Hundreds of protesters gathered Saturday at Lafayette Square near the White House to support Venezuela's incumbent President Nicolas Maduro.
The Hands Off Venezuela rally condemned what it has called the US administration's attempt to engineer a coup in the country to replace legitimately-elected Maduro with opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Beautiful crowd today in the belly of the beast, where citizens have gathered to affirm our respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty and independence & demand an end to economic war. With 40 million people living in poverty, we need humanitarian in the US! #handsoffvenezuela pic.twitter.com/I7CuuN9TQh— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) 16 марта 2019 г.
The Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition outlined the group's demands on its website as a protest against US involvement in what some have called Guaido's coup; a protest against sanctions imposed on Venezuela which they claim make people in beleaguered the nation suffer and a protest against possible military intervention in the country by the US "and their proxies in the region."
Today in D.C., thousands marched against U.S. imperialism in Venezuela and in support of Maduro & the Bolivarian Revolution— #USOUTOFVENEZUELA (@uvastudentpower) 16 марта 2019 г.
The people are chanting #HandsOffVenezuela @answercoalition @NicolasMaduro pic.twitter.com/k4oAdhW2nM
Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, actor Danny Glover, Codepink’s Medea Benjamin, Grayzone journalist Max Blumenthal and a number of other journalists and activists were among the speakers at the event.
Protests in support of Maduro have occurred in other US cities, including New York City and Los Angeles, as well as in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.