by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

CNN reports that “U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 and 80,000 children without parents will cross the border this year.”

The logistics of moving 60,000+ children across several countries and through the U.S. border and cities such as New York and Miami takes planning, coordination, and funding.

I don’t know who is behind this. However, the Mexican cartels control all the smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border: drugs, weapons, people.

Every parent who puts their child in the care of smugglers is, at best, allowing that child to be a human shield for drug gangs, and in effect allowing that child to be used as a prostitute, a drug mule, and/or a kidnap victim. This is, plain and simple, child abuse in a very grand scale. Which, by the way, nearly ensures the child will get a special immigration juvenile status visa (emphasis added):

“The fact that they get up here, and that they’re fleeing violence, doesn’t give them any grounds for relief at all. So the only way they get to stay here in the U.S. legally, is through this special immigration juvenile status visa.”
To get that visa, the children have to first establish that the parent they left behind abused them.

Victor Davis Hanson looks at the immorality of The New Children’s Crusade:

This latest cruel episode — What sort of parent sends his children across the desert unaccompanied? What sort of country allows its youth just to walk away en masse? What sort of country facilitates their transfer across its own territory into the U.S.? And what sort of American administration tolerates this human tragedy as a way of building a future political constituency? — reminds us that almost everything we are told about illegal immigration is both a lie and amoral.

Neo-neocon explains

Now, we don’t know how families are getting the money to come here, and your conspiracy theory is probably as good as mine—and I do have some. But even if the majority of families/kids are coming for their own reasons (because they think they will be allowed to stay and get services, and/or to flee the violence in their home countries) rather than purposely as decoys for the cartels, they are serving as de facto decoys for them nonetheless. So if fleeing the danger posed by murderous drug cartels in their countries of origin is one of their motivations, then it’s highly ironic that escaping in this manner will serve to facilitate the entry of those very same dangerous people into the US, while the border guards are busy being babysitters.

As Neo points out, “their entry is flooding the border and distracting the guards’ time and energy while the drug cartels climb aboard.” The National Border Patrol Council Statement on Influx of Juveniles in Rio Grande Valley Sector confirms (emphasis added):

Cartels are forcing juveniles and illegal aliens to cross the border in between the ports of entries because it further ties up Border Patrol agents in the field. In effect, cartels are using these immigrants as a human shield to divert resources that would otherwise be spent interrupting their trafficking operations. Once the agents are taken out of the equation, the cartels are smuggling drugs, weapons, and special interest aliens across the border unfettered. At a time when agents are most needed to deal with the cartel threat, they are unavailable because they are either dealing with a tidal wave of humanity by either arresting juveniles and families in the field or by processing them in the stations.

That is why Texas’ top three leaders, Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus have directed the Department of Public Safety to immediately begin law enforcement surge operations along the Texas-Mexico border.

It’s a start.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

One of the benefits of being fluent in more than one language is that it allows you to watch hoity toity stuff from abroad. You know the type – soap operas wrapped around history/period pieces, like The Tudors and such, only in languages other than English.

After the success of The Tudors – where Henry VIII was gorgeous but shorter than the real-life Henry – the Spaniards have come up with a TV series on Henry’s mother-in-law, Queen Isabella. The series, Isabel, is as visually appealing as The Tudors, filmed on beautiful locations and sets, and stars not only a lovely girl as Isabel but very handsome men, who greatly add to the appeal. Behold, the cast of Isabel:

I came across Isabel while flipping channels a couple of weeks ago, and started to watch the episodes on line (in Spanish, no subtitles). As it turns out, I finished watching the first season just as Hillary Clinton’s new book came out.

Hillary could learn five things from the young Isabel:
1. It’s not about you, it’s about your country: The young Isabel wanted to be queen not because it was her due as kin of the powerful, but because she was determined to make her people more prosperous (materially and spiritually) and to better her realm.

2. Don’t ask “what difference at this point, does it make?” Isabel fully realized that she was there to make a difference, and that it was her responsibility to do so.

3. Treat your bodyguards with respect and consideration. Young Isabel learned from an early age that good help is not only hard to find, but that her life depended on them, unlike Hillary, who confused the Secret Service with porters.

