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The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

More trouble brewing in the world.

The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night â and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch | Caracas Chronicles

San Cristobal on Tuesday night

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Francisco Toro / 12 hours ago

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees.

There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…


Why now? Is this related to Ukraine in any way?

No, more related to Hugo Chavez dying in 2013, so a change of power; which seems to always be shaky.  I think I saw something awhile back about financially the country could not afford to continue all the social programs it had, that they were never sustainable, and it was only a matter of time before it was going to hit a wall, don't know if that also is playing some part.  Really don't have a clear answer, more research needed ;)

One thing I'm getting a sense of is that there's a lot of unrest in the world.

Even in places I thought were stable like Venezuela and Ukraine.