Magazine December 17, 2018, Issue

My Stepfather’s M16

A soldier walks past a portrait of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez in Porlamar, Venezuela, September 15, 2016. (Marco Bello/REUTERS)
A family view of Venezuela’s socialist catastrophe

On April 11, 2002, my stepfather unleashed a barrage of machine-gun fire at a secret-police helicopter. It promptly flew away.

Let me give you a bit of context.

On that day, the streets of Caracas roared with the sounds of protests against President Hugo Chávez. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from all across the socioeconomic spectrum had assembled to express opposition to Chávez’s creeping authoritarianism. They were marching toward the Palace of Miraflores — the Venezuelan equivalent of the White House, where President Chávez lived. In response, Chávez mobilized thousands of his civilian supporters, armed them with deadly weaponry, and gathered them

In This Issue



Lifestyle Section

Books, Arts & Manners


Gun Country

David French reviews First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun, by David Harsanyi.




One reader praises Shawn Regan’s recent article, “Consider the Dusky Gopher Frog”; another praises Sen. Chuck Grassley.


Panpsychism (believed in by those who know what particle physics is but are uneasy with “Big Bang” as a search term) has its limits I suspect…


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