It was typical of the discrimination and repression that has characterized this Government during the last eight years as student marched to the National Assembly today to present their comments on the proposed Constitutional reform and ask that the process be delayed so that the reform can be discussed and modified to satisfy the largest possible percentage of Venezuelans.
But you can not even find democracy in the country’s Parliament. Despite the rain (top left) and their buses being detained outside Caracas by the National Guard, students marched massively. They had the required permits to march all the way to the Esquina de Sociedad near the National Assembly, but pro-Chavez groups (not students) who had no permits were allowed to gather all morning near the Capitol building as the police set up a barricade to block the students from even reaching the end of their authorized march. (Top right).
The cops were very ready to repress (Middle left) and for a while there was a stand off, but the students had sworn that they would not allow their rights to be violated and if blocked they would push thru (Middle right), which they managed to do because of the sheer size of the crowd (Bottom left) and as they went thru, both cops and Chavistas ran back (Bottom Right). Later, to insure the safety of the students, the National Guard had to transport the delegation with their documents to the Capitol building in an armored car. Thus, only the safety and the voices of pro-Chavez supporters can be guaranteed in this fake revolution and empty democracy.
To make matters even worse, the pro-Chavez groups blocking the way included a couple of Deputies of the National Assembly, demonstrating that democracy is not alive and well in Venezuela. As the representatives of the students went into the Capitol building, only the pro-Chavez media was allowed in and even more remarkably a group of pro-Chavez “students” who had nothing to do with the march were also allowed in. Deputy Calixto Ortega won the day in terms of shame, when he said he did not understand why these students required “special” treatment, since the reform has been discussed extensively (!!!) and the students were getting “too much coverage” from the press. I guess the right to express yourself has now become a “special right” in Venezuela.
Truly a shameful day for the country’s democracy.