A number of articles about the Venezuelan crisis have already been posted on this blog. In this post, I would like to share some words from my comrades at Alborada in relation to the events of the last few months.
While the international and national press have focussed on abuses by certain members of the government’s security forces, the fact is that the majority of violence has been provoked by extreme elements of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition. We can see this when we look at the following places which have been targeted:
• power stations;
• the Ministry of Transport (which faced gunfire) and ticket offices as part of the torching of – and attacks on – public transport
• the headquarters of the Fiscalía General (Attorney General);
• trucks of the state grocery store chain PDVAL carrying subsidised food;
• health centres, public universities and so forth;
• media associated with the Government and its journalists.
Such attacks are clearly aimed at creating chaos and destabilisation. Far from the accounts of government repression in the media, the violence in opposition barricades has in fact been the principal cause of death so far. Such violent protests continue, but are desperate attempts to change the government elected by the Venezuelan people.
They have not been successful in overthrowing the government, nor will they be successful in days to come. Polls have shown that over 80% of the Venezuelan population reject the violent protests and support dialogue. Although not reflected in the media, the opposition movement has lost momentum.
While the extreme elements of the opposition remain in the streets, the peace conference organised by the government to enter into dialogue with the opposition has advanced in a tolerant, respectful manner. In the second meeting, the government and the opposition Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) agreed to reject violence and respect the Venezuelan Constitution. Next week, a third meeting will discuss questions related to the economy, security, transparency, and the election of public bodies. Another issue will be the creation of a Maduro’s Truth Commission – a body composed of parliamentarians which will analyse the events of January 23rd in which 41 people died, 600 people were injured and more than 15,000,000,000 dollars were lost.