By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- Supporters and critics of Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, who is legally challenging the embattled administration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, took part in a massive fistfight outside the Attorney General's main office in downtown Caracas Monday.
Elsewhere in Venezuela, opposition militants and sympathizers kept on protesting the Maduro rule and the government’s plans to rewrite the Constitution without first taking a popular vote. Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles said demonstrators were hoping to achieve enough visibility so that the Organization of American States, which is meeting in Cancun, Mexico, takes a decisive stand on the oil-rich country’s Constitutional crisis.
This is Venezuela after 80 days of continuous anti-Maduro demonstrations that have resulted in 90 demonstrators and security forces killed and were triggered when the Supreme Court breached the constitutional order in trying to usurp the role and functions of the National Assembly legislative with Ortega siding with the opposition.
Venezuelan NGO Provea says 3 million people have participated in demonstrations against Maduro since April 1st.
Employees and opposition militants were demonstrating their support for Fiscal General Ortega when a band of self-identified Maduro supporters showed up and started building a soundstage in front of Ortega’s office with the stated purpose of blasting her latest actions.
A fistfight quickly erupted between the warring parties, to the delight of both social-media and everyday gawkers, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
Ortega gave a press conference after the showdown, during which she promised to prosecute military and police personnel involved in human rights violations, while wondering out loud who had paid people to violently demonstrate in front of her office.
“The money used for those soundstages installed by the government across the street from the Fiscalia -- that could have been used to purchase food or medicines,” Ortega told assembled media. “We must demand to be told where the money comes from for those pro-government demonstrations”.
In the early afternoon, National Guard and Police started dispersing demonstrators with tear-gas grenades all over Venezuela, but specifically in the Francisco Fajardo highway, the Western Caracas section of Montalban and Altamira, in Eastern Caracas.
Meanwhile, in Cancun, foreign affairs ministers from OAS member countries were meeting on Monday prior to the 47th OAS General Assembly, which starts Monday evening and will take place until Wednesday.
A pronouncement additional to previous ones is expected, with opposition representatives hoping the next one to be the definitive one.
“We demand of OAS to resolve the Venezuelan crisis before it’s too late,” opposition lawmaker Luis Florido said from Cancun, where he went to give the opposition’s version of the Venezuelan crisis to OAS.