A plywood shield in one hand, a gas mask over his face, Victor Ortega marched down the middle of the four-lane elevated highway, his eyes fixed on the front lines. Up ahead, the Venezuelan army and police had sealed off the street. A large armored vehicle, known as the “whale,” anchored the military blockade, with riot troops fanned out to the rear. Behind Ortega, thousands of protesters slowed down, awaiting the inevitable. Any minute, the day’s melee would begin. Ortega, just steps away from the front now, was thinking about his father, a member of the country’s security forces. The military career that Ortega, an only child, once considered his birthright — several members of his family have had jobs protecting the socialist government — has been […]