As violence erupted in the Venezuelan capitol of Caracas Tuesday—in a nation where there is no Second Amendment right for individual citizens to bear arms—what appears to be a full-scale uprising on the eve of “May Day” is unfolding, with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for the military to oust President Nicolas Maduro.
The country has plunged into chaos as Maduro has appealed to the military to support him. Images from the capital showing an armored vehicle plowing into a crowd of protesters leave the impression that something major is happening. Gunfire has reportedly erupted, and Maduro’s security forces have launched teargas grenades and then opened fire on protesters, according to some reports.
Guaido is reportedly calling the protests “the final phase of Operation Liberty.”
At one time Venezuela was “an economic leader in the western hemisphere,” according to Fox News. It has the largest oil reserves on the planet. But then came Hugo Chavez, under whose rule Venezuela turned to socialism and the economy collapsed.
The people, who never enjoyed a right to keep and bear arms, were unable to resist. Chavez is dead but he’s been replaced by Maduro. Guaido has been officially recognized as the country’s president by some 50 other nations, including the United States. Maduro claims to have won re-election last year, but critics contend there was massive fraud in the vote.
The country may be at a tipping point, and the trouble underscores what President Donald Trump recently promised that the United States will never become a socialist nation.
Revolution is hardly a new thing in Latin America, and what is happening now, and has happened in the past, reminds some of a line of dialogue in the classic film “The Professionals” with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin. Lancaster’s cynical line was, and remains, thought-provoking: “When the shooting stops, and the dead are buried, and the politicians take over, it all adds up to one thing: a lost cause.”
According to the Daily Caller, thousands of protestors and Guaido-backed forces were marching on Maduro’s presidential palace at last report. Perhaps theirs is not a lost cause. This drama is unfolding on live television around the world.
In August 1974, then-President Richard M. Nixon, his administration racked by scandal and his probable impeachment looming, resigned from office. There was no violent revolution, no military uprising and in a nation of armed citizens, the transition of power was remarkably calm.
Now in Venezuela, where there may be a presidential ouster in the works, the scene is quite different.
Somewhere in that there is a message.