Chavistas Flood Caracas in Mega Anti-Imperialist March
Tens of thousands demanded that their nation’s sovereignty be respected.
It was a deeply emotional day for Venezuela’s Chavistas, who emerged from their homes in the tens of thousands, celebrating the country’s independence and, at the same time, denouncing continued attempts by the right-wing opposition and by hostile international entities encouraging imperialist intervention.
There were symbolic cries by those who attended — cries of peace, humility and those of an overwhelming desire to survive interventionist attacks.
President Nicolas Maduro called it “an incredible day of victory” — according to state media, VTV — as he addressed the beaming faces, teary eyes and attentive stares. He said that “peace has triumphed again over the right-wing attempts to sow terrorism in the country.”
“When the Bolivarian people are in the street, there is peace,” he added, “Today they tried to take power again and we have defeated them again the coup plotters, the corrupt right-wing and the interventionists.”
This is the sixth time this month alone that Chavistas have shown their support for the Maduro government against the MUD coalition’s protest actions, which re-energized itself after the April 1 Supreme Court decision to rescind on assuming temporary control of the national assembly’s powers.
Maduro also described Primero Justicia party member, and national assembly head Julio Borges as a hypocrite, a coward, and a clown. Borges has taken a lead in the organization of sustained opposition marches, all of which have turned violent.
The president’s ire over the recent violence has been strongly echoed by Chavistas across Venezuela, many of whom carried signs with anti-imperialist, freedom and peace symbols.
Caracas resident Argeny Valencinio was all smiles at the march. He said Venezuela has come a long way in the battle for peace and prosperity. He laments, however, that there is still a long way to go before it can be won.
“There is a lot that we could accomplish, if only we could put our differences aside and work as a unit. However, I am proud to be here, defending my people! My patria.”
PSUV President, Diosdado Cabello, also spoke to the tens of thousand, saying that Venezuela’s right-wing opposition has declared itself subordinate to the demands of the United States, which he said has openly called for international intervention.
“We warn all those traitors, who go abroad to ask for the invasion of Venezuela. They will be treated as enemies of this country. Today the people went out into the streets, to send a message of peace, but very firmly to tell imperialism and its lackeys that they are ready to fight. We are in the street ready to defeat them.”
More marches are planned in the coming weeks as the MUD opposition coalition continues to demand that Supreme Court judges be ousted and that an elections timeline be announced.
“Today the coup plotters tried to take power again and we have defeated them.”
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas Wednesday in separate marches, with government supporters marching in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution and in rejection of right-wing opposition coup plans on the commemoration of 207 years of independence.
“Today the coup plotters tried to take power again and we have defeated them,” President Nicolas Maduro said. “They once again took to the streets to break laws, to burn things, to stir violence.”
While Chavistas gathered in central Caracas, opposition protesters convened in the city’s more affluent east side, eventually taking over major roads and highways. Clashes broke out as small numbers of opposition protesters attempted to break police lines and head to the areas where government supporters were gathered. So far, there have been no confirmed reports of fatalities due to the protests.
Rumors spread that 19-year-old Carlos Moreno was killed in San Bernardino neighborhood amid the demonstrations, but local journalists reported that he was not participating in the protests. Although there are conflicting reports some family members said he had gone out to play soccer when he was shot in the head during an attempted robbery of his motorcycle. He reportedly died from injuries in the hospital.
A second death, Paola Andreina Ramirez was confirmed in Tachira state. “The woman did not participate in the protest, she was four blocks from the protest and safely sheltered in the Plaza San Carlos … with other people when the fighting started,” a journalist at the scene told EFE. There are no confirmed reports on the events that led to her death and the local public ministry has opened an official investigation intothe events.
In a separate incident, a pro-government demonstrator was seriously injured when she was hit in the head with a bottle thrown from a building. Venezuelan journalist Roman Camacho reported that the woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. RT journalists reported seeing opposition demonstrators throwing things from buildings, which were later confirmed to be glass jars and ice jars.
