Trouble in Marxist Paradise: Protesters Take to Streets in Venezuela
by Jim Kouri, CPP
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. -- Winston Churchill
Protesters in Venezuela are taking to the streets in the thousands in anger over the recovery of the bodies of three boys kidnapped on their way to school. However, don't expect to read or hear about it in the US news media. There's trouble in President Hugo Chavez's Marxist utopia and it's not a pretty sight for his leftist cheerleaders in the US and Europe.
Police wearing riot gear fired tear gas at demonstrators blocking a road as thousands of marchers brought Caracas traffic to a standstill while demanding justice, according to video from the BBC.
After the protests, the capital's mayor said he was replacing the chief of police with an army brigadier general, which probably means the government will use more force when dealing with demonstrators, reports the BBC.
According to several English-speaking correspondents, there is frustration over the "perceived rise in crime." Perceived nothing. Caracas is turning into the crime capital of Latin America -- and it's President Chavez's fault. Most of the violence is targeting Venezuela's upper-middle class and wealthy, something he's encouraged in his vitriolic speeches.
Jason, Kevin and John Faddoul - aged 12, 13 and 17 respectively -- were abducted while being driven to school in February. They held dual Canadian-Venezuelan citizenship, according to the BBC.
The bullet-ridden bodies resting in fetal position of the three Faddoul brothers -- John, 17, Kevin, 13, and Jason, 12, with dual Canadian-Venezuelan citizenship -- were found on Tuesday just outside of Caracas, more than a month after they were kidnapped at a bogus police checkpoint on their way to school. Their driver was also killed and the kidnappers remain at large and the police have few clues.
In a country suffering from rampant crime, the killings drew an enormous amount of mourning and a sudden outburst of frustration at the anxiety Venezuelans feel about their security. Alejandro Linares, a 19-year-old university student, spoke of "a sensation of insecurity that at times you don't trust your neighbor," according to Associated Press.
Last week, a prominent Italian businessman was also kidnapped and later murdered by his abductors.
"Where is the justice, where is the answer for the people, how many people die here each week?" protester Cristina Alvarez told the Reuters.
"At times, you don't trust your neighbor," university student Alejandro Linares told the Associated Press. Even a news photographer covering the demonstrations, Jorge Aguirre, was shot dead by an unknown gunman while covering one of the protests.
The Faddoul boys' kidnappers had demanded the parents pay a ransom of $4.5 million. The family's lawyer said it had been too much to pay. Eventually, a farmer found the boys' bodies in the scrub-brush outside the city, with gunshot wounds to the neck and head, according to the BBC
Police investigations are so far focusing on eyewitness accounts that the youngsters and their chauffeur were seized at a fake checkpoint manned by men in police uniforms, which has renewed claims of systemic government corruption. And President Chavez isn't the right leader to help fight crime or government corruption.
In fact, recently, he called on the impoverished masses to rise up and forcibly seize property and money from those better off. His slow purge of the middle class leaves professionals, business owners and shopkeepers facing the hostility of the poor whom the Marxist leader has encouraged in an effort to keep a majority of voters who are poor voting for him in future elections.
Chavez has been actively and routinely encouraging hatred for those who have, among those who have not. A tactic he shares with leftists in the United States. Only in Hugo's case, his people take his words to mean "permission to use violence."
Many Venezuelans are complaining of the Chavez's control of the news media and his intimidation of those he views as opponents. Some Venezuelans report that their middle-class appearance results in beatings, robberies and kidnappings. Some complain that they are routinely spat on.
While the US press and much of Europe's news media ignore Chavez's shenanigans, the British media have been more forthcoming in reporting on Venezuela's crime and other issues. It took the brief imprisonment of Channel 4 News correspondent Jonathan Rugman in Venezuela, for objective reporting on the country's situation to be broadcast by the British news channel.
"I... commend Channel 4 News for being the first news outlet that has expanded on the very real relationship between Chavez and the Iranian Mullahs, noting the lockstep votes of Venezuela favoring Iran's furtherance of its nuclear ambitions," according to international affairs analyst Aleksander Boyd.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.