Reporter José Vicente Rangel declared today that the guarimbas (barricades) of recent opposition protests show a level of organization and a capacity for mobilization that is “beyond the characteristics of Venezuelan [opposition] movements, of common militants and students.”
According the Rangel the fact that the protests have been so resilient and prolonged in time can be explained by the “existence of a new component:” Colombian paramilitaries linked Colombian ex-President Álvaro Uribe Velez.
The accusation that paracos (Colombian paramilitaries) are behind the opposition protests has become common in official discourse. This picture taken from the web page La Patilla shows a bag of rice sold in government stores. “No guarimbas! No paracos!” shouts a red shirted person while kicking a rat. On the background a women proclaims “With peace we also guarantee our food security!” perhaps implying the food shortages are also caused by the guarimbas.