Monday, February 04, 2008

National Day of Mourning (Venezuela)

I am re-posting this from last year. This is always such a sad day for me. Chavez' failed coup only proves his desire for control at whatever cost! These are my memories of that day.

16 years ago, I was awakened by the phone ringing. We were told to cancel out trip to Maracaibo as there was military coup underway. We spent the morning listening to the news. The footage of the dead soldiers tore at my "mother's" heart. They were boys. Most had been deceived and told that they were defending the constitution, it wasn't until there that they realized THEY were the coupsters.
We heard a loud sonic boom and ran outside! And then another! It was the military jets chasing Broncos. They bombed the airport. You could feel the earth shake. A friend of ours called . He had served in Vietnam and was here visiting family. He said, "I know what that was! They are using carpet bombing. I remember how it felt in Vietnam."
We saw shadows, then heard the jets. Somehow, it felt safer outside. We took our 3 small children at the time and sat out in the yard. We saw a Bronco hit, and the pilot parachute out.
Joshua was a little boy at the time. I remember the male excitement in his eyes and voice as he said, "Mommy, one day can I do that?"My heart stopped in my throat...he didn't know what was happening it just looked and sounded exciting, but I knew my boy would one day be a man. Would he need to fight for his country?
I remember it all so well because it was the day before my birthday and we couldn't celebrate but had to stay home. I remember thinking what cowards they were to have attacked the residency where the presidents grandchildren were at the time. I remember the face of the Lt. Col. as he was taken prisoner.

Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias.

I remember him saying,"We have failed. Por Ahora. For now)"

Today is the Walk against the FARC!


Brooke said...

Solidarity, here.

Liz said...

Oh Rita, memories..., I lived in a suburbia at the time and we didn't hear the planes or bombs. But my mom and brother were very near to a bombed stadium that was used as headquarters for the police.

Her apartament has huge windows and is situated in an open corner view. She and my brother were hiding on the floor in the only windowless corridor, all day long.

We OTOH hand, we had a friend staying with us at the time, just before she moved overseas. Her father called from europe many times and she was so afraid she was trapped in Venezuela forever.

Meanwhile -and this piece of the story is for your readers- Mr. chavez was hiding inside the military museum. He left his soldiers to die and fight for him, while he took safety; under a desk -some say. Brave guy, no?

Jungle Mom said...

and we all know he lost control of his bowels while under that desk!!!

Caraqueña said...

I went into labor 6 years ago today with Aaron. I "tried" so hard NOT to have him on this day of infamy that he was born on Feb. 5 at 12:21 a.m. I could not stand to think about my precious son sharing such a day of horror!

Jungle Mom said...

Cara, My birthday is the fifth!!! Aaron was born on a great day!!!

Liz said...

Rita, I've never thought of it in the elegant way you described!!!