Venezuela’s democratic leaders gathered today outside of the Bello Monte morgue in Caracas to await the handover of Edmundo “Pipo” Rada, a politician with the Voluntad Popular (VP, Popular Will) party who was murdered earlier this week.
Rada worked in the neighbourhood of Petare, one of Caracas’ poorest areas. After going missing on Wednesday, his body was found on the side of a road in the Sucre municipality of Miranda state. Rada had been burned, shot twice in the back of the neck, and had a bag wrapped around his head when he was found.
It is not yet known who is responsible for Rada’s murder.
Speaking outside the morgue today, opposition leader Juan Guaido placed Rada’s murder within the broader context that is the Venezuelan crisis. He said:
These are different faces of the same tragedy. The different faces of insecurity, [and] political cause like that of councilor Rada. These are the different faces of the same tragedy.
It is with great pain that we are here accompanying the family, friends, and the members of [VP].
The authorites handed over Rada’s remains to his relatives this morning.
National Assembly deputy Yanet Fermin was also at the morgue this morning, where she said:
This tragedy, the way in which they took Pipo from us, has sunk all of us into a deep sadness… we will remember [Rada], and we will make sure that time will remember him.
Adriana Pichardo, another opposition legislator, remembered Rada as a leader. She said:
Pipo is a brother, a great social worker. He was always an example to all of us in politics (…) he came from one of the largest [barrios] in Caracas, Petare, and he took all of us there to do social work in his community.
We always talk about how to be a political leader you have to be a social leader, and Pipo was always above all else a social leader who never stopped fighting for liberty and democracy.
Cabello Warns of Protest “Hurricane” In Region
PSUV vice president Diosdado Cabello spoke today on the waves of protests that have rocked Peru, Ecuador, and Chile in recent weeks, calling them evidence that Latin America is suffering from an “overdose of neoliberalism” and warning that the worst of the upheaval was yet to come.
On these protests, Cabello said:
They’re just a breeze, but the hurricane is coming.
Who protests here? Not the people, no. It’s the bourgeois, business groups (…) the big families, the same ones that destroyed this country for years. But not the people. The people are with the revolution.
Just this past week, the Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social [Venezuelan Social Conflict Watch, OVCS] announced that Venezuelans took to the street to demand their political and social rights 708 times in September alone, averaging approximately 24 protests per day throughout the country.
According to the OVCS, the motivation for these protests broke down in the following way:
- 69% demanding labour, education, health and food
- 31% demanding civil and political rights
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