Wiping away the tears

Venezuela’s orphaned parents

(A guest post by Daniela Alexandra Porat, a Toronto-based Venezuelan ex-pat and CC reader) Venezuela’s current crisis finds a mirror in the stories of the country’s padres huérfanos. These so-called “orphaned parents” are the older Venezuelans who send their offspring abroad to save them from the the brutal crime in Venezuela’s streets, helping them start…

Izarra-Risa

Perceptions of a crime wave

Venezuela’s Tourism Minister Andrés Izarra (infamous for having laughed about Venezuela’s high death rates on an international cable show in 2010), recently had this to say “[la inseguridad] es un problema real, existe. No lo negamos, estamos trabajando, como todos los países de América Latina lo están trabajando, lo están atendiendo (…) ¿cuál es la particularidad de Venezuela con ese…

tear gas

Violence on campus, by @Naky

Chavistas love to repeat the tired old canard that the protest movements are “contained,” and “limited” to well-to do areas of Caracas. Just yesterday, the President was boasting in the New York Times that the protests “have received no support in poor and working-class neighborhoods.” What they deliberately fail to mention is the tiny fact that opposition protests in…

P10

When in Rome…

A few days ago, Maduro was having a down in the dumps day, he needed a quick pick me up, something empowering, something to assert his manhood. So, he did what any self respecting male  would do, he made a rape joke, gorillas included. Yes, a rape joke on Cadena Nacional. In our little machista…

maricori

Airport security, chavista style

Yesterday, Maria Corina Machado and at least one other legislator were attacked as they were about to board a flight at Ciudad Guayana airport. The video of the incident, commanded by fellow legislator and boxing champ Nancy Asencio, is shocking. Don’t miss the final seconds, when the crowd starts taking their rage out on the…

UCV

Escalation

El Nacional’s front page today paints a dramatic picture of yesterday’s events, when three people were shot dead in Valencia, countless were injured, and a battle took place in Caracas’ Central University campus. There are reports that even the UCV Botanical Gardens suffered. This doesn’t lend itself to much analysis. Venezuela is quickly becoming a…

sebin

Se llamaba SEBIN

Last friday, a SEBIN officer died in a showdown with Polichacao in the Prados del Este Highway. (SEBIN is the Venezuelan government intelligence service, while Polichacao is the municipal police force of opposition-controlled Chacao municipality) Polichacao claims it was responding to a kidnapping. SEBIN says Polichacao just opened fire without warning and that they were escorting…

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Some things remain the same

Even though crime has taken a backseat in people’s minds amid the current wave of protests, it doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. Quite the opposite. El Universal is reporting that, according to off-the-record sources from the criminal investigations police (CICPC), there were 2,841 murders in Venezuela during the first two months of 2014.…

An opposition demonstrators holds a Venezuelan flag in front of a burning barricade in Caracas

Taming the shadow

These tumultuous days, as I was glued to Twitter, reading Facebook comments, listening to opinions on the street, and watching the students debate on CNNE, I  finally “understood” Venezuela’s deep polarization. After 15 years of war speech, we have become two distinct countries, two societies that haven’t been able to reconcile in more than a…

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Collective violence

As I left yesterday’s march, having reached our announced endpoint in front of the Fiscalía (the Prosecutor General’s headquarters), I made a point to note the total absence of law enforcement personnel in the area. There had not been a single policeman in sight for the entire route of the protest. I started my subway ride back home…