Santiago, Chile: Protest against the imperialist-fascist attacks on Venezuela and Ukraine, outside the U.S. Embassy, March 1, 2014.
Photos: Célula Ricardo Fonseca Maipú
By Ewan Robertson
February 28, 2014 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Yesterday Venezuelans marked 25 years since the mass rebellion known as the “Caracazo” against neoliberal policies, and the massacre of civilians at the hands of security forces that followed.
On 27 February 1989 protests, riots and looting broke out in Caracas and other cities across Venezuela. Half of the population lived in poverty at the time, and some who lived in extreme poverty resorted to dog food or spaghetti water to fill their stomachs.
The spark that set off the protests was the announcement of an IMF “structural adjustment package” by the government of Carlos Andres Perez, which had recently assumed office. Transport, fuel, and utilities prices were all to increase, while price caps on some basic goods were to be lifted.
“The people who were massacred 25 years ago are the revolutionary people that today are constructing Bolivarian socialism, that is being consolidated this century,” wrote President Nicolas Maduro on Twitter yesterday. “The people broke their bindings and said “enough of neoliberalism”. They were massacred but not defeated, and there began this revolution of the 21st century,” he continued.
In a march in Caracas attended by grassroots activists, government and army officials, Manuel Saenz of the working class 23 de Enero district argued that the Caracazo has great importance for understanding Venezuela today.
“The rebellion was the push that was needed so that a revolution like the Bolivarian one came along…to get to where we are now, many fought, many had to go out that 27 February and say an overwhelming ‘no’ to neoliberal impositions and ‘no’ to inequality,” he said to AVN.
Photos by Tamara Pearson