Residents of the La Vega neighbourhood of Caracas braved tear gas and raids on their homes by National Guard soldiers during a 12-hour long protest against the Maduro regime today.
La Vega, which was once a bastion of chavista support, saw today’s protests begin in the overnight hours. Residents build barricades out of garbage bags and rubble and then lit them on fire on several of the neighbourhood’s streets.
When National Guard and National Bolivarian Police officers responded to the protest starting at around 5:00 AM, residents yelled anti-regime slogans at them, including:
No hay arroz, no hay harina, en Miraflores lo que hay es cocaina! [There is is rice, no flour, but in Miraflores (Presidential Palace) there is cocaine!
El Nacional reports that during the protest, a man approached the authorities who had been sent to repress their demonstration and said:
There are children here, and you’re here repressing us at 7:00 AM! Think about this and reflect upon it. This is how you’re waking people up. Think about it! There are kids here. My daughter was sleeping and I had to hide her in the bathroom because you woke her up with tear gas. She could get killed by the gas!
State authorities engaged in pitched battles with protests throughout the day, firing tear gas and rubber pellets at the demonstrators.
The videos below shows thick clouds of tear gas in the air in La Vega earlier today:
Protesters near the front lines facing off against the authorities:
The video below shows some of the official security forces that responded to the scene:
The video below shows National Guard and National Bolivarian Police in the evening:
Below, more images from the repression:
By the late afternoon, agents from the regime’s political police–SEBIN–raided homes in the neighbourhood, presumably looking to arrest individuals involved in the protests. Evangelica Gonzalez, a journalist at the scene, reported hearing the sound of gunfire during the raids.
The video below shows what appear to be officers from SEBIN in action inside an apartment complex in La Vega:
Two More Protest Fatalities Raise Tally to 66
The number of protest-related fatalities since April 1 jumped to 66 today.
A 46 year old woman named Maria Estefania Rodriguez was killed in Barquisimeto, Lara state yesterday after being shot in the chest during unrest in the city. According to El Impulso, Rodriguez was not participating in the protest, and was hit by a bullet as she walked through a crowd of protesters.
Earlier today, a 20 year old man named Luis Miguel Gutierrez Molina died from injuries sustained during a protest in Tovar, Merida state on May 17. On that day, Gutierrez was shot in the abdomen while participating in an anti-regime protest.
PSUV Deputy Speaks Out Against Maduro’s Communal Constituent Assembly
PSUV National Assembly deputy German Ferrer has become the first regime legislator to speak out against the Communal Constituent Assembly (CCA), a controversial mechanism that Maduro has deployed to create a new national constitution. In the same statement, Ferrer said that he was siding with Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz in her ongoing public opposition to the Maduro regime.
Ferrer made the comments in a series of tweets, which you can see below:
I want to voice my UNCONDITIONAL support for the ATTORNEY GENERAL of the REPUBLIC
Ferrer also agreed with opposition critics as well as a growing number of regime figures that Maduro cannot impose the CCA on the country: rather, he can suggest that the assembly take place, and the matter must go to a referendum vote. Ferrer said:
The initiative [for holding a Constituent Assembly] can come from the President, among others. The creation [of the assembly] must come from THE PEOPLE through a referendum. I’m citing Article 5 of the Constitution.
Ferrer represents Lara state.
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