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Anorak | Faces of The Venezuela Uprising: Poor And Huntry People Raped By The Corrupt State React

Faces of The Venezuela Uprising: Poor And Huntry People Raped By The Corrupt State React

by | 31st, March 2014

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez holds up a small copy of the constitution at a press conference with foreign media at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Sept. 27, 2010. Opponents of Chavez made gains in congressional elections Sunday that weaken the president ahead of his next re-election bid and could force him to deal with rivals. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

 

VENEZUELA is reeling. The current wave of unrest started in San Cristobal on 4 February, when students took to the streets to protest against the alleged attempted rape of a university student.

The BBC:

After the arrest of dozens of student leaders, the protests spread to Caracas and were joined by Venezuelans disgruntled by the country’s high homicide rate, skyrocketing inflation and frequent shortages of staple foods. There have been almost daily demonstrations since, mainly in San Cristobal and Caracas, but also in other cities, such as Valencia and Merida. At least 39 people, among them both government and opposition supporters, have died in incidents linked to the protests.

Hugo Chavez is dead. The leader created his Little Blue Book of law and order, the country’s 1999 Constitution (see above photo).

The thing is small enough to fit neatly into a pocket. Sadly, it’s not think enough to stop a speeding bullet.

It states that the “right to life is  inviolable”. So. Why are the Sebin state security police firing plastic bullets at demonstrators? One bullet hit Geraldine Moreno in the face. It had been fired at close range. She was 23. She died. Many more have been shot dead. The state has a habit of aiming at the heads of protestors.

That constitution prohibits the sue of firearm in peaceful protests.

In the state of Tachira, the airforce’s fighter jets buzzed protestors. Bit excessive? In keeping with the constitution? No. But that book is worthless.

Inflation is rampant. Basic provisions are not in the shops. Opposition leader Leopoldo Lupez has been jailed by President Nicolas Maduro. Where do the poor and abused turn?

There is trouble in Venezuela.

 

A woman wearing her pajamas bangs on a pot during an anti-government demonstration in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. The anti-government movement has appeared to have snowballed into a political crisis, the likes of which Venezuela's socialist leadership hasn't seen since a 2002 coup attempt. Protest rallies are expected throughout the country on Saturday.

A woman wearing her pajamas bangs on a pot during an anti-government demonstration in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. The anti-government movement has appeared to have snowballed into a political crisis, the likes of which Venezuela’s socialist leadership hasn’t seen since a 2002 coup attempt. Protest rallies are expected throughout the country on Saturday.

Demonstrators join hands to block the highway at Altamira neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. The banner over their heads reads in Spanish "We are all Venezuela". Traffic has come to a halt in parts of the Venezuelan capital because of barricades set up by opposition protesters across major thoroughfares. The protests are part of a wave of anti-government demonstrations that have swept Venezuela since Feb. 12 and have resulted in at least 10 deaths. The protests in the capital Monday were peaceful. Police and National Guard troops stood by but did not act to remove the barricades despite the effect on the morning commute.

Demonstrators join hands to block the highway at Altamira neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. The banner over their heads reads in Spanish “We are all Venezuela”. Traffic has come to a halt in parts of the Venezuelan capital because of barricades set up by opposition protesters across major thoroughfares. The protests are part of a wave of anti-government demonstrations that have swept Venezuela since Feb. 12 and have resulted in at least 10 deaths. The protests in the capital Monday were peaceful. Police and National Guard troops stood by but did not act to remove the barricades despite the effect on the morning commute.

 A demonstrator protects himself with an old mattress during clashes with police during an anti-government protest in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. The protests began with students and were soon joined by others in several cities, upset over crime, economic problems and heavy-handed government response to the protests.

A demonstrator protects himself with an old mattress during clashes with police during an anti-government protest in Valencia, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. The protests began with students and were soon joined by others in several cities, upset over crime, economic problems and heavy-handed government response to the protests.

A masked demonstrator aims his slingshot loaded with a rock at Bolivarian National Guards during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Since mid-February, anti-government activists have been protesting high inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, and violent crime in a nation with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

A masked demonstrator aims his slingshot loaded with a rock at Bolivarian National Guards during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Since mid-February, anti-government activists have been protesting high inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, and violent crime in a nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

Demonstrators walk past Guy Fawkes masks for sale during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Since mid-February, anti-government activists have been protesting high inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, and violent crime in a nation with the world's largest proven oil reserves.

Demonstrators walk past Guy Fawkes masks for sale during an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Since mid-February, anti-government activists have been protesting high inflation, shortages of food stuffs and medicine, and violent crime in a nation with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.

