Police Block Venezuelan Retirees Protest

Maduro defends “his country”.  Police repression continues unabated in Venezuela in the face of nearly daily protests. Cartoon: Miguel Guillen /laprensa.com.ni

HAVANA TIMES — Police cordoned off the route a march of retired people were taking towards the Department of Protection of Citizens’ Rights, as the nearly daily protests continue against the Venezuelan Government, reported dpa news.

The so-called “grandparents march” managed to partially achieve its objective, as they got past a first security barrier, but they only got half-way to the Department of Protection of Citizens’ Rights in the heart of Caracas.

Before passing the first control point, a scuffle ensued when the police started using gas on the seniors, which left at least 5 protestors with signs of choking.

The latest round of protests began in Venezuela on April 4th, after two rulings from the Supreme Court of Justice stripped the National Assembly of its powers. After 5 weeks, there have been 39 deaths and approximately 800 people injured.

Yesterday’s protest started at Brion square, in the Chacao municipality, to the east of Caracas, but it was met by National Police, who sprayed the retirees with pepper gas after being pushed, according to the organizers’ statements.

After the incident, the police agreed to open up the way to the downtown Libertador avenue, where the police cordon was reinforced with a metal wall which blocked access to the Department of Protection of Citizens’ Rights office.

A representative from that office showed up, claiming that they couldn’t receive the retirees because there was a shortage of space.

The protestors replied that they didn’t have a manifesto to hand into the Department, but that they were instead demanding a response to the 10 documents they had already handed in beforehand, one of which had asked for the food and medicine vouchers that the National Assembly (Congress) had approved, but that the Government claims that it doesn’t have the resources to pay these out.

The president of the National Retirees and Pensioners Federation in Venezuela, Emilio Lozada, said that they were demanding a response to several letters that they had sent beforehand.

“We want a response to these demands; we are tired of bringing pieces of paper. The Department must accept what has been set out in the Constitution,” he said.

Another protestor, Raul Damian, protested the fact that the police had blocked the road to the Department, which violated their right to free movement.

“I demand my right to march, we’ve come to ask for freedom today, for democracy, for this repression to come to an end and that they let us go to the Department of Protection of Citizens’ Rights. If this continues, we’ll have to call for civil rebellion,” he stressed.

Opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, also arrived on the scene and criticized the actions of the police against the retirees.

“Nobody has the right to attack a grandparent. They are the moral reserve of this country. They sprayed them with pepper spray; that is unacceptable,” he pointed out.

Capriles went on to say that these grandparents are also asking for elections, democracy and a solution to the crisis because of food and medicine shortages.

The opposition said that protests would continue over the weekend, with a march of mothers on Sunday.

4 thoughts on “Police Block Venezuelan Retirees Protest

  • Cuba has yet another problem. Venezuelan oil wasn’t EXACTLY free. The Castros pimped out Cuban doctors and engineers in exchange for the oil. If the oil stops, the doctors will have to come home. Although Cuba could certainly use the medical staff they have sent to Venezuela all over Cuba, they can’t afford to pay them. Worse yet, these doctors have an appetite for life outside of Cuba. Even in Venezuela, at least until recently, life was better than it was in Cuba. So far, Raúl has promised to leave médical staff in Venezuela at current levels. The truth is that he may not have a choice.

  • Time is running out on oil subsidy to Cuba. The first of Russian oil shipments has arrived in Cuba as even Raul knows the gig is up with Maduro’s regime. The next Gov in Venezuela is unlikely to be passing out free oil.

  • Excellent cartoon of yet another would-be communist dictator. One of the difficulties for Maduro is that the old people remember better times.

  • The Castros monarchy needs that oil to any cost,

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