Friday, April 14, 2017

A Maundy Thursday to remember

What is remarkable today, more than the actual events, some horrific enough, is that they actually took place. For those not familiar with Venezuelan holiday habits, the Holy Week, from the Friday before Palm Sunday (viernes de concilio) until Easter is the biggest vacation time of the year. Whoever can get the week off leaves Caracas (or any provincial capital) to visit relatives, go to the beach, etc. When I was a kid there was not even a bakery open on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Not even movies!  TV only showed old biblical cheesy movies. Things have changed since but Good Friday still remains mostly closed. And the rest of the week still is in slow motion, but effervescent on any Venezuelan beach.

This year the regime tried to revive these habits out of political expediency: public employees got the week off. The idea was to have as many people leave Caracas as protests kept mounting. It has not worked.

The first reason is that the regime has truly lost the pulse of the country: there is no money to go away on vacation for most people. Never mind the insecurity. The only thing that fills up are the beaches near the airport which are the only thing people can sort of afford for a day or two, without requiring a hotel, and bringing your own food. That the regime thought this would be enough to cool off tempers is beyond me.

And yet protests happened. That the Monday-Wednesday gap was somewhat troubled is still something to understand. But Maundy Thursday? Good Lord! I may now die, I have seen it all...

Certainly the flow of people was less than earlier, but THERE WAS a flow of people. And repression was not far behind.  I will just post some relevant tweets and Instagram as I did yesterday. You'll get the point. (Note: this blog returns to normal titles, accepting the idea that gentle readers are now fully conscious that Venezuela is recognized internationally, at last, as a dictatorship).

Two gatherings in Caracas, one in Montalban of a certain size that went own peacefully even though it took place in what chavistas call their home turf. But there was a reasonable but small gathering on the main Caracas highway, in spite of the rain. Eventually, taking advantage of the dwindling attendance the regime launched its troops and someone filmed that incredible video thinking. I suppose the regime allowed for the journalist's filming thinking that they were hitting some propaganda jackpot... For full effect watch the video thinking of the Storm Trooper march of Star Wars.

More importantly was what happened in Carora. This is kind of a Podunk town if it were not for its historical significance and that Polar created nearby the only serious vineyard in Venezuela, Pomar. Well, Carora was up in uproar. Uproar enough to have the Nazional Guard shoot directly at protesters! It ain't Caracas alone no more.

A post shared by Mario José Sosa Salas (@mjsosa84) on

Trouble were reported from other provincial gatherings, and deaths in Lara.

We also had a bonus video on how a fainted protester was robbed by a squad of colectivos. There you go, the new man of chavismo. OK, that was not today but it is now a timeless classic of those who still support chavismo.

Bonus tweet: the BBC underlines Leopoldo Lopez heroic standing.

To close this let's also look at the date: April 13. This is the hallowed date of chavismo, April 13 of 2002 when Chavez was returned to power (how dearly we have paid the chaos of April 2002...). Well, like every year since the regime tries some celebration including the ritual of Puente Llaguno from where chavista shoot and killed protes marchers on April 11 2002.   This year, there were no grand announcements but the Puente Llaguno was on. And it failed miserably.  If you think that Tal Cual exaggerates, I defy you to find a video in any of the official time lines like @nicolasmaduro, @presidencialven. But you will find videos from 2002.....

Truly chavismo is ebbing, fast.


  1. So Pomar is Polar? One more reason to love these guys.Thank god there are people like Lorenzo Mendoza in the country.

  2. CARACAS -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that he was increasing the nation's militia paramilitary force to half-a-million and instructed members to seize power in the oil-rich nation in case he is unseated.

    "If the right wing attempts a coup d'etat, go out and seize power," the embattled President said Monday. "I have approved the plan for Defense Minister Padrino Lopez to expand our militia to 500,000 men and equip each of them, including a rifle."

    The militia does not have Constitutional standing, as a move by the late Hugo Chavez, Maduro's mentor and predecessor, to have Venezuela's Magna Carta amended to provide that force was rejected in 2007.

    1. Damn the opposition should all poise as malitia and get armed and informed of the plan.

  3. Boludo Tejano10:42 AM

    The militia does not have Constitutional standing, as a move by the late Hugo Chavez, Maduro's mentor and predecessor, to have Venezuela's Magna Carta amended to provide that force was rejected in 2007.

    Has the regime done ANYTHING in the last year have Constitutional standing? Yes, I exaggerate, but the regime routinely violates- routinely ignores- the Constitution it wrote.

  4. "Decreto de Guerra a Muerte" y "No mas Chavista!" Simón dice!

  5. good article if you haven't seen it


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