A demonstrator using foam to protect her arm ducks from team gas fired by Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, March 3, 2014. Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles called for citizens to begin organizing committees that could sustain the pressure that continuing street protests have placed on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

A demonstrator using foam to protect her arm ducks from team gas fired by Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, March 3, 2014. Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles called for citizens to begin organizing committees that could sustain the pressure that continuing street protests have placed on the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Mannequins wearing carnival masks and swimsuits line the front of a shop near the beach during carnival in La Guaira, Venezuela, Monday, March 3, 2014. Some Venezuelans are taking time off for carnival despite two weeks of nation-wide opposition protests.

Mannequins wearing carnival masks and swimsuits line the front of a shop near the beach during carnival in La Guaira, Venezuela, Monday, March 3, 2014. Some Venezuelans are taking time off for carnival despite two weeks of nation-wide opposition protests.

A boy dressed in a Spiderman costume poses for a photo next to a mural of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez painted on a wall of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. He’s been dead a year, but Chavez’s face and voice are everywhere. He bangs out the national anthem on state radio every morning and the national guard has even blasted his voice reciting poetry to drive rock-throwing protesters off the street.

A boy dressed in a Spiderman costume poses for a photo next to a mural of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez painted on a wall of the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. He’s been dead a year, but Chavez’s face and voice are everywhere. He bangs out the national anthem on state radio every morning and the national guard has even blasted his voice reciting poetry to drive rock-throwing protesters off the street.

A boy wearing an historical uniform associated with Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar salutes while standing next to a poster of the late President Hugo Chavez during a military parade commemorating the one year anniversary of Chavez's death, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The anniversary of Chavez's death was marked with a mix of street protests and solemn commemorations that reflected deep divisions over the Venezuela he left behin

A boy wearing an historical uniform associated with Venezuelan hero Simon Bolivar salutes while standing next to a poster of the late President Hugo Chavez during a military parade commemorating the one year anniversary of Chavez’s death, in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The anniversary of Chavez’s death was marked with a mix of street protests and solemn commemorations that reflected deep divisions over the Venezuela he left behin

Bolivarian National Guards arrest an anti-government protester in handcuffs during clashes between motorcyclists and protesters in the Los Ruices neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 6, 2014. Venezuelan officials say a National Guard member and a civilian were killed in the clash between residents and armed men who tried to remove a barricade placed by anti-government protesters.

Bolivarian National Guards arrest an anti-government protester in handcuffs during clashes between motorcyclists and protesters in the Los Ruices neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 6, 2014. Venezuelan officials say a National Guard member and a civilian were killed in the clash between residents and armed men who tried to remove a barricade placed by anti-government protesters.

Demonstrators lie on the ground holding statistics about the people murdered in the 14 years of Chavista government, at a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 7, 2014. Venezuela is coming under increasing international scrutiny amid violence that most recently killed a National Guardsman and a civilian. United Nations human rights experts demanded answers Thursday from Venezuela's government about the use of violence and imprisonment in a crackdown on widespread demonstrations.

Demonstrators lie on the ground holding statistics about the people murdered in the 14 years of Chavista government, at a protest in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 7, 2014. Venezuela is coming under increasing international scrutiny amid violence that most recently killed a National Guardsman and a civilian. United Nations human rights experts demanded answers Thursday from Venezuela’s government about the use of violence and imprisonment in a crackdown on widespread demonstrations.

A woman wearing a cap representing Venezuela's national flag, the SOS distress signal marked across her lips and painted black tears streaming down her face, looks into the camera during a demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 8, 2014. Venezuelans returned to the streets for the "empty pots march" to highlight growing frustration with shortages of some everyday items. In Caracas, the march was scheduled to end at the country's Food Ministry, but the evening before Caracas' mayor announced that he had not authorized the march.

A woman wearing a cap representing Venezuela’s national flag, the SOS distress signal marked across her lips and painted black tears streaming down her face, looks into the camera during a demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 8, 2014. Venezuelans returned to the streets for the “empty pots march” to highlight growing frustration with shortages of some everyday items. In Caracas, the march was scheduled to end at the country’s Food Ministry, but the evening before Caracas’ mayor announced that he had not authorized the march.

In this March 2, 2014 photo, anti-government demonstrators take a break on an old refrigerator used to build a barricade during clashes with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela. Fashion is not foreign to the young demonstrators who skirmish nearly nightly with security forces at the barricades in the Venezuelan capital. Painter and dust masks are common protection against tear gas, as are ski, scuba and swim goggles.

In this March 2, 2014 photo, anti-government demonstrators take a break on an old refrigerator used to build a barricade during clashes with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela. Fashion is not foreign to the young demonstrators who skirmish nearly nightly with security forces at the barricades in the Venezuelan capital. Painter and dust masks are common protection against tear gas, as are ski, scuba and swim goggles.

