Photo: CNA, retrieved.
Friday, April 19th. Holy Friday. As usual, while caretaker President Juan Guaidó spoke at the Bolívar square in Chacao during the Open Assembly, State-owned CANTV, Venezuela’s main internet provider, blocked Youtube and affected other Google services. The idea is to stonewall the message, to prevent Guaidó’s words, already blocked off most traditional outlets such as TV and radio, from reaching online audiences. Here’s a briefing of his speech, again without quotation marks:
The first cry of independence in Venezuela came 209 years ago. I think the answer was powerful, and it’s also evident now: the definitive end of usurpation. We’s well aware that chavistas couldn’t guarantee the right to health and life, or food, or public services. Thay have nothing to offer. And we, the Venezuelans, must find the change we want. We talked about Operation Freedom to organize hope. Here we are, stronger than ever. Today we came to offer more details on this operation. All of Caracas, west, downtown and east, is in Operation Freedom. All of those places where committees were founded will be rallying points for our next march. We haven’t stopped working a single day, we’re building and we’re the majority; we have to believe in ourselves, believe in this country. Today I can say with absolute certainty that we’re the majority. We’re the mobilized majority that wants change this country. To the public employees who’ve been persecuted for meeting with me, don’t be afraid, they’re the frightened ones. We reveal the disaster they’ve caused.
The first cry of independence in Venezuela came 209 years ago. I think the answer was powerful, and it’s also evident now: the definitive end of usurpation.
Today, April 19th, I say this: transition is starting in Venezuela with the majority of the Venezuelan people. When we say that we’re doing well, it’s because we’re the majority; it’s because Zulia resits, because Falcon is on the streets, it’s because we’re together and we’re organized. We’re doing well because we’re together. We’re doing well because we’re all in and because we’ll conquer transition. The street, the demand and the protest is what’s going to make the different. This is street and more street and we’re going to rise in Organized Strategic Protest as many times as necessary. We’re going to advance to the next phase (of Operation Freedom.) We know that the only thing the regime has left is repression and violence. We’ve built the majority for years and we must activate the next phase.
On May 1st, we call all Venezuelans to the largest march in the history of Venezuela to demand the definitive end of usurpation and demand the end of this tragedy. To military officers I say: “You don’t have to keep taking orders from Nicolás Maduro anymore. Don’t be afraid.” We have to build bridges and guarantees for public employees and the Armed Forces. We’re building a bridge that leads us to transition, to free elections once and for all.
This is a road we’ve built together, it’s not a whim, in an Assembly we swore to get freedom for Venezuela. This isn’t Juan Guaidó’s road, this road belongs to all of Venezuela. We’ve seen how increasingly more people join our fight. The destination of that march on May 1st will be the spot where usurpation ends. Days before, on April 27th, we’re going to swear in all Freedom Committees. Venezuela isn’t what we’re living today, Venezuela will take to the streets as many times as necessary to achieve freedom. For this new phase of Operation Freedom, I ask all of Venezuela, can we do it or can’t we? Not a single Venezuelan here can miss May 1st.
Armed Forces, here’s all this people of Venezuela demanding freedom. Nicolás Maduro has no way of restoring this country, he’s in the past. In our fight for democracy, we’re the vanguard, resisting. We must remain united and mobilized in the fight.
Guaidó left the Bolívar square with people chanting his name. See you on May 1st in the street, in the great march for Venezuela.