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  • A sea of red on the streets of Caracas.

    A sea of red on the streets of Caracas. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Published 19 April 2017

Tens of thousands demanded that their nation's sovereignty be respected.

It was a deeply emotional day for Venezuela's Chavistas, who emerged from their homes in the tens of thousands, celebrating the country's independence and, at the same time, denouncing continued attempts by the right-wing opposition and by hostile international entities encouraging imperialist intervention.

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There were symbolic cries by those who attended — cries of peace, humility and those of an overwhelming desire to survive interventionist attacks.

President Nicolas Maduro called it “an incredible day of victory" — according to state media, VTV — as he addressed the beaming faces, teary eyes and attentive stares. He said that “peace has triumphed again over the right-wing attempts to sow terrorism in the country.”

"When the Bolivarian people are in the street, there is peace," he added, "Today they tried to take power again and we have defeated them again the coup plotters, the corrupt right-wing and the interventionists."

This is the sixth time this month alone that Chavistas have shown their support for the Maduro government against the MUD coalition's protest actions, which re-energized itself after the April 1 Supreme Court decision to rescind on assuming temporary control of the national assembly's powers.

A group of supporters hold individual elements of a sign that, when translated, reads, "A people of peace." | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Maduro also described Primero Justicia party member, and national assembly head Julio Borges as a hypocrite, a coward, and a clown. Borges has taken a lead in the organization of sustained opposition marches, all of which have turned violent.

The president's ire over the recent violence has been strongly echoed by Chavistas across Venezuela, many of whom carried signs with anti-imperialist, freedom and peace symbols.

Chavistas hold signs expressing unity, love and anti-terrorism. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur
Chavistas get emotional during the singing of the national anthem, just before President Nicolas Maduro takes the stage. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Caracas resident Argeny Valencinio was all smiles at the march. He said Venezuela has come a long way in the battle for peace and prosperity. He laments, however, that there is still a long way to go before it can be won.

“There is a lot that we could accomplish, if only we could put our differences aside and work as a unit. However, I am proud to be here, defending my people! My patria."

Two teenagers huddle together to write a note to hand to the president's partner, Cilia Flores, as she passes through the crowd. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

PSUV President, Diosdado Cabello, also spoke to the tens of thousand, saying that Venezuela's right-wing opposition has declared itself subordinate to the demands of the United States, which he said has openly called for international intervention.

"We warn all those traitors, who go abroad to ask for the invasion of Venezuela. They will be treated as enemies of this country. Today the people went out into the streets, to send a message of peace, but very firmly to tell imperialism and its lackeys that they are ready to fight. We are in the street ready to defeat them.”

More marches are planned in the coming weeks as the MUD opposition coalition continues to demand that Supreme Court judges be ousted and that an elections timeline be announced.

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