The Guardian: Venezuela unrest is a revolt of the ‘well-off’

An anti-government protester sets up a barricade next to a burning kiosk during a protest at Altamira square in Caracas, Venezuela March 9, 2014

Images forge reality, granting a power to television and video and even still photographs that can burrow deep into people’s consciousness without them even knowing it.

I thought that I, too, was immune to the repetitious portrayals of Venezuela as a failed state in the throes of a popular rebellion. But I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in Caracas this month: how little of daily life appeared to be affected by the protests, the normality that prevailed in the vast majority of the city. I, too, had been taken in by media imagery.

Major media outlets have already reported that Venezuela’s poor have not joined the right-wing opposition protests, but that is an understatement: it’s not just the poor who are abstaining – in Caracas, it’s almost everyone outside of a few rich areas like Altamira, where small groups of protesters engage in nightly battles with security forces, throwing rocks and firebombs and running from tear gas.

* * *
If so, why is the Venezuelan government trying to restrict news?

Share