"Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro." (Sean Penn, March 5, 2013.)
To say nothing of the “proven” –and particularly, the enduring--”leadership” of Maduro’s colonial overlords in Havana, of whom Sean Penn is also extremely fond. “I had the privilege to introduce my children to comandante Fidel Castro!” (Sean Penn, arm in arm with “great friend” Hugo Chavez, Caracas Feb. 13, 2012.)
Protests rocked Venezuela this week. Hundreds of Venezuelans were arrested by Cuban-trained police and at least three were shot dead by Cuban-trained paramilitary storm-troopers. As we go to press Caracas is under a military clampdown with government troops guarding most public buildings and patrolling the streets.
In brief Venezuelans have had it with the corruption, shortages, censorship, 56% inflation rate, crime and general privations brought on by the late Hugo Chavez’ “Bolivarian Revolution,” especially as implemented by Chavez’ successor Nicholas Maduro, who won last October’s elections--most non-Hollywood observers believe—by stealing them.
Now Maduro and his cronies are stealing the country blind. It’s all under the guise of something the Chavistas call “21th Century Socialism,” mind you. But it still amounts to the government stealing businesses and replacing the owners and managers with vengeful, bumbling and rapacious government hacks. So the results exactly mimic those of old-fogey20th century socialism. Here’s a nation sitting atop the world’s largest oil reserves and earning $100 BILLION in oil revenues annually—while its citizens can’t find toilet paper in any stores.
But no matter how hard daily life becomes for Venezuelans, no matter how menacingly looms the prospect of national bankruptcy, no matter how drastically oil production drops--President Maduro keeps shipping 100,000 barrels of oil to Castro’s Cuba daily. Venezuelan subsidies to Cuba last year were estimated to total $10 billion. That’s more than double what the Soviets used to send.
So, as you might imagine, the Castro regime’s interest in the Maduro regime’s “durability” probably exceeds even Sean Penn’s interest. To that end around 50,000 Cubans infest Venezuela. The media (especially those networks and agencies bestowed Havana bureaus) all claim these Cubans are all “doctors and teachers.” Actual Venezuelans know better. In fact the Venezuelan secret police is essentially controlled by KGB-trained Cubans. Maduro’s very platoon of bodyguards is headed by Cubans. This is the type of “teaching” most valued by such as Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro, who the Castro regime took under their wing as far back as the 1990’s. Maduro’s Quisling-esque qualities shone even then.
The thousands of young Venezuelans (mostly college students) who took to Venezuela’s streets this week demanded, essentially, that the Venezuelan government abide by the Venezuelan constitution and end their pathetic subservience to the Castros.
“We are not Cuba!” chanted Venezuelan demonstrators in front of a hotel hosting Cuban baseball players last week, before being arrested. Another dig came from the leader of the Venezuelan opposition party behind most of this week’s protests Leopoldo Lopez. Venezuela’s rubber stamp judiciary recently issued an arrest warrant against him. So the 42 year old Harvard-educated firebrand Tweeted back: “Come on, Maduro. You don’t have the guts to arrest me. Or are you waiting your orders from Havana?”
In fact as we go to press, Lopez has not been arrested. The order has not come from Maduro’s colonial overlords. The Cuban leadership, let’s not forget, is very keen on the pitfalls of “making martyrs”-- for the opposition, that is. Fidel himself rode to power on the strength of his own martyrdom at Batista’s hands. That this martyrdom was mostly bogus mattered little when such as the New York Times were spreading the hoax on it’s front-page.
Sure, the Venezuelan regime rants and raves about “Yankee Imperialism!” But the Venezuelan people fully recognize their genuine imperial masters. On Canada’s Sun News this week one Townhall writer went so far as to claim that “Maduro can’t even sneak to the toilet with Raul Castro’s permission!”
Most Venezuelans blame the Maduro government’s dirty work, including the three dead demonstrators, on paramilitary storm-troopers called “colectivos” (collectives) “Chavez called them (the colectivos) the armed wing of his Revolution,” revealed Anthony Daquíne ex-security assesor of Venezuela's Interior Ministry. "In essence they are paramilitary groups. The leaders of the collectives have traveled to Cuba for socialist education and military training."
Hugo Chavez’ inspirational debt to Ernesto “Che” Guevara is such that he titled his regime's socio-economic model, "Mision Che Guevara.” So unsurprisingly, many of these Cuban-trained storm-troopers regard Che Guevara with great affection, even as their inspiration.
“Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates! Instead they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service! The very spirit of rebellion is reprehensible!" raved Che Guevara in a famous speech in 1961.
"My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands” raved Ernesto Guevara in a book later known as The Motorcycle Diaries. The Spanish world vencido, by the way, translates into defeated, hence surrendered, hence defenseless.
So, indeed, what could be more fitting than murdering unarmed youngsters while worshiping Che Guevara?
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.