Is shooting at Venezuelan cops “unconstitutional” or even a big deal?

A Miami Herald report entitled “In secret recording, Venezuelan general pushes for snipers to control demonstrators” only vaguely alludes to the fact that opposition protesters have been killing people. In the seventeenth paragraph of the story the Herald states

“While it is not known where the gunfire originated that killed the four demonstrators on Monday and Tuesday, Organization of American States Secretary General, Luis Almagro, on Tuesday blamed the Venezuelan national guard.”

So if you read all the way to the seventeenth paragraph and squint really hard you might possibly figure out that some protesters have been armed and very dangerous. If you’ve done a lot of reading, and watched this interview Mehdi Hasan did with Almagro, you’ll know that Almagro is a fanatical opponent of the government but the Herald seems to count on readers not knowing that.

Very interestingly, Francisco Toro, a writer who said years ago that the opposition should “win ugly” over the government (basically kiss up to whoever perpetrates a military coup) objected to the Miami Herald’s spin:

We hear a group of Guardia Nacional officials discussing security arrangements semi-formally. The conversation takes place against the backdrop of real alarm about the increasing use of firearms by demonstrators to shoot back at security personnel. This is not made up. We’ve reported several instances in Mérida and elsewhere where people have shot at the security forces from the ranks of protesters.

It isn’t even really that surprising: in a country awash with guns and in the superheated atmosphere of conflict Venezuela is now living through, what would be strange is if not one single idiot turned up at an opposition march with a gun and a hero complex.

To Toro, the big story is that Venezuela’s security forces are very wary of the legal consequences for their actions. He is clearly excited by the idea that such fears could help the opposition finally win ugly.

Shooting at the security forces of a government the US government has long wanted overthrown is no big deal, raises no concerns that fundamental rights are being trampled, and is easily brushed aside. Toro, at least on his blog, can’t bothered to hide that assumption.  The international media, on the other hand, realizes that it should be hidden.  

Leave a comment