Intense confrontations between protesters and National Guard troops in San Cristobal, Tachira left at least two people injured and three students under arrest, while another five were injured. The protests, which started in response to the fingerprint rationing system, started early this morning in the Las Vegas de Tariba neighbourhood of the city.
Below, a video showing some of the events in San Cristobal today:
My translation below:
Reporter: [before video starts] Why are you protesting?
Masked Protester: Well, first of all, against the fingerprint scanners, because we’re tired of our families having to line up for something stupid. So yeah, we came out at 4:00 AM because of this. Also, for insecurity on the streets, for the politicians and students who are in prison, and we’re tired of that. I just want people to understand that this fight doesn’t belong to just us students, it belongs to everyone.
One of the injured is allegedly a student by the name of Dneis Leonelli, who received a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
Doctors on Strike in Catia Due to Lack of Supplies
Doctors from the Jose Gregorio Hernandez Hospital in Catia, Caracas went on strike today due to a lack of medical supplies. The striking staff also cited a lack of security at the facility. Until further notice, the hospital will only be able to respond to emergency patients.
Fingerprint Scanner: More Contradictions
Despite his claims last night that the fingerprint scanner system will only be deployed to state-owned supermarkets in border states, Diosdado Cabello read a statement from the PSUV today which said that the system would be installed “in the main public and private supermarket centres around the country“.
The claim marks the third time the system’s scope has been questioned. First, Maduro claimed that the scanners would be installed in every single supermarket in the country; then, Cabello said that they would only appear in state-owned supermarkets in border states, just a day before today’s assertion that the system would indeed include private supermarkets.
Cabello also said:
If the fingerprint scanners hurt the bourgeoisie it’s because it’s good for the people. They’re against control mechanisms to fight against contraband.
They [the opposition] are trying to bet up the people through hunger, pressure and stress. We should be convinced that we are going to win this battle.
The resulting confusion means that Venezuelans still have little idea of where or how the fingerprint scanner will work.