Tuesday, July 22, 2003

EL PETARAZO: A NEW MEANING FOR RIDICULE?
A series since June 15
July 22, 2003

In this comedy of errors that the Petarazo has been, one would think that the Chavez administration would have tried to dampen the atmosphere. Well, no.

The ministry of public works took over the reconstruction of the Metropolitan Police that was destroyed by the rioting chavistas. And of course it needed to be re-inaugurated (by the way the construction was rather fast by government standards).

A ceremony of sorts, with the appropriately ferried crowds gave us the Vice “giving” the police station to the National Guard so it will be able to ensure the order that supposedly the Police could not do. I have this image of soldiers with long weapons, trellis combinations, darkened face perhaps, going uphill in the worst slums pursuing some robber. Discreet, efficient. Another high point was the ineffable William Lara, last years president of the National Assembly, declaring without a hint of self-consciousness that finally the people of Petare will not be subjected anymore to the abuses of the Metropolitana Police, to the continuos violations of basic human rights that this one seems to have perpetrated on Petare’s denizens for eons. Unnoticed for these years? Mr. Lara, could you explain us why as the president of the National Assembly you did not sponsor a bill to eliminate such an evil body? Or did you have to reach El Petarazo to realize the horror of the Metropolitana? And was the Petare police brigade the only one committing such atrocities?

Sometimes one wonders what is worse, the insults to our moral standards or to our intelligence.

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