Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Venezuela takes to the streets in nonviolent protest, Maduro's forces murder two youths

 Bravery and villainy in Venezuela

Venezuelans marched for freedom today in Caracas

Venezuela's downward spiral to totalitarianism continues but millions of Venezuelans are doing all they can to resist it.  Hundreds of thousands took to the streets today in Venezuela in what was described as "the mother of all protests." Some have been killed today for standing up nonviolently for freedom and the rule of law there. A 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old woman died after both being shot in head this past Wednesday. There names are Carlos Moreno and Paola Andreina Ramírez Gómez. This pattern  can be traced back over three years.

Paola Ramírez and Carlos Moreno both shot in the head today in Venezuela
The Maduro regime has used terror gunning down students many of them shot in the head, beginning on February 12, 2014 with Bassil Alejandro Dacosta, age 24. A day earlier on social media he declared: "Gentlemen, he who is here will go out tomorrow to find a better future." One of the young students who carried Bassil off Robert Redman, age 28, reported later that day over twitter: "Today I was hit with a rock in the back, a helmet in my nose. I swallowed tear-gas, Carried the kid who died, and what did you do?" That same day he was also gunned down by Maduro's colectivos, working in concert with his security forces, and murdered. The killings have continued.

Some of the Venezuelan youths shot in the head during 2014 protests

 Non-violent student protesters continue to be shot in the head in Venezuela. Meanwhile the Maduro regime with their Cuban handlers continues the transformation of Venezuelan democracy into a totalitarian dictatorship. Strategic non-violence is the best hope the opposition has to restore democracy in that South American country. However repeated mass protests since February 12, 2014 may have become the new normal.

17-year old Carlos Moreno shot in the head by Maduro's colectivos
Repeating the same tactic over and over again allows the Maduro regime to develop new techniques of repression to more effectively counter it. This is not a call for violent action, but its opposite. There needs to be a diversity of nonviolent tactics, strung together in an overall strategy to restore democracy. Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Institute outlined 198 methods of nonviolent action.

The international community was warned in 2014 that Venezuela would spiral out of control but it was not heeded. The Obama Administration embraced Nicolas Maduro and Raul Castro legitimizing both.  

Paola Ramirez shot in the head by Maduro's colectivos today
On August 20, 2015 Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview with journalist Andres Oppenheimer made it known that "the United States and Cuba are talking about ways to solve the Venezuelan crisis."  In a blog post at the time I made the following comparison: "Secretary John Kerry asking the Castro regime in Cuba to help in Venezuela today is like asking Jack the Ripper to help stop knife violence in London in 1888."

President Obama with Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro in the background
Taking a longer view, what is happening in Venezuela today is because the region's democrats failed to back democrats in Cuba in the 1990s preferring photo ops with Fidel Castro. Sadly the United States also jumped on that failing approach during the Obama Presidency accelerating the downward spiral.

Dictator Nicolas Maduro and Secretary of State John Kerry

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