Caracas, Venezuela. The South American nation and bastion of socialism is being rocked by what looks like pre color revolution violence that has now claimed 38 lives, as America lingers on the sidelines just watching, but suspected of being ready to intervene.
In Venezuela amid mounting political unrest, the death toll rose to 38 on Friday, as opposition leaders reported that dozens of officers had been detained for refusing to repress protesters as violence grows. Venezuela’s dictator Nicolás Maduro has many problems on his plate – soaring hyper-inflation, food and medicine shortages, the surging popularity of the opposition movement against him – and this year he has delivered at least one concrete plan to deal with his problem protestors; dancing.
Maduro, a former bus driver who served as Hugo Chávez’s foreign minister, has long enjoyed using his television program “In contact with Maduro,” to broadcast his dance moves, and as Caracas was on fire with protesters, Maduro was being broadcast dancing, meanwhile a Maduro opponent, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said 85 officers, a majority from the military, had been detained for disagreeing with decisions internally to crackdown on protestors rioting in the nation.
Venezuelan soldiers have been using mostly non violent crowd control like gas and rubber projectiles the last few weeks on protestors pushing for early elections. The President Nicholas Maduro does not seem inclined at this time to give in to the demands.
Valencian city authorities announced Friday that Hecder Lugo, 20, had died a day after being shot in the industrial city of Valencia, which has been the epicenter of ongoing protests and massive looting.
The Lugo death brought to at least 38 the number of people reported dead by various sources, though the public prosecutor puts the tally at 37. More than 700 others have been injured in the ongoing violence. Maduro currently has mandated that all Venezuelans dance as part of a political effort to construct a greater socialism. “The youth of the Revolution must know how to sing, love, and dance to construct a peaceful and happy Revolution,” he decreed. “We must all dance. Whoever does not know how needs to learn.”
Maduro Opposition leaders have repeatedly called on officers to think with their conscience before launching attacks, noting that among the protesters could be their own relatives and friends. Interestingly for international observers has been the American silence and lack of resolve in a nation in their geo political orbit.