4. Don’t let your hair down in public. While young Isabel wore her hair down in the TV series, she was scrupulous about protocol. No leading the conga line while on a junket for her!

5. Don’t hang on your husband’s coattails. Isabel, when her brother the king died, placed the crown on her head and became chief justice through her own initiative. She didn’t wait for Ferdinand to get back in town. Indeed, the point was that she didn’t need to wait because it was she who was in charge.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog, and is fond of pretentious TV soaps disguised as docudramas.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Granted, low-information voters live in a state of permanent blissful ignorance. My friend Denny even has a weekly joke dedicated to them (it used to be a Saturday blonde joke, but then I made a suggestion, and the rest is history).

Da Tech Guy Blog’s readers are definitely not low-information voters, so right now we are dismayed by the headlines. Paul Mirengoff looks at Three Crises,

Islamic extremists are overrunning major cities in Iraq that U.S. forces liberated at the cost of American lives. Children from Central America are pouring illegally into America in numbers that far exceed our capacity to deal with them. Veterans are dying because they can’t get medical treatment.

Three crises that are ongoing, with long-term consequences, and all have a direct connection to Obama administration policy.

And that’s just for starters. Benghazi, the IRS, Obamacare, Iran’s expansion in Latin America, the 5 Talibanis traded for Bergdahl, Fast and Furious, the pervasive patterns of fictions as truths, together with the media’s mythologizing, go on and on.

It’s enough to bring a blogger down.

So at times like this, what does a blogger do? Take a break by, of course, checking out other blogs. The other day I found Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs via Emily Zanotti of Naked DC. If you thought you have seen dumps (and in my years as active real estate agent I visited places to which I should have worn a flea collar), “you ain’t thing nothing yet”. A great blog for a good laugh.

I’m sure you can name others equally amusing.

But my point is this: Take a break, relax, recharge. The struggle for conservative values continues, and we each do our part. We’re in this to stand for what we believe best for ourselves and for our great country.

And get involved in the upcoming mid-term elections.
fausta
Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

The latest invasion of thousands of unaccompanied children at the border raises some very important questions, not all on immigration:

Who paid for their transport?
Coyotes (who are agents of the drug cartels controlling illegal border traffic) charge thousands of dollars – from what I have heard, US$5,000 per person. Did all of a sudden poor families manage to all at the same time find the funds to send these children? Or did the coyotes start giving group discounts?

Why now?
The current immigration reform law is vastly unpopular, to the point where a wave of anti-amnesty sentiment defeated Eric Cantor yesterday.

The Obama administration’s push for a comprehensive immigration bill pushes aside any other alternatives – such as the Red Card Solution – eventually granting citizenship to all who want it, regardless, for the sake of social justice.

Former Congressman John Linden writes on how The Cloward-Piven Strategy is Alive and Well at the Border

Children are crossing the border in astonishing numbers and an additional 230,000 children are expected over the next 24 months. Border officials fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
. . .
President Obama has called it “an urgent humanitarian situation.” Attorney General Holder said that amnesty is a civil right and has initiated a program to hire an additional 100 attorneys to represent these children in the immigration process.

Richard Cloward has died. His partner and wife, Francis Fox Piven, serves as the honorary chairman of the Democratic Socialists of America. The Cloward-Piven Strategy is alive and well in the care of President Obama who is superintending the chaos on the border.

He took office promising to transform America. This will do it.

Victor Davis Hanson agrees,

For Obama, open borders with Mexico are revolutionary ends that require the necessary means to achieve them. New influxes of illegal aliens represent a fundamental transformation of America. Many of them look to government for help; they will in time become proper Democratic households; and they are a club to hit conservatives with, as being insensitive to Latino needs. The law, in other words, is a small bump on the highway to social justice. Who cares if some are rattled a bit by speeding over it?

I have written in the past about how border security is national security; Iran‘s increasing presence in Latin America with its use of Hezbollah to establish
intelligence, terrorism and crime networks is only one aspect of the problem. All that is ignored for the sake of an open border and social justice.

