Well, that didn’t take long. The Venezuelan army’s in control of Táchira, and normality is being restored peacefully there…and without a drop of blood shed:
The Venezuelan minister for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Major-General Miguel Rodriguez Torres, informed that food supplies, cement and fuel are now co-ordinated in Táchira, and that “we are reaching order in this important state.”
Rodríguez Torres stated that he was pleased after touring the city [of San Cristóbal] and verifying that the sectors affected by the opposition demonstrations are few, and that “we have collected 180 tons of scrap metal.”
The “scrap metal” he mentions is no doubt the junk that the oppos were using to block off the roads in and out of San Cristóbal, to create artificial shortages and panic among the people. Recall that the city was under siege from its opposition mayor, who used some ugly tactics to intimidate any Chavistas who might be about. Hence the military presence in the state.
Now San Cristóbal’s roads are unblocked and goods are moving freely in again. Meanwhile, another Venezuelan city is in mourning, thanks to a “peaceful” opposition demo that ended up murdering a passing motorcyclist:
The death of young Santiago Enrique Pedroza, 29, on Friday night has caused great consternation and repudiation. Pedroza was strangled to death when, while riding his motorcycle, he tried to pass a barricade erected by opposition demonstrators, and was caught by a taut wire, which he had not been able to see in time.
The incident occurred on Rómulo Gallegos Avenue, in the Horizonte district of Caracas, where opposition members are holding pot-banging demonstrations and guarimbas. It is the second death to occur under these circumstances.
“These fascist guarimberos strung a steel wire, and this young worker, who was travelling by motorbike, didn’t see it, and it took his life, it strangled him,” said the justice minister, Miguel Rodríguez Torres.
Several opposition demonstrators have strung wires across the streets of Caracas, supposedly as a “defence” against “collectives” and “Tupamaros” who, according to them, pass through the streets of this sector of Caracas “spreading terror”. According to the daily newspaper Últimas Notícias, friends arriving at the scene said that the young man lived in Boleíta. The body was removed by officers of the CICPC. It was initially identified as Elvis Rafael Durán.
Bolivarian National Guard captain Edgardo Zuleta told the public TV channel, VTV: “A group of fascists, with the sole intent of destabilizing [Caracas], strung a wire across the avenue […] as well as piles of trash across the same, and the young man lost his life when he ran into the wire.”
The minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, repudiated the occurrence. He indicated that at this spot, there was a “guarimba” (protest consisting of blocking the roads with garbage and setting it on fire to cut off traffic), held by right-wing demonstrators on Rómulo Gallegos Avenue, in the Horizonte district of Caracas.
The minister called upon the governor of Miranda, Henrique Capriles Radonski, and the mayor of Sucre, Carlos Ocariz, to take responsibility and send out security forces to re-establish public order. “Work and co-operate with the people who elected you. It’s your job, do it,” Rodríguez Torres said.
In the Dos Caminos sector, it was also reported that a motorcyclist skidded on some oil spilled in the street. He was injured, and brought to a nearby first-aid post, according to Últimas Notícias.
In the morning, the governor of Mérida, Alexis Ramírez, informed that a citizen, identified as Delia Elena Lobo Arias, 40, of Santa Juana, died as a result of grave injuries inflicted when the motorcycle she was travelling on with one of her sons ran into a trap of barbed wire, laid by radical groups to prevent the passage of motorcycles.
“This was at 9:00 in the night, in the Santa Bárbara sector, on the avenue of the Americas. Thanks to these fascist barricades, this lady lost her life. It is a situation which we denounce, of a woman returning to her home and losing her life,” said Ramírez. The driver of the bike, the son of the deceased woman, suffered a broken right arm and minor injuries.
Again, translation mine.
Some backgrounder is in order here. The mayor of the sector in question, Carlos Ocariz, is an oppositionist, as is the state governor, Capriles (whom you may also recognize as the guy who lost to both Chavecito and his successor, Nicolás Maduro). That’s why the minister is calling on them to do their jobs. Of course, they won’t listen; when have they ever? It’s quite obvious that they are in cahoots with these guarimberos, if not in control of the “spontaneous” operation itself. That’s why there are no police on scene, dismantling the burning trash barricades and trip-wires. The mayor and governor won’t send them. This is a fascist putsch, not a “peaceful protest”. They want to see Maduro, who is fairly elected, brought down, as surely as that innocent passing motorcyclist who was killed. They might just go down in history as the sorest losers ever.
Here’s some video from the scene:
And here’s a photo of the wire in question:
As you can see (despite the awkward angle from which the picture was taken), it’s high enough off the ground to catch the throat of a passing biker if that person is travelling at night, when it’s hard to see something as thin as a wire across a dark street. And this in a city where so many ordinary citizens travel by motorbike or scooter. This was a planned murder, people. The victim could have been anybody. And the “peaceful opposition demonstrators” knew that, and they couldn’t care less.
Here’s a picture of some of those “peaceful” oppos, stringing barbed wire in another location…the fancy eastern part of Caracas, Altamira:
You can see that they’re doing it right at a traffic light. And that there’s no “government repression” in to be seen. Again, that’s because the opposition governor of Miranda and the opposition mayor of the municipality are letting this happen. On their watch. Illegally.
They are all fascists. They ALL belong behind bars.
And riddle me this, all you dumb gringos who think it’s the PSUV government repressing these so-called protests: Why isn’t the army all over Caracas stopping this? Gee, could it be because Madurito isn’t the tyrant you’re making him out to be?
PS: Well, looky here. There’s been an arrest of a high-level ex-military man in connection with the trip-wire murders:
President Maduro has ordered the arrest of retired General Angel Vivas, who promoted the use of wire at blockades in order to “neutralise” people on motorbikes. One government supporter on a motorbike died by such a method last night.
On 20 February Vivas tweeted “In order to neutralise criminal hordes on motorbikes, one must place nylon string or galvanised wire across the street, at a height of 1.2 metres”.
He also tweeted, “to render armoured vehicles of the dictatorship useless, Molotov cocktails should be thrown under the motor, to burn belts and hoses, they become inoperative”.
Other tweeters responded to his tweet about decapitating motorbike riders with further advice for the violent blockades, including suggesting that “a lot of oil be used in the streets, it is good for two things, they fall off, and it can set [things] alight. The collectives are the ones in the vehicles”.
So we can see that his methods are in play for the two motorcycle deaths mentioned above, as well as the spin-out “accident” caused by oil on the road. Again, remember that Caracas is a city where motorcyclists abound, especially in the poorer neighborhoods, which extend well up the surrounding hillsides, and where the streets are often too narrow for cars, but still wide enough for bikes. This ugly aspect of the opposition putsch was clearly aimed at the Chavistas in those poor neighborhoods, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that an ex-general (obviously a man of the old ruling class) is giving the nasty little piglets of the oligarchy advice on how to kill them.