Venezuela, the tropical apprentices of Isis

The opposition fanatics have set fire to 19 persons, the immense majority of them black, poor or governmental employees.

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Carlos Eduardo Ramirez went out on Thursday, May 18, to look for a job. About three in the afternoon he was walking through one of the streets near the Altamira Metro station, in Caracas, when a group of some 20 masked opponents of the government accosted him. They immediately began to hit him with sticks and stones. One had a pistol. Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! This Chavista has to die! They shouted.


Carlos Ramírez shouted to them: I am not a Chavista! Why do you want to kill me? Let me live, I want to see my daughter! The masked men poured gasoline over him and set it alight. He began to jump, run, shout and dropped to the ground to stifle the flames. The municipal police of Chacao (municipality under opposition control) did nothing to help him. Only the firemen helped (


Carlos was the first person that the peaceful Venezuelan opponents set on fire for being a Chavista. Fortunately he lived to tell his story. However, Orlando José Figueras, aged 21, could not say the same. On May 20, in Altamira, he was savagely beaten, stabbed and burned by the tropical apprentices of Isis for being a thief and Madurista ( He did not survive.


Since then, the enemies of the Bolivarian revolution have not stopped burning human beings for the crime of being Chavistas. The fanatics have set fire to 19 persons, the immense majority of them black, poor or governmental employees.


But their pyromaniac vocation does not end there. They have burned food (over 50 tons in the Anzoátegui state, where, according to Marco Teruggi, they accompanied the fire with three painted statements: Cursed Chavistas, No more hunger, and Long live Leopoldo); funeral urns from the cemetery of Guaicaipuro, Cuban flags, the statue of Hugo Chávez; the building of the Executive Direction of the Judiciary (DEM) of the Supreme Court of Venezuela in Chacao, the headquarters of the Ministry of Housing; the National Institute of Nutrition, police stations and a long list of public buildings.


The pedagogy of opposition fire is part of their insurrectional wager. Their conversion into the South American version of the Ku Klux Klan (it is not by chance that many of their victims are of African descent) is part of their failure to gain a social base among the poorer social groups. The economic war, the blocking of streets and avenues of the middle class districts, the use of forms of guerrilla warfare and the media campaign that they have unleashed have not led either to a split in the Army nor to popular desertion of the Chavista cause, so the opposition now recurs to terror. They want fear to paralyze those who oppose them. They seek to wear down popular resistance.


This is no novelty. The Latin American right has a long terrorist tradition. Not one of the peoples of the continent has not suffered from this. Nevertheless, the Venezuelan opposition has innovated and taken it much further.  Their advisors have learned from Isis. Making flames devour human beings is one of the cards that they have played to provoke panic. Nevertheless, burning people alive is a bestiality that many media outlets and human rights defense groups have decided to ignore and to silence.


In spite of the fact that the opposition shock groups recurrently make use of violence against the poorer population, the international press describes them as peaceful, libertarians, “cool” and even “sexy”. And, even though the groups that exercise street violence are integrated by Colombian paramilitaries, paid lumpen, bands of delinquents or shock groups trained in irregular war, they are presented as idealistic youth who struggle against the Castro-communist dictatorship during the day and then let loose at night; who combine the anti-gas masks in the barricades with fashionable dress and exotic drinks when the sun goes down (see, for example, and


This campaign of disinformation on what is happening in Venezuela has reached grotesque levels. For several months, Lilian Tintori assured everyone that her husband, Leopoldo López, was being tortured in prison. It was even said that he had died. Numerous media accepted this version without seeking any confirmation. Nevertheless, when López moved to house arrest on July 8, he looked more like a body-building instructor than a martyrized prisoner.


To this moment, the golpista attempt of the Venezuelan opposition has provoked 105 deaths. Of these, 29 were direct victims of the demonstrators themselves. For example, four perished when the explosives that they planned to use against others blew up in their hands. Some died during looting and a fire in a warehouse set by the assaulters killed 14 persons. Another 14 deaths were the work of authorities of the State, most of whom have been taken to trial. The other 44 are under investigation (


In the short run, the Venezuelan opposition is engaged in bringing about a failure in the voting to elect the National Constitutional Assembly on July 30. But beyond this goal, they aspire to form a parallel government that, even if it be only testimonial (and is unable to exercise real power), could obtain the support of the United States, and open the gate for a foreign invasion.  For the tropical apprentices of Isis anything goes, including setting fire to black and poor Venezuelans, because they cannot forgive their having dared to make themselves the masters of their own destiny.



(Translated for ALAI by Jordan Bishop)


First published in Spanish in La Jornada (Mexico City) Tuesday July 25, 2017.
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