Tens of thousands of Venezuelans participated in demonstrations throughout the country today in support of the opposition campaign to bring humanitarian aid into the country. The event was capped by a speech from interim president Juan Guaido in Caracas, in which he announced that the aid currently awaiting delivery in Cucuta, Colombia will attempt to enter Venezuela on February 23.
We already have a date for the arrival of the humanitarian aid, but for this to happen we should have volunteers. This Saturday we’ll enter the organizational stage on Saturday, and on Sunday we’ll have traveling humanitarian camps.
On the page VoluntariosXVenezuela, which was launched earlier this week to organize volunteers who want to help with the humanitarian aid process, Guaido said that 250,000 people had already signed up with the site.
From the stage in Caracas, Guaido issued a direct order to the soldiers of the National Armed Forces:
The order is for you to allow the entry of humanitarian aid, and [for you to] end the repression once and for all. We can do this. Of course we can do this.
Guaido’s speech coincided with a restriction to access to YouTube, alongside the Bing and Google translation services:
Below, images and videos from today’s demonstrations around the country.
Chacao, near the stage from which Guaido spoke:
An image of the crowd in Chacao:
In the video below, demonstrators chant a new protest song: “Listen, National Guard! Listen, SEBIN! This [government] is going to fall, just like the Berlin Wall!”:
Guaido took a selfie with the crowd in Chacao:
There is a sort of meme in Venezuela where a person says “Maduro”, and the listener responds with “coño de tu madre!” (roughly equivalent to “motherfucker”). Below, the crowd’s reaction in Chacao when Guaido said Maduro:
In Maracaibo, Zulia state, demonstrators marched to the offices of the Red Cross in the city:
A march in Cumana, and one in Barinas:
Protesters in Barquisimeto, Lara state:
The ruling PSUV also organized a rally in Caracas today at around the same time as the opposition one. Below, images from that event. The pictures below are from around 11:00 AM:
In the video below, Maduro supporters dance salsa in the Plaza Morelos in Caracas:
China, Opposition Authorities Held “Exploratory” Meetings
El Nacional reported today that representatives from the opposition have met with Chinese officials, and that more meetings between the two sides are expected to take place. While the newspaper does not specify where the meetings took place, it cites sources connected with opposition representatives in the United States, suggesting that the meeting or meetings could have taken place in that country.
According to these sources, the two sides are interested in talking about “bilateral issues”, including China’s oil investment in Venezuela and Caracas’ $20 billion debt with Beijing.
The Wall Street Journal reports that more than one meeting has taken place “in recent weeks”, and that Chinese diplomats are “worried over the future of its oil projects in Venezuela” as Maduro’s grip on power continues to teeter on the precipice.
El Nacional pointed out that Chinese spokesperson Geng Shuag has said recently that Beijing “has been in close communication with all parties” in Venezuela, and that they are “ready to work with all parities” to secure a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
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