Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Bolivarian Nightmare

With permission and a recommendation of an area to visit, I headed over to Plaza Altamira.  I hopped the bustling metro with the 3 Bolivares ticket to ride (4cents).  I got on to the packed car of multi-hued Venezolanos two stops to La Plaza.

I walked up from the underground to a giant golden statue of La Virgen staring down.  A gold crown on her head; the baby Jesus bundled in her arms.

I crossed the street past a small protest on the corner- standing in traffic against the death that has overtaken Venezuela.

I walked slowly up to the dilapidated obelisk and stopped at the green grass plaza in front.

There were cardboard tombstones of the recent dead of the protests against Maduro. These cardboard tombstones were held up with water canisters holding flowers above the tombstones.  I looked at the pictures of the dead; they all seemed to be my age.

Leading up to the obelisk was a crucifix on the ground made of placards of the dead- their ages, where and how they died. I followed the cross, then returned to offer a prayer and pay my respects in silence.  In the "cemetery" there was a book structure that held quotations from Bolivar about how the county should never turn on its people.  All around the area, graffiti spoke of liberty, of freedom, and of Maduro the assassin.

A young man was tending the makeshift memorial, and was relighting candles for the dead.  I slipped 200 Bolivares in the jug collecting funds for the revolution.  My meager contribution to the cause.

As I was returning, a phalanx of riot cops and motorcycle police had circled the small protest.

Once upon a time, I would have stayed to watch; I'm old enough now to know where i have no business. I turned the other direction.

I crossed the street, walking past a graffiti sign declaring:
Tu indifferencia es tu complicidad 
Your indifference is your complicity.

In the end, the riot police just moved the young protesters off the street and back on to the curb of the plaza.

Cars honked for the young protesters--and the traffic stalling the city, as a light rain began to fall. 

1 comment:

Abba said...

I'm sure you know this:
http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/09/world/americas/venezuela-unrest/index.html?iref=allsearch