A warning sign?

Not long
after hearing a loud bang, we were told at work that our building was being
evacuated. "There's been an explosion and everyone has to get out of the
building" I was calmly told by a fellow workmate. As we approached the
stairway (we are on the 20th floor so it would have been a hell off a walk down!)
we could see residents from the apartment below climbing up with their faces
covered. It turned out that a tear gas grenade had been set off on the 14th

Quickly we began
to feel our noses burning, as we began sneezing and coughing whilst the tear
gas wafted up the building. Those that had come up the stairs had really red
eyes and noses, with tears streaming out.

exact details are still to come out it seems someone “threw” a tear gas grenade
into the 14th floor of the building. Who could have done this?

Here are a
few clues:

building I work in is the Anauco Suites in Parque Central. It is a residential
building, with the Miranda International Centre (where I work) located in the
penthouse. The residential suites are mainly occupied by Cubans who come to
Venezuela for different reasons and a host of
Venezuela state officials, student activists and foreign
intellectuals and journalist. It was once quoted in an opposition paper that nowadays
you can only get in by showing your communist credentials.

three days ago they began implementing security measures for people coming into
the building as tension rises in the lead up to the referendum on the
constitutional reform

the last few days several tear gas grenades have been set off around the
University of Zulia by opposition students, forcing
classes to be temporarily suspended today

the lead up to last year’s presidential elections some pipe bombs were set off
near military bases and at the Central University of Venezuela.

I wrote in my blog post yesterday “Whilst there is much to be optimistic about given
the beginning of the campaign [in favour of the reform], this also means that
Venezuela has entered into a new more
dangerous phase. I think even the opposition know they will lose, but they also
know that perhaps more is at stake now than in any other electoral process
until now. This means they will try everything – including acts of violence and
terrorism – to try and impede the referendum going ahead”.

It is still
unclear exactly what happen (and I promise to post what ever information comes
out) but one can’t help but have the feeling that this was is warning sign of
things to come as the opposition tries all it can to create a climate of
tension in the lead up to the referendum