Following a night of unprecedented protests in some of Caracas’ poorest neighbourhoods, the Maduro regime was on the back foot today as it looks ahead to tomorrow and what are expected to be the largest protests the country has seen since 2017.

Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez held a press conference this morning in which he addressed yesterday’s National Guard mutiny at Cotiza, which sparked protests that lasted late into the overnight hours. Not surprisingly, Rodriguez blamed both the mutiny and the protests on the political opposition, namely the Voluntad Popular (VP) party.

Calling VP “a terrorist organization”, Rodriguez said that the Cotiza mutineers wanted to eventually attack the Miraflores Palace. Rodriguez said:

They [the mutineers] had the intention of stealing two armoured vehicles in Petare. They went in two non-armoured units to Plaza O’Leary because they had to meet with members of the terrorist group [sic] Voluntad Popular to organize the acts of violence and the eventual assault on the Miraflores Palace.

Rodriguez also said that the government has information suggesting that the protests scheduled for tomorrow will “try to generate instances of extreme violence”, but provided no further details.

In a particularly bizarre claim even by regime standards, Rodriguez also claimed that United States Vice President Mike Pence had personally ordered the burning down of Robert Serra’s home in La Pastora. The home of the deceased PSUV politician who died during a home invasion in 2014 and has since been turned into a national hero my the regime was consumed by fire during last night’s protests.

On that event, Rodriguez said:

Mike Pence’s people burned even the foundation of the Robert Serra Cultural House. The fascists are the same as Mike Pence’s people, those who want death tomorrow and violent actions at the opposition march.

Rodriguez did not explain who “Mike Pence’s people” are, how they got to Venezuela, or why Pence would want the home of a deceased politician in Venezuela burned.

The minister’s comments were likely precipitated by a video massage shared on Twitter by Pence yesterday expressing his support for the anti-Maduro movement in Venezuela:

VP Rodriguez Warns of “Severe” Action Against “Destabilizers

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez–the sister of Jorge Rodriguez–made comments today about tomorrow’s protests, and responded to Pence’s video message by saying “Yankee go home!”

Rodriguez said that the government would take severe action against anyone who tries to destabilize the country tomorrow, although it is not clear exactly who would qualify for that categorization.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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