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Venezuela: Angry citizens demand their rights

Editorial | Tal Cual

22.09.05 | Tuesday was a remarkable day. Social protest resounded in several areas of the country. “Angry people demand their rights”, as had chanted many of the former ‘hooded ones’ from the marches of before that today, are the government. Guayana, under Chávez’ nose, was taken over by workers and neighbors who blocked all its roads and bridges; in Vargas, the chavista street vendors (“We put you there, we’ll remove you” shouted a mature woman, wearing a red tee-shirt) were entrenched in battle with the chavista mayor’s police, accompanied by Lina Ron’s gunmen who, from what is evident, has already begun exacting revenge for the foolishness that she has been victim of.

Here in Caracas, the homeless of Aragua who have been waiting for years for action similar to that taken with the homeless of Pinar del Río and Jamaica, besieged the headquarters of Fondur and shouted about the angry people de-manding their rights.

On the other hand, the medical organization gathered together at the National Assembly, much more peacefully than the chavistas of Guayana, Vargas and Aragua, to protest the Health Law. A day of rage, therefore. Everywhere, there is a common denominator: frustration and disenchantment. Speech is exhausted, almost seven years on. It is exhausted but it also causes bewilderment and apprehension. In the barrios, the owners of the shanties wonder how it is that that private property is not sacred. Then, can the few possessions and the shanty also “be intervened” as Polar was? To make matters worse, the new form of presidential jabber doesn’t help them understand. “The cooperatives should not produce money; the workers ask for a lot in collective contracts; it can’t be that the working class wants to live like the rich.”

However, the revolutionary morale clashes with the 4x4s of the Great Preacher’s companions and against the big houses that recently are being used for the first time. The Revolution is not austere, it doesn’t preach by giving the example.

People feel that Chávez cares more about being Magnón, the Emperor of the Galaxy, that character from the comic strip Mandrake, than the modest president of this generous land. He cannot help but notice, then, that the people’s “empowerment”, the new forms of people’s organization in the barrios, begins to overflow into the government. There are too many years of “pure lies”, in contrast with the multimillion income that is spent without seeing the result of the spending. The legendary Matanza people of Sidor feel robbed by the CVG, that doesn’t give them the stocks of the company nor does it pay them the money that it owes them; the neighbors in Vista al Sol and El Gallo, in San Félix, on the banks of the two majestic Guayana rivers, are tired of not having water; the persons sick from aluminum contamination got tired of camping for three weeks in front of the CVG without the clown with the red beret that acts as minister or the supposed revolutionary of the co-management in Alcasa even being informed.

They decided, all of them, to confront Chávez who was in Guayana. But the boss could not attend to them; it would have been very risky: the workers have to understand that Bush wants to kill him.

Translation by The Daily Journal

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