Venezuela: Music and Daring against Maduro
HAVANA TIMES – In the two weeks of protests in Venezuela against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, which continued on Saturday, there has been more than smoke, arms and shields: there has also been room for the language of nonviolence to the point of nudity and creativity, reported dpa news.
Since April 4, when the latest round of protests began, 21 people have died both in the demonstrations and in violent collateral events, but there have also been anonymous demonstrators who chose a way of expressing their discontent in the face of a military and police force which continues its repressive action, using tear gas as its preferred artillery.
This week, a message with lights on a building on the west side of Caracas in the style of the famous emergency signal that the authorities used to request the aid of Batman in Gotham City, but that in this case said: “Maduro, dictator”.
Meanwhile, a grandmother restrained the advance of an armored military car unarmed with a Venezuelan flag as a cape. One protester confronted the police naked to ask them to stop launching tear gas and another responded to the onslaught by improvising a concert on the 4-string guitar always present in Venezuelan folk music.
The group of anonymous demonstrators was also present. The reggaeton and latino pop duo Chino and Nacho, who split recently, but each participated, individually, in the protests. Miguel Ignacio Mendoza and Jesus Miranda changed the lights of the stage at times by the concurrent demonstrations in Caracas.
The performers of the hit “My Pretty Girl” personally called on the protesters to maintain their demands.
Mendoza, better known as Nacho, was seen clearing a section of the Francisco de Miranda highway, scene of the skirmishes, of stones and debris used as projectiles against the police.
Miranda, who also ventured into the cinema, was photographed in one of the entrances of the Caracas Metro one day of an announced march and ready to walk.
Nacho has had a greater presence in the reheated Venezuelan political scene, since last year he was a speaker at a session of the National Assembly (Congress), dominated by the opposition.
Despite the fame of the singers, more headlines were captured by the naked protester who confronted the police, who after the initial surprise threw a tear gas canaster at his feet.
The young man faced the squad with a bible in hand. He climbed up the front of an armored car and shouted at the operator to stop throwing bombs. With only shoes, white socks and a bag crossed to his chest, he won the title of “libertario” of the highway, but in addition to the bombs he suffered dozens of pellet wounds.
Maduro mocked him. Speaking at a medical center, he described the protester as putting on a “show” for appearing naked before the authorities and stated that the ridiculousness of the opposition has no limits.
“Good thing he did not drop a bar of soap (suggesting that it would be in the shower) because that photo would have been detestable. Horror: Imagine him picking up the soap for the picture, “it would have been horrible,” he added in the midst of laughter from his followers.
A day earlier, a woman emulated the scene of Tiananmen Square in the 1989 riots in China, when a man stood in front of a war tank. She stepped in front of an armored police car, which protesters call “rhinoceroses,” and did not move despite being hit by a barrage of gas.
With a flag tied around her neck and a three color cap, she endured the onslaught for a few moments until she was detained by riot police. She won “brave” and “heroic” headlines by containing the repressive action on the highway Wednesday, a day in which protests left three dead and dozens injured.
Little is known about the woman. She has short, gray hair that stayed very close to the police line and refused to back down despite the smoke. She only covered his eyes and nose with a piece of cloth.
The woman was taken away on a motorcycle by two policemen, which triggered reports that she had been arrested. No authority confirmed the arrest. A person who said he had met her said that she is of Portuguese origin, that she was free and that he did not seek fame.
Another protester, his face covered with a cloth impregnated with vinegar against the gas, met the onslaught musically. In the middle of a highway where the smoke and stones stood out on the stage, the man gave a display of his skill with the four-string guitar and a personal repertoire.
“He faces repression with a concert,” the media said, presenting him as a prankster who responded to the bombs with musical pieces. His photo, raising the four as a weapon of resistance, also brought cheers.