[News] Venezuela's Political Killings: A Sign of the Repression to Come?
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Apr 4 17:11:15 EDT 2016
*Venezuela's Political Killings: A Sign of the Repression to Come?*
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim – Venezuelanalysis.com , April 4th 2016
A mayor gunned down in a drive by shooting just meters from his own
doorstep. A legislator shot by paramilitaries in plain sight outside a
bodega. A solidarity activist butchered in a home invasion. Two police
run over by militants in a stolen bus. These are just the latest in a
wave of killings in Venezuela. The motives behind most of these killings
remain unclear, though it's hard to not be disturbed by what appears to
be a growing wave of political violence gripping the country. In
response, Venezuela's right-wing, the mass media and even most human
rights groups are all following a well worn script that seeks to
downplay these killings, or at least deflect attention away from the
context behind the violence. For example, Human Rights Watch's latest
report on Venezuela is basically just a call for Venezuela's supreme
court to be stacked with supporters of the right-wing political
coalition, the MUD. Another of their recent reports focused on claims
imprisoned that right-wing political figure Leopoldo Lopez didn't
receive a fair trial. Their third most recent report (at the time of
writing) was another complaint about the Maduro administration's human
rights record, including false claims that “security forces violently
cracked down on largely peaceful protests” in 2014. As I saw myself at
the time, those suppressed “largely peaceful protests” included gangs of
armed right-wing militants throwing Molotovs at hospitals, sniping at
civilians from rooftops and setting up barricades to hold neighbourhoods
hostage. Then and now, Venezuela is increasingly becoming a dangerous
place for leftists.
Indeed, all the recent victims were either leftists, or police seeking
to contain violent right-wing demonstrations. The latest victim was
Marco Tulio Carrillo, the socialist mayor of a municipality in Trujillo
state. Other victims include Haitian-Venezuelan solidarity activist
Fritz Saint Louis, Tupamaro legislator Cesar Vera, and two police
officers in Tachira state.
These killings take on a new dimension when contextualised: the
right-wing MUD is preparing to oust Maduro, and wrestle control of all
branches of the state from the left.
If they achieve this, the worst case scenario would be a return to the
repression of the 20th Century, when leftists were all too often the
targets of neoliberal regimes. Today's right-wing has repeatedly shown
it not only has no interest in disavowing violence, but is willing to
turn on the Venezuelan people for their own political gain. From the
2002 coup to the violence of 2014, there has always been a sector of the
right-wing that has never been afraid to use terror against ordinary
Venezuelans. If it takes complete power, perhaps the MUD will learn to
speak out against violence such as the recent killings, or perhaps not.
After all, much of the MUD is generally slow to condemn violence against
leftists, if they do so at all. So if they take complete power, will the
right reign in their excesses, or rule with terror?
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