Skip to comments.Venezuela 2003: more violent deaths than in Iraq
Posted on 09/16/2003 4:20:15 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
A citizen decides to drive from one city to another, say, 100 miles away. He decides to start at dusk, when the temperature is more pleasant. Only 30 minutes along the way he, she sees an object being thrown across the road. It is a big boulder. The driver maneuvers as best as he can, to avoid it and manages to stop by the side of the road. At this moment a horde of savages jumps the car, killing the driver.
Why? ... to rob him, her...
Are we in the Africa of Idi Amin or Mugabe, in the old American West, in the pirate infested 19th century Caribbean?
No, this is Venezuela 2003 ... this is happening today and everyday on our highways and byways ... without the police or armed forces taking much notice. In our cities over 100 Venezuelans are being assassinated every week in almost total impunity.
When combined with the violence taking place in the rural areas, Venezuela is suffering about 7,000 violent deaths per year ... and the number is tragically mounting.
These fatalities are more numerous than those which have taken place in Iraq due to the war. But our country is not at war, at least with outside forces. It is being ravaged by outlaws acting with the confidence of those who know they will not be supressed.
The killings taking place in Venezuela are often executions done by hired assassins who charge US$50-100 per job.
In our country today the value of a human life has become very cheap. There is so much poverty and misery that life has lost much of its intrinsic dignity. There is so much uncontrolled immigration and violation of our borders that hired killers can not be traced, assuming that there was interest in tracing them.
In parallel, dozens of Venezuelans are kidnapped every year, some by common criminals, some by Colombian narco-guerrillas ... some by a newly formed Bolivarian Revolutionary Front. These kidnappings, however, do not have ideological reasons other than the desire to collect the ransom and to harass the Venezuelan "rich."
These are extreme signs of a country in chaos, without law, without government, in anomie (social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values). But there are many others. Every day private land is invaded, urban buildings occupied by organized groups, companies taken over by workers with the backing of members of the armed force or government officers. This is taking place in broad daylight, under the very noses of the institutions which should protect the citizen, but are watching in silence. No reader can truly measure the magnitude of the crime being committed in Venezuela today unless s/he were here. Since many are not, here I am telling them.
When I was a kid, I watched old western movies in which, sometimes, the "sheriff" of a town was a criminal in disguise ... just maneuvering to "take over" the town. I have the perception that a similar situation applies to Venezuela today. There is a group in government, disguised as democrats, trying to take over the country in the name of a revolution based on dead ideologies. They have many of the country's institutions under their control and exercise a rule of terror to "persuade" those who dissent from their views.
Today even the most basic civic rights are threatened with extinction. I have mentioned before how some 500 hours of compulsory TV and radio hookups have been imposed on us by a megalomaniac President, so that he can tell us about his daughter's turtle, about his new grandson or about his childhood in Barinas ... or, he can extol the virtues of Fidel Castro, or the need to eliminate the rich. The matters of real national interest ... the economic and social problems which are overwhelming us are never dealt with. These hookups are a tool of social exclusion, as the man uses them to breed hate among the members of our society.
No institution in Venezuela stands up and challenges this parade of inanities. As impunity becomes total, the President becomes more and more violent and starts threatening all dissenters with armed responses. Like a train jumping tracks the violent President has become an object of destruction.
The only obstacle between this runaway object of destruction and the intended target: Venezuelan society, is a referendum. Only a civilized vote by the Venezuelan population stands in the way to total destruction.
If we can get there, we will do our very best to oust the current President from power.
Once, and if, this objective is attained, we should learn from past mistakes so that, never again, we vote into the Presidency the worst possible combination of politician, who combines resentful ignorance, a violent nature and unrealistic dreams of grandeur...