The cadena finished at 2:45 and immediately Globovision (the only news channel left with independent coverage) showed what happened when the protesting students left. They had to be loaded in Metropolitana armored police trucks and in Nazional Guard trucks, just as criminals, so they could leave safely the National Assembly area. Why? Because chavista hordes were waiting outside screaming and throwing things at anything looking like a student, or looking not quite chavista, or looking like a press journalist.
The brave students did not blanch, they climbed in the trucks and kept holding through the interstices of the iron bars their messages of peace and freedom. A stunning image!!!!!!!!
It is fit to remember that while all of this took place, outside of the National Assembly that is supposed to be the assembly, the place of meeting for ALL Venezuelans, the pro Chavez students were having their sycophantic display where their hate for the near lynched brethren was hardly concealed.
Thus, the foreign press in Venezuela could see first hand the level of hatred that chavismo has created in 8 years. It was for all there to see, and more than anything else it justified why the students decided to leave early.
This did not stop one of the main student leaders, Goicochea, to remind the country that the National Assembly is not representative of the country, while he was walking out of the Capitolio. Thus he said that the only thing the assembly deserved was to be read a statement, in consideration of their legal status, but no debate. Debate will take place outside, directly with the people. A la Chavez? :-)
Kudos to these kids! The most bravery we have seen in years!!!!
Addendum: Later took place in the USB gardens an open air press conference where we heard more complete information as to why they stepped out of the National Assembly.
1) they had asked for a right to reply to the insults that had come earlier from the National Assembly. They never asked for any debate of any sort.
2) The National Assembly did reply but it is the one who had the initiative of a debate. Not only that but they set the way it woudl be held, etc... Students were simply notified.
3) Thus the protesting students did not want to play the game of the National Assembly which was to politicize the student marches and rallies by pitting a "them against us" scenario, by clearly separating the good students (the bolivarian ones) from the bad students paid by Bush... the same old story upon which chavismo builds its strength, division and more division.
That is why they left and refused to stay. They stated clearly that any student debate must be held among students, chavistas or not, in student assemblies, far from any political limelight. I wonder how many bolivarian revolutionary students are going to show up at those debates...........
No wonder Cilia Flores blanched.
New Blogs (in English) following the situation
Julia tells us about her won experiences goign to marches and stuff.
Eric is a gringo who happens to be around during all of this mess.
A certain Tank gives more pictures.
New Addendum: Tal Cual was already reporting today that the N.A. was stting a trap at its meeting this morning, BEFORE the students showed up. I am putting the text below in Spanish.
Emboscada en la AN
En vez de prestar su tribuna a los estudiantes universitarios para formular sus reclamos desde la sede del Poder Legislativo contra el cierre de RCTV, los diputados rojos-rojitos de la Asamblea Nacional, decidieron jugar posición adelantada y sacaron bajo la manga un debate con supuestos delegados del movimiento chavista de educación superior.Por añadidura, varios diputados comenzaron ya a reinterpretar el sentido y propósito de la presencia estudiantil en el hemiciclo, esbozando explicaciones sobre la naturaleza política de su lucha, mientras otros voceros gubernamentales se esfuerzan en aclarar que se trata de los estudiantes de las universidades privadas.
Por si fuera poco, la vicepresidenta de la AN, ya definió de antemano el temario de la jornada prevista para hoy, que a su juicio versará sobre los modelos de país que quiere cada sector.