Kiev is in flames. It's all over the traditional news.
Caracas, Venezuela is erupting, and hardly anyone knows.
The tremors have been building for years, but on Wednesday night Venezuela was convulsed in a wave of violence as the government of President Nicolas Maduro appeared to enforce a brutal crackdown on nationwide protests. Streets were filled with tear gas and the crackle of gunfire, as National Guard units and National Police came out in force. Bands of regime supporters—paramilitary gangs known as colectivos—swarmed neighborhoods and public squares on their motorcycles, firing live ammunition at anyone who remained in the open.Leopold Lopez, leader of the opposition party Popular Will, is under arrest and being held at Ramo Verde, a military prison outside of Caracas, which has housed many political opponents of Chavez. Other activists of Popular Will are in hiding.
Protests are spreading outside of Caracas to other major cities in Venezuela. The crackdown by current Venezuelan President, Nicholas Maduro, shows no sign of letting up.
Caracas may not be as prominent as Kiev, but what is happening in the south american country is just a significant in terms of the people calling for more accountability by the government for its policies and their effects on the citizens.
Keep a good thought for the people of Venezuela, and help get the word out as to what's going on.
UPDATE#1 - The purpose of this diary is primarily twofold: the first is to make people aware that there are massive protests going on in Caracas and spreading to other cities in Venezuela; and second, to serve as a criticism of our traditional media sources failing to make any mention of it. I have no dog in this hunt other than to provide information about a significant international event.
UPDATE#2 - A friend of mine, who has connections in Venezuela, has provided me with the following information as best she can tell: Apparently, the protests began on February 12, an annual student protest day. At some point, the protest turned violent with 3 dead, 2 of whom were students (unconfirmed). Thus the continuation of the protests. At one point, the US Ambassador's daughter was detained for a short time and eventually released. The protests mainly revolve around rapid inflation, availability of goods and services (shelves consistently empty), difficulties traveling outside of Venezuela because the airlines want to be paid in US$, govt. very anti-free speech. The students do not see a future for themselves given the current circumstances.
UPDATE#3, 7:30 PM MST - huffingtonpost.com and MSNBC.com don't have any stories on Venezuela. Cnn.com has reduced it to a photo diary. Foxnews.com, abcnews.com (links to AP report) and cbsnews.com have blurbs. America.aljazeera.com has a story on it. Alternative media like Slate.com, The David Packman Show and Democracy Now are some of the few sources that are actually doing in depth reporting. Speaking of Democracy Now, here's a link to the backstory that is very enlightening.