Easter in Venezuela was celebrated by burning effigies. Protesters in Venezuela’s capital started with a “Via Crucis” march to remind fellow Venezuelans of Jesus’s walk to crucifixion. During the walk, effigies of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro were set on fire to show the people’s demand for his removal. They called the demonstration “Resurrection of Democracy”.
There was plenty of burning to go around for the Easter holiday in Venezuela. In the Pentari shanty-town, groups of pro-Maduro Venezuelans set torch to effigies of opposition governor Henrique Capriles. That didn’t deter anti-Maduro Venezuelans from continuing to flood the streets with chants of “liberty.”
Easter has proven to be another opportunity to make a point on the streets in Venezuela. Djamil Jassir, 22-year-old student leader told Reuters news agency “We’re staying in the street until we get our country back.”
Protests have been raging ever since former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez passed away last year. It’s been a continual power struggle over who should be in office. Students began protesting to demand the government tackle Venezuela’s high crime rate, inflation, and food stamp shortages. It’s been bad, really bad, in Venezuela. Even toilet paper has reportedly been rationed. Since February, 40 people have been killed during protests and hundreds more arrested.
Protester Naybeth Ramirez explained that “There are many who have already died and it’s for them that we’re here. They’re not going to have an Easter again, nor carnival.”
It isn’t Maduro who began the discord in Venezuela. According to the students who initiated protests, former President Hugo Chavez and the 15 years of socialism in Venezuela under his presidency forced them to publicly take to the streets. Maduro is said to be continuing the same policies as Chavez. With unidentified goals, violence has been the only outcome from the past months of protests. Opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, was arrested for “inciting violence” after Mudaro took office.
Before his arrest, Lopez said “If my jailing serves to awaken a people, serves to awaken Venezuela… then it will be well worth the infamous imprisonment imposed upon me directly, with cowardice.”
Police have used tear gasses and water cannons to try dispersing the crowds in the Venezuelan capital city. Since February the streets in Venezuela have been transformed into scenes of protest vs support. Demonstrations in support of the government have seen tens of thousands of people dressed in red to associated themselves with the Bolivarian revolution.