Nicolas Maduro commented yesterday a trip by opposition leader Henrique Capriles to Chile. According to the president, Capriles motive for the trip is a meeting with “pinochetistas” in search for models of privatization experiences, especially in the area of education.
The Agencia Venezolana de Noticias published the following note in English:
Caracas, 19 Jul. AVN.- The search and subsequent replica of privatization models of education and services is one of the objectives of the Venezuelan right with his tour of the region to discredit the Venezuelan institutions, warned Friday President Nicolas Maduro, regarding the visit to Chile made by the loser of the last two presidential elections, Henrique Capriles.
In a meeting with hundreds of students from 4,000 schools across the country, at Fuerte Tiuna military fort, in Caracas, the president spoke about the importance of maintaining a free and inclusive education in the country, which is not the Chile's case, where the payment of high tuition costs restricts access to education, causing massive protests over the years.
"They want to impose on Venezuela the private education existing in Chile. That's what they are going to search in Chile: privatization models that the people massively repudiate on the streets," he said.
During the event, Maduro recalled the high school student movements of the decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s, which took to the streets to protest for the right to study.
"Thanks to the powerful high school student movements of the 70s and 80s massive privatization of education could be stopped in Venezuela."
This cost deaths arising from repression to which hundreds of young people across the country were subjected, he criticized.
Furthermore, Maduro also recalled the times he was subjected by the security forces of the Venezuelan state.
He told that the police officers of the 80s were equipped with some instruments called electric curlers which "when touching people, it delivers shocks of volts and let people on the floor," he said.
He then asked students if they knew what a peinilla –a blunt sword, long and flat, used by police in riot control– or a rolo was, which were instruments used to suppress protests.
Given the silence of all, the President was pleased to be part of a government that has seen a youth growing up without repression and enjoying free education.
AVN 19/07/2013 17:34
It is curious that Maduro did not ascribe other conspiracy motives to Caprile´s trip to Chile, such as searching for foreign support for an “ongoing coup”. The reason for this could be the context of the declarations, which were delivered in a meeting with students. In this case Maduro choses the plot theory that is most likely to interest his audience.
It is also worth noting the use of the term “the right” when making reference to the opposition. As I commented in previous posts, government officials and state media constantly use “the right” and “fascists” when referring to the opposition. This is a practice that has now become common and prevalent and it does not seem to alarm most readers. But as I have argued before, it is a polarizing practice that dehumanizes political adversaries and precludes political dialogue.