Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez issued a press release today to mark the anniversary of El Caracazo, calling it “the genesis” of the Bolivarian Revolution. The press release reads:

February 27 1989 marked a tragic moment in our republican history, and twenty eight years later the wounds are still proving themselves difficult to heal. This day represents a sad page in the evolution of Venezuelan society, and demands our constant reflection.

This was a popular storm on a massive scale, which arose as a way to defy a ruling, conceited and arrogant elite that was submissive before foreign powers, one that betrayed and insulted the masses by imposing neoliberal measures that attacked their economic stability and dignity.

On that fateful day, the government at the time relied on an overwhelming use of force in order to repress, creating chaos, anarchy and ultimately massacring unarmed civilians, something that was and will continue to be rejected as a bankrupt policy, something that always characterized the Fourth Republic [the name of the political era before Chavez].

But that anomie contained a beginning, the genesis of a new social revolution, the Bolivarian Revolution, which under the leadership of Supreme Commander Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias grew out of the same principles from [Simon] Bolivar and [Ezequiel] Zamora in order to consolidate the creative consciousness of a people in the indomitable search of their rights and social demands.

The soldiers of the new National Bolivarian Armed Froces, [which is] anti-imperialist, chavista, anti-oligarchy and zamorista, pray to the Almighty that these types of events never repeat themselves. Today more than ever we strengthen our commitment to the civil-military union, and under the light of the Bolivarian Revolution we find ourselves in the sublime task of re-vindicating its popular and humanist essence in order to adhere to the commitment to always serve the best interests of the noble and glorious people of Venezuela.
Chavez Lives… the homeland prevails.

Independence and a socialist Homeland [sic]… We will survive and we will prevail.

Vladimir Padrino Lopez


El Caracazo is the the name given to a series of violent protests that shook Caracas in late February 1989. The protests began as a rejection of a neoliberal reform package that the government of Carlos Andres Perez had tried to implement following a decade of economic decline. Caracas saw several days of intense looting and skirmishes between the military units that had been deployed to suppress the revolt and Caracas residents. While casualty number are difficult to pin down, some estimates place the death toll as high was 2,000.

Torrealba: Venezuela Today “1,000,000 Times Worse” Than in 1989

The former head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), Jesus Torrealba, reacted today to the marking of the 28th anniversary of El Caracazo by arguing that the crisis in which the country finds itself today is much worse than that which led to the violence of 1989.

Through his Twitter account, Torrealba took aim at the PSUV’s take on the 1989 riots, which the party likes to point out where caused by systemic problems, including widespread corruption and a collapsing economy. Torrealba said:

Corruption? [Economic problems]? Hunger? Whatever the chavistas use a pretext so justify the savagery of February 27 1989 is one million times worse today.

Torrealba also pointed out as hypocritical the fact that while the PSUV condemns the neoliberal reforms that led to the 1989 riots, the Maduro regime has similarly forced the country down an economic path to ruin.

Wreckage of Suspected Venezuelan Drug Plane Found in Honduras

The burnt wreckage of a twin-engine airplane was found by Honduran authorities in the country’s northern Cortes region. Authorities there believe that the airplane, which was registered in Venezuela, landed at a clandestine airfield in the area before its crew destroyed it, presumably as a way to destroy incriminating evidence in case they were captured. The crew member(s) have not yet been found.

Honduran authorities told EFE that their country is a springboard for drug emanating from South America on their way up to the United States. Last year, the Honduran government managed to locate and destroy 26 clandestine runways in the Gracias a Dios state, which makes up the eastern part of the country.

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