Friends –This piece highlights the nasty classist nature of the provocation being enacted in the current coup attempt in Venezuela. Very telling.Ken
The National Guard and Class Struggle
Feb 25th 2014, by Luigino Bracci – Aporrea
A recent photo of opposition protestors in front of National Guards (archive)
As a revolutionary, I regret very much the death of people on both sides in the events of the last few days. Geraldine Moreno spent a number of days in a clinic, holding out, after, according to the press, a National Guard shot at her with rubber bullets in the face at close range, making her lose an eye and causing brain damage. The event occurred in the Tazajal sector, Naguanagua municipality, on Wednesday 19 of February. After three days fighting for her life, Geraldine regrettably died on Saturday 22.
If things happened as the press reported, it is an offensive and detestable fact. And the person responsible for the point blank firing, whoever they are, will have to be judged and sentenced to prison for many years, no excuses. And, if the information is false, it’s a shame that nobody has come out to refute it over the last three days. But there are various things about the issue of the National Guard that I’ve been direct witness too, and I have things that I’ve wanted to say for days, maybe this is the best time to say them.
In this area there are numerous Chavistas, we’re not a majority, but perhaps 20 or 30 percent of the population, and important amount. However, we are scared for our lives and our safety because of some of our neighbours. We don’t identify ourselves with Chavista symbols for fear that we will be attacked or our families will be, as has already happen in various specific cases. We are the ones who don’t have the freedom that others are protesting for.
Those who live overseas should take into account the social composition of those who are protesting, and of those who are trying to maintain control. The majority of Bolivarian National Guards come from the barrios, from the popular sectors, from small towns and humble zones and other parts of the country.
Those who protest are, in their majority, from the middle and middle-upper classes of the four most populated cities. No, they aren’t “petty bourgeoisie”, and much less are they owners of the means of production. They are mostly university graduates who work for a wage, or professionals who work on their own, or university students, or small business owners. Sometimes, they earn the same salary as someone who lives in a barrio. But someone made them believe that they are a ‘higher class’, just because they live in the buildings in the east of Caracas and they have European lineage, while the others live in a little humble house.
I write this especially for our readers in countries like Chile, who live in totally different circumstances, so that they can understand us. Hugo Chavez talked constantly about the Bolivarian Armed Forces as “the people in arms”, and he said it quite literally.
From there you have to put yourselves in the boots of the dark skinned GNB, 24 years old, with slanted eyes, who comes from a humble barrio like Zulia, from a campesino (rural) area of Apure or a fishing town in Sucre, who has to tolerate the insults of a Caracas youth, 28 years old, Spanish or Italian or Portuguese heritage, who shouts from a fairly new car things like “Asshole piece of shit Cuban, murderer, ass kisser of Maduro!” Is this a class struggle? I leave that for discussion.
But what is happening in our streets is a coordinated effort: while an opposition person utters these insults, others are recording the scene with their phones or cameras from buildings. They communicate through messages, Whatsapp, Blackberry or Zello. All are waiting for the GNB to lose control, pull out a baton and hit a protestor or fire their rubber bullet rifle. If the guard makes a mistake and represses someone who is insulting him, in just minutes the video is doing the rounds of Youtube, it will be seen by millions of people and will form part of multimedia material that arrives at international chains such as CNN, NTN24 Caracol and others, in order to say that in Venezuela there is repression and to help to justify an intervention.
Why do I tell you all this? Because the opposition is playing with fire and they know it. There are thousands of National Guards in various cities of Venezuela, particularly those with violence such as the east of Caracas and the wealthier areas of Valencia, Maracaibo, and Tachira, all of them submitted to this harassment, this wave of insults, verbal attacks, lack of respect, and violent attacks.
everything that is at stake at this time: all the advances that the revolutionary process has achieved. We’re in a coup attempt, in very similar circumstances to December 2002, but now they have more money, experience, and foreign advice. It’s a battle that might last a very long time, and we have to be prepared to resist.
Luigino Bracci is a collaborator with the editorial team of Aporrea, a defender of freeware and freedom of expression.
Translation by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com
Source URL (retrieved on 25/02/2014 – 10:17pm): http://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10407