Sunday, 23 March 2014

Venezuela: another socialist experiment turns bloody

The situation in socialist Venezuela continues to spiral into into violence as the Guardian reports today:

Three Venezuelans have died from gunshot wounds during protests against socialist President Nicolás Maduro, witnesses and local media have said, pushing the death toll to 34 from almost two months of demonstrations that have been answered with deadly force from both security forces and armed pro-government gangs.

Troops briefly clashed with a small group of protesters who attempted to block a highway in an upscale neighbourhood of Caracas after thousands of opposition supporters marched to demand the release of students imprisoned during the unrest.

Demonstrators complaining of soaring prices and product shortages have vowed to remain in the streets until Maduro resigns, although there are few signs that the country's worst turmoil in a decade will force him from office.

This comes after the murder of more high profile victims such as beauty queen Genesis Carmona only a month ago. At the time one of her relatives told Reuters:

"How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?''

At the same time how long will it take the left in this country to wake up and recognise what a nightmare Venezuela has become? As usual the so-called progressives see all opposition to the former Chavez regime under Maduro as "fascists".

Emergency Meeting with Venezuelan Minister for Communications Delcy Rodriguez this Saturday
After the anti-racism demonstration in London yesterday, the sinister Socialist Action group invited participants to attend an emergency meeting of the pro-government Venezuela Solidarity Campaign. We are told that the Minister for Communications Delcy Rodriguez :

She will give a briefing & update on the current situation in Venezuela, where recent weeks have seen – as part of a campaign launched by Venezuela’s extreme right-wing opposition leaders forLa Salida (The Ousting of the country’s elected Government) – a wave of violent street disturbances in various parts of Venezuela, & continued Government calls for peace & dialogue.

This would be the "democratically" elected government that suppressed most of the opposition press would it comrades?

James Bloodworth writing in The Independent last month reminds us:

In recent weeks students have taken to the streets in the capital Caracas to protest at the rising cost of living, rampant crime and government repression. And there is a great deal to be angry about if you are Venezuelan. Inflation has rocketed to more than 55 per cent, there are widespread blackouts and the staples of life are increasingly scarce. This, despite the fact that Venezuela is the most oil-rich country in the world. Crime is so rife in the big cities that many vulnerable Venezuelans are reluctant even to venture outside anymore. The murder rate in Caracas is 122 per 100,000 residents - higher even than Baghdad (as a Cuban friend of mine quipped last year, at least proper dictators like Fidel Castro keep the streets safe).

The response by the authorities to the protests has merely highlighted once again the government's unwillingness to tolerate dissent. Leopoldo Lopez, a former mayor and one of the protest organisers, has had an arrest warrant issued against him and videos have emerged of students being pistol whipped and kicked by armed policeman. As if taking its cue straight from the Soviet playbook, the government has blamed a “fascist upsuge” for the violence and “saboteurs” for the disintegration of the economy.

The supporters of the brutal Venezuelan government are launching a series of meetings around the country to lobby for Labour Movement support for this "beacon of socialism and democracy. One of the advertised speakers is none other than George Galloway, whose other political hobbies include supporting the Islamist dictatorship in Iran (key of ally of the Venezuelan government) and that other great beacon of democracy, the concentration camp known as North Korea.

Meanwhile in Venezuela ordinary people will continue to suffer at the hands of Maduro's thugs.

The Labour and Trade Union movement needs to break off all support for the Venezuelan Government and stand up for real democracy and human rights.

Venezuela must release all political prisoners and allow freedom of speech and expression in the media. The left are currently covering for a corrupt and brutal dictatorship. This has to end.


No comments:

Post a Comment