely. Protester are too few in number. Right-wing extremist leaders are known.

Thursday morning Caracas streets were calm. Perhaps before the storm continues. Early reports suggested no violence.

Most government opposition elements deplore it. They prefer expressing their views politically.

Fascists operate their own way. Hooligans are easy to recruit and manipulate. Washington money funds them. It's the American way. Rogue states operate this way.

Millions of dollars are spent destabilizing Venezuela. Obama exceeds the worst of George Bush. He wants Marduro ousted. Perhaps he wants him dead.

On February 13, Telesur interviewed Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua. He reported three deaths and 66 injured.

"The Venezuelan state is obligated to act justly to curb these violent fascist groups," he said. They "cannot stop the Bolivarian Revolution."

All measures will be taken to curb violence, he added. He expects a Western smear campaign blaming Venezuela's government for curbing street thug violence.

Fascists want "clashes between sectors and opponents of the Revolution. They want violence spread throughout the country and thus start a war," he stressed.

Corporate interests want Bolivarianism ended, he added. Extremists like Leopoldo Lopez "have received money from US" sources.

State Department-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) money is involved. It's an anti-democratic initiative.

It prioritizes destabilization and regime change. Likeminded US organizations operate the same way. Venezuela is a prime target. It's been so for 15 years.

Jaua urged Venezuelans to have confidence in measures authorities took. Others will follow "in the framework of the constitution and democracy," he said.

Early Thursday, Maduro met with National Executive representatives. "We are united as a single force that we are…We (will) confront and defeat the attempt to truncate democracy," he stressed.

The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign (VSC) issued a statement. It condemned "extreme right-wing violence." It "seeks the 'exit' of the government."

It's fascist manipulated and directed. Washington's dirty hands are involved.

"La Salida (The Ousting) is the political strategy identified with extreme right elements of the Venezuelan opposition's leaders," said VSC.

"Its declared aim is to oust the democratically elected government of President Maduro well before he finishes his constitutional mandate in 2019."

Street violence shows what Bolivarian supporters face. On Wednesday, fascist opposition leader Lopez said violence won't end until "we manage to remove those who govern us."

Right-wing extremists choose street "violence to make up for their electoral failings."

La Salida followed Maduro's productive dialogue with opposition mayors. It focused on stabilizing Venezuela.

It aimed to resolve differences through dialogue and negotiations. Discussions included ways to combat crime and economic speculation.

According to VCR:

Right-wing extremists, "and their external funders, see Maduro's calls for collaboration in peace and harmony as a threat to their illegal, undemocratic and unconstitutional practices."

"We therefore:

• condemn their lawless violence "and unconstitutional actions against the democratically elected and constitutional government of President Maduro."

• "…urge everyone to heed President Maduro's call for peace and dialogue..."

• "express our unconditional support for his government" and Venezuelan constitutional principles.

VSC urged Venezuelans to send solidarity statements of support as well as condemnation of right-wing violence.

"No to violence! No to coup-mongering! Yes to dialogue, peace and respecting the democratic will of the majority!"

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."


Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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