Students in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas have marked the country's National Youth Day with another day of protests. The students from a number of universities have been engaged in the protest demanding that the administration of Nicolas Maduro guarantee the security of citizens and halt the repression and criminalization of protests. The protest turned bloody today, with a number of students wounded by bullets fired by police. Protesters have also demanded the release of colleagues in custody.
Secretary General of the Federation of University Centers (FCU) from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) Hilda Rubí reassured the public and members of the press that the students were acting independently of any political party as "the students are autonomous." Notwhithstanding, several members of the opposition have thrown their support behind the student movement, including Leopoldo López, national coordinator of the Voluntad Popular party and Senator María Corina Machado.
Rubí revealed that the protests were also being held to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Victoria, in which students, armed by the independence troops, defended the city of Victoria against the Spanish armies. "Today, Day of Youth in Venezuela, we keep fighting for freedom in our country." Indeed it seems as though history may repeat itself: students in universities around the country have joined the movement, yet Maduro's administration announced it was dispatching troops in both Caracas and Victoria.