21 February 2014

It's All Going, uh... "South" - in South America

Venezuela is about to unravel and the world is distracted from both this and the Ukraine by the Olympics.

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

h/t JC

1 comment:

Brian said...

For Pete's sake don't start reading the comments below the blog entries though.

It seems there is no choice of settings between "panicked and breathless" and "dead silence", which I agree is a problem in itself.

VZ has been a very violent and very corrupt country for many years, long before Chavez came to power, worse than Colombia. This current turn of events is not strictly about state repression, it's about poverty and racism too; these are all constants in VZ society.