It is hard not to be despondent in Venezuela these days. Even if the paradox is that the despondency of some translate into renewed energy. I suppose that when everything has been stolen from you, that is, your future, you may react strongly, if anything to see how many you can bring down with you.
I, for one, have been very despondent for two weeks, Well, particularly despondent I should correct. A very bad cold that drags on made things worse by making me feel guilty from not going out to any protest march for the past two weeks. Maybe I could have made an effort, but I also need to be as healthy as I can because my health affects the well being of others, like the SO. So I read twitter and watch in horror and awe the videos of what Venezuela has turned into.
For the last two weeks, as expected, the regime has been cranking up its terror machine. They attack with excess tear gas, excess violence, more and more live bullets, even before the protest marches get the time to coalesce. But that has not been enough to stop people from taking to the streets so they notched it up. Thus they started riding their bikes into shopping centers and shot people taking refuge in there. I know it, a brother of mine was the victim of one of such attacks when two bikes with two nazional guards each burst into the CCCT mall. While he was recovering from a long march with something to drink and eat before reaching for his car back home, the bikes pushed through the glass doors and on to the court floor, driving around panicked people, shooting their pellets at random.
But it has not been enough yet, so up a notch. Now they steal while they repress. That is, they gas you while they are protected with their masks, and when your are coughing out your lungs they perform on you one or many of the following activities: frisk you, beat you up, smash you to the ground, break your camera or personal object of choice, steal your cell phone, steal your wallet and wristwatch, and who knows what else their nazified mind can come up with.
There is no need for me to describe in further details: foreign newspapers are full of such stories and pics. Get any serious time line on tweet, like mine, and be blown away by some of the videos that you will see.
And yet there are still assholes that are not getting it, that speak of dialogue, or complain that I use words such as nazi as if nothing. Will they feel better if I were to use only Fascist? Stalinist? Franquista? Castrista? Aren't this all the final representation of the root idea? That is, totalitarianism.
I can defend myself by noticing that the root nazi does not appear in any of my chosen label words. You can find f c and t words, but no n word. I know better. But in the end it does not make any difference. People should not judge today's event with criteria of the past, just as sins of the past cannot be evaluated with morality of the present. And yet this is what you find in reporting on Venezuela in the press and many web pages, a desperate attempt at describing the post Chavez regime with cliches from the past when what we have, in truth, is the first true modern narco state, in need of its own words for its accounting.
And for those who think that a video of police unburdening defenseless women from their wallet, watches and phones is not such a terrible deal since they were left alive and unraped, I beg to differ. The Nazis in the Russian forests did awful things just at the Communists did at the Siberian Gulags. The difference between then and now is that the streets were not crowded with people holding an Iphone in hand, ready to film the evidence. As a matter of fact the Nazi were stupid enough to document some of their horrors, something that Stalin smartly made sure it never happened.
In today's era of Facebook terror works best instilling the idea of what could happen to you if you leave home, rather than doing the actual violence. The horrors of the videos caught in Caracas streets are in fact lesser than the psychological terror that they pretend to create in the comfort of your own home. Without much success perhaps, for the time being, but not detracting from the fact that their totalitarian intent is there for all to see.
Even in my most pessimistic scenarios I did not envision a Venezuelan police beating to the ground someone without any weapon in hand, and then lower himself over his victim and search his pockets. Somehow for all my Cassandra qualities I was expecting more classical repression, more death counts. But no, a narco state does not operate this way. Its terror is sui generis. And now Cassandra is afraid to meditate on what comes next.