The biggest news of the day was an announced public transit fare increase of 40%. The fares will not shoot up immediately: an increase of 25% will come into effect on April 30, and the other 15% will come on August 15.
This morning, there was a confrontation between demonstrators and security forces in the Aguamarina neighbourhood of Lecheria, in Anzoategui state. Here is a video showing what look like security forces on a street. Throughout the video, you can hear a man yelling insults and taunts at the officers:
This morning, Caurimare, Caracas awoke to find its roads blocked by barricades. According to reports from motorists, the main road cutting through Caurimare was blocked down to one lane in one direction, and completely blocked in the other. Barricades also appeared in the Lomas del Avila and Palo Verde neighbourhoods of Caracas this morning.
In light of the scarcity of medical supplies, the government yesterday announced that a new law which came into effect yesterday lists all of the medication that can be sold at state-operated pharmacies. If a pharmacy requires a medication not found on the list, the law states, the pharmacy must make a direct request to the Minister of Hospitals along with a “justification” for the request.
The #SOSVenezuela hastag, which has been used on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook to share information regarding the protests and show solidarity for Venezuela, has come under attack from Maduro. On the SOSVenezuela movement, Maduro said:
Whoever messes with Venezuela dries up. I can make a long list of people who messed with Chavez and with Venezuela and dried up, forever forgotten[into oblivion] (…) In fact, we try to put a list together but we can’t remember of how many dried up people there are. They ended up like a desert: dry, dry, dry, dry.
And finally, a video from the disturbances in Chacao on April 20. The video shows a group of National Police officers on a street corner exchanging rocks with demonstrators. The demonstrators manage to dislodge the officers from the street corner with molotov cocktails, rocks and fireworks. At around the 5:00 mark the security forces appear to withdraw from the street, which results in the crowd erupting in cheering:
The mayor – Ramon Muchacho is his name, right? – made some unbelievable statements. I think he’s in the running for the Guinness Prize for “Most Unbelievable Statements Made by a Mayor” in many years in politics. Now he says he doesn’t know how they protest, why they protest – but you were the one who promoted that violent protest.
For his part, Muchacho sad, “We have to do things in a reasonable way”, and that the student movement “are not the ones responsible for the acts of violence and vandalism” in his municipality.