Violent, Bigoted Supporters of Guaidó Attempt to Invade Venezuela’s D.C. Embassy

The violence and bigotry of the opposition has made the embassy protectors even more resolute in their cause. They worry that should the opposition come to power in Venezuela, the bigotry they witnessed first-hand in D.C. would become the law of the land there.

by Alexander Rubinstein

WASHINGTON — Emboldened by the attempted military coup — and amidst the ongoing tenancy of the Embassy Protection Collective at Venezuela’s Washington embassy at the invitation of the legitimate government of Venezuela — opposition activists rallied on Tuesday, hurling racist and homophobic slurs at members of the Collective. On several occasions, they attempted to unlawfully break into the embassy and injure its protectors.

MintPress News has been at the embassy in D.C. since Wednesday, recording livestream reports and publishing articles featuring the voices of activists on the front lines in the fight against US imperialism that seeks to overthrow the Democratically elected leader of Venezuela and install a right wing government friendly to US economic interests.

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As Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó attempted a military coup on Tuesday, pro-opposition activists gathered in far greater numbers outside of the embassy in Washington. MintPress News observed numerous uses of slurs against embassy protectors and multiple instances of violence.

In addition to the sexism, racism, and homophobia displayed by the opposition, embassy protectors also complained of being mocked for their age and body weight. Oppositions figures leading the protest on megaphones used terms like “marica,” and “maricon,” which are Spanish terms for “faggot.” Similarly, pro-Guaidó protesters with megaphones chanted calls for embassy protectors and journalists to kill themselves, in addition to hurling insults about their mothers. MintPress News’ reporter inside the embassy was also encouraged to commit suicide, threatened, and shown many a middle finger.

Blatant bigotry

Journalists who have visited Venezuela have said this kind of behavior is emblematic of the opposition in Venezuela as well.

Women were told by the opposition to “go back to” their “pimps,” activists told MintPress News.

One young embassy protector of Nicaraguan ethnicity, Aminta, was “cat called” by the opposition, despite being told repeatedly by them that she is ugly. She told MintPress News:

One of the Venezuelan opposition protesters was calling me and other embassy protectors racial slurs. He called me ‘India,’ which, for context, is a very derogatory term for somebody who is indigenous. He also went ahead and he said ‘you’re so ugly, you can see the indigenous all over your face.’”

Georges Roy, a Haitan-American embassy protector, was also subjected to racial slurs by the opposition. He told MintPress News:

We had to endure a tremendous amount of insults and hatred that were directed at us. We are here for a political reason and also to protect the rights of Venezuelans as a whole. But what we noticed from the opposing protesters was that their opposing views were not really political. They were very personal and they reflected a hatred of class, and not only class, of color.

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There was a gentleman who managed to stand where we were… He brought up the fact that he was the manager of a tapas restaurant here in D.C. and he specifically mentioned that he doesn’t hire black people — that he would never hire black people because they steal his money, or steal money in general.

There was a point where I had to take a break and eat a snack and, funny enough, the snack that I chose was a banana and that opened up another can of insults with the whole banana and monkey comparison.

There were also [people calling me] ‘negrito.’ There were just tons of insults regarding my race, as opposed to my political position.”

Another black embassy protector was told that they “looked like Norbit,” activists said. One activist who is part Japanese was called a “chinito” by members of the opposition.

Anti-black racism is not uncommon of the opposition in Venezuela. In 2017, oppositionists burned 22-year-old Orlando Figuera alive.

MintPress News also spoke with a transgender activist who wished to remain anonymous to protect their identity. They told MintPress News:

I’ve experienced transphobia and homophobia at the hands of the Venezuelan opposition and its defenders, both in person and online in the last few weeks.

Online, a lot of comments about ‘I don’t know if it’s a man or woman’ and ‘this person is trans so they’re already crazy’ have been common. Another thing they do is question why I support Maduro when he’s ‘never done anything for us.’ Sometimes they claim the collectivos will rape me if I go to Venezuela, and express hope that this happens.

In person I’ve been called ‘that thing’ and also more typically misogynistic things like ‘dumb bitch.’”

Beyond the rampant bigotry, the opposition on Tuesday exemplified the methods and praxis of their Venezuelan counterparts in their emphasis on violence. MintPress News even witnessed one male opposition activist motioning as though he was going to strike a female opposition activist in a fit of rage.

Vicious violence
In addition to repeated calls by numerous members of the opposition for embassy protectors to jump from the windows of the building, opposition activists have been encouraging them to come down and fight them. Wyatt Reed, an independent reporter who co-authored MintPress News’ previous article on the Embassy Protection Collective, was called out by name.

“Nobody reads the Roanoke Times, nobody reads the MintPress News,” one opposition activist told him before encouraging him to come down for a fight. Reed wasn’t the only journalist harassed by the opposition, however.

 

Even legal observers with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) — a group that monitors police activity at protests in order to hold police who break the law accountable — was harassed by a group of opposition activists. NLG observers are distinguishable by their neon green hats.

Journalist Eleanor Goldfield recorded an attack on embassy protectors by the opposition, resulting in injuries to one protector. He was left with long cuts on his arm and serious bruising, as well as a torn shirt.

 

Previously, opposition activists have attempted to blockade the embassy protectors inside of the building with chairs and wires. However, the opposition’s level of aggression increased markedly following Guaidó’s attempt at a military coup on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, one member of the opposition unlawfully intruded into the building and barricaded himself inside of a room inside the embassy. When he was escorted out by the police, he was not arrested, despite leaving hundreds of dollars of property destruction in his wake.

 

The violence and bigotry of the opposition has made the embassy protectors even more resolute in their cause. They worry that should the opposition come to power in Venezuela, the bigotry they witnessed first-hand in D.C. would become the law of the land there.

Feature Photo | Activists pose for a photo after an evening of Palestinian resistance music and presentation on the Black Alliance for Peace’s “Shut down AFRICOM” campaign by Pan African Community Action inside Venezuela’s DC Embassy. Photo | Courtesy

Alexander Rubinstein is a staff writer for MintPress News based in Washington, DC. He reports on police, prisons and protests in the United States and the United States’ policing of the world. He previously reported for RT and Sputnik News.

Source URL: Mint Press

 

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