Protesters directly confront Venezuelan president on Isla Margarita

Latin America

Protesters directly confront Venezuelan president on Isla Margarita 2

In what appears to have been a significant security lapse, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last Friday appeared to be briefly forced to run from jeering protesters during a visit to Margarita Island, off the coast of Caracas.

CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports.

Protesters directly confront Venezuelan president on Isla Margarita

Protesters directly confront Venezuelan president on Isla Margarita

In what appears to have been a significant security lapse, the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro last Friday appeared to be briefly forced to run from jeering protesters during a visit to Margarita Island, off the coast of Caracas. CCTV’s Stephen Gibbs reports.
Download Video

The day started well for Nicolas Maduro – he inaugurated over 100 houses that the government had restored, on Isla Margarita.

But Margarita, like the entire country, has other serious problems.

In the midst of the word’s steepest recession, food lines are common with medicine and water scarce.

Shortly after the President’s daytime events he entered the island’s traditionally pro-government stronghold of Villa Rosa.

It was here that the mood changed. The crowd began to jeer him, banging pots and pans, a traditional Venezuelan form of protest.

Multiple videos posted on social media appear to show the President being forced to break briefly into a jog, before confronting some of his critics.

The incident came one day after a massive march in Caracas, organized by Venezuela’s opposition.

It said more than 10,000 people took part the biggest anti-government mobilization for over a decade.

The President’s opponents are seeking a recall referendum to cut short his term of office.

But Maduro, who on Thursday held his own rally, said he has no plans to stand down.

He said his opponents are plotting a coup.

Either way, the incident on Margarita is troubling for the Venezuelan authorities.

In two weeks’ time the island is expecting to host a major summit of the non-aligned movement.

The government wants the focus to be on that, not this.