The opposition’s “Mega March” calling for Maduro’s ouster comes after more than a week of violent protests that have left several dead and caused an estimated 50 billion bolivars in damages. Among the fatalities is a one-year-old boy who was shot and killed when opposition protesters entered a social housing complex during the protests and an 83-year-old woman who died after not being able to receive medical attention due to opposition roadblocks.
A high school, a community health center, various subsidized food markets and several government offices have also been attacked, authorities said.
Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said the Chavista march will be a “lesson” to those who “promote intervention, but also to the imperial powers that today dare to stuck their noses where no one has asked them to.”
Rodriguez said Venezuela would defend its sovereignty in any scenario, even if it’s not as part of the Organization of American States. The head of the regional bloc, Luis Almagro, has been working with Venezuelan opposition leaders to spearhead a campaign to apply the so-called “Democratic Charter” against the country, effectively removing Venezuela from the OAS.
Venezuelan leaders maintain this is part of a plot to justify an intervention.
“The project for Venezuela is not to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, but rather the intervention and permanent tutelage that will prevent Venezuela from continuing to develop its project of a great nation, its Bolivarian project, but also what it has meant as an ideological reference for the region,” said Rodriguez.
On Tuesday, President Maduro accused the U.S. government had “given the green light” for a coup in the country, and said that security forces had arrested an “armed commando group sent by the opposition in order to attack the mobilization called by the right-wing for Wednesday to generate violence and deaths in the country.”
More Than 20 Countries Show Solidarity with Venezuela’s Revolution
Events are planned around the world to coincide with demonstrations taking place in Caracas by government supporters..
Solidarity movements from more than 20 countries around the world will hold a day of solidarity with Venezuela, in response to heightened calls for intervention by opposition sectors inside the country as well as from regional governments, including the United States.
“Just as on April 19 we will have a great demonstration here in Caracas … at the same time, a decision was made at a meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum held in Mexico approving a day of solidarity for Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution and rejection of this attempt by the (U.S. empire) and its allies to intervene,” said Adan Chavez, the director for International Affairs of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV.
Demonstrations are planned in Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and various other Latin American countries, coinciding with demonstrations taking place in the Venezuelan capital by both government supporters and opponents of the Bolivarian government.
Forums, talks, and other activities in solidarity with Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution are also planned in various other countrie,s including Turkey as well as in Hong Kong and Italy.
Movements and prominent left-wing intellectuals from across the world have been demonstrating in support of the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuelan government, which has seen an unprecedented internal and external attack with the aim of toppling the government and reversing the social gains made under successive left-wing administrations.
On Tuesday, trade unionists, intellectuals and social organizations in the U.K. called for respect for Venezuela’s national sovereignty and for the cessation of interference. Trade unions from Mexico, including the Mexican Electricians Union, also released a statement calling for non-interference in the South American nation’s affairs.
Gerardo Hernandez and Antonio Guerrero, two of the five Cubans who were jailed in the United States for infiltrating terrorist cells planning attacks on the island, released statements in support of Venezuela and criticizing attempts “to destabilize our brother nation of Venezuela.”
“The Venezuelan people will stand and win under the example of the eternal commander Hugo Chávez and the guidance of his president, Nicolás Maduro,” Guerrero said.
While government supporters gather in Caracas, the opposition has also convened a “Mega March” calling for Maduro’s ouster, which comes after more than a week of violent protests have left several dead and causing an estimated 50 billion bolivars in damages. Among the fatalities is a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed when opposition protesters entered a social housing complex during the protests and an 83-year-old woman who died after not being able to receive medical attention due to opposition roadblocks.
A high school, a community health center, various subsidized food markets, and several government offices have also been attacked, authorities said.
On Thursday, President Maduro accused the U.S. government of having “given the green light” for a coup in the country and said that security forces had arrested an “armed commando group sent by the opposition in order to attack the mobilization called by the right-wing for Wednesday to generate violence and deaths in the country.”