On Monday, Venezuelans remember the 20th anniversary of the social mobilizations that took place on April 11-13, 2002, when the Bolivarian people overthrew a U.S.-backed coup attempt against the administration of President Hugo Chavez (1999- 2013).
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“Since April 9, 2002, the Venezuelan right was promoting violent agitations in eastern Caracas,” said Luis Flores, a citizen who took to the streets to defend the revolutionary government.
Anticipating possible actions of the opposition groups, the Simon Bolivar Coordinator (CSM) mobilized its militants to carry out surveillance actions in favor of the Bolivarian Revolution.
As soon as the opposition led its march towards the center of Caracas, CSM members went to guard the Miraflores Palace. "We were willing to fight, but our leaders called for calm and avoiding clashes, so we began to harangue on a stage," Flores recalled.
At that time, the Caracas mayor's office was controlled by Alfredo Peña, a politician who was co-opted by the U.S.-backed opposition. As a result, the Metropolitan Police showed a very hostile attitude towards the Venezuelans, whom it shot so that they did not prevent the actions of the far right groups.
"At first, we thought the discharges were of pellets and gases, but then we realized that they were bullet shots," Flores lamented, adding that "Around nine o'clock at night, we were ordered to withdraw from the Miraflores palace because the President was going to negotiate with the coup leaders. We pulled back but continue to mobilize citizens."
On that day, 19 people died, and 100 citizens were injured due to police repression. This reality, however, did not prevent Venezuelans from continuing to mobilize for another 48 hours to defend the Bolivarian revolution and neutralize the far-right's destabilizing attempt.