[News] “Terrorists” Attack Housing Mission and Pre-School in Venezuela

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 2 15:58:23 EDT 2014

  “Terrorists” Attack Housing Mission and Pre-School in Venezuela


By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim

Merida, 2^nd April 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The headquarters of the 
Venezuelan government's housing mission and an adjacent pre-school have 
been attacked by anti-government groups, according to authorities.

Over one thousand workers were evacuated from the housing mission’smain 
offices, after the building was engulfed in flames on Tuesday afternoon.

The building is located in the Chacao municipality of Caracas, where 
anti-government blockades and protests have been a regular affair since 
mid February.

According to Minister for Housing Ricardo Molina, the blaze started 
after a “group of terrorists attacked the front of the building, 
breaking the windows”.

The attackers then “threw petrol bombs and set fire to the building”, 
the minister told state broadcaster VTV.

“Our workers were at risk of dying...which shows the level of insanity 
and fascism that these violent groups have reached,” Molina stated.

In the early evening Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced that the 
fire had been brought under control by the fire fighters and the 
National Guard (GNB).

Among the evacuees were 89 children from an adjacent pre-school, used by 
government workers. Arreaza stated that the children were aged between 6 
months and three years of age.

The vice president labelled the attackers “/guarimberos/”, a term which 
refers to those creating disturbances, and is currently used to describe 
opposition groups who have erected barricades in the streets of at least 
six of Venezuela's major cities in the last two months.

The GNB has made 27 arrests in connection to the attack. While 
announcing the arrests, GNB Regional Command head Manuel Quevedo slammed 
Caracas police for “complete absence” in neighbourhoods where the 
arrests were made by soldiers.

“In the cases of Baruta and Chacao municipalities, there is no 
authority, violent [people] stroll about comfortably ... [including] the 
same people that we have fully identified at the site of the act,” 
Quevedo stated.

The Attorney General's office and the criminal investigation body CICPC 
are conducting further investigations, according to Quevedo.

“These are people who want to create a feeling of chaos in Caracas,” 
Quevedo stated.

The housing missionis one of the Venezuelan government's largest social 
projects. Launched in 2011, the mission aims to construct 3 million 
homes by 2019. Venezuelans living below minimum wage are eligible to 
receive free housing under the mission, while low income families 
receive heavy government subsidies for the homes.

The housing minister stated that preliminary estimates of damages from 
Tuesday's attack equal the construction costs of 190 housing units.

On Tuesday night, President Nicolas Maduro condemned the attack, and 
called on opposition political parties to engage in peace talks.

“Those who want peace are willing to talk any day, any time,” Maduro stated.

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