Saturday, November 10, 2007

A tough one for the Left

From The New York Times:

CARACAS, Venezuela, Nov. 9 — Finding Yon Goicoechea, a leader of the nascent student movement protesting the expanding power of President Hugo Chávez, is not easy. He changes cellphones every few days. After receiving dozens of death threats, he moves among the apartments of friends here each day in search of a safe place to sleep.

In an interview this week in a back room at one such residence, a villa in a leafy district in this city, Mr. Goicoechea described the movement that has supplanted traditional political parties in recent weeks as the most cohesive and respected challenger to Mr. Chávez’s government.

“We believe in exhausting the democratic options available to us through peaceful action,” said Mr. Goicoechea, 23, who studies law at Andrés Bello Catholic University here, referring to the students’ opposition to a constitutional overhaul. In the polarized world of Venezuelan political debate, such parsed and polished statements are rare.

But what about the claims, from Mr. Chávez and his loyalists, that the students ultimately want to oust him from office? “We want social transformation, not a coup,” Mr. Goicoechea said. “The real coup d’état is coming from Chávez, who wants to perpetuate himself in power.”

Indeed, the students first burst onto the scene over the summer with protests against Mr. Chávez’s move to push RCTV, a critical television network, off public airwaves. But the president’s proposed charter, which would abolish his term limits, has led to much larger protests here and in other large cities this month.

About 80,000 students flooded main avenues here on Wednesday in a march to the Supreme Court to ask it to suspend the referendum on 69 constitutional amendments scheduled for Dec. 2. Students returning from that march were attacked by gunmen at the campus of the Central University of Venezuela; nine were injured. The violence continued Friday in Mérida in western Venezuela, where four police officers and a bystander were shot and wounded while trying to break up clashes between opposing student groups, Reuters reported.

This is going to cause some difficulties for the political left in the US. As a low-rent communist thug moving to make himself president-for-life and consolidate totalitarian power the Left loves Chávez. After all they won't have Castro around much longer so they are in desperate need of another murdering Latin tyrant to idolize.

However his opposition is coming from STUDENTS and in the pocket universe inhabited by the Left students can do no wrong. Especially when they are protesting and "speaking truth to power".

This could cause heads to explode on university campuses all across the nation.