International news media turns its eyes from Venezuela as it sinks into Cuba-style abyss

In the Caracas Chronicle, Francisco Toro explains how after the country suffered a night of indiscriminate violence and murder at the hands of Castro-trained thugs in the service of the Venezuelan dictatorship, the situation in the country has completely changed. No longer are events unfolding slowly and sporadically, but instead they are picking up steam, speeding the country to either freedom or perpetual tyranny.

One of the saddest aspects of this story (although not completely unexpected) is the almost total news blackout by the international news agencies on the murderous oppression taking place in Venezuela. It seems the media is adopting in Venezuela the same policy of willful blindness to human rights atrocities and crimes against humanity they have used for Cuba the past half century. Unless something drastic happens soon, the full and complete Cubanization of Venezuela will come to fruition sooner than anyone anticipated.

Venezuela: The Game Changed Last Night
San Cristobal ayer
San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…


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