HAVANA TIMES – I’m in Venezuela, I have Venezuelan friends, my girlfriend is Venezuelan and I don’t want to see any of them beaten or killed.
And of course I hope nothing happens to me either. I’m Cuban and while not on a government Mission, if the shit hits the fan nobody is going to ask me what I’m doing in Venezuela.
Last night around 8 pm pots & pans started ringing.
In these last months, I’ve been living in a nice area, and like all the nice areas here most people do not agree with the leftist government. Near our rental lives Tibisay Lucena (president of the National Electoral Council), the woman who these days has been receiving threats and attacks by followers of Capriles, who accuse her of election fraud. So outside her home the pots and pans and treats were more intense.
Within minutes we were learning that the Cacerolazo was ceasing to be a simple sounding of pots and pans, advancing to attacking the homes of PSUV members, state property and the CDIs (integral health centers), which included fire, blows and gunfire in various states of Venezuela, with the dead included of course.
This has gone beyond a peaceful protest, we thought.
And we know that when protests are no longer peaceful and when people are encouraged to violence, anything can happen.
In any case, I said to myself, I have nothing to lose. So I joined my neighbors to go out, first to see the protesters go by. Later we looked for flags and photos and we passed among them to join another group that had slowly formed the other end of the street.
People in the Chapelli neighborhood not far from our place, hit the streets with flags and music also supporting the government.
Thank god no violence gripped either side. Though both freely expressed themselves, the noise did not exceed the pots and pans of the Capriles’ supporters and the Chavista music.
But in other parts of the country things got worse. More than 10 integral health centers have been attacked, or were under direct threat (one of them was burned and a group of doctors kidnapped, although this situation was resolved).
At least 7 people are dead (and not precisely the protestors), one of the more than 50 injured suffered burns as there was an attempt to burn him alive; several government basic food stores (mercals) were assaulted and burned, siege and assault took place at local state television stations, with journalists and artists working for VTV and Telesur – who support the government – attacked or threatened.
We know that if the other 50.66% that supports the government goes out, in the same spirit as the protesting opposition, beyond a civil war, it won’t be long until the UN troops arrive, and the “other forces ” I prefer not to mention.
There’s no other truth, beyond the perfection or imperfection of the rulers of Venezuela, there isn’t reason to unleash violence and death. In the end, the country will always lose.
The only opposition supporter on the National Electoral Council, Vicente Diaz, invited Henrique Capriles to formally lodge his protest against the election results. However thus far he hasn’t done it.