In this Feb. 18, 2014, an anti-government demonstrator wears a hand made mask from a water bottle to protect against the effects of tear gas during clashes with security forces at an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela. The eye-catching transparent mask made from a large plastic water bottle is now so popular that several videos demonstrating its assembly are circulating online.

In this Feb. 18, 2014, an anti-government demonstrator wears a hand made mask from a water bottle to protect against the effects of tear gas during clashes with security forces at an anti-government protest in Caracas, Venezuela. The eye-catching transparent mask made from a large plastic water bottle is now so popular that several videos demonstrating its assembly are circulating online.

In this March 4, 2014 photo, an anti-government demonstrator wears a joker hat and painters mask to protect from the effects of tear gas during clashes with security forces in Plaza Altamira, Caracas, Venezuela. As the protests against Venezuela’s socialist-led government move into their second month, front-line head gear includes skate, bicycle and motorcycle helmets but encompasses the more whimsical, too.

In this March 4, 2014 photo, an anti-government demonstrator wears a joker hat and painters mask to protect from the effects of tear gas during clashes with security forces in Plaza Altamira, Caracas, Venezuela. As the protests against Venezuela’s socialist-led government move into their second month, front-line head gear includes skate, bicycle and motorcycle helmets but encompasses the more whimsical, too.

A Bolivarian National Police officer fires a tear gas grenade at demonstrators during clashes at an antigovernment protests in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. According to local authorities, several deaths have been reported and a number of others, including National Guardsmen, have been wounded after being shot by unknown assailants in separate incidents in the central Venezuelan city of Valencia.

A Bolivarian National Police officer fires a tear gas grenade at demonstrators during clashes at an antigovernment protests in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. According to local authorities, several deaths have been reported and a number of others, including National Guardsmen, have been wounded after being shot by unknown assailants in separate incidents in the central Venezuelan city of Valencia.

Venezuelan soldiers shout slogans in support of President Nicolas Maduro during a march in honor of Venezuela's Army and National Guard, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Venezuelan government is stepping up security operations in Caracas and other cities where demonstrators are blocking streets, avenues and highways. Maduro said that those involved in creating road barricades will be arrested

Venezuelan soldiers shout slogans in support of President Nicolas Maduro during a march in honor of Venezuela’s Army and National Guard, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Venezuelan government is stepping up security operations in Caracas and other cities where demonstrators are blocking streets, avenues and highways. Maduro said that those involved in creating road barricades will be arrested

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro waves to supporters during a march in honor of Venezuela's Army and National Guard, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Venezuelan government is stepping up security operations in Caracas and other cities where demonstrators are blocking streets, avenues and highways. Maduro said that those involved in creating road barricades will be arrested.

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro waves to supporters during a march in honor of Venezuela’s Army and National Guard, in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Venezuelan government is stepping up security operations in Caracas and other cities where demonstrators are blocking streets, avenues and highways. Maduro said that those involved in creating road barricades will be arrested.

A hooded protester throws a Molotov cocktail towards Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with soaring inflation, violent crime and shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil have roiled Venezuela for more than a month. The Venezuelan government says at least 25 people have died in the turmoil since Feb. 12.

A hooded protester throws a Molotov cocktail towards Bolivarian National Police during clashes in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, March 15, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with soaring inflation, violent crime and shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil have roiled Venezuela for more than a month. The Venezuelan government says at least 25 people have died in the turmoil since Feb. 12.

In this photo taken on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Residents look out from their apartments at a opposition protest at Isabelica neighborhood outside Valencia , Venezuela. The people of the poor district of La Isabelica were made to pay for taking to the streets in anti-government protests. More than a dozen masked men on motorcycles roared through, shooting up a barricade and killing a university student and a 42-year-old man painting his house.

In this photo taken on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Residents look out from their apartments at a opposition protest at Isabelica neighborhood outside Valencia , Venezuela. The people of the poor district of La Isabelica were made to pay for taking to the streets in anti-government protests. More than a dozen masked men on motorcycles roared through, shooting up a barricade and killing a university student and a 42-year-old man painting his house.

Bolivarian National Guard soldiers take cover behind their shields as a molotov cocktail lands during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

Bolivarian National Guard soldiers take cover behind their shields as a molotov cocktail lands during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail at Bolivarian National Guards during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

A demonstrator throws a molotov cocktail at Bolivarian National Guards during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

Anti-government demonstrators kneel as they are arrested by Bolivarian National Guards during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. The protester standing behind was also arrested. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

Anti-government demonstrators kneel as they are arrested by Bolivarian National Guards during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014. The protester standing behind was also arrested. Anti-government street protests by Venezuelans fed up with violent crime, shortages of basic items such as flour and cooking oil and high inflation have roiled Venezuela for more than a month.

