I will not have reliable internet service from June 18 to June 25. As a result, I may not be able to provide daily updates during that time, and/or the quality of the updates may not be up to par. I apologize in advance.
The main office of El Nacional – a leading newspaper in the country – was attacked last night by a pro-government group. The group identified itself as “ChaMa”. The name is possibly the result of the combination of “Chavez” and “Maduro”.
The newspaper reports that at 2:00 AM, four armed individuals approached the El Nacional offices’ main gate and attempted to force the locks to gain entry to the building. The assailants were unable to break the locks, at which point they vandalized the security office at the main gate by writing “ChaMa Pueblo Rebelde” [ChaMa a rebellious people] and hurling excrement at the building:
The attackers also glued a pamphlet to the building’s wall with a manifesto, which you can see below along with my translation:
Dear El NAZIonal:
Today, the people reject your attempts to destabilize this prosperous country which has a government that was constitutionally elected. Just as you played a key role in the coup d’eat in 2002 against Commander Hugo Chavez, you continue to do your dirty work by misinforming, generating chaos and in so doing favouring macabre foreign imperialist intervention, along with the most deplorable representatives of the treasonous opposition. We rebellious Venezuelans scream, “You will not return [to power]!”
LET IT BE CLEAR THAT VENEZUELA IS FREE AND SOVEREIGN!
ChaMa – “A people in revolt”
Maduro Demands 20 Years for Cumana “Militants”
During a televised speech last night, Maduro once again linked the two days of unrest in Cumana over severe food shortages on the Venezuelan opposition, and called for those responsible to receive prison sentences of “20 years of more”.
Maduro has made numerous statements linking the Venezuelan opposition – namely the Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia parties – with the unrest that shut down the capital of Sucre state for two days this week. Without providing any evidence, Maduro said that authorities had captured individuals who had confessed that the they were acting alongside the opposition to “set Venezuela on fire”.
They have been convicted [sic] and the have confessed, these militants from the ultra-right wing parties that wanted to set all of Venezuela on fire (…) [they are] a violent, armed sector of the right wing connected to Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia in several states [and they have] been arrested.
We have the evidence. Those directly responsible for the bachaqueril [this isn’t a word, but Maduro means, “the violent that was caused by bachaqueros“, which are people who resell subsidized goods for profit] unrest which brought riots to Cumana and other places. They’ve gone crazy (…) it’s a criminal plan. They are directly linked to — and they’ve already been arrested, they’re in jail. People linked directly to Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia.
Protests Continue in Merida
Residents of the San Buenaventura de Ejido town in Merida state took to the streets last night and burned tires to block a road in protest over the lack of food and medicine in their community.
Below, an image of burning tires blocking a road last night:
Protests over lack of food and medicine have become commonplace in Venezuela over the past few months, with the 24-hour period ending this morning seeing 20 food-related protests throughout the country.
This week alone, five people have been killed in Cumana, Sucre state during unrest caused by food shortages.
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