Sunday, April 23, 2017

Update on French elections

Yesterday I went to vote at the Caracas French embassy. I smelled tear gases wafting around us.  On one side democracy, on the other democracy's assassins.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And the next stop is....

OK, a lot has been going on. I cannot catch up with everything. So here follows a summary of sorts mixed with my conclusions. Sort it out if you can, I can't.

The recent crude facts

Friday, April 21, 2017

My April 19

I know, this is almost two days late but this was such a personal experience that I can indulge this post.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Terror in Caracas

What we have experienced today in Caracas is terror. Even yours truly got gassed, not much but truly. But I am not the one who suffered the most, by far. So I will start this entry with pictures that show clearly the terror the regime deliberately forced upon us, at an enormous risk of lives lost. Four pictures to say it all.

This picture truly represents terror. On the right what are goons of the worst kind. On the left kids, teenagers 20 something, girls, hiding for dear life away from these goons, trying not to fall in the river. Look at the picture, look at the details!!!

Unfortunately some of them had to go down and wade through one of the most contaminated streams of the world, the rive Guaire that crosses Caracas, an open air sewer. I let you imagine the consequences...

How did that happen? The repression deliberately set a trap that could have caused hundreds of death.

The main highway through Caracas was taken by the march. That highway, Autopista Francisco Fajardo, AFF, splits at the level of Chacaito in an upper road West-East and a lower road East-West. Since the march was so huge (in a post later) the two decks were densely packed. Then the regime decided to strike. In the first picture you will see the upper deck and how packed it was. Had the wind gone East West, or had there being no breeze, the suffocation would have created a stampede and people would have been trampled upon, or maybe even jumped! I suppose the regime bet on the wind so that the smell would not be so bad to avoid a stampede. But the risk was enormous, ENORMOUS!

The next picture is the view West East where you can appreciate more what I just wrote. You can also see the amount of tear/pepper gas used and that the breeze was not that strong. You can also see that the lower deck battle was strong and that the crush forced people to jump into the sewer. The crossing shown above is further down river and not seen in this picture in particular, or at least it had not started yet as people may not have been aware yet of what was happening.

Now you understand better the terror in the first picture above.

All of these are worthy of Crime Against Humanity pursuits...

For the record, while I prepare the next post with my own personal experience of the day.

About ten minutes before the gassing started I was where the cell phone add was (white, black sash), at the end of the curve. That is where we decided to go back as it was becoming impossible to go further and people were already going back. Within minutes the police was bombing the area and and a few minutes after we had to take refuge in the street on the right in an eatery that shall remain nameless because they have already been in trouble.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The dictator's hour

So we are in a dictatorship. And this one has made new progress these past days to prove to the world it is so.  We had Sunday a totally infamous presentation by the president Nicolas Maduro where live on TV he decided who is guilty of what and how.  This based on torture.  Yesterday he went further on that path convoking the militia to Caracas to stop the massive opposition protest planned for tomorrow and forcing the army to repeat once again their indefectible oath to the revolution and its heir, the dictator.  As a bonus he promised to arm the militia, which one needs to be recalled , is not constitutional. But details are not the regime's forte.

The army today is controlling all the streets it can and all the entries to Caracas to make sure protesters do not come to fill in Caracas protests. Useless as the opposition is convoking protests in all major cities of Venezuela. You need not go to Caracas to state that Maduro is a piece of shit: you can do it in the comfort of your own city where repression awaits for you all the same than in Caracas. Decentralization at its best.

Thursday, April 13, 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.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week 2 of the dictatorship: assorted pelting

The sensation yesterday was Maduro in San Felix receiving egg on his face, literally. Though I doubt it was egg considering their price and the lack of food.  Make that rotten eggs and stones and dog shit as the more likely projectiles.