Monday, January 19, 2004

A new attack in downtown Caracas

Sunday 18, January 2004

Still on the road but I had to mention at least this.

This sunday morning a group of MAS people (democratic left group) tried to have a flower offering to Simon Bolivar in Downtown Bolivar square, an average activity for any Venezuelan political party in a country that venerates Bolivar. Well, the group was attacked by a few masked men (and even some women) carrying big metal bars and guns. A few injured people icluding a camera crew.

Of course the assailants did not wear any pro Chavez signs. Unfortunately for those that might want to hold to the theory that the MAS sponsored that "self" attack to gain publicity points, I will note that the attack was a block from the Vice Presidency, and another from the security state police. None of these guards, supposed on duty 24/7, showed up. Interesting, no?

The fact is that 99% of the political assaults in downtown Caracas remain un-prosecuted and even less punished. And that does not mean that the remaining 1 % justice is actually done...

No, the truth is that chavistas have made all that is possible to make of downtown Caracas a no-man-s-land for anyone that is not in the Chavez camp. Be it by flooding it with informal street commerce (that offers excellent cover and support for violent groups on call to act in pro of Chavez), be it by creating real violence to scare people away. This is a well conceived and crafted strategy, one of the extrmely few instances where Chavez and his minions show some efficiency.

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