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The Battle for Venezuela, Through a Lens, Helmet and Gas Mask |

The Battle for Venezuela, Through a Lens, Helmet and Gas Mask

“Now, I have no fear, because I already lost the fear I had, and the respect for the military,” he said.

“The real soldiers of Venezuela wear rags on their faces,” he said. “They don’t use grenades — they use stones.”


Many Resistencia members wear T-shirts resembling the uniform of Simón Bolívar, who led the rebellion for Venezuela’s independence from Spain. They sometimes plead with soldiers to join them, quoting Bolívar: “When tyranny makes law, rebellion is a right.”

Wuilly Arteaga, 23, a violinist who became a symbolic figure in the protests for playing the national anthem at the front lines, cried when the police broke his violin. Videos of Mr. Arteaga in tears went viral. He was flown to the United States, where two prominent musicians, Marc Anthony and Oscarcito, gave him a new violin.

Mr. Arteaga was injured on Saturday in violent clashes between security forces and protesters at a march on the Supreme Court in support of alternative magistrates appointed Friday by the opposition. “Neither rubber bullets nor pellets will stop our fight for Venezuela’s independence,” Mr. Arteaga posted later on Twitter. “Tomorrow I will be back in the streets.”

After an earlier day of clashes, hundreds of soldiers retreated, their ammunition exhausted. Members of La Resistencia celebrated as they retook the main highway, raising their fists and singing the national anthem.

“Glory to the brave people, who shook off the yoke,” they sang. “Off with the chains! Off with the chains!” the song continues. “Death to oppression!”

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