[News] Venezuela Opposition 'Escalates' Anti-Government Protests, Remains Silent on Right-Wing Violence

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 29 13:42:05 EDT 2017


  Venezuela Opposition 'Escalates' Anti-Government Protests, Remains
  Silent on Right-Wing Violence

May 29, 2017

Right-wing leaders in Venezuela have called for an escalation of 
protests as a fresh set of marches for and against the government are 
set to hit the streets Monday and political tensions continue to run 
high after nearly two months of opposition demonstrations aimed at 
forcing President Nicolas Maduro out of office.

    Venezuelan Opposition Mob Beats Retired National Guard to Death

Opposition groups will march in Caracas towards the Ombudsman’s office 
Monday, while government supporters will head toward the Miraflores 
Presidential Palace under the banner of “Peace, Life and Constituent 

Ahead of the latest round of opposing demonstrations, opposition leader 
and vice president of the National Assembly, Freddy Guevara, called on 
supporters to “get ready for an escalation,” saying anti-government 
groups will “significantly” increase “pressure” in the streets against 

Meanwhile, opposition leader Henrique Capriles, head of the opposition 
Justice First party who lost the last two presidential elections while 
representing the opposition MUD coalition, stoked the opposition 
protests — which have increasingly spilled over into violence — by 
accusing the government of being responsible for violence.

“The government’s hand is behind the burned buses, the barricades, the 
acts of vandalism,” Capriles said, according to Venezuela’s El Universal.

A total of 51 buses were burned last week in an attack on a transport 
company in Puerto Ordaz. Capriles took to Twitter after the incident to 
blame the government, writing, “They burn, loot, destroy everything to 
try to detract from the legitimate protest of the people.” On the other 
hand, the ruling socialist party governor in the state of Bolivar, 
Francisco Rangel, slammed as an opposition “terrorist act” on his 
Twitter account.

Maduro called on the opposition Sunday to condemn such “terrorist acts,” 
accusing right-wing leaders of generating violence.

“The opposition, by silence, is complicit in criminal terrorism that 
murders innocent people in the streets,” the president said in his 
weekly program, arguing that it has been already made clear that the 
opposition is to blame for violence. “The ultra-right is held hostage by 
terrorist groups that they themselves created.”

    Venezuelan Women Debate Constituent Assembly Proposals

More than 60 people have been killed 
in incidents linked to protests since the opposition launched an ongoing 
wave of anti-government demonstrations at the beginning of April, 
according to government officials. In the latest violent incident, a 
former member of the National Guard was beaten to death by an opposition 
Saturday in the state of Lara in what Maduro condemned as a “hate crime 
… by a group of criminals, murderers, violent protesters.”

Although the dozens of people killed amid protests have died from a 
range of different causes — including at least 18 shot by assailants 
during protests, 13 killed during looting, eight killed at violent 
barricades, and five killed by police — right-wing leaders have painted 
the death toll as the result of a violent crackdown on the opposition 
marches by government forces.

Monday’s opposition march claims to be in memory of those “fallen” in 
recent weeks of protests, but leaders have failed to condemn the 
violence that has repeatedly broken out in the ranks of its supporters 
during demonstrations.

“Today May 29 begins another stage of greater constitutional pressure,” 
Capriles wrote on his Twitter account. “We Venezuelans want answers and 
solutions to the crisis!”

The opposition has rejected Maduro’s national Constituent Assembly — 
called to initiate a democratic process to rewrite the country’s 
constitution and promote dialogue as solution to the intense political 
deadlock. Instead, right-wing leaders have called for an “escalation” of 
protests against the socialist government.

Maduro described the Constituent Assembly Sunday as a process of 
"revolutionary change" and a "great power" for a "new stage" in Venezuela.

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