Terribly Alone

By Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – This is what I thought before a UN report (this international organization which is like a placebo) decided to put a name to what’s happening in Venezuela.

A few weeks ago, a group of political prisoners were “pardoned”. However, most of them weren’t even in prison, much less in Venezuela. Most of them were politicians of the opposition.

The majority of those who really were in prison didn’t have an active court proceeding going. Others had even received a release order a few months back. None of them were militarymen or your regular worker or union member. Nor those prisoners that still belong to leftist parties, but don’t agree with Maduro.

Like Stalin, Maduro takes great care in lecturing and making people, who once belonged to his political team, disappear.

Settling political scores with past comrades

A few months ago, a horrifying thing happened (one more of hundreds of cases nationwide). In Zulia, two young TV hosts were killed by the FAES.

There are different repressive groups in Venezuela, most of which were created during the fourth republic (1956-1999). Nicolas Maduro’s government couldn’t stay behind and formed its own repressive group: the FAES. The majority of these forces’ members are your regular criminals.

Everybody knows that. Ordinary criminals dressed in black and wearing masks, cleaning up neighborhoods (they kill without asking questions). They also steal and receive orders from the Government to get rid of its political adversaries. The main targets are poor adversaries. These people supported them at one point, believing this was a revolutionary process, but now dare to dissent.

Sometimes, they don’t even do that. They just demand their rights in a shy and feable manner, without daring to openly criticize the State apparatus. Sometimes, people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others just wrote something critical about the government on social media.

A killing of TV hosts

What happened in Zulia soon went viral on social media. Several FAES trucks pulled up at the local TV station. They blocked the road, threatened neighbors and, after just a couple of hours, they were carrying out the bleeding bodies of two young people.

The TV equipment too because, as you know, these mercenaries must receive loot in exchange for their loyalty. The news made so much noise that the Attorney-General had to make a public appearance. He sent a committee to put the murderers and those responsible behind bars, allegedly.

Protests have filled streets in different Venezuelan states, in recent weeks. The mostly peaceful protests only demand basic services, which are becoming more and more scarce, especially outside of Caracas.

Even with the shadow of the UN committee’s report hanging over it, the Government’s response is ever more exaggerated. A voice message of a mayor telling “his people” to target everybody that is going out to protest circulated. It was posted in a local newspaper. The audio also said that if they are business owners, they shouldn’t complain when they are looted. It was understood that the Government and its repressive and paramilitary forces aren’t going to defend them. A word to the wise…

The undeclared death penalty

The death penalty doesn’t exist in Venezuela, but it doesn’t need to. Now that Maduro is engaging in another electoral show (which isn’t putting his presidential seat up for the taking), the FAES are very busy giving any political opponent who might pop up, what they deserve.

The elderly at risk.

Anybody who represents a choice, a different voice in the legislature they want to “recover”, will be eliminated from the game. The means aren’t what’s most important here, nobody really cares whether a tiger has one more stripe.

Referring to the UN report, the Attorney-General said “in order for there to be a crime against humanity, like in Colombia for example, there has to be an elimination policy.

Food or medicine

I wonder: who created the FAES and for what reason? Who is this group obeying when they harass, rob and kill without even a judicial order? Who has filled Venezuela’s prisons with men and women who haven’t committed a crime, except for having dissented and speaking their minds? What people can survive off a salary of less than 5 USD per month? What about all of the old people I have seen pass away or become weaker. They must choose between eating or buying their medicine?

Healthy or sick people whose lives could be saved with a little bit of medical attention, with a medicine, but they haven’t been able to access these because there isn’t a state policy that enables public hospitals to work more or less OK.

Isn’t this administrative indolence which does nothing to recover the national economy? In a country where old people and children don’t even have three meals a day. This occurs not only because there are food shortages, but because they have no means of cooking. Isn’t that an extermination policy?

Most young people strive to emigrate and those who stay behind see their learning opportunities and spiritual growth dwindle. When these malnourished and desperate people protest in the streets, they are answered with tear gas and even firearms.

Repressive groups bust into houses without a warrant, literally kicking their owners out, including children. They are punished for trying to organize to prevent robberies. They also demand an end to the abuses of the military who control the limited gasoline that arrives. What can we call this policy?

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