After more than 60 days of tear gas and violence, protesters no longer really expect to reach their destination. Sure, each day, march organizers announce they’re heading to some government institution or other place but soon enough the security forces rough us up —even if the protest is led by the elderly.
But today, the unimaginable happened. University students decided to march to VTV headquarters —the main state propaganda outlet. And —somehow— they made it!
VTV is the epicenter of chavista madness, the people who like to remind us MUD is basically exactly like the Ku Klux Klan.
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) May 24, 2017
Though the building is in the East side of Caracas and the mayor of Sucre municipality is the opposition’s Carlos Ocariz, pretty much no one expected the students to have been allowed to get anywhere near this place.
But just when everyone was expecting the repression tweets to start hitting —Tear Gas O’Clock, some have started to call it— Venezuelans learned that the protest arrived at VTV and… drumroll please… a group of 8 students were received by none other than SIBCI head honcho (and Tropical Mierda Goebbels) Ernesto Villegas! Though the broadcast was not live, it was simply staggering to see opposition student leaders broadcast over VTV.
Truth be told, though, the students were probably better prepared to face volleys of teargas than Ernesto Villegas.
Given the circumstances, the students did pretty well: they called on VTV to retract false information (which… erm… might take them a rather long time). They called on VTV journalists to act professionally and demanded VTV open its doors to all the Venezuelans and inform all with impartiality.
Truth be told, though, the students were probably better prepared to face volleys of teargas than Ernesto Villegas. As the saying goes, they looked like the proverbial dog that finally caught up to the mail truck and had no idea what to do with it.
It made me wonder: what if one day we make it to, say, the Defensoría del Pueblo, to some Ministry or —gasp— to Miraflores? What would we say? Who would be the spokespersons? Would they be ready?
Though the broadcast was not live, it was simply staggering to see opposition student leaders broadcast over VTV.
So far, the opposition has stuck pretty closely to its talking points, showing justifiable flashes of disarray now and then. And the student movement is not MUD: it’s an independent group that happens to coincide with opposition politicians’ calls to action. But, if the unthinkable should happen, would we all be prepared?
The protests need to continue. Of course they do. But we need to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Thinking through vocería issues in situations like today’s seems like it might be a good idea.
After more than 60 days of protests and with a horrendous ANC apparently on its way, I can’t help but wonder: now what?Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.