Last week we have seen an escalation of violent activity that we had not experienced since the sad events that started in February 2014 as Guarimbas. Nevertheless today we see a change in the scenery, since Unasur has been momentarily demobilized and the OAS has gained new right wing allies to demolish any revolutionary process around the continent.
Luis Almagro has used all the tools he has at hand in order to demonize Nicolas Maduro’s government, calling it “authoritarian”, last year he was already saying that Maduro was on the brink of becoming a “petty dictator”, since what you do with dictators is to oust them, then that should be the easy solution, an international intervention, a humanitarian invasion, a quick solution, but nothing is so easy.
This very week, Williams Davila, an opposition representative of the state of Merida, declared to the international news agency EFE, that their intention is not to get Venezuela suspended from OAS, but to force the government to call elections. This is funny since they are accusing the legitimate government of “breaking the constitutional order”, but calling an election, after failing to comply with the appropiate steps to revoke the President’s mandate, is inconsistent at best.
Davila also said that between 2005 and 2015 they never managed to sit down in a OAS meeting, since José Miguel Insulza would not even receive them, but Almagro is different he has sat down with all Venezuelan opposition leaders and those from other nations, definitively this man has an agenda to fulfill.
In any case, the escalation of political violence along with this international “pressure” threaten to build up to an outcome dangerous not only for Venezuela but for the entire region. On Thursday April 6th night I was talking to a friend who remembered the hell of 1989, about how the police entered impoverished neighbourhoods with live rounds of ammunition in order to detain people after the Caracazo, and how this situation went on for days, I replied, the opposition leadership is looking for a dead body, a martyr.
Between 8 and 9 pm. there were people involved in some isolated riots in different areas of the city, including one very near a military zone in El Valle. There had been a skirmish between youngsters and the security forces in Carrizal, a middle-class neighbourhood between Caracas and Los Teques, some people were banging pots and pans from their buildings and people registered the events in social media.
And it was about that time the opposition had their prize, a young fellow student of the Universidad Bicenteraria de Aragua was shot dead, Jairo Johan Ortiz Bustamante, 19 years old, who was in a Guarimba probably near his very home in the area of Carrizal, Los Salias Municipality of Miranda State.
For a few hours Jairo Ortiz and Carrizal were the topics among the opposition. Maria Corina Machado (opposition leader and presidential candidate) stated “This is a Bloody dictatorship”.
On the other hand Capriles boldly accused the the Ministry of the Interior and the National Guard of ordering the deadly attack.
Venezuelan national Ombudsman, Tarek William Saab was quick to respond to this terrible event and he sent several messages via Twitter firmly condemning the awful event and assuring that the Ombuds Office as well as all competent instances would investigate the event surrounding this death so that justice is met. Actually, on Friday the Ministry of the Interior and the National Prosecutor announced the material author of the crime was a police officer and he is being prosecuted (we would like to see justice delivered so fast in the States or in Turkey).
Nevertheless, a life has been lost and that is something you can never recover. On Thursday we saw how Henrique Capriles was carried out of the violent demonstration at Fajardo Highway. Allegedly the effects of the tear gas were too much for him. Another opposition leader, Freddy Guevara, was also calling for people to walk toward the Ombudsman’s Office: Guevara was nowhere to be seen after 4pm. The opposition leadership keeps stirring up young people’s sentiment with the promise of a “change” in order to serve their own agenda of ousting Nicolas Maduro and reinstating a regime that is servile to U.S. interests, such as Argentina Macri’s or Brazil Temer’s.
“This crisis is reaching a breaking point”, says Almagro, and in Caracas while we try to reach either our workplace or our home, we can find some of the people’s opposition representatives shouting and screaming at a Metro station saying people must rebel against this repressive regime.
On Saturday the 8th of April we saw anothe “peaceful” demonstration by opposition members, this time they destroyed a national Supreme Court office in Chacao, Caracas. Everytime there’s violence, these elements attack any state office (transport units sometimes) they have at hand, I suppose they intend to privatize all this once they are in power. This is 2014 all over again.
Coromoto Jaraba Pineda is a translator living in Venezuela.