¡Fuenteovejuna, señor!


Geolver Hernández. Luis Castaño. Ray Longaray. José Rafael Márquez Gamboa. Rafael Urdaneta. Luis Román. Jeferies Moreno García. Erwin Pulgar Barrios. Carlos Soto. José María Urdaneta Romero.

No need to count’em – that’s 10 people.

A few days ago, the local offices of the government land institute in Santa Bárbara, Zulia, mysteriously went up in flames. Quicker than you can say “Google Translate”, a hilariously-worded English language press release from the baboons working in government radio made its way to the Internet. The government quickly pinned the blame on the opposition, claiming it was a reprisal for recent government actions to take land away from its rightful owners.

In what can only be described as a socialist miracle, the office’s enormous Che Guevara mural was spared the wrath of the flames.

The government has detained and charged the ten individuals named above. Some stories say 12 people are involved – it’s not clear if they are discussing these 10 plus two others, or if there is another group of twelve people. Other stories mention 13 people involved. A certain Carlos Benavidez is being mentioned as the main culprit, but he is on the lam. Apologists of the dictatorship are quickly spinning this, saying the entire opposition movement is guilty.

Now, I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but it stretches credibility to think that the sabotage of the small local branch of a tiny piece of the government’s vast bureaucracy … would require the work of twelve or thirteen people.

Think about it – if you were planning to light fire to an office, would you invite ten of your best buddies to join you in your super-secret scheme? I mean, how hard can it be to sabotage this office? A little bit of kerosene, some handy work with the locks, a lighter, and (literally) boom.

The government’s hacks better get working. Santa Bárbara has about 80,000 inhabitants. If their intent, as it appears to be, is to indict the entire town, they have 79,990 people to go.

At this rate, they’ll never get the job done.

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  1. Interesting to see that the police force is so effective in investigating crimes that they allready have arrested suspect in a mere fire where no one died?

    When you can easily get caught on tape and murder someone without getting caught.

    The vzl gov is unpaired when it comes to priorities.

  2. Think about it. Following common thought, Che Guevara himself would likely have ordered the destruction by guerrillas of the facilities of a repressive government.

    Instead of the simple term “opposition action”, maybe the opposition should usurp the title “guerrilla activists battling a repressive government”. Sort of juxtaposing Chavez and his Cuban propaganda.

    With gas so cheap, it probably cost less than 2 cents to fully fund this arson, if it was arson.

  3. This will sound a bit politically incorrect:

    But I want to congratulate Maracuchos on their efficient use of matches and gasoline. And for having a pair that most Venezuelans seem not to have. And if the act seems delinquent destruction of government property, remember what the INTI is up to. STEALING PRODUCTIVE LAND. EVICTING PRODUCERS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES. Violently, arbitrarily, with arms. No courts, no recourse, no redress. Get out now! is their policy, the Army came down upon you and you have to go.

    The response was surprisingly mild, then.

    Only the government is trying to make Maracuchos the butt of a kind of sick joke, because according to them it takes 11 Maracuchos to set fire to an INTI office in the wee hours of morning.

    As for the Che Guevara portrait… I guess that the guy is so rotten that not even fire would have him.

    • JC: They’re still citizens of the Independent Republic of Zulia 😉 Not everyone is lucky enough to be born a maracucho.

    • Well, it’s the Metropolitan area (includes San Francisco). People from La Ca~nada, for example, are known as Ca~naderos, not maracuchos. Same thing with people from Cabimas or Los Puertos – not maracuchos. Santa Barbara is much further away than any of these towns.

    • Okey, it was only informal Venezuelan usage. To call people from Zulia Maracuchos.

      I am well aware that Zulianos in general take exception at being called Maracuchos. Even some Marabinos, and of course, everyone from the Eastern Coast (Tiajuana, Ciudad Ojeda and Cabimas for instance).

  4. JC

    Thanks for writing about this. I’m glad somebody picked up the Government’s latest attempt to enter the “yes we are definitely a dictatorship” record books.

  5. I don’t want to be censored but, good job with the arson!

    If there’s one thing,and only one i love about Venezuela is being from el Zulia.


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