Let them eat shoes!

Venezuelan students and journalists demonstrate outside the US embassy in Caracas in support of Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist jailed and beaten for letting Dubya know how Iraq really feels about him. They toss shoes at the sign and the shoes remain hanging. Some gringos from the embassy come out and take the shoes away; the demonstrators jeer at them: “How about that economic crisis? Now you’ll have to eat shoes!” (Or words to that effect.)

Bolivarian student leader Osly Hernández says, “We came to the embassy to give them a Christmas present. This is a serious request to the United States to free the Iraqi journalist who was only saying what most of the world wants to say to the US government, and especially Bush. We came to leave them our shoes.”

“This is how the left takes embassies, not like the right, who tried to starve them out and make them eat cables,” Osly says, referring to the events of the coup of April 2002, when a right-wing mayor, Henrique Capriles Radonsky of Baruta, allowed vandals to storm the Cuban embassy, where they thought the vice-president was hiding. One of the vandals appeared on the opposition news channels, vowing to those inside the building, “We’ll starve you out. We’ll make you eat the carpets and chairs!” Then they proceeded to cut the electrical cables and shut off the water supply. After pointing out this contrast, Osly goes on to say, “We’re sending a message to all the world, of solidarity with those who resist US interference.” (The failed coup she refers to is a prime example of that.)

We also see documentary journalist Liliane Blaser, whose films of the events at Llaguno Bridge on April 11, 2002, served to expose the lies of Venevisión, an opposition channel blaming Chavistas for a massacre actually perpetrated by anti-government snipers. Blaser lends her support as a journalist, saying that soon this will be Barack Obama’s problem, and he seems to be on the same course as Dubya. “If that’s the case,” she says, “he will meet with the same rejection.”

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