Let's start first what pushed the regime over to commit yet a new provocation. Yesterday I wrote about the protest march I followed from Las Americas to Chuao. The main march was from Chacao to Chuao and there is that panoramic image below.
Huge rally Sunday in #Caracas; described as a march against Cuban interference in #Venezuela. pic.twitter.com/vZ5ZYacLIN via @mirtha556657
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 16, 2014
Clearly, if I was among the traditional hardcore opposition, the one in Chacao went well beyond a select group. People are starting to express clear feeling of xenophobia, justified as it is against colonial masters: the Cuban mercenaries sent over by Fidel to control Venezuela. And the world saw that, which is not only an embarrassment for the regime towards its colonial masters as far as world P.R. go, but yet another variable thrown in the cauldron of the the brewing open rebellion.
The regime had to do something. What happened in the wee hours this morning may have been planned or was accelerated due to that march, but the point is that it was again bad timing for an increasingly tone deaf regime. The highlight was the militarization of Plaza Altamira which has been a mini evening war zone for the past month. Twitter already abounds with pictures of military personnel all over, going from registering innocent passerby to bringing buses with chavistas from somewhere to organize some kind of "liberation from fascism" celebration. This all perfectly useless even if they think Raul Castro may be happy. Protesters will simply shift venues or wait for the military to tire of being in Altamira regularly insulted by passerby.
It is to be noted that the mayor, Ramon Muchacho, has gone to twitter to say that this is not the militarization of Chacao district (and his probable incarceration?) just a security thing. For all the threats the regime has not acted against Muchacho after all: the law is too much in his favor and needs to be changed first, I suppose.
|Maduro's hand will feed you!|
Oh! Fret not! If Cuba is 50 years behind the times and uses hand written documents, Venezuela being only a decade and a half behind the times can still issue those ration cards in plastic format, like a debit card, accepted only in state stores. It even can afford the luxury to orwellianly call it "abastecimiento seguro", secured supplying...
And of course all accompanied with yet more precise grandiloquent promises of all sorts of food emporium for El Pueblo, including Mercosur supermarket chains invited to set shop. For example the regime plans to open 23, not 19 or 35, 23, "centros de cultura alimentaria" (centers of educational feeding?) which I suppose are places where people will be taught to eat more with less (or less with more? or less with less?)
Cuba! Here we go! We love you and we want to be like you everyday more!
PS: with February scarcity index close to 50% (and I can vouch that even for me who does not buy regulated feed stuff, the scarcity index is growing) the whole ration card is moot, in a way. It will just be a tool for control as I wonder who will get a ration card in opposition districts...
By the way, think about this: with a 50% scarcity index, you need to go to at least three stores to get 8 or the 8 items in your shopping list. You get 5 in the first store, you get 2 in the second store, and with luck the 8th one in the third store. Yes, it is not arithmetic but I am correcting for the presence in the scarcity index of stuff that you almost never find like milk.