As of 10:40, Caracas remains remarkably free of violence as anti-government protesters congregate at seven points and start marching towards the East Side. Aside from a single teargas volley on the Panamerican Highway and some incidents in Maracay (150 km. West of Caracas), the morning’s been calm.

That, in itself, is big news. The worst case scenario today was violence early, chaos able to choke off the demonstration before it really took shape. It didn’t materialize. Instead, the government seems to have concentrated on blocking off access points to the city. But there don’t seem to be many National Police or National Guard units at the gathering points  themselves.

And while civilian motorcycle thugs have been deployed to block off the Coche-Valle Highway, they don’t appear to have been called out to intimidate or attack the opposition marchers.

In a sign that the chavista counterdemonstration in Plaza Venezuela is a bust, El Pitazo reports that the tarima (stage) has just been taken down there.

People are still getting around the road blocks the Security Forces are placing around Caracas with their feet.

I honestly can’t remember seeing anything like this before.

Stunning scenes.

The Prados del Este marchers are on the move:

The west side gathering points have done well.

Our own Lissette González is impressed with the turnout in Santa Fe.

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Calm, at least in the first half of the march, was one of the most important ingredients for success on September 1st. Thank heavens it’s been calm.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Less cross fingers…

    But really, really… I mean… did they had to cancel the counter-march for lack of people ?!?!?!?!

    That really blows my mind

  2. Good news.

    Yet I guess this cynical, criminal regime simply decided: “let them march and protest all they want” “until they get hungry and tired”. Is that gonna remove them from power?

    When the police, the military have the firepower in the end, and they are all corrupt, complicit Chavista crooks. Maduro, Cabello and the military are just focusing on staying in power a little while longer, and stealing a few millions of $ more. Then, if they are not utterly stupid, an escape plan.

    But at the end of the day today, they will still be in power. This was not “Bastille Day”, where you take down Miraflores or the bogus kings. I think they just figured “let them get their exercise, talk and march all they can, they’ll eventually have to go home, and we’ll still be here, to steal some more”.

    “Referendum? Let Tibisay think about that.. She’ll keep ignoring and postponing it. And remember, the corrupt military and police are on their side, so ordinary people can walk, march, protest and scream all they want.. while we steal a few more millions.”

    • “Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with.”

      The Prince, Machiavelli.

      In the past elections Chavismo was shown that they were not loved, but with today’s march they are also shown not to be feared.

      The opposition will be emboldened, the economic crisis will continue to tighten.

      I wish to think that Venezuela is not Zimbabwe or Cuba.

    • Maybe. Maybe they are that cavalier about it…and maybe trying to stop 1mm people from around the country from marching in Caracas would have been like trying to hold the ocean back with a broom.

      Today’s events are important, just as the overwhelming victory on 6D was important. Armed opposition is not viable, so what are they supposed to do? Nothing? Starve quietly in a state of despondent, learned helplessness? Turning out to vote on 6D was something they could do and they did it. March together on 1S is something they can do and they are doing it, in spite of the significant risk that implies.

      A massive protest does increase pressure on this criminal regime. It provides images of overwhelming popular opposition to the government, and also images of weak and ineffectual counter protests. Hopefully this encourages other countries to maintain constant pressure of every kind on this government, and hopefully that in turn helps the MUD to get the revocatorio scheduled for this year.

      There are no guarantees and the odds are stacked against them…yet they march. I would suggest that they deserve our support and admiration, not our cynicism.

      • Not saying that people should do nothing. Not saying the march was unimportant. Just saying that the results will probably be deflating and upsetting: Maduro will not leave office too soon, the criminal regime will not hand out power to the MUD any day soon, and the ‘international community won’t do anything at all, in fact, as they never do. Just a little talk, every couple months. They have their own problems. And Venezuela is not the only country in the world with problems. Dozens and dozens have worse problems in the World.

        Just wait and see. After the brave and courageous march today, sadly, everything will get back to what it was yesterday. A criminal, stubborn dictatorship, even more repression and abuse, corruption everywhere, including the guardia and police, and the corrupt military, all bribed by the regime, and fewer liberties.

        The protest was relevant, but will probably be quite ineffective. Remember, the Chavista thugs want as much time as possible to continue stealing, and then figure out an escape plan. And they have the corrupt police and corrupt military on their side. In that sense, people can do cazerolazos and march all they want.. while the regime stays in power. Sadly, that’s the truth.

        Even sadder, is that when Masburro is finally removed, and Cabello flees to Italy or the Caribbean, the MUD won’t be able to fix Venezuela’s deep, deep problems in decades either. It will be a bit better, more freedom, but corruption and lack of food and crime do not go away magically overnight.

        You do not educate a new generation of youngsters overnight. You don’t fix schools and universities overnight. You don’t get the oil back from the Chinese. Or raise the price of oil. You don’t start producing fruits, and meat, and vegetables, and industrial products overnight.

        And you think the MUD will be very “efficient” and corruption free? Look at Venezuela’s history. Government after government, after government, all inefficient and highly corrupt. All of them.

        • Jose: I agree with your thoughts. Even if MUD took over tomorrow and was given complete free reign to do anything that wanted to fix the problems, it would take decades to reverse the mess.

    • I just read in talcualdigital:

      Finalmente, convocaron a una protesta de 24 horas seguidas. El día después de que se recoja el 20% para pedir fecha del revocatorio este año.

      It is going to be very difficult to deny the people. But Chavismo is the master of cara-e-tablismo.

    • “Yet I guess this cynical, criminal regime simply decided: “let them march and protest all they want” “until they get hungry and tired”. Is that gonna remove them from power?”

      Then they found someone with ACTUALLY working brain cells.

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