Venezuela: Cracking heads is how you listen to the opposition?
How much more will things deteriorate in Venezuela? We don't know.
However, we do know that the Maduro government wants the world to believe that he is ready to sit down with the opposition.
He also wants to crack their heads, as reported by William Neuman of The NY Times:
"Acting on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro, riot police officers and soldiers this week blocked a march of thousands of student protesters, doused them with pepper spray, blasted them with water cannons and bombarded them with tear gas.
A few hours later, Mr. Maduro invited the student protest leaders to sit down to peace talks, promising to listen and chat “with respect and affection.
After more than a month of protests and bloody unrest, Mr. Maduro has tried to blunt the greatest political challenge to his young presidency in two distinct ways:
He has projected an image of openness and inclusion, while simultaneously cracking down.
Mr. Maduro has repeatedly called for dialogue, even holding a series of televised meetings that he calls peace conferences. But with only a handful of his opponents attending the conferences, and with security forces striking out at demonstrators around the country, some of his opponents say that Mr. Maduro’s kinder face is likely intended only to deflect international criticism, which has come most strongly from the United States. They say his police tactics aim to provoke the demonstrators."
Mr Maduro is banking on two things:
1) The shameful indifference of so many other Latin American countries. The latest player in this shameful game of indifference is the president of Chile who said in a press conference that Chile will not support "....any movement that violently wants to topple a democratically elected government.”
Are you kidding me President Bachelet? With all due respect, are you insane? How can any democratically elected leader refer to President Maduro as the product of an election? Please don't insult our intellegence!
2) The even more shameful silence from the Obama administration. It's hard to believe that the man who once said that "we are the change we've been waiting for" is quietly watching a government crack protesters' head without a loud protest.
Where is the United States? I guess that we are playing golf or telling young people to cancel their cell phones and buy Obama Care.
So Mr Maduro continues to crack heads and call for a further dialogue. How can you speak with people who are dead, injured or bleeding from your violent treatment?
They will continue cracking heads in Venezuela until the world screams "Enough".
The first government to scream should be the US! We need to lead but maybe leadership is not in style these days!