CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he was seeing “the same format of violence” in the new wave of demonstrations against him launched in Venezuela last week, and he predicted that they will fail, but he asked his followers “to deploy yourselves for battle.”
“In the face of this situation, it’s necessary for our people to deploy themselves for battle,” adding that “the living and active presence of all revolutionary students on the streets must convert itself into a wall of containment that dissuades and neutralizes those who intend to burn down our cities,” he said.
Chavez said on both his weekly broadcast shows and in his weekly commentary that the opposition street demonstrations had shown that his detractors do not have massive popular support.
“Don’t give them any trouble,” he said, but he warned that behind the demonstrators, most of them university students, were armed groups that had fired at government supporters, who were staging counter-protests, a situation that resulted in two young men being killed and an undetermined number of injuries and arrests.
“In reality and in truth, the heads of the counter-revolution aren’t doing anything but reediting a format that we already know,” Chavez said, recalling different acts of violence both before and after the coup d’etat that removed him from office for two days in April 2002.
“Once more, this is about conning certain groups to just follow orders, using them as cannon fodder, in protests that (opposition leaders) do not dare to approach,” the president noted.
“In addition to street terrorism there is media terrorism,” Chavez said, reading a series of editorials and statements agreeing that his government was tottering.