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(en) Venezuela, Caracas, Chavistas Open Fire on students, injure eight protestors

Date Tue, 04 Dec 2007 23:18:26 +0200

The compañeros in Venezuela are calling for solidarity. At the least it would be
good to push for a less Stalinist, common-front perspective in the alternative
media. The AGR is in many ways a good periodical, they've historically had a lot
of anarchist participation and support, and they should probably hear from some
of us if their coverage is passively supporting the repression of anarchists and
other perfectly legitimate rebels in Venezuela simply for the sake of dumbing
coverage down to the easily digestible level of US bad guy, Chavez good guy.
---- On 7 October, masked gunmen opened fire on student protestors in Caracas,
Venezuela, who were returning from a protest against President Hugo Chavez's
proposed Constitutional reforms. Thousands of students marched on the Supreme
Court protesting the reforms, which Chavez proposes to pass by referendum and
critics say consolidate executive powers, giving the President control of the
Central Bank, abolishing presidential term limits, expanding state of emergency
powers, and creating new provinces to be governed by centrally appointed
officials. These authoritarian changes are paired with populist measures like
reducing the voting age and decreasing the hours of the maximum work day.

After the protest, as students were returning to the Venezuela Central
University (UCV), they were attacked by an armed group of Chavistas with gas
grenades, knives, clubs, stones, and pistols. Anti-authoritarian students who
had participated in the protest, though they lacked firearms and all but
improvised weapons, counterattacked and forced the “pistoleros” to take refuge
in a university building. Shortly, a much larger group of armed Chavistas
arrived on motorcycle to rescue the first group. In total, eight student
protestors were injured.

Two of the those injured are members of Venezuela's Anarchist Black Cross (ABC),
a prisoner support group that opposes Chavez's dictatorial rule. They and other
libertarian opponents of the Chavez regime have experienced heavy repression.
One week earlier, police dispersed a major protest against the Constitutional
reforms with water cannons and tear gas.

Very few leftwing media outlets have reported the attacks on the protestors. The
corporate media continuously portray Chavez in a negative light, mainly on the
basis of his socialist reforms, and the US has attempted to organize at least
one coup attempt against Chavez, who himself originally tried to come to power
in a military coup; thus many opponents of US imperialism raise Chavez to the
stature of a popular hero, glossing over his authoritarian credentials, and
repression of opponents. While the Chavez regime does face strong opposition
from the country's business leaders, it has also been targeted by protests from
students, antiauthoritarian groups, and indigenous peoples inhabiting the
heavily exploited coal-producing regions. Similar habits of uncritical support
for opponents of the superpower led to reduced and delayed recognition of state
repression and abuses with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Castro regime in


compiled from
reports of Anarchist Black Cross Venezuela
Copied from infoshop.org
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