A funeral for a student protestor in Caracas.
Relatives gather around the coffin of Juan "Juancho" Montoya during his funeral in Caracas February 14, 2014. Reuters/ Carlos Garcia Rawlins

After student-led protests in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on Wednesday ended in bloodshed when three demonstrators were killed and 66 others injured, the Venezuelan government blamed the violence on coup plotters who infiltrated the students' ranks. On Thursday, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, the Venezuelan minister of the interior, accused opposition lawmakers and activists of having met in Mexico in 2010 to develop a conspiracy plot in a reunion the government has dubbed the “Fiesta Mexicana”. “Yesterday’s actions were not spontaneous,” Rodríguez Torres said, according to Animal Político. “Nor were they a protest of a social character, but rather a conspiracy.”

Those who convened in Mexico, the minister said, did so with the intent of “training a group of student leaders and extreme-right youth movements in methods of violent destabilization”, according to El Universal. He went on to name names: David Smolansky, former student leader and current mayor of Caracas municipality El Hatillo; Gustavo Tovar Arroyo, who heads the non-profit Humano y Libre; Eligio Cedeño, a banker and longtime anti-Chavista; Otto Reich, a former CIA head and senior official in the administrations of Reagan and both Bushes; and a host of other politicians and activists.

Animal Politico writes that members of the Venezuelan community in Mexico City gathered at their country’s embassy to protest the accusations. Leonardo Acevedo, an economist, told the site, “It’s a political strategy of blaming others. In Mexico, we’ve received leaders from the Venezuelan opposition who have come to give talks to the community, about what the situation is like, what are possible paths. Each time that Venezuela enters into a crisis, there’s an assassination.”

© 2024 Latin Times. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.