As violent anti-government protests continue in Venezuela, supporters of the right-wing opposition have begun targeting Venezuelan government officials and their families in Australia. The actions are part of a string of recent attacks abroad on government representatives by Venezuelan opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.
On May 17, two Venezuelans were removed by police from the Latin America Down Under mining expo held in Perth, before they were able to confront Venezuelan vice minister for mining Victor Cano.
Cano was part of a Venezuelan delegation that was invited to attend the conference involving government and mining company representatives from Australia and Latin America.
Arnaldo Valdemar Vivas Perez and Andrea Aurrecoechea Diaz allegedly paid $1900 to register for the conference and forged documents claiming to be representatives of Sunrise Resources.
Opposition leader Julio Borges had previously sent a letter to conference organisers calling on them to revoke their invitation.
This followed the posting of a YouTube video on May 7 in which three Venezuelans surrounded and harassed Lucia Rodriguez, the daughter of Caracas mayor and United Socialist Party of Venezuela leader Jorge Rodriguez, as she was walking along Bondi beach in Sydney.
Jorge Rodriguez, who said his daughter is in Australia to study, denounced the attack the following day.
He said the incident was a premeditated attack and noted that the main instigator, Deborah Goldberg Solomovic, was a long-term friend of the wife of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.
Lopez, a leader of the ultra-right party Popular Will, is currently in prison for his role in violent protests in 2014 that led to more than 40 people being killed.
Opponents of the Venezuelan government are now petitioning the Australian government to revoke Lucia’s student visa.
Venezuelanalysis reported on May 12 that far-right protesters had surrounded the Venezuelan embassy in Spain the day before.
“The protesters have been accused of chanting ‘Franco, Franco!’ while protesting outside an embassy event on violence in Venezuela. A close supporter of Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco ruled Spain as a military dictator for over three decades until his death in 1975.”
A man was apprehended by New York police on May 17 after causing a disturbance in Venezuela’s UN mission offices and allegedly stealing an official UN pass card.
Similar protests by right-wing Venezuelans targeting Venezuelan embassies and consulates in other countries have taken place since the outbreak of unrest in the country in early April.
These actions have been opposed by more moderate sections of the opposition.