Violence broke out at the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas as a group of about 250 opposition students from other universities went to the school after earlier demonstrations remained peaceful and failed to produce the desired violence, knowing that UCV was a stronghold of Chavista revolutionary students.
During the week, media reported that “tens of thousands” of students had marched in downtown Caracas to the Supreme Court building to petition for a delay of the proposed December 2nd referendum, but Mayor Juan Barreto placed the number at not more than 5,000 out of 200,000 total students in Caracas. Elitist private and public universities have become strongholds of fascist opposition to the Chavez government and extremist groups operate openly inside the universities.
A group of UCV students were campaigning for a “yes” vote on the referendum. An assembly had been held for students, teachers and non-instructional staff in the morning and after the event they were putting up posters and distributing leaflets. As violent opposition students attacked, revolutionary students appealed for calm. Opposition students surrounded the school, hurling Molotov cocktails, tear gas bombs, chairs and stones, destroying bathroom facilities inside and turning over and destroying furniture.
The door of the Student Center was burned, trapping 123 students, teachers and non-instructional staff inside the building. Violent opposition students were trying to force their way into the building and were threatening to lynch those trapped inside.
Eyewitnesses also recount that shooters originally opened fire from a motorbike and were shouting anti-Chavez slogans and boasting about having shot at Chavistas.
Corporate elitist media had been claiming that "armed Chavista gunmen" had fired on “peaceful” opposition students causing fatalities. National Director of Civil Protection and Disaster Management, Antonio Rivero, informed that there were no casualties, but that one student had suffered a gunshot wound in the leg and eight others had minor injuries, including trauma and asphyxiation from smoke inhalation. These news agencies had to change their reports as it was obvious that the Bolivarian armed men arrived only afterwards to help free the trapped individuals inside the School of Social Work building.
University authorities alone were responsible for security on the campus and were looking on, but did nothing to prevent the violence from escalating. Hundreds of students, workers and citizens finally went to the university to assist those trapped to escape from the violent horde of opposition students since University authorities had not taken any action. Some carried guns, due to the extremely violent nature of the situation. Finally, after about one hour into the siege, National Civil Protection officers intervened and were able to release the 123 students and staff trapped inside the building. Vice-Minister of Justice, Tarek El Aissami, said one of the opposition students was arrested for carrying explosives.
An official US State Department spokesman referred to the events as “appalling act.” In response, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro stated, "We don't have any doubt that the government of the United States has their hands in the scheme that led to the ambush yesterday," referring to the gunshots fired at the University. "We know this whole scheme. And the people of Latin America have reached a level of maturity about the politics of the empire, so that we know when a high-ranking official comes out about something happening in the world, in some country, that it means that the government of the United States is involved in some way or is looking to produce a further action." Maduro added that the only thing that is "appalling" is the "criminal government" of the United States.
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega offered his solidarity with the President Chavez. "What we can do is express our solidarity with the revolutionary people of Venezuela and with our friend Hugo Chavez, who is being subjected to aggression from a counterrevolution fed by the traitors from inside the country and by the empire." Ortega stated that the United States is organizing opposition movements in his country that are "financed by the United States Embassy" in Managua.
The constitutional changes being proposed would call for the shortening of the work day to allow workers more time for educational pursuits, appropriation of funds to assist the self-employed, incorporating established social services into the constitution, prohibit large land holdings and monopolies, guarantee access for all to food, authorize state participation in a variety of industries, provide the option of indefinite re-election of the President, create a Bolivarian armed forces and a socialist democracy, democratizing Venezuela's universities to make one student vote equal to that of one academic staff vote and legal recognition of five types of property, including private property.
A survey conducted September 6 to 9, in 70 municipalities within 22 states, indicated a clear advantage for the partisans of reform. The results were 65.2% in favor of a “yes” vote, 28.2% were opposed and 6.62% undecided or not responding. Meanwhile at the Latin American Summit, President Hugo Chavez declared, “Latin America is waking up and nothing nor anyone can stop it.
There is an awakening of millions of people, indigenous, women, campesinos, and this is the most important thing because individually we do not make history, rather it is the people that make history."
Dislodged from political power, capitalist ruling classes, along with the US and its monetary and subversive organizations, are agitating through various media, attempting to sow suspicion, violence and confusion. In manufacturing this environment of brazen lies and fabrications, Venezuelan fascists and the imperialists are hoping to stir up violence and civil unrest as they have done each time they have found themselves losing influence or power.