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When Washington decides Democracy is dangerous: stoking opposition in Venezuela and Syria

by Ramiro S. Fúnez

Part 4 - Syrian & Venezuelan opposition both engage in terrorism

Perhaps one of the most striking similarities between the Venezuelan and Syrian opposition, and an inconvenient truth for their apologists, is their use of terrorist acts. These acts, intended to strike fear in the minds of those who oppose their interventionist agendas, are rarely reported in corporate news outlets.

Not only has the Venezuelan opposition utilized “guarimbas,” or street blockades created with ignited trash, to wreak havoc in cities across the country; they have also torched public buses, incinerated tons of government-subsidized food intended for hungry citizens, launched grenades over government buildings, attacked hospitals and nurseries, and, perhaps most disturbingly, immolated supporters of the socialist government.

The last example is epitomized by the case of Orlando Figueroa, a 21-year-old Afro-Venezuelan who was drenched in gasoline and lit on fire on May 20 by a white Venezuelan opposition protester for “being Chavista.” Enzo Franchini Oliveros, identified as Figueroa’s murderer, was assisted by other demonstrators who have not yet been detained.

Figueroa, who worked as a parking attendant and came from humble working-class roots, died several days later. At least 23 people have been burned alive by opposition protesters, according to Red58.org, a Venezuelan watchdog media group that exposes right-wing violence.

Similar terrorist tactics have also been used in Syria by the Wahhabi-linked militants. Like their Venezuelan counterparts, Syrian opposition protesters have torched public infrastructure and killed civilians accused of “being Assadists.” Their violent military campaigns against pro-government, anti-imperialist citizens have also claimed hundreds, if not thousands, of lives.

Two terrorist acts committed by the Syrian opposition, however, stand out as the most gruesome.

The first involved Abu Sakkar, a former FSA fighter who cut out the heart of a fallen Syrian Arab Army soldier in 2013 and ate it in front of other “moderate rebels.” The incident was recorded on video. The second involved members of the U.S.-funded terrorist group Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, which beheaded a young child near Aleppo in 2016. This act was also recorded on video.

These incidents, to the discomfort of pro-imperialist liberals who defend these criminals as “freedom fighters” and “revolutionaries,” demonstrate that both the Venezuelan and Syrian opposition commit acts of terrorism that are largely overlooked.

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