Listen, I don’t know whether or not Tuesday’s chopper attack/stunt was intended as a weapon of mass distraction. What I do know for sure is that, whatever its intention, its effect was to create a news-free 48 hours into which all manner of sordid stories could fall.
Here, for instance, is some random military patán bullying the elected leader of the legislature:
That took place minutes after a mass scuffle/brawl between National Guard soldiers and the elected members of the National Assembly…
…which itself happened because National Guard officers had decided to plant nobody-knows-what in CNE-branded boxes in the Legislative Palace.
Minutes earlier, a plainly unconstitutional Supreme Tribunal had moved to rewrite whole swathes of the constitution —yet again— for narrow partisan advantage —yet again— this time by empowering the regime-aligned Human Rights Ombudsman to perform the functions the constitution plainly and explicitly reserves to the Prosecutor General, purely because it can no longer count on blind political obedience from the Prosecutor.
Minutes later, that prosecutor’s assets would be frozen and her right to travel abroad withdrawn.
That happened just as the regime-controlled National Elections Council demanded to have thousands of schools and voting centers declared Military Security Zones on the date of an illegal referendum, threatening to send people who protest the vote to jail for up to 10 years, even though the vote is transparently rigged.
All this while more and more political activists are jailed for protesting, as one of the country’s largest cities faces a spasm of looting and arson and ends up under quarantine after looters attack a lab holding dangerous samples of things like leptospirosis and equine encephalitis.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the president also vowed to impose through force of arms what he cannot obtain through the vote.
But is any of that on the front page of your morning paper?
No. Of course it isn’t.
Why? Because some shithead with pretty eyes and a deplorable Netflix queue decided to take a police chopper for a joyride.
At the single most sensitive moment for the future of Venezuelan democracy, we’ve just hit worldwide front-pages for the single stooooopidest reason of the lot.
Deep, deep sigh.
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