Maduro presided over an event in Caracas today to commemorate the anniversary of Hugo Chavez’s 1992 coup d’etat attempt against the government of Carlos Andres Perez. The event was streamed on social media, and featured a familiar cast of high-ranking PSUV officials, including Diosado Cabello, Tarek William Saab, Delcy Rodriguez, and Aristobulo Isturiz.
The event was accompanied by a hashtag: #4FRebelionDeFuturo, which translates into English roughly as “February 4, Future Rebellion”.
The short clip below shows Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores on a catwalk making their way towards a central stage while Venezuelan folk music plays in the background:
Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores greet supporters at the event:
February 4 is a divisive date in Venezuelan history. For the ruling PSUV party and its supporters, the day plays heavily in the chavista mythology as the birth date of the movement, since it marked Chavez’s ascension to the national spotlight as a revolutionary leader. For opposition supporters and critics of chavismo, however, the date carries negative connotations, since they consider Chavez’s actions that day–which claimed the lives of at least 31 people–to have been nothing but a violent attempt to take power from a democratically-elected president.
The image below shows members of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces at today’s event in Caracas. It is likely that the individuals in this picture are not regular force soldiers, but rather members of a militia:
Below, images of the event shared by Freddy Bernal, the PSUV official in charge of the CLAP distribution network:
Below, a 70-minute video showing the event in Caracas today:
US Considering Oil Embargo Against Venezuela
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with his Argentinian counterpart, Jorge Faurie, in Buenos Aires today to talk about the ongoing Venezuelan crisis. During a press conference, Tillerson said that Washington was weighing the possibility of an embargo on Venezuelan oil. Because Venezuela receives nearly all of its foreign income from oil sales, an oil embargo would be not only a powerful weapon against the Maduro regime, but also the harbinger of yet more suffering for the people of the country.
Tillerson spoke on the severity of his words, saying:
One of the aspects that we consider [when talking about] an oil embargo is the consequences that it would have for the Venezuelan people. By doing nothing, we’re also asking the Venezuelan people to continue to suffer.
At the same time, Tillerson stressed that neither Washington nor Buenos Aires have any issue with the people of Venezuela, whom he believes are “suffering enormously”, but rather with the Maduro regime.
Neither Tillerson nor Faurie’s comments suggest that an oil embargo against Venezuela is imminent.
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