The Obama administration’s foreign policy failures, combined with its purpose to “fundamentally transform America” (into what, I asked myself years ago when I first heard Obama declare it) is a pattern of behavior that weakens the U.S. for a purpose of “social justice” here and abroad.

Expect more, Prof. Hanson believes,

The more such scandals occur in the next two years, the more they will not be seen as scandals, but as mere bothersome hurdles to fundamentally changing America. In the age of Obama, you win the race not by playing by the fossilized rules of jumping over the track’s hurdles — but instead by running right through them to reach the finish line first.

And a parting question:
The Obama administration wants to end the so-called embargo with Cuba. How unlikely is it that they would yield to Cuba’s demand, “End the embargo now, or you’ll get another Mariel?”

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America n politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

My friend Silvio Canto brought to my attention this article:
Wave of Minors on Their Own Rush to Cross Southwest Border (emphasis added)

Since Oct. 1, a record 47,017 unaccompanied children have been apprehended at the southwest United States border, most traveling from Central America, part of a larger wave that includes some youngsters accompanied by their parents and some traveling alone.

Breitbart has photos:
LEAKED IMAGES REVEAL CHILDREN WAREHOUSED IN CROWDED U.S. CELLS, BORDER PATROL OVERWHELMED

Breitbart Texas obtained internal federal government photos depicting the conditions of foreign children warehoused by authorities on U.S. soil on Wednesday night. Thousands of illegal immigrants have overrun U.S. border security and their processing centers in Texas along the U.S./Mexico border. Unaccompanied minors, including young girls under the age of 12, are making the dangerous journey from Central America and Mexico, through cartel-controlled territories, and across the porous border onto U.S. soil.

This a perfect storm, formed by four factors:

  •  The U.S. government’s inability to develop solid immigration and border security policies,
  • The immigrant’s belief  that Obama administration had quietly changed its policy regarding unaccompanied minors, from leniency to downright permissiveness.
  • The criminality and poverty of the immigrants’ home countries perpetuated by their corrupt governments.

And, also,

  • Parents who are willing to use their children as human shields, regardless of the risks involved:
  • Many say they are going because they believe that the United States treats migrant children traveling alone and women with their children more leniently than adult illegal immigrants with no children.

    Face it: placing a small child under the “care” of a coyote, who actually is an agent of a drug cartel, to travel alone with no supervision, is a most irresponsible act. Realistically, the child can be used as a drug mule, a prostitute, and a hostage for ransom if the coyote believes the parents are able to put out  more money, at any point during their journey.

    American citizens who expose their children to risks such are charged with child abuse and jailed. Permitting such parents to remain on U.S. soil makes our government an accomplice.

    Resources should be allocated to return these children to their home countries as promptly and humanely as possible. Since even White House Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz admits,

    “We have heard sort of rumors and reports, or suggestions, that the increase may be in response to the perception that children would be allowed to stay or that immigration reform would in some way benefit these children,”

    the time to do it is now.

    faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

    by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

    Brazil has spent so far close to US$12 billion dollars preparing for the upcoming World Cup, making this year’s World Cup the priciest ever.

    The logistics are gigantic: Twelve cities, thousands of miles apart, building new stadiums, each with capacity ranging between 35,000 to 70,000 people – and the need to provide the supporting infrastructure to room, feed, transport, and host the crowds.

    The stadiums alone have cost more than the stadium bill for the last two Cups combined; two are unfinished, while the cities are rushing to complete roads, sidewalks and other Cup-related infrastructure.

    Eight years ago, the idea of hosting the World Cup was sold to the Brazilian people as showing the world that the country of 200 million was on its way to become a world power; the projects would be financed through private investment and the entire country would benefit:

    Brazil’s government insisted on staging games in 12 cities, rather than the required eight, in order to spread the benefits across the country.

    The reality is that costs are way over budget, as

    Red tape and overlapping federal, state and municipal fiefs have snarled projects. Jérôme Valcke, secretary-general of FIFA, football’s governing body, has described dealing with Brazilian authorities as “hell”. Eight construction workers have died in accidents, six more than in South Africa four years ago. FIFA insists stadiums will be ready when fans start pouring in. But delays have left little time to install and test telecommunications kit, prompting worries over patchy television and radio transmission.

