Venezuelans and supporters gather here to send message home

Venezuelans and supporters continued their protest in Costa Rica Sunday by gathering at least 300 persons in front of the Teatro Nacional.

The demonstrators spelled out SOS with their bodies, and said that the purpose was to inform Costa Ricans here about what was happening in their country and also to show support for those at home.

In Caracas, the president of Venezuela ordered the expulsion of three U.S. embassy officials in a retaliatory move after Washington came to the defense of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday the arrest warrant for López has a chilling effect on the rights of Venezuelan citizens to peacefully express their grievances.

Late Sunday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused the U.S. of backing the opposition with its protests and said he does not “take orders from anyone in the world.”

After several days of anti-government protests, Maduro held a counter-demonstration Saturday, using the pro-government rally in Caracas to denounce López.

Authorities are on the hunt for López for organizing anti-government protests that turned violent. Three people were killed last week, including two opposition protesters.

Maduro called Lopez a fascist and a coward Saturday, and urged him to turn himself in.

Venezuelan forces used tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of student protesters Friday, angry at Maduro for soaring inflation, shortages in supermarkets and rampant crime.

Nearly 100 people have been arrested in the recent protests. 
Costa Rica came out with a lukewarm statement about Venezuela Friday. 

At no time did the foreign ministry statement mention human rights. It did say the government deplored the violence of Wednesday and called upon Venezuela to investigate what had happened.  

The statement also said that Costa Rica respects the internal affairs of brother countries and urged dialogue. The statement came less than a day after Venezuelans paid a call on former president Óscar Arias Sánchez, and Arias agreed that human rights violations were taking place in Caracas.

The Human Rights Foundation in Washington, D.C., said Friday it condemns the killing of two opposition demonstrators and a pro-government activist in Caracas and asked that the government impartially investigate and punish the perpetrators, regardless of whether they are police officers or individuals from either faction. 

The foundation also said it strongly rejected the arrest warrant hurriedly issued Thursday against Mesa de la Unidad leader López on charges of murder and terrorism linked to the deadly protests. The foundation also condemned the shutdown of international TV channel NTN24 after its network reported live during the demonstrations.

Operación Libertad and Revolución Liberal said its leaders would meet with legislators here today.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.