This morning, we received a Blackberry Messenger message from our aunt in Valencia. She said that since 2:00 AM, they’d been hearing a lot of shooting outside.
A quick check of Twitter quickly revealed the cause. Sure enough, Valencia woke up angry today. There were pictures, videos and images of violence from the northern part of Valencia, including the neighbourhoods of El Trigal, La Granja and Naguanagua.
This video is from the area around Naguanagua and La Granja, and was taken early this morning. It shows security forces firing at unseen targets:
This video is from the Mañongo apartment complex in Naguanagua, Valencia:
At 0:49, one of the people in the room from which the film is being show starts speaking into a walkie-talkie, and says:
“They’re inside the apartments, they’re inside the apartments and are firing on the apartments, pay attention, they’re in the apartments, (I can’t hear this bit, but it sounds like “estan prendiendo”, as in, “they’re shooting” or “they’re igniting”)… people [are] throwing shit at them, pay attention, pay attention!”
Also today, Jimmy Vargas died in San Cristobal, Táchira, after falling from a height during a protest. He was the 14th person to die in this round of protests.
Here is a video of Jimmy’s mother, taken minutes after she found out his death. I’ve translated her speech below:
“Maduro (inaudible)… they are the ones who killed him, they gave the order to kill him. They’re the ones who are killing all Venezuelans. And I will go out and fight for my son. My son died a hero, fighting for his country and for freedom in his country… Let them come try to kill me now. That’s all, let them come kill me now… And the Holy Virgin… I am feeling the same pain the Holy Virgin felt for her son, Jesus Christ. God give me strength to fight for my son. That’s all.”
Earlier in the day, Maduro said that a “mercenary brought from the Middle East” had been detained in Aragua. He continued, “he was moving around in mid-upper class neighbourhoods in Maracay… preparing the placement of car bombs to fill our country with violence”. He also said that Diosdado Cabello would later offer “irrefutable proof” of the claim, but as of 10:18 PM Caracas time, the proof has not yet materialized.
To end off the day of violence in Valencia, this video shows a protester being brutalized by the National Guard:
At 2:28, you can see the protester on the ground and a guardswoman on top of her, beating the protester with her helmet. The protester is then made to stand up and lead by her hair for a short distance. The protester’s name might be Marvinia Jimenez, and she is as of this moment unaccounted for and presumed to be in custody.
Starting at 2:22, the man filming can be heard saying:
“Look how they’re killing us, the people, the damn army. They’re killing us. Look what they’re doing to that woman. Look how they hit her. Look, look! It’s not a lie. They’re killing us in Venezuela. Get out, Nicolas, damn you, they’re killing us because of us. Look how they’re hitting us! It’s not a lie!”
Here is a collage of pictures taken from the same event, showing the beating more clearly:
Finally, here is a collection of images from Valencia today: