Students from the Universidad Central de Venezuela staged a protest today in the vicinity of their campus in Caracas in support of Oscar Perez and his slain companions. The protest was met by heavy repression from the authorities, who fired tear gas and rubber pellets, injuring at least four students.
The students had planned to march to the Cementerio del Este to visit the grave of Oscar Perez, the Venezuelan rebel leader who was killed last Monday alongside six companions in a raid on their safe house in western Caracas. Since his death, Perez and his companions have been gaining support among many Venezuelans who consider them heroes for sacrificing their lives in the fight against the Maduro regime.
Below, a short clip of the marching students. Their banner references Perez and his group, and reads “May the heroes unite us”. The students are chanting “Freedom! Freedom!”:
Shortly after leaving campus, the students were met by a large contingent of security forces from the National Guard and the National Bolivarian Police, who prevented the march from continuing to its destination. The video below shows the authorities’ lines forming up to meet the advancing students:
Once the students were stopped from continuing their demonstration, they set up barricades in the Las Tres Gracias plaza, and began to clash with the authorities.
The video below shows students picking up and throwing back tear gas canisters near the entrance to the UCV located in the Los Chaguaramos area of Caracas:
In the video below, National Guard soldiers on the receiving end of stones thrown by protesters:
In the video below, students throw rocks at the authorities in the distance, while the authorities fire back tear gas and rubber pellets:
The video below shows security forces firing shotgun pellets at the crowd of students, who respond with rocks and a Molotov cocktail:
The video below shows a group of protesters running back to the UCV entrance under a cloud of tear gas:
The video below captured National Guard soldiers and National Bolivarian Police officers moving about near one of the university’s entrances:
Eventually, the students were pushed back into the university campus by the security forces. The video below shows the protesters, scattered, retreating into the university through its arched gate:
The two sides continued to engaged one another until approximately 2:30 PM local time, as a small group of relentless students remained at the gate of the university:
Today’s protest was the largest and most tumultuous in Caracas since the anti-government protests of 2017 ended abruptly in the beginning of August.
EU Formally Sanctions 7 Venezuelan Officials
The European Union formally approved sanctions today against seven regime officials, banning their entry and that of their families into the EU zone and freezing their assets there.
In a press release, the European Council cited “the continuing deterioration of the situation in Venezuela” as the reason for the sanctions.
The sanctions individuals are:
- Nestor Reverol, Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace.
- Gustavo Enrique Gonzalez Lopez, head of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).
- Tibisay Lucena, head of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE).
- Antonio Jose Benavides Torres, chief of the Capital District and former head of the National Guard.
- Maikel Moreno, president of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ).
- Tarek William Saab, Attorney General.
- Diosado Cabello Rondon, vice-president of the PSUV.
According to the European Council, the targeted individuals–who are some of the highest-ranking members of the Maduro regime–have continued to demonstrate a “non-respect of democratic principles or the rule of law”, and have violated human rights.
The targeted sanctions follow a November decision by the European Council to ban the sale of weapons and repression equipment to the Maduro regime.
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