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Chavez's Asymmetric War causes 68,926 deaths in Venezuela

By Miguel Octavio

17.06.06 | President Chávez and the old guard Generals that surround him speak at every turn of the so called “asymmetrical war” the country is supposedly engaged in. It even goes beyond their simple words, with the Government spending close to US$ 5 billion in new military equipment, from Kalashnikovs rifles, to helicopters to jets, all in the name of this phantom war, which appears to exist only in the febrile brains of the President and his comrades and which is used to generate political goodwill for the Government.

Meanwhile, Venezuela is truly engaged in a very asymmetrical war. It is a tragic war, because more people have died from it since Hugo Chavez took power in 1998, than either in the war in Afghanistan or the war in Iraq. It is asymmetrical, because despite the Government’s claim to care about the poor, this war mostly affects those without the resources to defend themselves from it. I am talking about the war in which 44 Venezuelans are killed everyday near their homes or at their homes, murdered by common criminals or too often in confrontations with the very same people that are supposed to protect them from the criminals: the police.

The war is doubly asymmetrical in that the same Government that spends billions in military equipment, gives away billions in aid and gifts to other countries, or makes useless and senseless investments in other countries, spent a scant US$ 63 million in providing equipment for all of the local police forces in the country.

It is remarkable that this war generates so little publicity, almost no noise and is so far from being the international scandal that it should be. According to official figures 68,926 Venezuelan were killed by common criminals or in violent confrontation with the police since Chávez took over in 1998. Compare that to the 23,700 killed in the seven years prior to Chávez being elected the first time and nobody can even begin to blame the current levels of homicides to the previous Governments or the 40 terrible years of the IVth. Republic. As with so many things in Venezuela today, like corruption, poverty or inefficiency, things are simply so much worse with Chavez, even if they were already pretty bad before him.

But compare the same numbers with real wars elsewhere and it just so happens that more Venezuelans have died from homicides since Chávez took over, than people on both sides have died in the Iraqi war (63 thousand ), or the war in Afghanistan (33 thousand) or the war in Chechnya (50 thousand) or proportionately even the armed war in Colombia (73 thousand in the last ten years)

But this war does not affect me, as much as it affects the ordinary Venezuelans that live in the barrios, where most of these deaths take place, in a proportion which is inordinate with the size of their population. And it does not affect revolutionary politicians and their families who go around the country in armored cars full of bodyguards. Meanwhile, Chávez wears Panerai watches, plays with rifles to scare the population and gives away the money of those same Venezuelans all over the world , in order to increase his influence and promote himself.

It is indeed a very asymmetrical and almost silent war, which receives little coverage on the part of the official media, which receives little attention from the Government, which is never mentioned by Hugo Chávez and which is simply ignored by the Government’s unconditional supporters both here and abroad.

It is another human right denied to all Venezuelans by a negligent and fraudulent revolution. Another seldom told tragedy of the last seven years, which incredibly does not even touch the sensitivity of the insensitive autocrat.

Source The Devil's Excrement

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