On my way out to Caracas yesterday I saw many long lines in San Felipe. Here is one.
And this morning I read the post of Alex that mentions an entry of the NYT with a rather silly title. I am not going to go into what Neuman writes, though I suspect that if it were not for María Eugenia Díaz who is in Caracas all the time his writing would be more disappointing.
The point here is that there is still not clear understanding of what is going on in Venezuela, and on this I rank people like Neuman as well as disappointing and tone deaf comments from blogs that should know better that find unfortunate echo elsewhere. Amen of the NYT "debate" who cannot even find a true Venezuelan to defend the regime, while I am trying to forget hard that these foreigners demand that the opposition recognizes chavismo.... Oh dear.....
The protests come from people who realize that their future has been robbed by a narco-kleptocracy. Almost anyone in Venezuela that has aspirations to a better future through education, hard work, you name it, questions more or less actively the regime.
"el pueblo" is not as active for many reasons. One, it is because many do actually like the regime for religious reasons. Another reason is that even if they do not like Maduro they are too dependent on him, for a job, for a Mision, for a little bit of food distributed for free or for cheap after a long line like the one on the attached video. They have no time to march or protest because they need to ensure food first. Amen that protesting inside their community would provoke the wrath of the local "colectivos" or "consejo comunal" which are the guardians of the revolution in an iranocuban sense. That is why there are so many upper class marchers, in the hundred of thousands all across the country as many leave the barrio to go and march with the middle class in their safer areas. The current protests cuts wide across classes. Deal with it.
The video above is the entry line to the fair complex of San Felipe. The local regime representatives use that often for food distribution schemes. If you watch the video that I took as I drive along you will notice some of the people, already out with bags waiting to be picked up by X, some of "services" offereds these people, that the line that goes into the hundred, and the mystery as to what is delivered inside, these people having being most likely notified by word of mouth or by their own consejo comunal. You will notice that all of these people are from humble social origin. Certainly I approve that these people get food help. But food stamps used in the stores of their choice would do the same trick without forcing them to line for hours to stress their dependency on the regime. these food distribution schemes are organized on purpose that way to control people better.