|Stopping a country...........|
The opposition called today for what was in fact a general strike but under another name: paro civico nacional (national civic stop). The old term of "paro" by itself used in 2002-2003 has been discredited, and useless today at any rate. How can you call for a general strike when the bulk of the economy is controlled by the state and when the private sector is so exsangue from years of repression and economic control that for all practical purposes it is like it were on a permanent semi strike? A nice adjective to paro will make it relevant again.
But progress has been made. Since the country is so angry at the regime there is no real need to call for a general strike: you call for a civilian protest that doubled with a "trancazo" will make sure it would look like a national strike without having the name.
And it worked. IT worked so well that the regime, among other things, had Maduro drive a car and filming from the inside the side walks "prove" that the strike had failed. Unfortunately the trick may have worked for those who DO NOT know Caracas but those that know were immediately into the Maduro fraud. See, downtown Caracas is plagued with "busetas", those worn out mini buses that have no qualm disembarking people anywhere at any time, on third rank if they feel like it. Seeing streets WITHOUT busetas and the joke was on Maduro. And there were other mistakes but that one was glaring enough to sink the propaganda stunt. While admitting that the paro civico has worked quite well.
But what is one to do locked at home for a day? Go for a long walk on the deserted avenues! Only when the avenues of El Cafetal are free of traffic can you measure how well they were designed, how adapted to humanity, until permanent traffic congestion, pollution and insecurity had wrecked their use. So, today, with an air so clear after almost 24 hours of rain, I had one of the longest and most enjoyable walks in years. Quite often I was actually alone, ALONE in a street for perhaps 5 minutes until a bike passed or somebody walked out a building with a dog in leash. Heavens....
I did take some pictures for the sake of it. Like the one above with a ridiculous barrier for trancazo, barely 20 yards ahead fo a real one.... But people are going crazy. Did I say that already?
Here are two more.
|Of course, tomorrow drive with a lot of care as many of these storm trenches and grids|
may not have been replaced as they should. You do not want to lose a tire.
|Creativity with material is is an art to appreciate.|
But while I was locked inside El Cafetal and forced to enjoy the views and the air, elsewhere things were not rosy. Back at home I could here explosion after explosion all afternoon. At one point I even caught one of the gas clouds, when the light was good enough to allow for contrast considering the distance. Note that all the gases thrown were drifting over the inhabitants next, babies, elderly and the sick included. Much bigger clouds and explosions were coming from El Marques or Los Ruices
It is rough and getting rougher.
PS: among the claims the regime had that the paro civico had failed, it advances that all banks were open. Well, in El Cafetal area ALL was closed, including the state bank agencies.