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November 28, 2007
Students in Caracas clash with police and pro-Chavez thugs
As the countdown toward the referendum on Hugo Chavez's "constitutional coup" continues, students from all over the country refuse to be quiescent in the face of a campaign of intimidation carried out by the police and pro-Chavez thugs against supporters of democracy:
Several media outlets in Caracas have reported today that the new protests where thousands of students from all over the country participated against Chavez's Constitutional "reforms," left many students wounded. The students were set upon by police who stood outside the campus of Simon Bolivar University and fired through the chicken wire surrounding the school, tossing tear gas grenades over the barrier, according to this report from a Venezuelan blogger:
There were violent confrontations with the police in many Universities and there are reports of protesters having bullet and pellet wounds. Allegedly, one is in critical condition. Some newspapers have published news that many students have been detained by the authorities. Demonstrations also occurred in other cities: Maracay ,Valencia ,Yaracuy and Puerto La Cruz and there is information that many professors joined their students. For this Sunday, all the student leaders will join their forces and will march in a huge demonstration to reject Chavez's plans to turn Venezuela into an oppressive and tyrannical country.
Today we were treated to the students of the Simon Bolivar campus in Caracas pushed inside their campus by the Metropolitana police. Since the police cannot enter the campus, they kept throwing canisters of tear gas above the fences and shooting rubber bullets by passing their guns through the chicken wire that circles the campus. I can hardly think of any thing more cowardly risible than what the Caracas police did today, shooting defenseless students from afar while perhaps this very same week end the police failed to stop as many as two dozen murders in Caracas alone. The rest of the young man's post details the ways in which Chavez has openly violated the electoral laws, squelched debate on the referendum, and generally made the vote a test of personal loyalty to him.
With Chavez in complete control of the electoral process, it is extremely unlikely that even if a majority voted against the referendum that the announced results would reflect that reality. Instead, my friend Fausta Wertz told me on my radio show yesterday that it is likely the margin of victory for Chavez has already been set. Judging by past votes, she sees at least a 65% "yes" vote that will be announcd by the government - regardless of the real tally. (You can stream the interview with Fausta, that starts about 15 minutes into the show, here).
The students plan rallies all weekend where they will probably be joined by other pro-freedom Venezuelans. The potential is there for real trouble. Let's hope that a modicum of calm can prevail on all sides so that bloodshed is avoided or kept to an absolute minimum.
Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit