EspañolThe Venezuelan Bolivarian National Police have been one of the dictatorship’s main forces of repression during the country’s new stage of protests. But this Wednesday, May 10, Chief of Police Carlos Alfredo Perez Ampueda announced his support for the country’s demonstrators and condemned state paramilitary forces.
Ampueda defended opposition protesters and acknowledged the existence of state-sponsored paramilitary forces.
Tweet: Police official confirmed armed civilians fired against protestors in La Calendaria on May 10.
“We use peaceful means because you (the protesters) have been peaceful. We are here guaranteeing your lives,” General Perez Ampueda said.
The statements of the Chief of Police refer to an opposition demonstration in downtown Caracas where some members of congress were participating. A group of state-sponsored paramilitary officers arrived to intimidate protestors. According to their statements, these groups, also called collectives, fired shots.
The situation ended when the Bolivarian National Police intervened in favor of the demonstrators. However, as Perez Ampueda pointed out, they could not do much unarmed.
After the incident, opposition leader and Congressman Freddy Guevara wrote, “Today the groups that shot us also attacked the PNB. I am sure: this causes more discomfort and more division.”
Journalist and public security expert Ronna Risquez said in response to the Chief of Police’s statements: “The Bolivarian National Chief of Police’s statements are as important as the prosecutor’s (Luisa Ortega Díaz). The chief of police is a general of the GNB brigade.”
Rísquez explained that Perez Ampueda “was appointed to that position a month ago” by the Minister of Interior and Justice Nestor Reverol.
“The chief of the PNB recognizes that these groups are armed and better equipped than the police … and denounces that the groups shoot civilians and the police… He calls them ‘shameless.'”
Tweet: National Bolivarian Police Director acknowleges that opposition protests are peaceful and that it is paramilitary groups who are shooting.
Tweet: National Bolivarian Chief of Police finally said they would capture paramilitary (collectives) that sympathize with regime and shoot against civilians.
As Ronald Reagan pointed out many years ago, Washington is a company town. But rather than being home to a firm or industry that earns money by providing value to willing consumers, the “company” is a federal government that uses a coercive tax system to provide unearned wealth to various interest groups. And the beneficiaries of that redistribution zealously guard their privileges and pay very close attention to any developments that might threaten their access to the public trough. Government Looking out for Itself Federal bureaucrats are particularly concerned whenever there is talk about spending restraint. They get lavishly compensated compared to folks in the private sector, so they definitely fret whenever something might happen to derail their gravy train. A recent segment on a local station in Washington, DC, focused on their angst, and I provided a contrary point of view. The Bureaucracy Keeps Growing Needless to say, my friends who work for the federal government generally don’t agree with my assessment. Some of them even sent me an article from the Washington Post that claims the number of bureaucrats hasn’t changed since the late 1960s. They claim this is evidence that the bureaucracy has become more efficient. But they’re wrong. The official federal workforce may not have changed, but research from the Brooking Institution reveals that this statistic is illusory because of a giant shadow bureaucracy. George Will’s latest column is about this metastasizing hidden bureaucracy, referencing author John J. DiIulio Jr. and his study on government growth: "…government has prudently become stealthy about how it becomes ever bigger. In a new Brookings paper …government expands by indirection, using three kinds of “administrative proxies” — state and local government, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Since 1960, the number of state and local government employees has tripled to more than 18 million, a growth driven by federal money: Between the early 1960s and early 2010s, the inflation-adjusted value of federal grants for the states increased more than tenfold …“By conservative estimates,” DiIulio writes, “there are about 3 million state and local government workers” — about 50 percent more than the number of federal workers — “funded via federal grants and contracts.” Then there are for-profit contractors, used, DiIulio says, “by every federal department, bureau and agency.” For almost a decade, the Defense Department’s full-time equivalent of 700,000 to 800,000 civilian workers have been supplemented by the full-time equivalent of 620,000 to 770,000 for-profit contract employees …the government spends more (about $350 billion) on defense contractors than on all official federal bureaucrats ($250 billion). Finally, “employment in the tax-exempt or independent sector more than doubled between 1977 and 2012 to more than 11 million.” Approximately a third of the revenues to nonprofits (e.g., Planned Parenthood) flow in one way or another from government. When you add it all together, the numbers are shocking. “If,” DiIulio calculates, “only one-fifth of the 11 million nonprofit sector employees owe their jobs to federal or intergovernmental grant, contract or fee funding, that’s 2.2 million workers” — slightly more than the official federal workforce. To which add the estimated 7.5 million for-profit contractors. Plus the conservative estimate of 3 million federally funded employees of state and local governments. To this total of more than 12 million add the approximately 2 million federal employees. This 14 million is about 10 million more than the estimated 4 million federal employees and contractors during the Eisenhower administration. Eliminate the Waste In other words, the federal budget has expanded and so have the number of people with taxpayer-financed jobs. By the way, there’s nothing theoretically wrong with a government bureaucracy using non-profits or contractors. And that was the point I tried to make in the interview. Read More: Senator Rubio Says “Trump will Treat Cuba Like the Dictatorship It Is” Read More: Cuban Dissident Praises Trump, Calls to Reinstate “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Policy I don’t care whether the Department of Agriculture or Department of Education is filled with official bureaucrats or shadow bureaucrats. What I do care about, however, is that they are part of an agency that should not exist. And the same is true for the Department of Energy, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review. This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.