If the protests that have rocked Venezuela over the past few months can teach us anything, it’s that the Maduro regime is desperately clinging to power. Protests are normal in any country, but when they occur every day for weeks on end, and result in dozens of deaths, it’s obvious that the government is in an unstable position. And as the government grows more desperate, their methods of controlling the population will always become more extreme.
That’s what’s happening in Venezuela, where the police have unleashed a devastating water cannon on protesters, which has been referred to as “La Ballena,” or “The Whale.”
You may be wondering how the police in Venezuela could live with themselves after inflicting this kind of carnage on their fellow citizens, week after week. How could they physically defend such an atrocious regime? It turns out that the riot cops in Venezuela are just as desperate and fed-up with the government as everyone else in that country.
The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed eight police officers in Venezuela, and discovered that the police are completely demoralized. Many of them hate the government, but they can’t find work anywhere else. They’re willing to fight the protesters for a mere $40 a month.
“One day I will step aside and just walk away, blend into the city,” she said. “No average officers support this government anymore.”
The security forces’ once fierce loyalty to Mr. Maduro’s charismatic predecessor Hugo Chávez has largely given way to demoralization, exhaustion and apathy amid an economic collapse and endless protests, said eight security officers from different forces and locations in interviews with The Wall Street Journal.
Most of them say they want only to earn a steady wage amid crippling food shortages and a decimated private sector. Others say fear of a court-martial keeps them in line.
“We’re just trying to survive,” said Caracas police officer Viviane, a single mother who says she shows up for protest duty so she can feed her 1-year-old son. “I would love to quit but there are no other jobs.”
And that’s how a socialist government keeps its boot on the neck of the population. They keep everyone so poor, that the only way the average person can survive, is by brutalizing their fellow citizens.