As protests continue in Venezuela, some regions have turned against the government more than others. One of them is San Cristobal, capital of the western state of Tachira. It’s right on the boarder with Colombia.
This week, authorities arrested the mayor of the city, Daniel Ceballo, in a Caracas hotel.
“This is an act of justice for a mayor who not only did not meet his obligations as required by law and the constitution, but also facilitated and supported all the irrational violence in San Cristobal,” said Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres in a television appearance confirming the arrest.
Today, Bloomberg has a killer piece on what it’s like to be in San Cristobal. It’s one of the places hardest hit by the food shortages plaguing the country. Part of that is because residents have built barricades to keep government forces out as demonstrators fill the street. Those barricades keep goods from flowing into the region.
But the protestors don’t care. From Bloomberg:
“We’ve got to be prepared. Next time they are really coming for us,” Mendoza, a 17-year-old student, said in front of the wall of metal sheets, old washing machines and garbage bags. “We have to carry on this fight until the government resigns.”…
“Bullets are flying from both sides, the fear is now real,” Jeickson said, while standing outside a barricade rebuilt last night after the National Guard attack in San Cristobal’s Pueblo Nuevo.
The government fears that if a city of 700,000, like San Cristobal, can carry on with its activities, other groups will get inspired to do the same — groups who have traditionally stood with the government and its Chavez legacy, like trade unions and poor Venezuelans.
And in case you’ve never seen it, this is what a food line in San Cristobal looks like.