Long Post-Protest Night in Venezuela Ends with Confusion, Riots and One Dead
EspañolVenezuela made it through a long night full of tension, disinformation, riots and repression. One person reportedly died.
On Thursday, April 20, Caracas was the scene of looting, blockades, tear gas and much confusion on social media.
The resurgence of violence was so strong that 50 children were forced to evacuate a hospital because of excess of tear gas.
And then there was the information blackout. The media did not report what was happening and hundreds of Venezuelans were guided by rumors of an alleged military uprising, unofficial audio sent through whatsapp, dark videos and reports on Twitter.
The west side of Caracas, which has traditionally supported Maduro’s policies, became a war zone on Thursday night, most specifically in El Valle, La Urbina, Petare and El Paraiso.
Neighbors in those areas said the Bolivarian National Guard fired tear gas into buildings in the middle of the night.
A surprising image spread through social media showing a large projection of the phrase “Dictator Maduro” and “Murderer Maduro” on the side of a building in the neighborhood El Paraiso.
— Carabobo Reporta (@caraboboreporta) April 21, 2017
Tweet: The resistance and civil disobedience expressed in all its forms. Projection on a building in El Paraiso, Caracas.
Clashes between security forces and radical demonstrators led to the evacuation of 54 children who were being held at the maternity and children’s hospital in El Valle.
“The dictator ordered his people to repress our people of El Valle in Caracas,” opposition leader and Governor of Miranda Henrique Capriles said.
Meanwhile, Mayor of Sucre, Carlos Ocariz, reported Friday morning that a person identified as Melvin Guaitan was killed during the protests in the Cinco de Julio neighborhood, at the entrance of Petare.
1. Con mucho dolor informo la muerte por impacto de bala de Melvin Guaitan, humilde trabajador vecino del Barrio Sucre #Petare.
— Carlos Ocariz (@CarlosOcariz) April 21, 2017
Tweet: With great pain, I must inform you all of Melvin Guaitan’s death, a humble worker from the Sucre neighborhood was killed by a bullet.
According to Ocariz, Guaitan died from a bullet wound, but he did not offer more details and demanded an investigation into his death.
Southeast of Caracas, in areas such as Santa Fe, La Trinidad and Baruta, riots and lootings were also reported.
Meanwhile, there was a blackout in the Simon Bolivar airport in Maiquetia.
— Noticias Venezuela (@NoticiasVenezue) April 21, 2017
Tweet: Reports of blackouts in Maquetia airport.
A ESTA HORA | 12:52 am – Restablecido servicio eléctrico en terminales del aeropuerto de Maiquetia: Aterriza vuelo de Panamá y otro de Miami
— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRodNews) April 21, 2017
Tweet: AT THIS TIME 12:52am Electricity restored at Maquetia airport terminals. Flight from Panama and another from Miami have landed.
Reflecting lights lit up the city near the Presidential Palace, which caused a commotion because they were interfering with antiaircraft reflectors that are usually not on.
— El Nuevo País y Zeta (@enpaiszeta) April 21, 2017
Tweet: ATTENTION Antiaircraft emergency lights were on several hours ago in Miraflores.
Chavez supporter Freddy Bernal tried to publicize the problem, but no media outlets, not even government-run channels, broadcasted his statements.