Today was the “Women’s March” Maria Corina Machado had called for yesterday. I spotted a few dudes in some of the pictures so it’s technically cheating, but it looks like the turnout was pretty good:
Bonus picture: People lined up outside a Makro (a big supermarket chain) in La Yaguara, Caracas. Apparently, there was milk, flour and eggs there!
John Kelly, the head of U.S. Southern Command, told the Pentagon today that the crisis in Venezuela could disrupt oil shipments to Cuba, Nicaragua and Haiti, and pointed out that such a disruption could spread economic instability to those regions. He also said that he didn’t think that Venezuela’s ties to Iran pose a real threat to the United States.
On the other side of the coin, the Russian foreign minister said today that it is negotiating with the governments of Cuba and Venezuela, among others, to build military bases there. According to the article, the only Russian military bases out of the country are in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Transnistria, Armenia and Tajikistan.
And in the National Assembly yesterday, Maria Corina Machado used her turn to speak to announce before the chamber accusations of torture and other human rights violations on behalf of detained protesters, before her microphone was muted. Maria Corina cited a figure of over 700 people detained during the protests so far and around 150 injured. After having her microphone muted, Dario Vivas (the vice president of the body) suspended her right to speech in the chamber.
Here is a video showing part of Maria’s speech, and the moment her microphone was cut off.
Here is what she says during the clip:
“… forced for hours in that position. Do you know what torture is? Go and see Juan Carlos, the young man in Valencia who has buckshot from his head to his feet. Listen to the testimony of Juan Manuel Carrasco who was raped – raped! – and the attorney general has the inhumanity to deny, and even laugh about, his testimony and that of his mother, Rebecca. This is a regime that murders. Here are the twelve youths [who have been killed], and it does it brutally behind our backs, using paramilitary criminal gangs [colectivos armados] and the National Guard. These accusations have been made by the students, some of whom are detained in military prisons. How brave and determined they are to make these accusations! [Speaker: Time’s up, deputy] No, no! I am allowed…!”
Tomorrow will be an extremely important day. Since Maduro declared it a holiday (and thus the official start of carnaval!) it will be interesting to see if people still turn out on the streets, or if they get into relaxation mode and things start to fizzle out.