GU students protest Maduro

February 20, 2014

Ian Philbrick

Georgetown students protested along with D.C. residents Wednesday in front of the Organization of the American States building on 17th Street, N.W. in opposition to government violence against protesters in Venezuela.

The protest was organized by the D.C.-based group A Voice for Democracy in Venezuela. Alberto Alfonzo (SFS ’17), a Venezuelan student, promoted the event to Georgetown students on Facebook. “The purpose of today is to send a message to the OAS that there is a national grief about the violence against students,” he said.

Demonstrators denounced President Nicolas Maduro for human rights violations and ties to Cuba’s Castro regime. Across the street, a smaller contingent bore signs in support of the Venezuelan government, claiming the majority of Venezuelans support the Maduro government.

 Georgetown students also joined anti-government protesters in a demonstration four days prior outside the Venezuelan embassy on 30th Street, N.W.

“We’re here to free Venezuela from a corrupt government, to represent the democracy that all Latin Americans are entitled to,” said Mafe Flores (COL ’15), a Panamanian student who attended the protest.

Many protesters held signs of the ANSWER Coalition, a national antiwar protest group. The ANSWER Coalition alleged in a post on its website Sunday that Venezuelan students from Georgetown conducted a counter-demonstration. The post accused the “pampered” students of arriving by luxury car, bringing small, costumed dogs to pose for photos with, and hurling obscenities at the protesters.

Teunis Egui (MSB’17), a Venezuelan student who was part of the group described, rejected all these allegations and stated the only accuracy was that the group made some insults.

“The people on the other side of the street were not Venezuelan, I am 100 percent sure of that. … That they all had the same posters [from ANSWER] is suspicious also,” wrote Egui in an email to the Voice. “It is not farfetched to think that these people were offered some money to stand there and do nothing, while the true Venezuelans who care about the country are worried about the current situation.”

He added he was at the embassy for an hour and was the only Georgetown student in his group. The ANSWER Coalition could not immediately be reached for comment.


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A well-written, informative, interesting article! It’s refreshing to read articles like this in the Voice.

J Curry

Very interesting. Did you know the OAS building has the longest continual wall mural in the world running underneath it? Great article from a brilliant young reporter.