The Bolivarian Shield drills entered their 7th day today. In Caracas, citizens of select areas of the city practiced air raid drills, as seen in the video below.
At the beginning of the video, an army officer explains that in case of war, the city’s air defence system would signal to citizens that an attack was imminent. Citizens living near the La Planicie tunnel in Caracas have been instructed to run into the tunnel in case of air raids:
Minister of Defence Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced that 30,000 people have signed up with militia organizations during the drills, and that:
A great interest [in] nationalism as awoken. More than 30,000 militias in the past week, men and women of all ages. Volunteers, from every profession, have taken up the charge with a lot of patriotism to assume the defence of our homeland.
Lopez also said that the surge in citizen-soldiers signals a paradigm shift in the way Venezuela understands defensive matters, saying:
This is about strengthening the integral concept of defence. That means that the old focus of military defence has been left behind. We’re all involved in this now.
Students Arrested in Altamira
Three students were detained last night in Altamira, allegedly by a group of SEBIN agents who did not identify themselves as police officers.
Jose Vicente Haro, a lawyer familiar with the case, explained through Twitter yesterday that the students were arrested seemingly without reason by men dressed in civilian clothing who did not identify themselves as police officers. He also identified the detained students as Geraldine Molina, Eukaris Espinoza, Angel Sucre.
Social media was quick to react to the event. Soon after news of the event spread, a Twitter user named Robert Pumar (@PumarRobert) claimed to be know three of the students from school, and posted pictures of them:
While there was some confusion as to the number of students detained and their identities last night, Haro was able to confirm this morning that the students were being held in El Helicoide, a SEBIN headquarters in Caracas. The students join a fourth detainee, named Félix Ortuño, although it is unclear if they were all arrested at the same time.
So far, it is not known why the students were arrested, or why they are still being held.