Beyond the Maduro Government’s Propaganda

By Onai

HAVANA TIMES – Although those terrible weeks, in which almost all of Venezuela remained in darkness, have not been repeated, electricity cuts persist throughout the country.

Many times, more than cutting off the electrical service, there are small and large fluctuations that tend to shorten the life of appliances and even cause the occasional fire of lesser or greater intensity.

But the darkness of Venezuela goes beyond the daily blackouts that, by the way, are always more intense outside the Capital District, although Caracas is no longer free of them as before.

The other darkness in which a large part of the Venezuelan population lives is due to the distressing day to day in which we never know if we will be victims of some type of violence (organized gangs or government uniforms). Likewise, if we will obtain what is necessary to put the food on the table.

The anguish of not being able to pay for a medical consultation or, if paid, that there is not enough money for medicines, much less for expensive tests. The anguish of learning of the deaths of those who take the risk of emigrating by sea or by land. The anguish that children learn less and less if they are not taken to a private school. The anguish of not being able to take to the streets to demand our rights because the government has created a umpteen laws to lock up those who protest… even if they are over 70 years old.

The anguish of not knowing if we will ever see the light again.

See more from Onai’s illustrated diary here.

One thought on “Beyond the Maduro Government’s Propaganda

  • As Onai has concisely and descriptively outlined, life in Venezuela is oppressive. He describes the literal hardships of power outages that leaves one in literal darkness and then progresses to the more urgent insufferable day to day distressing problems such as lack of food and medicines, the potentiality of physical violence, and the diminishing education prospects facing Venezuela’s youth.

    The following particular sentiment struck an accord with me: “The anguish of not being able to take to the streets to demand our rights because the government has created a umpteen laws to lock up those who protest… even if they are over 70 years old..” This sentiment sounds familiar to some Canadians.

    At the time of this writing (Feb. 18/’22), Canadian authorities, that is an amalgam of federal, provincial and municipal police authorities are presently conducting policing operations to round up those protest leaders – two have already been arrested – and to remove those protesters in front of the Parliament buildings in the nation’s capital, Ottawa.

    I am not by no means equating Onai’s anguish of not being able to protest in the streets demanding Venezuelans’ rights and freedoms with the Canadian protest. That would be doing a tremendous disservice to Onai and the point he is making. Ordinary Venezuelans have no real rights to demonstrate against their government and as Onai has stated those who do decide to protest face a very bleak future, to put it mildly, in jail for many years.

    In Canada, protesters do have the right to protest peacefully and lawfully because it is guaranteed in the Canadian Charter or Rights and Freedoms. Protesters have in fact been protesting unimpeded for weeks on end in the nations capital with municipal police uninhibited looking the other way.

    Like Venezuela, the Canadian government has introduced a law to deal with the current protesters’ crisis as the prolong protest is now becoming insupportable plus there are similar protests in other areas of the country deemed to be unlawful bordering on sedation. The government claims what is taking place presently in Canada is no longer an allowable peaceful protest but an insurrection. Consequently, the government has introduced the “Emergencies Act” providing the amalgamated police authorities extreme powers to detain and arrest individuals who are protesting and/or who are attempting to join the protest.

    Moreover, this “Act” provides the government with the authority to trace and freeze money transfers that are going to support the embedded protesters on the snowy, cold Ottawa streets. Time will tell what eventually happens.

    To Onai’s point, where the Venezuelan government has created “ . . . umpteen laws to lock up those who protest . . .”, similarly, but not equitable, in Canada the Canadian government has created only one all encompassing law the – Emergencies Act – to deal with peaceful protesters (though some would argue vigorously whether blaring loud truck horns are “peaceful”).

    Again, in no way can one compare government protests in Venezuela with Canada in terms of the consequences faced by protesters. Suffice to say that whomever partakes in street protests, if deemed “dangerous” to the state, protest perpetrators will be arrested and jailed. Whether in Venezuela or Canada some protesters feel the consequences of their actions vindicates their cause justifying jail time. To them, their ideals are worth it. This is the commonality between Venezuelans taking to the streets and Canadians.

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