Venezuela Protests Update: Dozens Dead, Food Shortages, and a Missing AP Story

by Jodi Giddings on March 18, 2014

While our attentions are laser focused on the illegal occupation of Ukraine by the chest-pounding Vladimir Putin and the less-than-tepid response to that invasion by the we-don’t-want-to-offend-you Obama Administration, along with the mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, the ongoing protests in Venezuela continue. Sadly, they have gone mostly unreported by our myopic, Socialism-embracing mainstream media.

The past several days have seen a number of disturbing events transpire:

  • Yesterday, Venezuelan citizens fought over access to a milk truck, a staple that is in severely limited supply.

  • Protesters retook Altamira Square in Caracas over the weekend, after having been removed more than a dozen times. The Venezuelan National Guard responded with water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets. They are now considering implementing rocket launchers.

Ven Tear Gas

  • Shelves in Venezuela are bare, with prices for common goods skyrocketing. Other foods are being purchased cheaply and sold for significantly higher prices on the black market. Some residents have had no running water for weeks. And food ration cards have become a reality. At least they have a wildly successful universal healthcare system.

Cheese Ven

No Water Ven

Food cards now a reality in Socialist Venezuela.

  • Venezuelan citizens have resorted to standing in long food lines. Supplies are being rationed, one of the several motivating factors behind the uprisings.
  • The Venezuelan National Guard is reportedly abducting high school girls off the streets.
  • The Venezuelan military has entered the city of Valencia, the capital of Carabobo, a hot bed of opposition to the Nicolás Maduro government. They soon overtook the local radio station and ultimately burned it to the ground.
Burned out remains of radio station 106.5FM in San Cristoba.

Burned out remains of radio station 106.5FM in San Cristoba.

  • Militia, known as “Los Collectivos” or “The Collective,” in traditional red shirts and baseball caps, entered Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado and set part of the school ablaze. In another town, police attacked a student rally at the University of Central Venezuela.
“The Collective" entered Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado and set part of the university ablaze.

“The Collective” entered Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado and set part of the university ablaze.

  • At least 29 deaths of mostly college students have occurred to date. Most died from asphyxiation from tear gas. Others at the hands of snipers.
  • A story from November 2012 that previously appeared on the Associated Press’ website and in its archives has curiously vanished. The story is an expose on the failing healthcare system under former president, Hugo Chávez. Peculiar that a story on the failure of socialized medicine by the AP, a rabid supporter of most everything Socialist Obama, would go missing. Not to worry. The Internet is forever and a helpful Twitter user has recovered it. You can read it here.
  • Venezuela officials ordered the Bolivarian National Guardsmen to attend the National Army rally, with no exceptions. In Caracas, they patrolled the streets playing Socialist music through loudspeakers attached to their vans. Meanwhile, a small group of pro-Socialism activists (paid by the regime?) rallied in support of food shortages, or something.
Ven Pro-Soc

A few dozen pro-Socialism demonstrators calling for more of the same.

Isn’t Socialism grand?

While the demonstrations continue—with an eerily silent Obama Administration (Michelle O. would probably just call them “knuckleheads” and nag them until they buy ObamaCare)—there still seems to be few definitive answers as to what exactly the protesters wish to achieve. Or even what percentage of Venezuelans they represent. I think we can all agree that Socialism has never worked anywhere, ever, in the history of mankind, and always ends with the repression of its citizens, another of the protesters complaints. But is it Capitalism that they want? Or the tried-and-true tax-the-rich scheme in the tradition of most Progressives worldwide? Do they want guaranteed incomes for all? Or maybe they’d like to pair up with Team Russia to replace us as the world’s most powerful union. Barry and Kerry certainly wouldn’t mind, particularly given that March Madness is in full swing. While my heart is with their fight for freedom, it’s unclear, at least from the limited media reports we have, what their “freedom” might look like. As most of us have come to learn the hard way, hope and change ain’t always what we imagine. And it certainly isn’t freedom.

By the way, has anyone seen the Hugo Chávez-worshiping Sean Penn lately?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

wfjag March 18, 2014 at 8:16 am

Cover Venezuela? A situation not far from our borders where the US could actually take action and aid democracy while pushing back a Cuban backed dictatorship? Not likely.

There are too many important stories to report: We have the Joe and Berry show over Crimea — they are dealing with someone who apparently understood what Palin said in 2008 and Romney said in 2012. Putin is dealing with them mano-e-community organizer. What’s the objection? Putin followed Chicago election rules — pre-printed ballots, helpful poll workers who’d look over your vote and help you decide, and letting the dead vote. Then there’s non-stop speculation about what happened to the Malaysian Airlines 777. (My favorite the the idea that it went into a time-warp, and will re-appear during the next Star Trek movie, when it lands in 23d Century Iowa, next to Capt Kirk’s home). Then there’s Lindsey Lo’s latest list of lovers (at least those she was sober enough during the encounter to recall). Called “Li Lo La Li Lo” on Twitter. The C & W version will be called “Waiting in Line for LiLo Love.” So much news and so little time to report unimportant events, like people trying to throw off socialist oppression.

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Jodi March 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

I have nothing to add to that! Spot on.

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