Ethnic and class divisions
Significant opposition among the well off
I would say with confidence, tens of thousands of people out here today just as I saw probably tens of thousands of people at the pro-opposition rally. The people here are very peaceful. The atmosphere is rather festive.
“Absolutely no evidence” of government oppression
What is notable about this, of course, is that Western leaders have characterised Nicolás Maduro as a brutal dictator, and have accused the security forces under his command of having committed numerous atrocities against Venezuelan protesters and those who support the opposition.
I’ve seen absolutely no evidence of that here.
What minimal police or military presence he reports having seen appears to be limited to guiding car and foot traffic.
Lascaris ‘contrasted’ the minimal police presence to the over-policing he had seen in Canadian and US protests.
Lascaris then takes it home, saying:
the self-proclaimed president is openly asking the military to rebel against the elected president Nicolás Maduro, and is effectively fomenting a military coup. Despite that fact, and despite the fact that these protesters are here to show their support for that politician, who has never been elected as president of Venezuela, there’s absolutely no indication, at least at this protest, that the government seeks to suppress the right of those who are opposed to the Maduro regime to express their dissent, and even to call for the removal of the president.
On 3 February 2019, BBC journalist Orla Guerin said:
We could not attend the pro government rally, so we used the pictures broadcast by state TV. Had we attended it ourselves we would have relied on our own pictures. Some local sources raised questions about the authenticity of the crowd shots, hence the reference in our piece
— Orla Guerin (@OrlaGuerin) February 3, 2019
When asked why she couldn’t attend the rally, she replied:
Were it only that simple. Both events happened at the same time in different places. Crowds made it difficult to move at all. But if you think you can be in two places at once, you might let me know how that is done.
— Orla Guerin (@OrlaGuerin) February 3, 2019
Um, go to one and then the other? Seemingly plenty of other people have managed that.
— Josef Davies-Coates (@jdaviescoates) February 4, 2019
Finally, Canary contributor Pablo Navarrete replied:
I lived in Venezuela for two years (2005-2007) and regularly attended both anti and pro-govt marches in the same day. Very easily. I have been back on numerous occasions and have been there when both sides hold protests and have attended both. Your explanation sounds unconvincing
— Pablo Navarrete (@pablonav1) February 3, 2019
If nothing else, Lascaris’s brief report from Venezuela confirms Navarrete and Davies-Coates’s points.
Featured image and all other images in article via YouTube – TRNN
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