    Part of the stadium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener in Brazil collapsed last month, killing two.

    Thousands of poor people have been forcibly evacuated from slums to make room for the construction, adding to the violent demonstrations held throughout the country in the past year.

    Support for hosting the World Cup has fallen sharply, from 79% after it was awarded to Brazil in 2007 to 48% now. The economy is growing at a slower pace, inflations’s up, and, in another survey,

    61% of Brazilians say hosting the World Cup is a “bad thing because it takes money away from public services,”

    especially schools and hospitals.

    Yesterday protestors launched giant soccer balls to protest the amount of taxpayers’ money Brazil is spending,

    Activists with the group Rio de Paz launched 12 balls each 2 meters (about 6.6 feet) in diameter from the avenue with red crosses painted on them to symbolize the lack of security in a country where, according to official figures, some 50,000 people are murdered each year.

    At least that one was a peaceful protest.

    Brazilians are angry at the government,

    Nao Vai Ter Copa has become a national rallying cry. There Will Be No World Cup.

    There’s even a group of anarchists calling themselves the Black Bloc ready to “raise hell.”

    Therefore, on top of the $12billion already spent, Brazil is spending another $855 million on security and safety and deploy 57,000 troops and 100,000 police.

    faustaHow will it all turn out?

    We shall find out soon enough: The opener is on June 12 in Sao Paulo. President Dilma Rousseff insists the games will be a resounding success.

    Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

    The House of Representatives passed on Wednesday HR4587, the Venezuela Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act, which will

    impose targeted sanctions on individuals responsible for carrying out or ordering human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela

    The purpose of the bill is to deny visas to enter the United States, block property, freeze assets, and prohibit financial transactions to members of the Venezuelan regime who are responsible for the commission of serious human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela.

    At my blog I have posted about how the amount of oil revenues spent in the U.S. by highly-placed chavista is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, while the country sinks into abject poverty.

    (If you are fluent in Spanish, I recommend Casto Ocando’s book, Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos, a thorough investigation on the subject.)

    The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), was co-sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus members Democrats Corrine Brown, Frederica Wilson, and Alcee Hastings, along with Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Joe Garcia (D-FL), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Patrick Murphy (D-FL), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Michael Grimm (R-NY), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Christopher Smith (R-FL), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ted Poe (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).

    Fourteen members of Congress had written a letter to Pres. Obama against Venezuela sanctions; they are Representatives John Conyers, Henry “Hank” Johnson, Karen Bass, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, James McGovern, Sam Farr, Chellie Pingree, Keith Ellison, Jan Schakowsky, Emmanuerl Cleaver, Jose Serrano, Michael Capuano, and Peter Welch.

    Passage of the bill

    raises pressure on the Obama administration, which has been wary of passing any kind of sanctions for fear it could create a backlash by allowing Mr. Maduro to mobilize supporters against the U.S. and distract from Venezuela’s growing homemade troubles. The administration also fears that the sanctions could jeopardize attempts at reaching a negotiated solution between the government and the opposition.

    What negotiated solution? The so-called “negotiations” fell apart already.

    Russia opposes the sanctions. Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro wasted no time and accused the U.S. ambassador to Colombia of plotting to destabilize Venezuela.

    Yleem D.S. Poblete posits that, in addition to the human rights violations,

    For the sake of U.S. national security interests, the United States needs to act swiftly and resolutely to hold the Chavez-Maduro apparatus accountable.

    A similar bill was approved by a Senate committee, and is now headed for a vote on the Senate floor.

    Video report here:

    faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics at Fausta’s Blog.

    by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

    Colombia, the closest Western ally in South America, has been waging a war for half a century against narco-terrorist group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

    The FARC, which the U.S. considers to be a terrorist and drug trafficking organization, relies heavily on cocaine trafficking to finance its activities.

