Venezuelan Regime Raids Homes Searching for Opposition Leader Amid Violent ProtestsPosted: February 18, 2014
Frances Martel reports: Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has a violent situation on his hands, as protests against the socialist regime escalate and the death toll rises. Reuters reports that protesters have vowed to continue until Maduro resigns, but Maduro has only escalated the oppression, raiding Caracas homes in search of opposition leader Leopoldo López.
The streets of Caracas–already among the world’s most violent thanks to more than a decade of rule under Hugo Chávez–were aflame this weekend as Venezuelans used the national “Youth Day” holiday to trigger protests against the socialist dictatorship this weekend. This Youth Day, a holiday celebrating a battle of independence against Spain, three student protesters were reported dead and 23 injured thanks to government violence. The protest itself was peaceful; violence began when it culminated and police agitated the remaining protesters.
“I tell you, Maduro, you are a coward. You will not force my family nor myself to submit. To my family: Strength, I love you”
López tweeted yesterday. He also posted a video describing the protest and the next steps for his supporters…
In response to the deaths, President Maduro called the protesters “fascists” andinsisted on the arrest of major opposition leader Leopoldo López. López has been a fixture in Venezuelan opposition since the late 1990s, when Hugo Chávez began amassing what became a total of 26 criminal charges against him for being a leader of student protests against socialism. Rather than back down, López entered public life, becoming the mayor of the city of Chacao in 2000. He has since remained a prominent opposition leader and loudly encouraged the protests of this weekend.
Maduro accuses López of “murder and terrorism in connection with violence around four days of sporadic anti-government protests,” including the protest this weekend that killed three. The arrest warrant for López is the second of two major decisions by Maduro to stall the protests–the second was to expel three U.S. envoys from the country. Maduro alleges that the envoys were working with student protesters to destabilize the country to the benefit of the CIA…
- Venezuelan Protests Turn Violent (memolition.com)
- Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to be arrested (spyghana.com)
- Venezuelan security forces hunt Leopoldo López (scotsman.com)
- Venezuelan manhunt underway for opposition leader (stripes.com)
- Venezuelan manhunt underway for opposition leader (star-telegram.com)
- Venezuela expels US officials amid protests and demonstrations (insidecostarica.com)