Today ended up being a relatively quieter day, specially considering how crazy yesterday was, although protests were still reported in cities across the country, including Valencia, San Cristobal Maracay and Caracas.
There was looting in Maracay last night, and one person died as a result of the disturbances there. The victim was shot in the parking lot of a store that was being looted. The looting affected at least 25 businesses in the city.
This is one of the unfortunate stores, post looting:
This photo, also from Maracay, is allegedly from today and shows what appears to be a colectivo armado on the move:
Protesters also gathered in Altamira, in Caracas, where they managed to block an intersection (note: this also appears to be a motorcycle group. I’m not sure that they’re a colectivo armado, although a Venezuelan happening by the scene might have thought so):
And this is another shot from Altamira, this time of a barricade:
In Valencia, some people got creative with tear gas and shotgun casings, and spelled out “S.O.S.” with them:
A few days ago, Maduro was on T.V. and pointed out some graffiti that spelled “SOS”. One of the “hastags of the movement” has been “#SOSVenezuela”, as in “Venezuela needs help”, since you and I know that SOS is a universal distress signal. Now watch this video of Maduro pointing out some “SOS” graffiti on a bus:
Here is what Maduro says in the video, in Spanish first, and then with my translation in English underneath:
“Se les va a salir la baba a los anclas de CNN cuando vean esto. [b]Sos Venezula[/b]. Huh? Yo te diria, fascista, vos no sos Venezuela, vos sos gringo, en tu mente, en tu maldad. Vos no sos Venezuela. Fascista!”
“The CNN anchors are going to drool when they see this. You are Venezuela. Huh? I tell you, fascists, you are not Venezuela, you are gringos, in your mind and in your evil. You are not Venezuela. Fascist!”
Now, in order to understand this, you need to know that in the Spanish language, there are two ways to say “you are”: 1) Tu eres, and 2) vos sos. Vos sos is never used in Venezuelan Spanish, whereas it is very common in Argentina. So in Venezuela, you can ask someone, “Tu eres de Venezuela?” (You are from Venezuela?), but in Argentina you would ask, “Vos sos de Venezuela?” (You are from Venezuela?). Both ways of asking the question mean exactly the same thing, except for the different words.
So, in that clip, Maduro doesn’t see “SOS” as “international distress signal”, he sees “SOS” as “Argentinian Spanish”, and goes into that little weird rant. In other words, Nicolas Maduro either does not know what SOS means, or he does know, but lied to the camera in order to push some kind of weird rhetoric about foreign instigators working inside the country.
Anyway, to round off the day, Washington expelled three Venezuelan diplomats from the U.S. after Venezuela expelled three diplomats from there recently.
Also, the Organization of American States will meet in a special session this Thursday after Panama called for a meeting on the situation in Venezuela.