Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock —or watching only Venezuelan TV— you already know this happened.

At the end of an event commemorating the Battle of San Félix, an angry mob started charging up to the President, hurling stuff at him and screaming “MALDITO, MALDITO!” Best yet, the whole thing was broadcast on Cadena Nacional.

The protest forced Maduro’s propaganda people to cut off the broadcast abruptly. Social media went crazy. Maduro even had to publish an awkward video talking nonsense to Cilia to show that he was alive and well.

I got those videos from three different places. Everyone seems to be talking about that in Ciudad Guayana, which doesn’t tend to take the lead in these things. It’s usually gochos who do crazy stuff that goes viral. Our political activists have been busy writing MADURO DICTADOR on the streets and burning effigies of Maikel Moreno. They’ve been struggling to grab people’s attention, though.

 

Sure, there are protests, and the city is often a mess because of that, but people protest over things like medicines and food, not over some confusing self-coup d’état.

Recent protesters have been careful to establish just how low on Maslow’s pyramid their complaints are. At one recent protest over late food deliveries, participants were  at pains to clarify that they are not guarimberos, that they’re just the pueblo arrecho.

To many here, it makes sense to stay out of politics. In 2014 the government used thugs in motorcycles to hold up protesters and steal from them.

People in San Felix face a lot of shortages, but good reasons to protest are not in short supply.

I guess all we needed was our fat dictator to show up. And he was kind enough to give us the day off, so we could go and throw eggs at him. The justification for the impromptu holiday, if I understand the garbled official account correctly, was that the glorious victory of the Battle of San Félix in 1817, had inspired Hugo Chávez to win the presidential elections in 1998.

Seriously.

San Félix has a good number of dirt poor slums, and they have seen the worst of this crisis. Up until the beginning of march, 8 kids had starved to death there. Eight. The toll does not even include diphteria and malaria. With safe drinking water unavailable, it’s now routine for kids to get scabies and diarrhea. People in San Felix face a lot of shortages, but good reasons to protest are not in short supply.

So far, there are reports of eight detainees following yesterday’s protest, three of them underage. I’m concerned about them. Remember the people who got put through judicial hell for booing Diosdado’s wife?

I hope the opposition takes this chance, and this incident inspires protests all around the country, because the kids who were detained (the oldest one is 20 years old) might have to go through hell, too, just for doing the most justified thing ever: shouting “maldito” at Nicolás Maduro.

18 COMMENTS

    • Maduro referred to himself as a Mariposón, or “giant butterfly (effeminate/gay)” in this video a few days ago:

      • We, men, love lesbians. Fantasize about them. And we can’t stand gay dudes.

        Unfair? I couldn’t care less. Gay dudes should all be in jail or unseen. Pretty lesbians should all be in my bedroom. That’s that.

  1. This morning, I had fun showing that video to anyone who had not seen it. When it got to the point where we heard voice yelling, “Maldito!”, the reactions were universal. Their jaws dropped. Somehow, it wasn’t a multitude throwing stuff that made the greatest impact. It was a single voice, yelling that which we are all thinking that did it. At that moment, everyone knows that something is different this time.

    Carlos, good article. But living in Margarita, I really think you should have mentioned the people of Villa Rosa, who chased Maduro out of town with a caserolazo several months ago and who also suffered the consequences.

    • Yes!! I should have mentioned that. The people of Villa Rosa inspired people all over the country, it was a golden opportunity. Then the dialog showed up and we lost all the momentum

  2. The world is finally learning of the suffering of the Venezuelan People.
    Stephen Sackur, a BBC presenter and reporter, reported from Venezuela tonight on the BBC World News.
    This is the news report that is distributed around the world. Most Public Television stations in the US carry it also.
    The BBC used hidden cameras and showed an empty grocery store. They went with Leopold Lopez’ mother to the outside of the prison. She shouted to him and he shouted back “Let the people vote!”.
    The prison guards saw the BBC filming and they were deported the next day, but they got the story!
    The BBC, Reuters, the NY Times and the Washington Post have been reporting occasionally. The news reports from Venezuela are becoming more frequent.
    This bodes well for international support for the people and the opposition to the tyrannical regime. The political pressure may encourage more active responses from other governments.
    Stay the course. You are on the verge of making this government fall.
    The road to recovery is going to be long and change will not occur overnight. As soon as Maduro is gone and relief agencies are allowed to bring food and medicine into Venezuela, conditions will begin to improve.
    It will take time to increase agricultural production. To restore manufacturing capacity. To stabilize the currency and negotiate relief terms with creditors. It will happen. Keep the faith.
    Venezuela will once again be free, prosperous and democratic!

    • I thought exactly the same when I watched the video (Ceausescu). Key now is for the opposition not to back off (as they usually do). Let’s hope the spirit of Leopoldo + MCM prevails!

  3. The leftist news media and the Bernie Sanders Hollywood types don’t even try to spin this anymore. They just ignore it completely and concentrate on making the same mess in the USA. They’re hoping people just don’t ever hear about it.

    • Some of them where I live are saying that they have never supported Maduro, that their support had always been for Chavez only. They are even deleting old tweets. Aren’t leftists adorable?

      • I’m assuming you’re both faithfull trump/republican voters. you should really drop the whole left vs right mindset. For the people that have wrecked the country, those adorable notions have been nothing but usefull distractions, smokescreens, from the get go.

        on topic, I hope this is the little nudge the cart needs on it’s way down. I fear, like i have told my wife and our family members in Venezuela, since forever, a lot more pain and suffering will ensue before people can starts rebuilding, you can be sure of that.

        • Run, leftist, run!

          Communists changed to freedom fighters changed to socialists changed to leftists changed to progressives changed to peacemakers … rename yourselves any way you want, we know who you are, the insanity you are trapped in, and the misery and death that brings. It really is a shame that you so misunderstand human nature, enterprise, capital, and free markets – and freedom of the individual to make his own decisions and prosper without a suffocating government.

      • What Rik said. Really, you need to stop thinking about some big smug bi-partisan, passive-aggressive game of musical who-said-what-when. When you are imprisoned for rightfully telling your dictators to fuck off, there is no left, there is no right. The politics have become nothing more but fuel to angry, scared, hungry, sick, did I mention angry people. Most people I know are too busy just living and trying to survive to go out and risk it all at a protest, but one thing that I can say: nobody is too busy to feel the impact. Noone I know is too busy to take pleasure at the shouting of “Maldito!” that video. I’ve never heard someone talk about left/right. They just talk about the malditos responsible and how things need to change.

        • Heheheh, yeah, now the leftists are coming to claim that “this isn’t about left or right”, you guys couldn’t be more cynical because the day doesn’t have more hours on it.

          Maduro IS THE SAME as Chávez: A pawn for the invading Cuba that came to steal Venezuela’s oil and resources, a communist distatorship, directed for a guy that said that “socialism is the same as communism”

          Sanders acclaimed and praised the food rationing in Venezuela, that’s a fact, and everything I’ve said so far has vido support on it.

          “who-said-what-when”

          Why are leftists so angry at those who keep tabs on the atrocities their governments say? It’s a duty to remind people FOREVER those “mistakes” so the left never, ever gets a chance at power again.

          • The left is a pretty broad term. I don’t think it does any good to lump in social democrats of sweden (for example), or most democrats in the US, with criminal communists like Chavez and Maduro, etc.

            But nonetheless, all those who had words of support for this regime (especially after 2008 or so when it became obvious to anyone looking that the revolution was a fraud and chavez was an authoritarian) not be allowed to forget it.

  4. No se dejen aprender por los círculos jóvenes libertadores. No es momento de hecharse pa’tras ni de dialogo, el momento del dialogo pasó. Dejarlos solos, eso seria traición.

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