Women in Venezuela dress like Cuban ‘Damas de Blanco’ to march

Women in Venezuela responded to Lilian Tintori's call to march on Saturday. Their dress code followed the Cuban "Damas de Blanco" demonstrations to protest human rights violations with political prisoners on the Communist island. 

Venezuelans in South Florida followed the demonstrations under the hash tag "Mujeres Contra La Represion," Spanish for Women Against Repression. The slogan of the protest, Tintori said on social media, was "NO + REPRESIÓN," no more repression. 

A few of the women on the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas decided to go topless. While standing near the Venezuelan National Guard officers in riot gear, witnesses said they shouted in Spanish: "We don't have rifles, our weapons are our boobs." A pair of women did the same in Aragua

Tintori is married to Leopoldo López, the leader of President Nicolas Maduro's opposition. He has been in prison since 2014, and he hasn't been allowed to see his attorney for 33 days, Tintori said. The women were responding to her call to protest the repression. 

This week Maduro called for a new Constitution. The power grab move came amid a brutal police crackdown that began after the pro-Maduro Supreme Court moved to seize legislative powers. Even Luisa Ortega, Maduro's attorney general, opposed it and the decision was reversed.  

Unable to silence the demonstrators asking for elections, authorities said the death toll from the protests rused to 37 on Friday. Most of the victims were in their 20s and fire arms were involved in at least a dozen deaths. Maduro's administration has armed the urban guerrillas that support Chávismo. 

Henrique Capriles, a 44-year-old leader of the opposition, received an order from comptroller general banning him from running for office for 15 years. Capriles read excerpts of the order to a crowd on Friday and shouted a message for Maduro: "The only one who is disqualified here is you." 

Nikki Haley, the United States  ambassador to the United Nations, released a statement accusing Maduro of "disregard for the fundamental rights of his own people" during the "violent crackdown."

Videos of the violence on the streets of Venezuela continued to emerge on social media. One showed members of the Venezuelan National Guard attacking medical volunteers. The uniformed agents damaged a red truck with the proper Green Cross insignia. 

One of the volunteers told reporters on Wednesday night that the uniformed agents damaged their property, stole equipment and wounded two volunteers.  They shot tear gas and rubber bullets, the volunteer said. 

Music students were also mourning a recent victim this weekend. Armando Cañizales Carrillo played the viola and the violin. His funeral was on Friday.

The 18-year-old student wanted to become a doctor like his mother and was shot dead while protesting in the municipality of Baruta. Authorities said he was shot in the neck. The music students played the national anthem in his memory. 

Some supporters of the opposition in Miami-Dade County's Doral neighborhood continue to hope for a Venezuelan military intervention similar to the 1958 coup that installed democracy for the first time in the oil-rich country.

But before his death in 2013, Hugo Chávez made sure that his loyal allies ruled the military. Maduro's supporters were concerned after three lieutenants' recently escaped to Colombia. 

Meanwhile Tintori said she was deeply worried about her husband. She said she and their to children haven't been able to see Lopez, 46. Maduro's administration released a short "proof of life" video allegedly shot from the Ramo Verde jail. 

"The only proof of life that we will accept is to see Leopoldo," she tweeted in response, as she faced a line of National Guard soldiers outside of the prison. 

 

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This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.