Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Venezuelan artists pay tribute to protest victims, call for elections

Un grupo de artistas, acompañados de cientos de personas, participan en una manifestación en contra del Gobierno de Venezuela hoy, sábado 15 de abril de 2017, en Caracas (Venezuela). La oposición venezolana prepara una “gran protesta nacional” para el próximo miércoles en 26 puntos de Caracas y en todos los estados del país, en medio de la ola de manifestaciones antigubernamentales de las últimas dos semanas. EFE/Miguel Gutiérrez

Caracas, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- About a dozen artists gathered Saturday in eastern Caracas to pay tribute to the people who have died in recent weeks during anti-government demonstrations, calling upon President Nicolas Maduro to hold elections and establish a channel whereby humanitarian aid may come into the country.

Actors, models, singers, comedians, sculptors and entertainment hosts gathered on Francisco Fajardo Ave. in Caracas where, after speeches by some of the individuals, they read a manifesto rejecting the government’s “continued violation” of the Venezuelan Constitution and demanded the holding of national elections.

Model Caterina Valentino said that the artists, along with the rest of Venezuela, do not want “more abuses” and called on the country’s leaders to listen to the people.

“We don’t want any more abuses, we don’t want any more repression. We want a free country, we basically want elections … To those who hold the reins of this nation: listen to the people … We don’t want any more fatalities, we don’t want any more goodbyes, we don’t want any more young people to leave,” Valentino told the media.

Un grupo de artistas, acompañados de cientos de personas, participan en una manifestación en contra del Gobierno de Venezuela hoy, sábado 15 de abril de 2017, en Caracas (Venezuela). La oposición venezolana prepara una “gran protesta nacional” para el próximo miércoles en 26 puntos de Caracas y en todos los estados del país, en medio de la ola de manifestaciones antigubernamentales de las últimas dos semanas.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan hip hop singer One Chot told EFE that he came to the artists’ event because he wanted “to support change in Venezuela” and that his words and presence were aimed at contributing “even if it’s only a little bit” to positive change.

Actor Wilmer Machado, known in Venezuela as “Coquito,” also said he was in solidarity with the families of those who have died in the protests and, in turn, criticized the violence and the increasing scarcity of assorted items in the country over approximately the past two decades since Hugo Chavez came to power.

Recent weeks have seen assorted opposition demonstrations around Venezuela to reject what opposition members say is a “coup d’etat” by the Supreme Court, which took over certain functions of the opposition-controlled Parliament, although it later reversed itself on some of those moves.

Since then, opposition protests – which have been repeatedly broken up by security forces using tear gas and rubber bullets – have degenerated into violence.

At those protests – which have resulted in at least six deaths, about 100 arrests and hundreds of people injured – demonstrators are calling for free and fair elections and the removal of seven high court magistrates, according to anti-government forces.