Ukraine And Venezuela: This Ain’t No Velvet Revolution
Ukraine And Venezuela: This Ain't No Velvet Revolution
Revolts: Two massive uprisings have rocked Ukraine and Venezuela. Neither toppled the countries' tyrants, but the one more likely to succeed is in Ukraine, where resistance is no longer passive.
Venezuela saw some of its biggest protests in years on Tuesday, with hundreds of thousands of citizens marching through Caracas and elsewhere, peaceably demanding an end to the country's communist government. That government, in power for 15 years as a result of election fraud, has brought shortages, inflation, crime and oppression and is finally running out of other people's money.
Now it has arrested political leader Leopoldo Lopez, decapitating the opposition leadership by hauling him off.
But that was upstaged in the news by fiery protests halfway around the world in Ukraine, where thousands barricaded themselves in medieval-like fortresses in Kiev against a government that refuses to let them freely trade with the European Union and has turned their country into an economic basket case.
The government tricked protesters by promising amnesty, then opened fire as the barricades were breached, killing 26. But Ukrainians fought back, hurling Molotov cocktails, and turned Kiev's central square into an inferno. After that, pavement bricks were unearthed and hurled at government goons.
Both Venezuelans and Ukrainians showed unusual courage against their rogue states — at least four Venezuelans were killed — but by Wednesday, the EU had declared sanctions against the Ukrainian regime and the U.S. announced it would follow suit. Venezuela got nothing. The crowds thinned and everyone went home.
Why the difference? In Venezuela, there seemed to be a misreading of the nature of the enemy, a belief that it can be influenced by nonviolent resistance. CNN summed up the sad picture: "Cheered by supporters, Venezuelan opposition leader (Lopez) surrenders."
It's hard to win against regimes like this with constant surrender. Sadly, Venezuelans have been doing this for 15 years without result.
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