Venezuela is a country in crisis, a country consumed by the consequences of decades of unfettered socialism and dictatorial rule. The death of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez created a vacuum that Nicolas Maduro quickly filled. It has been nearly a month since U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Pope Francis urged an end to the violence that has consumed Venezuela.
Nicolas Maduro was “elected” in 2013 under suspicious circumstances. He has done nothing to improve the country’s unemployment rate. He has virtually destroyed Venezuela’s tourist economy. And Maduro has somehow managed to tank the price of oil — Venezuela’s only natural resource worth exporting.
Indeed, at the center of the violence in Venezuela is that country’s National Guard. Under President Maduro’s reign, they have been caught on camera abducting teenaged girls off the street, kicking and punching unconscious protesters, and busting out car windows.
Obamacare’s looming enrollment deadline, conflagrations in Ukraine, missing Malaysian flight 370, and enduring turmoil in Syria and Iran have monopolized most of the American media’s short attention span. But the brutality in Venezuela, that has lasted for weeks, has been largely ignore.
This is the story of Venezuela, a story you’ve probably never heard till now.
Burned during the night by “Los Colectivos,” a pro-Chavez/Maduro group of Marxist bikers and thugs, this small shopping center’s only crime was being one of the few in its city with food.
Beatings are common, especially when Los Colectivos flood an area filled with Venezuela’s National Guardsmen. Anyone caught opposing the legacy of Hugo Chavez is deemed by Maduro to be an enemy. Roughing up or killing the leader of an opposition party is typically rewarded with a $150 prize.
Under Maduro, the government of Venezuela, particularly its National Guard, has no consideration for anyone. In this picture, guardsmen can be seen flooding an entire square block with tear gas to root out protesters. The clinic you see here had to close all of its doors and windows and was forced to shut off its air conditioners for four hours.
Can’t root out Maduro protesters in a neighborhood? Well, take it out on the neighborhood. Maduro’s National Guard typically enter a city or small town, steal items and destroy private property.
The smoke you see here is from the library of a university that preaches capitalism and free markets in some of its classes. The University’s teachers were deemed radicals by Maduro. The Los Colectivos entered the school, burned its library, and the National Guard sat on the gates watching while the school burned to the ground.
Venezuela’s healthcare system is collapsing. During emergency situations it’s not uncommon to see doctors and nurses doing triage with patients lying on the floors.
A pregnant woman was shot and killed by a rubber bullet during an anti-Maduro protest. Her baby was delivered via Cesarean section. The mother died and the baby was injured.
In Venezuela, the National Guard can be seen playing Venezuelan revolutionary cowboy music during raids of towns. The music is meant to “inspire loyalty” to Maduro’s Socialist Revolution. How ….1940s?
In Venezuela, all government lackeys–officials, national police, and national guard own brand new cars.
Hugo Chavez dreamed of one day throwing off the shackles of the western world, claiming Venezuela’s gas reserves for itself. Chavez said doing so would make the country enormously wealthy and the Venezuelan people happy beyond their wildest imaginations.
Sadly, yesterday’s promises are today’s sorrows. Consumer prices have risen 56% since Nicolas Maduro took power in 2013. Venezuelans sometimes go weeks without running water or access to food. The poorest among them, sadly and ironically, have to wait in line for gas–the one substance Venezuela is known best for.
That is the Venezuela the media won’t tell you about.
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