When Chaos Comes to Your Doorstep


Rafael Osío Cabrices writes a powerful personal essay on what it’s been like living half a block from Plaza Altamira over this last month.

What’s the best way to protect a 7-month-old girl from the effects of tear gas? Is it dangerous for her to breathe the smoke from a pile of burning garbage in front of this building? Can a 9-millimeter bullet pass through the walls of our apartment? Will I find food for my family next week in our densely populated middle-class neighborhood, or should we stock an emergency reserve of groceries?

These are some of the questions that my wife and I have been asking ourselves since February 12, when members of Venezuela’s political opposition marched on downtown Caracas and were attacked by supporters of the recently deceased president, Hugo Chávez. Two students were shot in the head and killed, and the subsequent rage pushed the opposition to continue the most recent series of protests against the regime that inherited Chávez’s idea of power.

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9 thoughts on “When Chaos Comes to Your Doorstep

  1. More lies from the Miami propaganda machine. All they have left are blogs and social networks because even the US corporate media is embarrassed by all the lies. Amazing how the opposition can start riots, set up burning barricades (that have been responsible for most of the deaths), string wires across intersections to decapitate motorcycle riders (3 so far), even shoot at people trying to clean up the trash, and this author blames it on the government. That’s the Venezuelan opposition for you. Reality means nothing to these people. Like a heavily armed Tea Party, except the Tea Party doesn’t receive tens of millions of dollars and thousands of hours of training every year from a foreign power seeking to overthrow the democratically elected government.


    • I suppose you are writing this from Catia?

      You are right in one thing, the opposition is left with blogs and social networks because the freedom loving, don’t look now but we’re really fascist government we have has either shut down or co-opted the rest of the media.

      Last I checked, the ones armed are either Nazional Guard, Policia Nacional and the armed collectives that receive their weapons from the government. Haven’t seen a barricade shoot anyone so far………

      Nice try, but no dice, Faulkner


    • “Reality means nothing to these people.”

      Which reality do you live in?

      Does it involve:

      -Trying to make ends meet in the midst of world high inflation?
      -Constant fear living in one of the most dangerous countries in world, where more than 90% of murders go unsolved?
      -Ongoing shortages of basic good and hour long lines for flour?
      -Dealing with the worst corruption in South America?
      -Being stuck with novellas and pro-government hate propaganda on TV?
      -Any deviation from regime line getting you branded a “fascist” and not a “real Venezuelan”?
      – Watching all democratic institutions completely perverted and experiencing grotesquely unfair elections?
      -A government elite that only offers left wing or nationalist slogans and repression to the populace while they steal, give away, or otherwise squander most of Venezuela’s near record high oil revenue?


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