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Tue Apr 29, 2014, 09:53 PM

Venezuela: Where the Wealthy Stir Violence While the Poor Build a New Society

Last edited Tue Apr 29, 2014, 10:25 PM - Edit history (1)

Venezuela: Where the Wealthy Stir Violence While the Poor Build a New Society
By Dario Azzellini, Creative Time Reports
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

Hugo Chávez became president of Venezuela in 1999, the barrios of Caracas, built provisionally on the hills surrounding the capital, did not even appear on the city map. Officially they did not exist, so neither the city nor the state maintained their infrastructure. The poor inhabitants of these neighborhoods obtained water and electricity by tapping pipes and cables themselves. They lacked access to services such as garbage collection, health care and education altogether.

Today residents of the same barrios are organizing their communities through directly democratic assemblies known as communal councils — of which Venezuela has more than 40,000. Working families have come together to found community spaces and cooperative companies, coordinate social programs and renovate neighborhood houses, grounding their actions in principles of solidarity and collectivity. And their organizing has found government support, especially with the Law of Communal Councils, passed by Chávez in 2006, which has led to the formation of communes that can develop social projects on a larger scale and over the long term.

You will not hear about the self-governing barrios in Western reports of protests spreading across Venezuela. According to the prevailing narrative, students throughout the country are protesting a dire economic situation and high crime rate, only to meet brutal repression from government forces. Yet the street violence that has captured the world’s attention has largely taken place in a few isolated areas — the affluent neighborhoods of cities like Caracas, Maracaibo, Valencia, San Cristóbal and Mérida — and not in the barrios where Venezuela’s poor and working classes live. Despite international media claims, the vast majority of Venezuela’s students are not protesting. Not even a third of all people arrested in connection with the demonstrations since early February are students, even though Venezuela has more than 2.6 million university students (up from roughly 700,00 in 1998), thanks to the tuition-free public university system that Chávez created.

A look at recent arrests reveals that the “protest” leaders are really a mixture of drug traffickers, paramilitaries and private military contractors — in other words, the mercenaries typical of any CIA military destabilization operation. In Barinas, the southern border state with Colombia, two heavily armed barricade organizers were arrested, including Hugo Alberto Nuncira Soto, who has an Interpol arrest warrant for membership in Los Urabeños, a Colombian paramilitary involved in drug trafficking, smuggling, assassinations and massacres. In Caracas, the brothers Richard and Chamel Akl — who own a private military company, Akl Elite Corporation, and represent the Venezuelan branch of the private military contractor Risk Inc. — were arrested while driving an armored vehicle in possession of firearms, explosives and military equipment. Their car had been equipped with pipes to be activated from inside to disperse motor oil and nails on the streets, not to mention tear gas grenades, homemade bombs, pistols, gas masks, bulletproof vests, night-vision devices, gasoline tanks and knives.


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Reply Venezuela: Where the Wealthy Stir Violence While the Poor Build a New Society (Original post)
Judi Lynn Apr 2014 OP
Joe Shlabotnik Apr 2014 #1
Marksman_91 Apr 2014 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 10:22 PM

1. The establishment, world over, share the same fear...

From the article:
What the wealthy in Venezuela are afraid of, and what mainstream media channels won’t show, is that a different world is possible — and Venezuela’s working classes are trying hard to build it.

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Response to Joe Shlabotnik (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 30, 2014, 12:31 AM

2. The working class are actually now starting to get fed up with the current regime



A protest occurred yesterday which counted with the participation of the state-owned Corpoelec, and it wasn't a protest in favor of the government, by the way.

And Venezuelans actually now have the 2nd lowest minimum wage in the continent, second only to Cuba, after the government's poor handling of the economy and resources has produced a skyrocketing inflation rate, leaving the bolivar almost as worthless as a sheet of toilet paper.

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