The bank denounced "any incitement, encouragement or call to violence or the use of non-peaceful means for the solution of political differences."
After encouraging Venezuelan opposition supporters on April 18 to "each neutralize a member" of pro-government forces, including with flowerpots presumably thrown from balconies, Tulio Hernandez was fired today by Banco Occidental de Descuento where he was Vice President of Public Affairs. Hernandez is a columnist for the right-wing newspaper El Nacional.
In reference to the planned pro- and anti-government protests for April 19, Hernandez posted on his Twitter account, "Tomorrow we go with everything ... some of us will be left on the way," adding that people could think of "Mandela, Gandhi, and Luther King," but they should also defend themselves.
The opposition leader took down the posts after Almelina Carrillo Virguez was hit in the head with a frozen water bottle that was thrown from an upper floor of a building while she was walking next to a group of President Nicolas Maduro supporters during the pro-government march in Caracas on April 19. The major head injuries Carrillo sustained led to her death on Sunday.
In a press release, the bank denounced "any incitement, encouragement or call to violence or the use of non-peaceful means for the solution of political differences."
BOD emphasized that Hernandez's comments, "Do not directly or indirectly reflect any position of BOD, its subsidiaries or related companies, its shareholders, its executives, its executive staff or its employees."
In a Twitter post on April 21, Hernandez seemingly attempted to backtrack, claiming that he had only called the opposition "to defend our homes with flowerpots."
In the past three weeks of repeated violent opposition protests, hundreds have been injured and at least 26 people have died. Of those killed thus far, three are attributed to state security forces, while two of the dead are members of the police. The total number of dead is significantly bolstered by the eight who were electrocuted as they attempted to loot a bakery, while five of those killed were expressly connected to opposition protests. On the other hand, 10 of the deceased are attributed to right-wing violence.
Maduro has called for a broad dialogue, which opposition leaders have rejected instead, demanding the ouster of the democratically-elected president.