‘The people’ turn on Venezuela’s president, chase him through the streets

by WorldTribune Staff, September 4, 2016

Fed up with what socialism has wrought in their country, angry Venezuelans on Sept. 3 chased President Nicolas Maduro through the streets during what was supposed to be a routine political event.

Maduro had traveled to Margarita Island off Venezuela’s northern coast to inaugurate a number of new public housing units and give a televised address during which he denounced his opponents’ demands that he step down from office, calling them “vampires”.

Screen grab from protester's video shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro being chased through the streets of Villa Rosa.
Screen grab from protester’s video shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro being chased through the streets of Villa Rosa.

Protesters banging pots and yelling they were hungry chased the president through the streets of the village. Maduro reportedly tried to calm the protesters, but they were having none of it, continuing to call for his ouster.

“The people of Villa Rosa in Margarita have no fear,” wrote Henrique Capriles, an opposition governor who lost to Maduro in the presidential election in 2013. “Through banging pots, Maduro was run out of town.”

Pedro Carvajalino, a pro-government television anchorman, said the protesters had been sent by Capriles and other members of the opposition.

“It was a lack of respect to presidential dignity,”  Carvajalino said.

Foro Penal, a Venezuelan human rights group, said that 20 people were arrested after the protest, including Braulio Jatar, the director of a local news Web site called Reporte Confidencial, which had reported on the protest against Maduro.

Earlier this week, several hundred thousand protesters flooded the streets of the capital Caracas to demand a recall vote.

If the recall were to be held this year and Maduro loses, Venezuelans would have the opportunity to elect a new president. But the government, which is responsible for organizing such a vote, wishes to hold it next year. If Maduro loses in 2017, the leftist vice president will serve what is left of his six-year term.

Polls show that Maduro would likely lose a referendum.