An anti-government demonstrator standing in teargas fired by Bolivarian National Guards prepares to throw a rock during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

An anti-government demonstrator standing in teargas fired by Bolivarian National Guards prepares to throw a rock during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

A Bolivarian National Guard aims his weapon in search of anti-government demonstrators after dispersing them from Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

A Bolivarian National Guard aims his weapon in search of anti-government demonstrators after dispersing them from Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Masked anti-government demonstrators use improvised shields to take cover from a water cannon fired by Bolivarian National Police during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

Masked anti-government demonstrators use improvised shields to take cover from a water cannon fired by Bolivarian National Police during clashes near Plaza Altamira in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, March 16, 2014.

 A religious image is tucked behind the body armor of a Bolivarian National Guard on duty during an anti-government march in Caracas, Venezuela on Sunday, March 16, 201

A religious image is tucked behind the body armor of a Bolivarian National Guard on duty during an anti-government march in Caracas, Venezuela on Sunday, March 16, 201

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask throws a glass bottle at Bolivarian National Police in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayor

A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask throws a glass bottle at Bolivarian National Police in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayor

A masked protester returns a tear gas canister fired by Bolivarian National Police, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayors.

A masked protester returns a tear gas canister fired by Bolivarian National Police, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayors.

A water canon operated by Bolivarian National Police, sprays at protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayors.

A water canon operated by Bolivarian National Police, sprays at protesters in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014. Thursday dawned with two more opposition politicians, San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and San Diego Mayor Enzo Scarano, behind bars. Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a student-called protest of several thousand people in Caracas, some of those demonstrating against the arrests of the mayors.

A Bolivarian National Police officer sprays an anti-government demonstrator with pepper spray during clashes at the Central University of Venezuela, UCV, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014.

A Bolivarian National Police officer sprays an anti-government demonstrator with pepper spray during clashes at the Central University of Venezuela, UCV, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, March 20, 2014.

An anti-government demonstrator, with a bleeding bullet hole drawn on her forehead, takes part in a protest in front of an office of the Organization of American States, OAS, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 21, 2014. Opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado is scheduled to speak before the OAS council in a closed-door session Friday in Washington D.C., presenting the situation in her country where at least 28 people have been killed in daily anti-government protests that began in early February.

An anti-government demonstrator, with a bleeding bullet hole drawn on her forehead, takes part in a protest in front of an office of the Organization of American States, OAS, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 21, 2014. Opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado is scheduled to speak before the OAS council in a closed-door session Friday in Washington D.C., presenting the situation in her country where at least 28 people have been killed in daily anti-government protests that began in early February.

Hand made posters are pasted on the wall outside of United Nations office in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The posters read in Spanish "Freedom", "No more repression", "No more political prisoners", "No more killed". A large group of protesting anti-government students have camped in front of the office of the United Nations asking it to come and observe the situation, as Venezuela’s bloody political standoff heads into its third month. The decision to pitch tents on the concrete sidewalk along one of Caracas’ busiest, smog-filled streets comes as foreign ministers from several South American nations arrive Tuesday to lend support to President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts at reconciliation with his opponents

Hand made posters are pasted on the wall outside of United Nations office in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, March 25, 2014. The posters read in Spanish “Freedom”, “No more repression”, “No more political prisoners”, “No more killed”. A large group of protesting anti-government students have camped in front of the office of the United Nations asking it to come and observe the situation, as Venezuela’s bloody political standoff heads into its third month. The decision to pitch tents on the concrete sidewalk along one of Caracas’ busiest, smog-filled streets comes as foreign ministers from several South American nations arrive Tuesday to lend support to President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts at reconciliation with his opponents

Leading opposition politician Maria Corina Machado, left, embraces Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The head of Venezuela's congress, Diosdado Cabello, said Monday that Machado, who was stripped of her parliament seat, violated the constitution by addressing the Organization of American States last week at the invitation of Panama, which ceded its seat at the Washington-based group group so she could provide regional diplomats with a firsthand account of the unrest.

Leading opposition politician Maria Corina Machado, left, embraces Lilian Tintori, wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, during a rally in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 26, 2014. The head of Venezuela’s congress, Diosdado Cabello, said Monday that Machado, who was stripped of her parliament seat, violated the constitution by addressing the Organization of American States last week at the invitation of Panama, which ceded its seat at the Washington-based group group so she could provide regional diplomats with a firsthand account of the unrest.



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