Venezuelans opposing the government of Nicolas Maduro flooded the streets of Caracas on Thursday in a peaceful demonstration supporting their constitutional right to a recall referendum.
Maduro responded by jailing activists and deploying security forces to elevate tensions. Police and military made their presence on the streets of Caracas throughout the week to warn the people, and as a display of power. The president claimed that a coup was in process and that he and his supporters managed to stop it from happening. He announced that in the coming weeks, he will be removing the opposition’s parliamentary immunity.
The ‘Caracas takeover’
The call for the “Caracas takeover” to occur on September 1 started months ago, as the National Electoral Council has refused to provide the dates and guidelines for carrying out the recall referendum, which has already been approved and is a legal measure present in the Venezuelan constitution.
The Caracas takeover occurs in a time where the so-called Pink Tide of Latin America begins to depreciate, as Argentina recently elected a right-wing president and Brazil ousted its leftist president Dilma Rousseff on corruption charges.
International pressure coming from the Organization of American States and sanctions sponsored by the Obama administration are slowly driving Maduro’s regime to a closure, which according to the Venezuelan opposition, must be in line with the constitution.
The demonstration was jovial and high-spirited, even if it did not change anything on Venezuela’s complex political scenario. Several concentration points were set out throughout the city of Caracas in order to finally rally the masses and fill the capital’s most circulated district.
Maduro saw that one of the points of concentration was the iconic Plaza Venezuela, located near Venezuela’s Central University, a common point of political conflict. Maduro responded to the opposition’s rally by calling forth his supporters to congregate in the plaza.
Opposition leaders opted for not confronting the regime, and instead they switched the meeting place to another location.
All of this was an attempt to ensure peace and avoid the government’s intentions of causing a social breakout which would allow it to break the constitutional order and ultimately escape from its certain defeat in the form of the recall referendum.
The opposition vowed to keep pressuring the government and to keep fighting for freedom and the will of the majority of Venezuelans, who wish for a country that can satisfy their basic needs and keep them secure.
An American nation fighting for democracy
Venezuela’s inflation and murder rates are kept secret by the government-controlled entities. Because there is no reliable registration, police forces and the judicial system do not keep track of the apprehensions that occur over each year.
Venezuela’s jails are teeming with prisoners resembling mafias, where they own military-grade weaponry, including grenades and assault rifles. People can visit jails and buy subsidized products in them, which otherwise are hard if not impossible to find in local supermarkets.
Corruption in Venezuela reaches such a level that the nephews of the Venezuelan First Lady, Cilia Flores, are currently being held by the DEA as they attempted to smuggle hundreds of kilos of cocaine to the U.S., while also using diplomatic passports, most assuredly provided by the Maduro’s regime.
Currently, they are facing a life in prison, but because the case has political implications, the Obama administration has opted to act carefully on this matter, all in favor of the downfall of the oppressive Maduro regime that sponsors human right violations, corruption, and drug trafficking.
Millions of Venezuelans gathered on the streets and sang the national anthem on Thursday.