No, I’m not being escapist (although some warm weather would suit me fine about now); this is actually in keeping with the big freedom march in the 23 de Enero (January 23) neighborhood in Caracas. On this day in 1958, Venezuela got rid of its last military dictator, Marcos Pérez Jiménez, in a popular revolt led by communists and socialists, particularly civilian guerrillas. It was then promptly co-opted by the AD and COPEI parties, who edged out the popular leaders and ruled Venezuela to Washington’s liking. What followed were 40 years of weak, false, pacted democracy under the Punto Fijo system. Now, 11 years into the 5th Republic, the country is truly democratic at last. This video was taken at Puente Llaguno, where a group of Chávez supporters were shot and killed (and others badly wounded) during the failed coup d’état of April 11, 2002, when the Puntofijistas tried unsuccessfully to take the country back(ward). It’s a tribute concert in memory of the dead on the anniversary of that coup, but it’s also a defiant finger in the eye of the old order, as Pedro “Cacayara” Blanco makes clear below:
He segues from Dame Pa’ Matala’s patriotic hit, “Venezuela”, into a song not yet available on CD: “Eres un mojón” (“You’re a turd”). It’s aimed squarely at those Venezuelans, popularly called “escuálidos”, who whine about the country and Chavecito but do nothing for the people–other than hold impotent little protests. Cacayara tells them off very sweetly.