In various Venezuelan cities the demonstrations led and organized mostly by students have not ceased. Protesters are demanding the release of students arrested by Venezuelan security forces. They have received the support of a group of citizens and opposition leaders, who also demand solutions to many socio-economic problems affecting the population.
Since early February the capitals of some Andean states in the country [es] have been the epicenter of student demonstrations which, at the beginning, called for more security in universities. Additionally, national political personalities were promoting street assemblies [es], also known as #LaSalida (the exit), aiming to “promote debate and dialogue to attain a democratic exit to some of the problems affecting our nation”.
By February 12, these political leaders decided to convene a national day of protests, enlisting the support of thousands of students and citizens across the country. The consequences of that day have led to extending the popular demonstrations. Cities across the country are joining the call to protest, even though many of these demonstrations have resulted in violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement.
Social networks, specially Twitter, have been flooded with photos documenting the protests in each region, taking the place of the regular mass media in Venezuela, which is going through a blackout due to the government's threats to fine media who cover the protests.
During Thursday's night, on February 13, user @yirli4ny_ shared an image of a 180-meter flag being hoisted in an important highway in Puerto Ordaz, in the Guayana region:
CLASE DE FOTO #PZO! pic.twitter.com/TwM1tJD9cG
— YIRLIANY (@yirli4ny_) February 13, 2014
What a picture!
Journalist Mariángela González in Barquisimeto, in the Lara state, captured a demonstration organized by medical students from the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado (UCLA), the main university in this region:
“Pueblo escucha, únete a la lucha” 5:08 pm 13/02 #Lara #Barquisimeto Ucla Medicina #share pic.twitter.com/Pt5ahewkv5
— Mariángela González (@ma_guita) February 13, 2014
“People: listen, join the fight” 5:08 pm 13/02
In Barcelona, Anzoátegui state, Gabriel Bastidas reported student demonstrations blocking some important avenues of the city in the early afternoon on Friday, February, 14:
3:08 pm, Estudiantes #Anzoategui hacen SOS en protesta. Trancada Av. Intercomunal de Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/Btk25ZDshB
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) February 14, 2014
3:08 pm, students demonstrate forming an SOS. The Intercomunal Avenue is blocked.
In Maracay, the capital city of Aragua state, Mare informed about the call that spreads until the night in that city:
A coro: mama, papa acompaña a tu hijo en esta lucha. #Estudiantes #Maracay 7.07 pm. #Venezuela pic.twitter.com/H0Pip07GKO
— Mare (@Marelight) February 15, 2014
In unison: mom, dad, support your child in this fight. 7.07 pm.
Young Venezuelans have also remained very active in Valencia, Carabobo state, as Angel Morales reported:
Estudiantes En la av Bolivar Marchando hacia la plaza Bolivar de #Valencia #Carabobo pic.twitter.com/iwjosQ6p35
— Angel Morales (@ChenchoUJAP) February 14, 2014
Students in the Bolívar Avenue walking to the Bolivar Square
According to an image published by José Meza (@josegremeza), in Maracaibo students were demanding a dialogue with police officers who arrived at the square where they were protesting:
Policía monta show en #plazadelarepublica muchachos los obligan a conversar 5:00 pm #desplieguepolicial #maracaibo pic.twitter.com/66ky08OSNk
— Jose Meza (@josegremeza) February 14, 2014
Police overreacting in De la República square, young people force them to dialogue. 5:00 pm.
Among the reasons behind these protests are insecurity and violence, which have claimed the lives of thousands of Venezuelans. This is depicted in many banners in Mérida, as documented by Sonia Camacho:
#Merida una pancarta que nos arrugó el corazón! pic.twitter.com/J17QjZScaQ
— ̣̣ Sonia Camacho H. (@mujeresdenegro) February 15, 2014
a touching banner! [Banner reads: “I fight for my niece's future; criminals in Venezuela took her father away from her.”
And in San Cristóbal, capital city of Táchira state, the clash between university students and the Venezuela National Guard forces still continue. Moreover, citizens from this city came out of their homes to support protesting students who were sheltered in the Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira (UNET) headquarters. Zuleik Meneses thanks them for this:
Gracias a la sociedad civil x su apoyo en la #Unet pic.twitter.com/pVIKfljELz
— Zuleik Meneses Gómez (@ZuleMG) February 14, 2014
Thanks to the citizens for their support in the UNET
Finally, El Periodista Cívico [es] (The Civic journal) has been curating information about the national demonstrations, highlighting regular updates about protesters who are under arrest in various Venezuelan regions.