Thousands of Venezuelan youth and supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) government took part in a march on October 18 against terrorism and for peace.
The youth march was organised in response to the assassination of Robert Serra, a 27-year-old PSUV parliamentarian and Chavista. Serra was murdered along with his partner Maria Herrera in their home on October 1.
The demonstrators filled the streets of Caracas to take their demand ― that lawmakers officially declare the murder of Serra as an act of terrorism ― to the National Assembly.
Dressed in Chavista red, and carrying signs stating “Venezuela against terrorism” and “Venezuela against fascist paramilitarism”, thousands of youth from across the country joined in the day of action.
Government officials say the assassination was linked to right-wing Colombian paramilitaries with potential ties to elements of the Venezuelan opposition.
The murder of Serra and his partner Herrera have sent shock waves throughout Venezuela and especially through Chavista ranks, who say his assassination is a part of a broader plot to attack Chavista leaders and destabilise the country.
The government says all eight men involved in Serra's murder have been identified. It says two men, including Serra's former bodyguard Eduwin Camacho Torres, are in custody and have confessed to their role in the killings.
The right-wing opposition, however, says Serra's murder is an example of street violence and random crime in Caracas.
The pro-government demonstration marched through a torrential downpour, drenching those attending, including President Nicholas Maduro, who addressed the crowd in a soaked red, blue and yellow track suit, the colors of the Venezuelan flag.
Maduro asked those present to consider why Serra had been murdered, answering: “To silence us! The right-wing fascists are scared of young rebels, young revolutionaries.”
[Abridged from Venezuela Analysis.]