Security forces and protesters faced each other in violent confrontations in the neighbourhood of La Isabelica in Valencia, Carabobo state all through the night. According to El Nacional, the clashes were heaviest in Sectors 4 and 5 of the area.
The confrontations began in the later afternoon after protesters blocked the East-West 1 avenue that runs through the neighbourhood. The first barricades in the area came up shortly after the conclusion of the funeral for Ruben Gonzalez, who was killed in the area while protesting on Monday.
Aside from repressing the protest with tear gas and rubber bullets, state security forces also engaged in the fairly common tactic of damaging vehicles and other property. The images below shows some of the damage caused by the authorities:
The image below shows broken windows and remnants of the repression in the form of spent tear gas canisters and grenades:
The video below shows a cloud of tear gas filling the air near what appears to be a residential complex:
The city of Lecheria in Anzoategui state was also the site of unrest throughout the night. At least five journalists were injured while covering the events in the city last night.
The videos below shows protesters forcing a National Guard armoured truck and accompanying soldiers to retreat from an intersection. The protesters throw Molotov cocktails at the soldiers, and appear to be making use of a truck to cover their advance:
The video below shows protesters forcing National Guard soldiers to retreat under a hail of Molotov cocktails:
Another shot of the clashes in Lecheria yesterday:
MUD Calls for Candlelight Vigils Tonight in Caracas
The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), the country’s political opposition bloc, will host candlelight vigils around Caracas tonight in memory of the approximately 93 people killed during the protests that have been taking place in Venezuela since April 1.
The vigils will begin at 5:00 PM, and set off from the Altamira neighbourhood of the city. From there, demonstrators will march to several spots in the city were protesters have been killed, including the Altamira interchange, La Carlota, and Las Mercedes.
Protester Injured By National Guard Comes Out of Coma After 40 Days
18-year-old Oscar Navarrete woke up from a 40-day coma yesterday afternoon being injured during a protest in Altamira, Caracas on May 18.
Navarrete arrived at the La Floresta Medical Institute that day after having being hit in the abdomen with a tear gas canister fired at close range by National Guard soldiers. Both of Navarrete’s lungs had collapsed, and he was suffering from heart arrhythmia, leading to the young man losing vital signs for a short period of time.
Below, a video of Navarrete with his mother in hospital yesterday afternoon:
Mother: Hello! Good afternoon to everyone who has been following this, and who has helped and supported Oscar. First I want to thank God, and thank everyone at the La Floresta Medical Institute. We are so thankful for everything that you did for my son and all of the help that you’ve given us, and for your unconditional support. Without… well, I’m just so sincerely thankful to all of them. Hugs and kisses! My son is recovering, thank God.
Supreme Court Misses Own Deadline for AG Impeachment
Last week, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), Venezuela’s top court, heard arguments in favour and against commencing impeachment proceedings against attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz. At the end of that hearing, which took place on July 4, the TSJ announced that it would make a decision on whether or not to impeach the attorney general within five business day.
While the TSJ did hold a session yesterday, it did not issue any statement on the impeachment case.
Jesus Ollarves, a criminal lawyer, spoke on the deafening silence from the TSJ on the case, saying:
They [the TSJ] could be taking the pulse of the political situation before making a decision.
Venezuela is currently navigating through particularly turbulent political waters. The opposition is set to host a plebiscite on Sunday that is expected to both draw a large turnout and hostility from the regime. For its part, the regime is set to hold elections for a Constituent Assembly on the 30th, a process critics claim will allow Maduro to custom-build a new national constitution.
Ollarves also pointed out that according to Venezuelan law, the TSJ actually has 30 days to make a decision.
Details Emerge on Zapatero’s Visit
Yesterday, former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero visited Leopoldo Lopez in his home in Caracas, where the opposition leader is currently being held under house arrest. The visit comes as hopes that Zapatero–who has been trying to mediate a peaceful solution to the Venezuelan crisis for over a year–might be making some kind of progress.
Yesterday, National Assembly vice president Freddy Guevara provided details to reporters on the meeting between the two men.
Guevara told reporters that Zapatero and Lopez spoke at length about the “increased conflict” between the PSUV and the opposition, and that Lopez called the upcoming Constituent Assembly a “project to annihilate” the republic.
On Lopez’s telephone conversation with Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro, Guevara said:
… the first thing [Lopez] did was thank him for all of his work on behalf of Venezuela. Leopoldo was very moved (…) and he invited him to visit Venezuela.
Lopez also spoke with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Guevara characterized their phone conversation in the following way:
They talked about the current situation. [Lopez] thanked him for his firm position on the Venezuelan issue. The Spanish president [sic] stressed his concern and his rejection of the (…) Constituent [Assembly] that Mr. Nicolas Maduro has convened.
Video Shows National Guard Soldiers Firing Weapons in Apartment Building
Last night, Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles shared a video on his Twitter account showing National Guard soldiers calmly firing their weapons inside an apartment complex after breaking into the building. The video was captured on July 10 in the town of Carrizal, Miranda state.
After the shooting, the officers destroy two security cameras in an attempt to cover their tracks.
Below, the video:
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