Demonstrations for and against the regime scheduled for today, the anniversary of Venezuela’s 1810 independence from Spain.
As The Guardian put it, Venezuela braces for the ‘mother of all protests’ as both sides call for rallies.
In anticipation, Maduro announced that the popular militia has added another 50,000 members (link in Spanish) – to an estimated total of 500,000. The regular armed forces total 160,000 with army reserves of 25,000, according to Clarín (see their FB video).
Hugo Chávez created the so-called popular militia in 2010 (allegedly with Iran’s assistance), to defend the “socialist revolution.” I have posted in the past about the deadly colectivos, the government-sponsored marauding motorcycle gangs doing the dirty work. They and the military are the only ones allowed firearms.
Additionally, the regime summoned all government employees to congregate in front of the presidential palace,
— Emiliana Duarte (@emiduarte) April 19, 2017
Recent protests have left five dead, and hundreds injured.
Will today’s demonstrations have any lasting effect? Or instead
Venezuelans will be doing something that feels historic, but the expectation that we can agree on its meaning either now or in the future seems misplaced.
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.
“Maduro’s GBN [Bolivarian National Guard] Mercenaries ATTACK the opposition’s march in #Maracaibo”
— TemplarioResistencia (@TemplarioResisT) April 19, 2017
“NOW Venezuelans throw themselves into the Guaire river upon the GN’s repression on Francisco Fajardo highway.”
— VenezuelaSomosTodos (@ComandoSB) April 19, 2017