The explosion of two bombs in his car took the life of 38-year old State Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, late on Thursday night in Caracas, Venezuela. The terrorist attack took place at 11.50 pm in Los Chaguaramos, in south east Caracas, where Danilo Anderson was coming away from evening classes he was attending at the University.

"You need to get out of here now or these people will kill you." This was the earnest and forceful advice given my friends and I about three minutes after we arrived at Montreal's Venezuelan consulate on August 15, referendum day in Venezuela. There were only three of us – my roommate Albert with his camera, Macdonald, a pro-Chavez activist, and I – waiting to be joined by a group of others who shared our views on events in Venezuela. Our intention was to demonstrate support for pro-Chavez voters, signs in hand.

Immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union, there was a spirit of optimism in the United States. We had "won" so to speak, and in the words of our then president George Bush, we could look forward to a New World Order of peace, freedom, full employment, and the crushing domination of the US in world affairs and trade. This fresh outlook, coupled with one of the most powerful economic booms in history, led many to believe ever more strongly in the system. Yet there are chinks in the armor. To look at the stock market, the economy is still healthy. But corporate profits are at their lowest level in nearly a decade (in spite of the billions of dollars handed to them in corporate welfare), and for the first time since the early 1990s, workers are seriously worried about losing their jobs. While the momentum of the boom is still in most workers’ consciousness, it is apparent that among the most advanced layers, the mood is definitely changing in America. From optimism to pessimism, hopes for "the good life" are disappearing for broad layers of Americans, with important implications for the coming period.