Yesterday in the city of San Felix in Bolívar State at least four stores were looted in the central Manuel Piar Avenue and in other areas of the center of the city. The National Bolivarian Guard reestablished control of the city in the afternoon. One of the looters died of gunshot and at least 60 people were arrested.
According to local media the looting started in the morning after people started protesting because of the lack of public transport. A supply truck for one of the supermarket became stuck in the middle of a crowd of people waiting for transport and was looted by the crowd. Looting then spread to the nearby supermarket and to nearby stores.
However the governor of Bolivar State, Francisco Rangel Gómez, proposed another explanation for what happened yesterday. He argues that the looting was part of a planned event: “If the people have needs, they don’t go in shooting with firearms, I’m sure it all had political aims, planned with a band of no less than 40 motorbikers,” said the governor.
According to the governor the evidence that the looting episode was a planned event is that “people are not going hungry, so there is no excuse for this to happen, [therefore] this was no spontaneous event but [the work] of agitators that want to create a state of calamity [conmoción].”
Later in the afternoon President Maduro added to Rangel Gómez’s explanation of the event. According to the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias: “The President warned that these actions, for which 60 people have been arrested, are part of a plan for the destabilization and alteration of the peace of the country, which has been plotted outside the country and is executed by mercenaries in Venezuela, and which was denounced by the National Government at the beginning of the year.”
“We had been following events like this which had been planned for other states,” explained Maduro, “but thanks to the Operativos de Liberación y Protección del Pueblo (OLP), and the popular intelligence of thousands of Patriotas Cooperantes, we have stopped the right from filling the country with what they want: violence.”
Maduro stablished a direct link between the United States, the local opposition, and yesterday’s looting events: “General (John F.) Kelly, of the United States Southern Command, four months ago, predicted that there would be a social explosion in the month of July. You know that a general of the US does not [simply] make predictions; he orders, acts, and the battered right [derecha maltrecha, opposition] executes.”
“It’s all part of a plan,” insisted Maduro, “all of them [the plotters of the plan] live in New York and Washington. Don’t you think for one moment that they [the opposition leaders] go to New York and Washington just for tourism, to rest in their big apartments and mansions, no, they go there to conspire, and when they come back [to Venezuela] they come back with the dollars they get there and [use them] to harm the people of this country.”
Fortunately, the government can now use the newly created Operativos de Liberación y Protección del Pueblo (OLP) to stop the mercenaries: “I have given the order […] that the OLPs immediately reach the Bolivar State, let’s go, immediately, go search for these mercenaries and infiltrated paramilitaries,” said Maduro.
The looting event in San Felix is all part of a conspiracy to stop the legislative elections of December, finished Maduro: “with this new stage of violence, which has a modus operandi of using mercenaries, the right is trying to suspend the parliamentary elections. [But] sabotage or no sabotage, the people will give the battered right a historic lesson on December 6.”