Venezuelan police fire tear gas at protesters

It’s easy for me to say this from the comfort of my home, but my strong recommendation to any Venezuelan reading this is: CONTINUE PROTESTING! This is the only way to topple a communist dictator and his regime. If the masses unite, protest, go on work strikes, etc. the country will eventually shut down, forcing the government in power to lessen its grip on the people. This could potentially give way to the rise and  establishment of a popular opposition leader with a more democratic ideology. Although all situations are different, for the most part Cubans failed to do this immediately following the revolution when Fidel Castro revealed his true identity, and look at what’s happened to Cuba in the last 50 years!

As is clearly evident, Hugo Chavez is a Mickey Mouse “leader.” He’s about as fit to be president of Venezuela as an orangutan. The longer he remains in power, the more the country will deteriorate and the greater his control over the masses.  One would think that people would have already figured out that communism doesn’t work; there are plenty of examples throughout the world to prove this. Yet people, particularly those in Latin countries who like a strong leader, continue to elect these con artists who promise to take from the rich to give to the poor, while in reality all they do is take from the rich for themselves and in the process destroy the country. In the end the poor not only gain nothing, they lose what freedoms they may have previously had. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

By FABIOLA SANCHEZ, Associated Press Writer Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press Writer

CARACAS, Venezuela – Police fired tear gas to chase off thousands of students demonstrating in the capital Thursday, a fifth day of protests against President Hugo Chavez for pressuring cable and satellite TV providers to drop an opposition channel.

Some of the protesters threw rocks at police in riot gear when officers moved to break up the rally outside the offices of the state-run electricity company.

While charging that the government is trying to curb criticism, the students also used their demonstration to call attention to electricity shortages plaguing much of Venezuela and other pressing domestic problems like double-digit inflation.

University students have taken to the streets daily since Sunday, after government pressure led cable TV services to drop Radio Caracas Television International, which has long been a critic of Chavez’s socialist policies.

“We are not going to allow continued shutdowns of media outlets that tell the truth, and we are not going to allow ineptitude and inefficiency to continue,” said Nizar El Sakih, a student leader.

Critics of the government say Chavez is responsible for domestic problems ranging from double-digit inflation to violent crime to rolling power blackouts.

The government says RCTV was removed for refusing to comply with a new rule requiring media outlets to televise mandatory programming, including Chavez’s speeches.

Chavez accused students of trying to stir up violence as a means of destabilizing his government.

“There are some attempting to set fire to the country,” Chavez said in a televised address Thursday. “What are they seeking? Death.”

He said unidentified assailants armed with assault rifles shot at National Guard troops Wednesday in the city of Merida, where two soldiers suffered gunshot wounds. A military barracks in the city of Barquisimeto was also attacked, he said.

Chavez vowed to crack down on street demonstrations that turn violent.

“We cannot permit this,” he said. “The state and the government must impose authority.”

Ten students were accused of fomenting public disorder Thursday in the eastern city of Barcelona — a day after they led protests that ended in clashes with police, Fortunato Herrera, a lawyer representing the students, told the local Globovision TV channel.

Student leader Jonathan Zambrano told Globovision that 22 protesters were arrested in the city of Barinas. The students were released, Zambrano said, after university groups agreed to call off street demonstrations.

Two youths were killed in Merida on Monday — a day after the protests began. Dozens of people have been injured during the week’s demonstrations.


Associated Press Writer Christopher Toothaker contributed to this report.

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