Pro And Anti-Government Marches Take Streets Of Caracas

| Resist!

Above Photo: Tens of thousands turned out for the Chavista march (AVN – Gregorio Terán)

Caracas, March 14, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Rival marches flooded the streets of Caracas on Saturday as Venezuelans voiced their respective support for and opposition to the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

On the pro-government side, tens of thousands of Chavistas marched through the streets of heavily working class downtown Caracas expressing their firm rejection of a US executive order labeling Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat”.

 

"Venezuela is love" (AVN)

“Venezuela is love” (AVN)

Originally signed in March 2015, the decree was renewed by President Obama on March 4, provoking an outcry across the continent with regional multilateral blocs, including the CELAC, UNASUR, and ALBA, strongly denouncing the move.

Holding up signs reading “Venezuela respects itself” and “Obama repeal the decree now!”, the marchers vented their anger at US imperialism and President Obama, whom they lambasted as the “boss of the opposition”. 

President Maduro likewise took aim at the US leader, whom he accused of promoting double standards regarding human rights.

“Venezuela is not the country who bombs defenseless peoples, financially strangulates nations who don’t do its bidding, or denies entry to war refugees; in no way can the Venezuelan government or its people be considered a threat,” he declared, speaking from the Plaza O’Leary near Miraflores Palace.

 

"No to the rat Obama's decree! Long-live Chávez" (ALBA-TV)

“No to the rat Obama’s decree! Long-live Chávez” (ALBA-TV)

The head of state also took the opportunity to dismiss calls for his resignation, pledging to continue in his post “until the last day [of his term] which Chávez left him with the support of the people.”

Meanwhile, the call for Maduro’s resignation was the principal demand of a several thousand-strong opposition march that took to the streets of Caracas’ wealthy eastern municipality of Chacao that same afternoon. 

The demonstration is part of a four-pronged strategy unveiled by the opposition coalition last week to secure the “exit” of Maduro, which includes a recall referendum, a constitutional amendment shortening the presidential term, a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution, and protests demanding the president’s resignation.

But the march saw lower turnout than expected, and attracted signicantly lower numbers than the opposition-led protests of 2014.

In his speech at the rally, National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup alluded to this “despair” among the opposition bases and called for renewed spirit.

 

"Proudly Chavista" (ALBA-TV)

“Proudly Chavista” (ALBA-TV)

“For us, any sacrifice is small, but please: we need more inspiration, more aid, more encouragement… We are going to temper our own despair,” he declared. 

Other MUD political leaders such as rightwing hardliner, Maria Corina Machado, appeared to call on the crowd to use non-constitutional means to oust the national government. 

“Some say that it is pointless to demand the resignation (of Maduro). I am telling you all, naive is he who believes that the resignation will be voluntary!”she told supporters. 

After two months in command of the country’s National Assembly, the opposition coalition has thus far failed to pass its legislative agenda, including the highly controversial Amnesty Law, still in discussion and subject to subsequent constitutional review by the Supreme Court. 

The opposition march - "We are here because we want change," "Get out! Venezuela doesn't want you!," "Down with chains," "Amnesty for political prisoners" (From left, Alba-TV)

The opposition march – “We are here because we want change,” “Get out! Venezuela doesn’t want you!,” “Down with chains,” “Amnesty for political prisoners” (From left, Alba-TV) 

 

 

The renewal of the decree will be debated in the National Assembly this week.

  • Mary Wehrheim

    From General Butler’s “War is a Racket” to Perkin’s “Economic Hitman,” many have long pointed out that the purpose of US foreign policy is to foam the runway for corporate interests to make exploitative incursions into other countries. The double-speak blather of “spreading freedom and democracy” comes off as a sick cynical joke as the US Cold War Strategy is to provide military training and backing for a country’s oligarchical interests who play ball with the corporations against any indigenous “communist inspired” agitation for land, resource or social reform. Venezuela being the most current example showing on whose side we always stick our saber in the sand.

  • mwildfire

    Language matters: that’s why we don’t say “he” anymore to mean “a person.” When you say “we” to refer to what the US government or its military do, you imply that this is done on behalf of America in general, that it’s supported generally by the people. We= you + me, and neither you nor I support this imperialism. The first step to ending this may be delegitimizing the arrogance and oppression by saying “they”, not “we” or “our.”

  • Jon

    Amen to that! I’ve been making this point for sometime. Another is the euphemism “neoliberal.” Nothing “liberal” at all about the rapacious appetite of corporate globalism. Call it NEOFEUDALISM, in which pressure and control is all sided squeezing like a boa constrictor.