‘El Pueblo’ Gets to Miraflores in Anger, Demanding Water

Photo: Osmary Hernández

Last night, protesters gathered for an impromptu demonstration in front of the Miraflores Palace. From the unconstitutional presidential elections scheduled on May 20, to an all-consuming humanitarian crisis, there’s many reasons to be outraged, but they were there demanding one simple thing: water.

After going over nine days dry (one of the demonstrators claims it’s three months), residents of La Pastora, San José and Altagracia, couldn’t call them wealthy neighborhoods a few blocks from the presidential palace, showed up with pots, pans and empty containers asking if their neighbor Nicolás could spare some water.

The National Guard tried to handle the situation by promising water trucks, but protestors wouldn’t have it, chanting “tap water, tap water, tap water!” and the classic “It will fall! It will fall! This government will fall!”

While this was going on, journalist Dayana Krays was briefly detained by the National Guard, who had her deleting all the footage she gathered during the night.

News soon spilled over social media, with politicians and media figures chipping to support the protest. In some, a hypocritical gesture, seeing how their words and actions led to relax the momentum gained last year:

Everyone agrees, however, that after several months of relative calm following almost half a year of intense demonstrations leaving dozens of casualties, a relatively small number of tired neighbors reaching where no protest reached before is quite surprising.

The National Guard did send water trucks, and the group dissipated as quickly as it grew.

For some, it was a sign of submission from people too selfish or overwhelmed with their problems to think on the long run. To others, this shows a pussyfooted opposition, long out of options (and credibility), no longer necessary to lead and cross lines impossible to cross. Many within the government are surely concerned.

Because seeing protestors chanting outside the gates of the presidential palace makes you wonder if there’s a fire that no water truck can quell.

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