    Previous president Alvaro Uribe brought the FARC to its knees. Current president Juan Manuel Santos began peace negotiations with the FARC in Havana, Cuba, in November 2013. Throughout the negotiation period, the FARC have continued their criminal activities, attacking the Colombian army, killing military and civilians, kidnapping an American, and sheltering international terrorists, as

    the FARC continues to control swathes of territory and mount attacks on army patrol and oil pipelines.

    Now Santos is running for re-election, after having promised the FARC’s unelected guerrilla leaders seats in Congress

    Voters would pass a referendum containing unpopular measures such as the transformation of the FARC into a political party and special treatment in the justice system for crimes committed by guerrillas, as part of a package that ends half a century of bloodshed, Santos said.

    In addition to Santos’s sweet deal deal, FARC leader Timoleón Jiménez, a.k.a. Timochenko, in a rambling video celebrating the FARC’s 50th anniversary (video in Spanish), asked for the abolishment of the Colombian military. Essentially, this would place the the closest Western ally in South America in the hands of the terrorist group, their ‘dream of effective peace.’

    On Sunday’s election, opposition candidate and

    former finance minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga finished atop the five-candidate field with 29 percent, setting up a June 15 runoff with Santos, who was second at 26 percent.

    The main issue that separates the two candidates and has become the central debate of the campaign is the Havana-based peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia

    The president launched the talks in 2011. He says he is committed to a settlement with the narcoterrorists that will end the conflict while delivering justice to their victims. But the rebels publicly insist they won’t spend even one day in jail. Many Colombians don’t trust a deal between thugs and a president who seems too eager to get a deal. They prefer Mr. Zuluaga’s emphasis on security. He believes the only way to end the violence is to defeat the enemy militarily.

    From the start of his campaign, Zuluaga has said that he will only continue talks with the FARC if the rebels “cease all criminal actions against Colombians.”

    Experts agree that Zuluaga would jack up miltary and police operations against rebel groups across Colombia, as he would likley not be involved in negotiations with the guerrillas. This would lead to greater confrontations with armed groups, but possibly would increase security for people who work in the countryside, who are most subject to kidnappings and extortion at the hand of the guerrillas.

    Since neither Santos nor Zuluaga were able to get more than 50 percent for victory, there will be a runoff election on June 15.

    faustaThe results will have consequences affecting the security of the entire hemisphere.

    Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America politics and culture at Fausta’s blog.

    by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

    Yesterday I came across an article by Salman Rushdie where he claims that Gabriel García Márquez’s Work Was Rooted in the Real because “in his pages I found a reality I knew well from my own experience in India and Pakistan.” According to Rushdie,

    [Gabriel García Márquez, a.k.a. Gabo] was a journalist who never lost sight of the facts.

    As long as you turn a blind eye to the half-century of human rights abuses in the island-prison, that is.

    According to a new book on Fidel Castro,

    Castro enjoyed a private island – Cayo Piedra, south of the Bay of Pigs, scene of the failed CIA-sponsored invasion of 1961 – describing it as a “garden of Eden” where he entertained selected guests including the writer Gabríel Garcia Márquez, and enjoyed spear-fishing.

    The former bodyguard says Castro sailed to the island on his luxury yacht, the Aquarama II, fitted out with rare Angolan wood and powered by four motors sent by the Soviet president Leonid Brezhnev.

    “Castro would sit in his large black leather director’s armchair … a glass of Chivas Regal on the rocks (his favourite drink) in his hand,” writes Sánchez.

    While Fidel and Gabo sipped Chivas in the yacht, to this day the Cuban people make due on $20/month as their world literally collapses around them. Michael Totten writes about Havana, The Last Communist City, a cesspool of despair and need. Hotel workers get paid 67 cents a day,

    The government contracts with Spanish companies such as Meliá International to manage Havana’s hotels. Before accepting its contract, Meliá said that it wanted to pay workers a decent wage. The Cuban government said fine, so the company pays $8–$10 an hour. But Meliá doesn’t pay its employees directly. Instead, the firm gives the compensation to the government, which then pays the workers—but only after pocketing most of the money. I asked several Cubans in my hotel if that arrangement is really true. All confirmed that it is. The workers don’t get $8–$10 an hour; they get 67 cents a day—a child’s allowance.

