Regime supporters attacked a group of demonstrators who had congregated outside of the Vargas State Hospital in the Palo Negro area of Caracas. According to journalists at the scene, two pick-up trucks carrying armed men in civilian clothing entered the hospital “like commandos” and attacked members of the press.
Rayli Lujan, a journalist with the Venezuela al Dia website, was covering the event and said the following:
When we headed downstairs to try to leave [the hospital], we ran into two colectivos [pro-government civilian armed group members] who were attacking a Univision cameraman called Alejandro Molina. A colectivo was pulling the camera away from him and another was pulling his shirt, as if they were [trying to] drag him outside, and then they did the same thing to us. They wanted to drag us towards the door because the other colectivos were there.
In Venezuela, the term colectivo armado (literally “armed group”) is used to refer to armed pro-government civilian groups that attack regimes, most often at protest events. While the colectivos armados do not officially form part of the state’s security apparatus, they play an important role in the repression of dissent in Venezuela.
The video below captured some of the chaos that unfolded at the hospital today, as well as the dramatic conditions under which the institutions operates:
The video below captured a confrontation between the two sides at what appears to be the hospital’s front gate. It is not clear which side is which:
Maduro Caught in Tense Exchange With Angry Supporter
Television cameras captured a tense exchange today between Maduro and an angry supporter at a campaign rally in Yaracuy state earlier today.
During the event, a woman approached the stage and caught Maduro’s ear. According to La Patilla, the woman told Maduro that she was homeless, and wanted answers as to when she might be able to receive a subsidized home. Maduro’s patience grew thin with the woman as she pressed him for answers.
Aside from speaking to the woman in a condescending tone, Maduro repeatedly refereed to her by a number of less-than-respectful names, including “lady” and “baby”.
Below, a video showing Maduro’s response to the woman, along with my translation:
Maduro: I already told you, girl. I already told you, baby. I already told you. Wait for your turn with the carneta de la patria. Wait for your opportunity with the carnet de la patria. Have patience, faith and trust [me]. May God bless you lady.
It’s not the governor’s fault. It’s my fault. You can blame me. That’s fine. Let’s wait, baby. Let’s wait. We have to fight. We spent 200 years without homes for people, lady. 200 years, and the people were orphaned [sic]. Now you have a government and a president, lady, my dear lady of the people [sic]. And due to your perseverance, you’ll have your woman today, lady. Today you have your home.
It’s not the governor’s fault. Look at me. I’m the one who’s guilty, for the good things and the bad things.
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