Venezuela’s daughters, mothers and sisters took to the streets of their cities today against in a nation-wide march against the Maduro regime. Wearing white and waving Venezuelan flags, women all over the country faced off against the regime’s security forces in defiance of the ongoing repression of peaceful protests that has claimed the lives of 41 people over the last month.
The largest march took place in Caracas, were the march included high-profile figures like Maria Corina Machado and Lilian Tintori. The goal of the march in Caracas was to reach the Ministry of the Interior, Justice and Peace, but as in virtually every other occasion, security forces prevented the demonstrators from making it to their final destination.
The march began in the Chacaito neighbourhood of Caracas, were women wearing white as a symbol of peace began to congregate starting at around 10:00 AM:
By 10:30 AM, the crowd had grown to considerable size:
Once the march began, demonstrators were forced to make a route change given the fact that National Guard and National Bolivarian Police forces blocked their original path. The video below shows the march being blocked by National Guard soldiers, who have deployed special trucks to make a wall across the Francisco Fajardo highway:
Another shot of the crowd as it met the wall:
The woman reacted to the wall by sitting down on the highway and singing folk songs. The video below shows a group of women–including human rights activity Lilian Tintori–singing and then attempting to interact with the National Guard soldiers who were blocking their path:
The video below shows a protester removing her pants and throwing them at the National Guard soldiers in a symbolic gesture. In Venezuela, the expression “ponganse los pantalones” [“put on your pants”] is sometimes used to demand that an individual–usually a man–take courageous action on some matter. The expression is similar to “man up” in English. By removing her pants and giving them to the soldiers, the woman in the video below was suggesting that the men were cowards for repressing a peaceful protest and not taking a stand against tyranny:
While the demonstration in Caracas was relatively peaceful, the one in Maracay included the liberal use of tear gas by security forces. The video below shows protesters running away from thick clouds of the toxic gas somewhere in the capital of Aragua state:
Another shot of the crowd of protesters fleeing tear gas in Maracay:
Protesters marched in Margarita island, too. In the picture below, some of the protesters are holding up signs that say “NO MORE REPRESSION”:
In Barquisimeto, Lara state, protesters ripped a picture of Hugo Chavez off a wall, stomped on it and ripped it to shreds:
In Valencia, Carabobo state, protesters confronted a car from the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), the regime’s political police, by chanting “Murderers!” at the occupants:
In Maracaibo, Zulia state, a demonstrator climbed atop of government building and began waving a Venezuelan crowd at the jubilant crowd below:
NA Deputy: 40 Civilians “Tried” By Military Courts, Sent to Prison
National Assembly deputy Jose Manuel Olivares announced today that at least 40 civilians have been given “trials” before military tribunals in Carabobo state over the last few days and sent to a prison in Guarico state. Olivares said that the civilians are part of a larger group of approximately 200 individuals who are being held in the Core 2 military base in Valencia on protest-related charges.
The individuals sent to prison in Guarico were charged with conspiracy and rebellion.
According to the Constitution, civilians cannot be tried by military tribunals. Military tribunals are secretive and accountable only to the Minister of Defense. The Maduro regime has been using military tribunals more and more as it continues its repression of dissent in Venezuela.
Baby Dies from Tear Gas-Related Complications in Valencia
El Nacional reported today that a two-month-old baby died at the Doctor Enrique Tejera clinic in Valencia from “respiratory failure” that doctors are attributing from the effects of tear gas. The baby was exposed to the tear gas and died at 3:00 AM on May 4 inside the hospital, where she was waiting for a medical procedure. The hospital is located in an area of Valencia that saw particularly severe looting last week, and would have been affected by tear gas deployed by security forces.
Amy Cambar, the baby’s mother, told El Estimulo:
When I went down to Emergency they told me that she was having respiratory problems due to the unrest that had taken place around here. I was also affected [by the tear gas] because my nose was itchy and, well, my baby must have felt that too due to the tear gas.
The baby is the 41st person to die as a result of the unrest that has shaken the country over the past month.
Hackers Bring Down Regime I.D. Website, Vow to Leak Information
A group of Venezuelan hackers who go by the Twitter handles JUSTIN (@YoSoyJustin) and Er Pinguino HDP (@ERHDP) announced late last night that they had hacked the carnet de la patria [Homeland I.D.] website, and that they had gained access to the personal information contained in 4.8 million accounts.
JUSTIN began posting screenshots to his Twitter account showing the Homeland I.D. records of high-profile regime officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez, Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez and PSUV vice-president Diosdado Cabello. Some of the screenshots contained the individuals’ personal e-mail and cell phone numbers.
The Homeland I.D. website went down last night at around midnight EST time, roughly an hour after JUSTIN announced the breach. As of the typing of this update (5:45 PM EST), the website continues to be down.
The hackers claim to have carried out the attack “for all the Venezuelans who have fallen in the last days of protest in Venezuela”.
There has been no confirmation of the hack from regime officials.
Maduro Tries Talking to Cows, Is Ignored
Maduro appeared on television last night at an event in a farm somewhere in the country. While visiting the farm, Maduro had an awkward, extensive interaction with a group of cows, to which he spoke at length about the Communal Constituent Assembly. Maduro asked the cows a series of questions and also asked them to join him on his latest project.
Maduro starts talking to the cows at around the 0:10 mark in the video below:
Maduro: [Starting at 0:10] Well, we have to multiply all of our achievements and think about the future. I’m calling on your right now for the [Communal Constituent Assembly]. I want the spokespeople, the producers and the leaders of the fields to become members of the [Communal Constituent Assembly]. Will you support me? Will you join me on the [Communal Constituent Assembly]? Or do you want guarimba [a derogatory word for “protest”]? Do you want violence? Do you want things to burn? Do you want death? Those of us who want peace and life, let’s go to the [Communal Constituent Assembly]!
Yes, an economic [Communal Constituent Assembly].
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