[News] Protests, Disturbances, and Violence Continue in Venezuela, General Strike a “Failure”
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 16 17:54:02 EDT 2013
Protests, Disturbances, and Violence Continue in Venezuela, General
Strike a “Failure”
Merida, April 16^th 2013
This afternoon president Maduro said the opposition’s call for a general
strike today had “failed”. He also blamed the losing candidate in
Sunday’s elections, Henrique Capriles, for the seven deaths last night.
Maduro said last night’s violence was part of a plan “to take Venezuela
off the road of democracy”, and called on the people to be peaceful and
not “fall for provocations”.
He also declared “the coup d’état defeated”, and inaugurated a health
centre in Miranda state. However he said it seemed the “destabilisations
will continue”. Though there has been no direct attempt to overthrow the
government, some government authorities have referred to the
opposition’s refusal to recognise the election results as a “coup” or
part of an attempt to bring about a coup.
President of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena said
yesterday that the electoral system functioned “perfectly” on Sunday.
She urged Henrique Capriles, who has not recognised the results, to use
legal methods to present his complaints. 54% of the votes were audited
on Sunday in the presence of booth witnesses from both political
parties, and no problems were found, but opposition protestors are
demanding that 100% of the votes be recounted.
Telesur reports that according to CNE norms, the opposition have “twenty
[working] days to contest the results, they can do it through the
Supreme Court, or the CNE, but they should formalise it, and not do it
through the media”.
“Majority is majority, and should be respected under a democracy, they
shouldn’t seek ambushes and invent things in order to make popular
sovereignty vulnerable... that has just one name, “coup-ism”
[/golpismo/],” Maduro said yesterday.
Last night seven people were killed as a result of opposition violence;
two in Caracas, three in Ojeda, Zulia, one in Cumana, and one person in
The opposition set fire to 18 Central Diagnostic Centres (CDIs – part of
the Barrio Adentro health mission), and 3 subsidised food markets
(Mercals). They also attacked the director of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena’s
house, and the Telesur and VTV offices.
There are also unconfirmed reports of four attacks on housing mission
buildings in Miranda, with seven people killed and ten injured.
The governor of Carabobo state, Francisco Ameliach, reported that 8 CDIs
were “besieged” and Cuban doctors were attacked in his state. He said 64
people were detained inside the CDI, and “should go to jail, because
we’re not going to tolerate a coup d’état here”.
In Merida, around 700 mostly young opposition students protested outside
the CNE, as well as in four other places in the city.
Venezuelanalysis.com observed that police presence was light, and most
police unarmed. Many of the students armed themselves with rocks and
glass bottles however, as though hoping something would happen. There
were similar such protests outside most of the country’s main CNE
Many people have posted photos
around social networks, claiming they are of the CNE disposing of
Sunday’s ballot boxes, though they are in fact of the CNE disposing of
2010 voting boxes, as the law requires. Media like La Patilla and RCTV
have also used the photos.
Further, pundit Nelson Bocaranda tweeted that the “CDI in La Paz, Gallo
Verde, Maracaibo is hiding some electoral boxes and the Cubans there
won’t allow them to be removed”. Opposition television station
Globovision has been arguing that “if they don’t want to count the
votes, they must have something to hide”.
Capriles called for marches around the country to each state’s head CNE
office for today, and for a large march lead by him tomorrow to the
headquarters of the CNE in Caracas.
President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, reported through
Twitter that he will propose an investigation to the assembly against
Capriles for the acts of violence. Luisa Ortega said the public
prosecutor’s office will investigate the seven confirmed deaths.
Further, the suspension of the right to carry arms in place during the
election, as is the custom, has been extended to this Saturday 6.00pm,
following last night’s violence.
State, municipal, and national police are also confined to barracks
until Saturday. Police need permission from the National Bolivarian
Armed Forces strategic operational command to intervene or act on any of
the violence taking place.
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