Protesters in Caracas were sprayed with tear gas as they
gathered outside of parliament to oppose a bill that would broaden state
control over schools. The bill would require the country's public and private
schools to base their teaching on "the Bolivarian Doctrine"— a
reference to 19th Century independence hero Simon Bolivar's ideals, such as
Latin American unity and national self-determination.
"They don't use the word 'socialism', but that's what they want to
introduce in our schools," Ray Gonzalez, who opposes the bill, told the Associated Press. Supporters of the bill, like President Hugo Chavez, disagree with the opposition, saying the document stipulates that teaching should be "open to all forms of thinking."
A Caracus paper is reporting that a group of its reporters had been attacked by pro-government supporters while handing out leaflets against the proposed bill.