As the ship of state goes down, the violinist plays on…..
Serenading protestors until that ‘body of armed men’ broke his strings.

Amidst the tear gas, baton charges and Molotov cocktails of anti-government protests in the streets of Caracas, violinist Wuilly Arteaga continued playing.

There he is among the masked cocktail mixers, guided and part-protected by them – soft boy in a hard place, not-quite-right symbol of their not-innocence-exactly.

Amidst the slowing down of the world economy, even after ‘recovery’ from the credit crunch and global recession, the price of oil has continued to fall.

Venezuela’s national anthem is Wuilly’s favourite tune; his clothes match the colours of the national flag – yellow, blue and red.

Venezuela is a one-chord band, oil the major earner. Demand now diminished, currency devalued, imports impossibly expensive.

Sans violin, Wuilly’s folks play ‘supermarket lottery’* for the chance to go into a shop and buy something.

*Write down your number and put it in the hat – if your number is picked out, they’ll phone you.

Eating garbage off the street
After a prison riot, eating the bodies of fellow prisoners, allegedly
The man set on fire during a protest – maybe ’cos he’s a thief, perhaps for supporting the government
Deaths during recent protests (55, or over a hundred, depends who’s counting)
The student – his parents asked him not to go – killed by a canister that came at his chest from the ranks of the national guard.

Venezuela can’t string it together much longer.

(You don’t need me to say ‘broken violin’, do you?)