Paramilitary Forces Used Against Civilians in Venezuela

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Around 7:00 am on Saturday, 2 indigenous Pemons (Amazonian natives) died in Santa Elena de Uairén after a group of Pemons tried stopping the National Guard of Venezuela from halting the arrival of much-needed humanitarian aid. Casualties also included over 14 natives who were transported to Brazil for immediate care. When asked about the injuries, Venezuelan officials claimed the injured hurt themselves with rocks and arrows.

Five had gunshot wounds, and two more died hours after the initial clash.

Since the clash, it’s been reported that paramilitary forces surrounded the indigenous people’s village. The paramilitary is made up of released convicts; groups known as Collectives. The use of violent criminals to suppress protesters is a well-documented terror tactic in Cuba and other socialist nations.

Later that day, the paramilitary troops expanded their siege to include the small town of Santa Elena de Uairén, where the initial clash took place. They were/are raiding homes, one after the other, searching for protestors. The orders are not to arrest the natives. The orders are to massacre the Pemon population of over 30,000.

Currently, the Mayor, who was quoted saying the nation’s leader, Maduro, shouldn’t retaliate against the city’s inhabitants and should leave the incoming humanitarian aid alone, has gone into hiding to avoid capture. There are reportedly 40 buses with hitmen to find and kill the Mayor and any legislator that goes near the border to help bring in humanitarian aid.

A Cuban paramilitary force is also sitting on the border between Venezuela and Columbia, blocking aid and burning trucks full of food and medical supplies that try to enter the country. Maduro fears that the humanitarian aid would contain weapons for the people. His government could have the aid checked before allowing it in; a relatively simple task that would ensure only food and supplies make it. The idea that they would set alight to what they believe could be ammo and explosive weapons is nonsensical. Along with Cubans at the border, it’s believed there are currently over 20,000 Cuban draftees in the country enforcing Maduro’s policies and defending his regime.

Saturday morning, the unarmed population of Pemons saw initial victory with bows and arrows, but they were no match for the armed militias of their oppressors, fleeing from the initial invasion. But the tides are turning. As of today, the Pemon people disarmed a full platoon of soldiers.

Right now, Venezuelans are fighting back against both their own and the Cuban armies, many of whom are indoctrinated and violent criminals with no love or loyalty to the people they now aim their guns at.

For most of these people, socialism wasn’t a choice. Chavez took power by force in a coup, and Maduro inherited it. Most of the people suffering were children at the time and many weren’t even born. Those who were old enough to vote did so in a rigged election designed to create only the illusion of democracy.

But there is hope. Not only have the Pemon people inspired hope in the failing country after successfully and peacefully disarming a full platoon, but over 120 soldiers have denounced Maduro and joined Juan Guaidó. The question now is, can these small victories turn the tides in a conflict much larger than what the media in the US has told us about?

Why is it that there is no coverage of the Pemon people’s struggles in the US?

A quick search shows only that Being Libertarian has an article about it, though that can be owed to an Ecuadorian reporter who helped informed us of the conflict in Santa Elena de Uairén.

Is the media willing to be silent about the attempted massacre of 30,000 indigenous people in order to not validate or affirm Trump’s attacks against Maduro? Or is it that they’re willing to go so far to protect socialism? Perhaps both.

No matter the cause, the silence in the US is deafening, and for tens of thousands of indigenous Pemon people who will likely face major armed backlash from the Maduro regime, life-threatening.

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Donald Keller

Donald Keller is a co-author of 'Igniting Liberty: Voices For Freedom Around The World'. He is also an admin and editor for The Libertarian Coalition.