The last message I have checking in on people was from a couple of days ago, when one friend was not all that worried, and actually hopeful. He wrote:
Things are going wild down here, but I think it's normal.... Having this mess and nothing happening is really frustrating, so people are finally reacting. This may be the beginning of the end, which doesn't mean that we should expect results soon... Thanks for your prayers!But that was before last night, when there's apparently been an even more frightening government crackdown, worse than what was already happening.
Here's a good round-up of events, coupled with a "shame on you" to international media for not covering the massive anti-government protests.
A good summary of what's going on, with video of government forces firing into peaceful, unarmed demonstrators. Amateur, made by a Venezuelan expat from footage friends in country sent her, but good.
CATO institute podcast.
Venezuelan conductor decries atrocities.
If you read Spanish: Venezuelan police admit "this is worse than we thought."
Also in Spanish, a rather incredible interview the Venezuelan ambassador to the Dominican Republic gave to to DR reporters. I'm told this is what all the Chavezistas are like: ignorant, boorish and macho. He reminded me of Bagdad Bob. He says no one could possibly be upset with the government when 85% of the country voted it in only 9 months ago. It's all stirred up by the United States, intent on a coup. When the reporter says the demonstrations are peaceful and primarily of students, he says students couldn't possibly be protesting because Venezuela gives more handouts to students than anyone else. And then he's just insufferably rude. The reporters finally lose their cool, insult him in return, and end the interview.