Who knew the CIA had so many young agents in Venezuela?

A.M. Mora y Leon:

Venezuela is on fire. Triggered by a media shutdown over the weekend, tens of thousands of students from virtually every university, ranging from trade schools to military colleges to the most prestigious universities, and now high schools, are protesting in the streets of Caracas. It's Venezuela's longest nonstop street strike since March 2004.

It doesn't seem entirely peaceful this time. Most of the past ones were peaceful. This one is different. Sure, there were some agents provocateurs, but it looks like more than that. It's street rage in spontaneous combustion. Over 100 kids, some hurling rocks and bottles, have been arrested, and others have been tear-gassed, and shot at with rubber and real bullets. As motorcycle cops swirl, the streets are becoming burning barricades, with many roadblocked by cops. Gangs of young men on the Chavista side bunch in alleys and doorways, as anti-Chavez others roam around menacingly. It makes downtown Caracas resemble a scene from Blade Runner. Blogger Miguel, at the epicenter of it, says it took him eleven miles of weaving to get what's normally three miles home from work yesterday.

Despite these conditions, the protests aren't stopping. Cops are scattering kids with tear gas and those who are there say they just keep coming back in human waves. More ominous, the protests show no sign of burning out. They now have spread to outer cities like Valencia and Maracaibo. A huge new protest is scheduled for Friday.

No one saw this coming. In Caracas, observers are stunned at the youthful age of the kids in the streets, teenagers who can remember only Chavez as their president over the last eight years. Clearly, they haven't been remade in his new socialist model at all, but are rejecting it intensely. But there is bafflement over the flaming street rage over this. After all, Chavez has already stolen everything that hasn't been nailed down - oil companies, farms, hospitals, golf courses, apartment buildings by Marxist expropriation. This doesn't even count what's ripped off by corruption. Why the intensity of emotion on the shutdown of RCTV?

Protest signs give an important clue - most say 'Freedom' - not even press freedom, just plain freedom....


The ruling Chavistas are in a panic. They do not know what to do. Chavez himself mocked the protestors Tuesday and implied they were CIA agents - but Venezuelans noticed that he spoke from the naval airport near Caracas, a place from where dictators are known to flee the country. Venezuelans wondered if he was really that scared because it was an odd location....

Yes he really is that scared. He has been paranoid about a coup for eight years. It is interesting that he has not brought out his militia forces he has been training. Perhaps he does not trust them either at this point. He probably shouldn't.

Has Chavez banned satellite dishes? If not I would expect that to be a booming business in Venezuela now.


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