A march called for last week by various student groups throughout the country took place today. Venezuelans took to the streets in the usual urban centres, namely Valencia, Maracaibo and Caracas.
In Caracas, demonstrators were to meet at one of two different rallying points, and planned to set off at around 10:00 AM and meet in Plaza Altamira.
Below are pictures from early in the day. From Caracas:
Maracaibo, Zulia state:
Valencia, Carabobo state:
Here is a video showing the start of the march in Valencia:
A demonstrator being treated, possibly for tear gas exposure, in Valencia, where there are reports that the use of gas there was “very strong”:
Starting at around 5:00 PM, a confrontation between demonstrators and security forces in the Terrazas del Avila neighbourhood of Caracas appeared to be underway:
The march today was scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, fought on this day in 1821 against the Spanish army. The battle, which resulted in a victory for the rebel forces, effectively gained Venezuela her independence from Spanish rule.
Maduro commemorated the event at a military parade in
Caracas (Correction: the field on which the battle was fought in Carabobo, which is now a memorial site):
Maduro took the opportunity to speak, saying:
Today, equality has only one concept, the one brought by Hugo Chavez to the 21st century. Today, equality is called Bolivarian socialism, Christian, from our own America.
A huge flag which had been strung across two pillars overlooking the main parade route in Caracas suffered a critical malfunction, tearing itself into pieces in the wind: