On Behalf of the Country That We Can Be

Key moments from Guaidó's speech to thousands of Venezuelans on Francisco de Miranda Ave. in El Marqués on Saturday, April 6th, the first formal activity of Operation Freedom. Several websites were blocked and the trucks carrying the sound system were, as usual, held up by the security forces controlled by chavismo.

Photo: El Pitazo retrieved 

Caretaker President Juan Guaidó spoke from El Marqués (Sucre municipality) despite the repeated pattern of harassment against the event’s sound technicians. Once again, some websites were blocked to prevent the message from reaching those who weren’t there. This is a summary of what I heard, I’ll spare your the quotation marks:

Today, it’s evident that Venezuela isn’t afraid and remains in the streets to conquer freedom. Fear is for those who send thugs to kidnap four sound trucks to keep us from spreading our message; but they failed, and they will keep on failing. They thought that by barring me from running for office or removing my immunity, we’d be afraid. They thought that we’d grow accustomed to living without electricity or water. They think that by repressing in Zulia or kidnapping two lawmakers (Nora Bracho and Renzo Prieto, arbitrarily detained by the National Guard) they’ll stop the inevitable. They cowardly sent their henchmen to repress our senior citizens and mothers who demand water and electricity, as if we were in 1920.

It’s not patience, it’s organization

There’s an element that obstructs the Venezuela we dream of and it’s responsible for this tragedy, that’s why the end of usurpation is the first step of this process. Yesterday, the regime spread on Twitter the “I’m tired of marching” hashtag, but they won’t deceive us. We’ll be in the streets until we conquer freedom! They won’t convince us that exercising a legitimate right is wrong. They want us accustomed, docile, they want us asleep in our homes, but we won’t get accustomed! We won’t stand it anymore! We won’t allow thieves and criminals to keep our country from us! They won’t make us believe that fighting is a waste of time. We know the risks we’re facing, but that won’t stop us or set us back. Of course we all want to end this now, but we’re not asking for patience here, we’re asking for organization.

Of course we all want to end this now, but we’re not asking for patience here, we’re asking for organization.

That’s why we’re in the initial phase of Operation Freedom, to organize ourselves. We already have more than 2,000 Aid and Freedom committees. We can’t make it alone, but look around. Are we alone? No we’re not, we are together exercising our rights. Our allies said that it’s premature, are we going to wait or remain active in the streets? It’s because we’re in the streets that we have and will continue to have the world backing us. We’ve worked hard to build this support, while the puppet hides in four blocks in downtown Caracas, we’re in the streets. They’re in panic, Miraflores shakes because we’re in the streets. While they cower in their trenches, we’re in 358 points all over the country.

Enough impunity

I don’t like to use the word pride, because it has to do with ego, but today I say that I’m proud of being Venezuelan, because we Venezuelans don’t bow our heads, we don’t get accustomed, we carry on. This is an unstoppable movement, regardless of the hardships. Those 358 points of protests must become 1,000 points very soon, drawing closer to taking back power. Enough impunity for armed paramilitaries! They won’t steal Venezuela’s oil anymore! Mr. Díaz-Canel: we won’t allow interference from your Cuban G2 in Venezuela to subdue our military forces.

Public employees and the Armed Forces can’t live with their salaries. We all struggle to make ends meet. We have the timely support of the international community. We’ll hold a great meeting of global leaders here in Venezuela. On Wednesday, we’ll have a new phase of Operation Freedom, those 358 points will become protest and demands, to get closer and closer each time.

They think that meeting with genocides in Syria, they’ll frighten us. They want to frighten us by making us believe that we’ll wage war amongst ourselves. Here, 95% of the population wants change. When they took suitcases full of money to other countries, they called that “cooperation” but when 60 countries support us, they say it’s “intervention”.

Going on to win

Don’t be surprised if the end of usurpation starts in Zulia, where people are furious. It’s sadistic, what they’re doing with Zulia, the state with the most inhabitants and they only get four hours of electricity a day. As long as we’re united, organized and in the streets, the regime is defeated. Victory is ours, but it will only be complete and fair when we’ve accomplished the end of usurpation so that we finally enter the 21st century. Today, I say to you with responsibility and faith that victory belongs to Venezuela, to democracy and that we’re very close to conquering it.

Don’t tell us we shouldn’t insist, don’t tell us to stay home, don’t tell us to get used to this, because won’t accept that.

Don’t tell us we shouldn’t insist, don’t tell us to stay home, don’t tell us to get used to this, because won’t accept that. We’re going all in here, in the streets. Expect from us commitment, plans, direction, goals, strategy and organization. Don’t expect less from us, don’t expect less from the country that decided to be free. There’s a plan, there’s commitment and courage. We have to assembly the Aid and Freedom committees. We have to spread the word that on Monday, we’re going to activate the phase with public employees and, on Wednesday, we’re back on the streets of Venezuela, to double those 358 points of Operation Freedom. We have to act together, it’s the best way of protecting ourselves, with lots of people: they can’t arrest us all!

I ask you on behalf of the country that we can be, to think about everything we’ve done and that we’re so close to our goal. Doubt no longer exists in our hearts. When people ask me if street protests were worth it, I answer that they are, each effort, each sacrifice, everything’s worth it! Here we are and here we’ll stay.

As Guaidó was speaking, the lawmakers arbitrarily detained in Zulia were released.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.