Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Chickens Out in Costa Rica

Protesters march against Nicolás Maduro, who decided not to show up at UCR. (David Rodríguez)
Around 80 protesters marched against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who decided not to show up at UCR. (David Rodríguez)

EspañolVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was due to speak at University of Costa Rica’s (UCR) Rodrigo Facio campus on Wednesday, January 28. UCR’s Student Federation and university authorities had confirmed his acceptance of an invitation, but — to the disappointment of many — he failed to show up.

Instead, the audience at UCR’s law school auditorium had to make do with the altogether less A-List Evo Morales, president of Bolivia. Prior to the event, a group of some 80 protesters, myself among them, gathered outside campus and marched to the building.

Chavista sympathizers, undaunted by the lack of a photo opportunity with their idol, waited for us outside the auditorium and threatened us with insults and chants, seemingly incensed by our peaceful calls for the Venezuelan regime to respect basic human rights.

We reminded the pro-ALBA students that their beloved Maduro had abandoned them by deciding not to show: “Coward! Maduro is a coward!”

Despite the non-violent nature of the protest, some Maduro sympathizers tried to attack us, as shown in this recording. “That’s socialism!” chanted the pro-human-rights group in response.

January 28, 2015, will be remembered as the day when a group of young people, mostly from the Libertarian Movement’s youth wing, but also independent individuals and those from other parties, stood up for Costa Rica’s values, and the values that the University of Costa Rica seems to have forgotten.

Nicolás Maduro, and his bloody regime, correspond in no way, shape, or form, with those principles. It’s just a shame that, once the university invited him, Maduro was too chicken to come and defend himself in person, and left his lackeys to do it for him.

Translated by Daniel Duarte.

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