    The regime suppresses all dissent: Cuba remains the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent. In 2012, the government of Raúl Castro continued to enforce political conformity using short-term detentions, beatings, public acts of repudiation, travel restrictions, and forced exile.

    If you think repression is a thing of the past, browse through Marc Masferrer’s blog, Uncommon Sense. Here are a few items,

    But Rushdie is not the only one turning a blind eye to these abuses. The Council of the Americas has posted a petition, Open Letter to President Obama: Support Civil Society in Cuba because

    Such efforts would seek to provide openings and opportunities to support the Cuban people in their day-to-day economic activities, and in their desire to connect openly with each other and the outside world and to support the broad spectrum of civil society, independent, non-state organizations created to further individual economic and social needs irrespective of political orientation.

    There’s only one catch: The totalitarian Communist regime doesn’t need to do anything in return.

    Not.A.Thing.

    Meliá’s employees would still get only 67 cents instead of $8-$10/hour. Not one political prisoner would be freed. No one would be allowed to assemble freely. No one would be able to travel without the government’s permission.

    The Council of the Americas’s signatories idea of significant progress means having the U.S. government throw a lifeline to a corrupt, criminal, inhumane regime.

    It takes a special type of moral blindness to want that.

    faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

    An update on Venezuela by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz:

    The country, well into Communism by now, continues its descent into chaos.

    Nine senior government officials, including military officers, one diplomat and pro-government politicians, are in the most recent U.S. government’s list of active drug kingpins and terrorists, the Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN).

    Price controls wreck the economy. CNN reports how fist fights have broken out outside bakeries, and price controls lead to smuggling goods to be sold in Colombia, where the goods can be sold at (higher) market price.

    The government’s talks with the opposition are falling apart. Caracas Gringo looks at the official opposition party, the MUD, and finds,

    First, the handful MUD “representatives” participating in the farcical dialogue brokered by the foreign ministers of Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil were exposed last week in Washington, DC as regime bootlickers who don’t represent anyone.

    Second, if these MUD characters engaged in the “dialogue” ever had any claim to being the official “representatives” of the “organized opposition,” it’s now clear that there isn’t any “organized opposition” and the MUD’s dirt bags only represent themselves.

    The MUD has now announced they will no longer participate in the “talks”.

    The government, however, is cracking down on protesters. Last week hundreds of students were arrested; of those, 155 were released. Eleven are being held on

    charges including weapons offenses, criminal association and incitement to violate laws, as well as drug violations.

    Reuters estimates that 160 people remain in jail from round-ups since February. They may remain there indefinitely held up on procedural delays, as Leopoldo López, leader of the Voluntad Popular (People’s Will) has been since turning himself in on February 28.

    There’s more oppression to come: Yesterday National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello singled out 14 Venezuelans as conspirators. Cabello has been banned from entry into the U.S. from his participation in the 1992 coup.

    Human Rights Watch’s report on the state of repression in Venezuela proves that

    the government of Nicolás Maduro, which has been battling anti-government protests since February, routinely uses unlawful force against unarmed protesters, and even against bystanders or people just passing by demonstrations. Common practices include severe beatings, the indiscriminate use of bullets, rubber pellets, and teargas against civilians, and the shooting at close range with rubber bullets of people in custody. It also proves the continued and systematic mistreatment of detainees; in some cases, these abuses clearly qualify as torture.

    American lefties would have you believe that the continuing struggle is a matter of pro-U.S. versus anti-U.S., left versus right, rich versus poor, socialism versus capitalism; Moisés Naím asserts the truth:

    It is between those who defend a government that violates human rights as a state-sanctioned policy and those who are willing to sacrifice themselves to stop it.

    What is at stake? Assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado spells it out:

    it is not a matter of asking the regime to change its policies; it will not. Our struggle is for regime change by constitutional means, as soon as possible; and it is therefore essential to maintain peacefully public pressure in the streets.

    A fellow Barquisimetan impeccably expressed it these days “it is not about improving the conditions of captivity , it is about living in freedom.”

    Not only for Venezuela, but for the region.

    faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.