It has been now a little bit over two weeks since the first victims were counted. Since then there has been rallies and marches every day all across Venezuela. The death number keeps rising, the documented torture reports are now in the dozenS, with an S. Arrests are in the hundreds. A "peace conference" came and went within 24 hours. Major marches are called for this weekend, people are not leaving for the Carnival holiday made already 2 days longer by the regime with no effect. They are idiots, people have no much money to go on holiday this year after having endured a 60% inflation....
Since I have been trying to make my way to Caracas for the last couple of days I may not be able to write much for another couple of days so I thought that tonight I could sort of try to see where we are at.
Let's start putting us up to date. Today we had two telling events.
Apparently finally a Nazional Guard got shot. But apparently it was due to friendly fire. Which does not stop the Valencia Nazional Guard to search the shooting area for all possible protesters to try to pin the guilt elsewhere. How so fascistically repressive.... But there is no official confirmation yet so we shall wait. Whatever it was, it is a sign of increasing violence and disarray by the Nazional guard which is starting to get nervous that after two weeks they still cannot push back people into their homes, even when they attack directly journalists to silence them. I am putting at the end a video from a female journalists that was taken under custody and terrorized.
The other event was an outcome of the peace conference that resulted in Lorenzo Mendoza, head of Polar, reciting to the government in public a dodecalogue of what needs to be done with the economy. If Mr. Mendoza list could be seen, in a way, as a genuine attempt at regime education, it was also a political indictment of 15 years of mismanagement. What Mendoza said without saying is "listen, you may repress in a blood bath the country, but you are not going to escape the economic curse that you called on yourself!" Something very pleasant for this blogger who has been repeating that the worse of the crisis lies ahead, when food stops. That the regime allowed this to be vented, is, well, telling of at least some disarray.
These two moments speak a lot because they reflect that after more than two weeks of massive protests, following less massive but equally important local protests, the regime still does not know what to do. Not that I think it can do much but now even repression is counterproductive, the world, now that Ukraine is over, is slowly but surely measuring the disaster brewing and the repressive dictatorship that chavismo has evolved into. We got for example a Canadian parliament resolution and an European Parliament resolution voted nearly 1 to 10! Think about that! From socialists to right wing, all democrats went against the methods of Maduro. The US Senate is also brewing something.
The thing is that repressing even the press is the worse way for Venezuela to make its case. Sending Jaua the foreign minister to a grand tour of South America with his speech stating that the lone advice that the regime is willing to consider is UNASUR is an admission that the regime is alone in the world, and that, as a matter of fact it cannot rely 100% on its allies (I understand that Jaua did not get a public appearance with his Brazilian colleague whereas the one from Argentina said that the Venezuelan people had the "right to be rued by Maduro". Oh dear...).
Sure enough, Venezuela's democrats feel justifiably abandoned by Latin America but there are circumstances that make some people wait to speak up, too long for this post. From Chile Andres Velasco is only one of the many voices that complain about the moral failure of the Latin American left in condemning that repression, willing to forget past abuses because now abuses are made by the left... a witness on how morally degrading is the unfounded admiration for Fidel Castro even among people that should know better about the reality of that criminal.
At this point we can at least take comfort in some victories for the democrat side. The image war has been lost by the regime. Its credibility is nonexistent. And its survival is more based these days overseas on the wishes of countries to get paid what Venezuela owes them than any real sympathy.
But there is yet another victory that is starting to show. CNNE went into Petare barrios and not only was well received but was able to prove that barrios do not support massively the regime anymore. In other words, chavista supporters in the barrios are far from being ready to go down and defend the regime as we have suspected since the beginning of that crisis. Well, at least this blogger that has had a very different vision than some other blogs and newspapers around. For me, everyday that passes confirms that the revolt is an act of despair by people who are aware their future is stolen. There is no other way to understand why there has been so much fuel to it. This is not about a given petty grievance, this is about liberty. And that the chavista hoi polloi senses and is unwilling to go against.
As such the regime is left to the infernal spiral of repression with security forces instead of popular counter-marches to dwarf those of the opposition. This is a novel situation for the regime that it clearly does not know how to handle.