Venezuela: Students Make Fools of Themselves at National Assembly
In an unprecedented display of openness, the Venezuelan National Assembly invited members of student organizations who have been protesting for the world’s media for the last 10 days, to address the body. However, rather than take part in a democratic exchange of ideas in the hall, with the entire nation watching, the anti-Chavez students stormed out in a huff when it became clear they would not be able to dominate the event.
CARACAS (Reuters) - Students took their 11-day-old protest over President Hugo Chavez's shutdown of the last nationwide opposition television station to Venezuela's Congress on Thursday, in a rare appearance by the opposition in the legislature.
Addressing the 167-member body, student leader Douglas Barrios said daily demonstrations against the closure of RCTV would continue. "Today our classes are in the street," he said in remarks that were broadcast nationally.
Congress, which has granted Chavez the power to rule by decree, organized a debate over the station's closure between pro- and anti-government students and the government required all Venezuelan television and radio to broadcast the session.
The anti-Chavez students -- part of a mainly middle-class movement that has at times drawn tens of thousands onto the streets -- walked out after the first pro-government speech, complaining the event was politicized.
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