Things That Matter

Venezuela Marches Turns Violent, Protesters Killed And Gassed

Opposition leaders in Venezuela organized what they call the “mother of all protests” on April 19 and thousands of Venezuelans took to the street in solidarity against the Maduro government. Venezuela has experienced violent clashes between citizens and police for two days and Venezuelans protest what many are calling a dictatorship. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro tried to undermine the opposition’s protest by forming his own pro-Maduro rallies. It wasn’t long before the protest turned violent as police shot tear gas into the crowd. So far, there have been two confirmed deaths, both anti-Maduro protesters. Here’s what we know so far about what is happening in Venezuela.

Venezuelans have taken to the streets again to demand a change in government.


On the 207th anniversary of their independence from Spain, Venezuelans are fighting for their freedoms again from the Maduro-led United Socialist Party of Venezuela. The South American country has been embroiled in protests for three weeks after the Supreme Court attempted to strip the opposition-filled National Assembly of power.

Armed Maduro supporters and police officers have instigated violence against the protesters to stop the protests.


April 19’s protests added to the death toll, with a total of 7 protesters being killed on the streets for protesting Maduro’s government the past three weeks. The streets of Caracas, the capitol, were filled with thousands of protesters who marched from 26 different parts of the city in hopes of reaching the Ombudsman’s office in downtown Caracas. Police, like all the other times protesters tried to reach the office, blocked the path and met protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets.

The mounting international and national pressure has started to spark some changes in the Maduro government.


The Supreme Court reversed its decision to strip the National Assembly of their power and now Venezuelans want fresh elections to take their country back from a government accused of attacking its own constitution. Maduro’s government has even prevented the leading opposition leader, Henrique Capriles, from participating in any political activity for the next 15 years by bringing charges of misusing government funds. Capriles, who almost beat Maduro in the 2013 presidential election, adamantly denies the charges saying they are politically motivated and unfounded.

The protests and the actions of the Venezuelan people have caught the attention of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.


“We are concerned that the government of Maduro is violating its own constitution and is not allowing the opposition to organize in a way that expresses the views of the Venezuelan people,” Tillerson said in a news conference, according to Reuters. “We are concerned about that situation. We’re watching it closely and working with others to communicate those concerns.”

On April 20, Venezuelans again clogged major streets in cities across the country demanding their freedom.


According to CNN, protesters and the opposition are demanding the National Assembly be given their full power back, the release of all political prisoners, and for the government to hold the elections they have been purposely stalling.

Amid the turmoil and violence, General Motors has ceased operations in the South American country after it was allegedly seized by the government.


As reported by NPR, the motor vehicle industry in Venezuela has taken a severe hit because of the political and economic turmoil. The government had effectively blocked auto makers from the money needed to import parts and handle business as usual. “G.M. strongly rejects the arbitrary measures taken by the authorities and will vigorously take all legal actions to defend its rights,” G.M. told The New York Times in a statement.

The protests are in their third week and we will have to see if the Maduro government will respond to increased pressure.

@inti / Twitter
CREDIT: @inti / Twitter

READ: Fed Up Venezuelans Unite Nationwide To Tell Maduro They’ve Had Enough

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Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

Things That Matter

Video Shows AP Photographer Attacked By Capitol Hill Rioters Accusing Him Of Being Antifa

Ricky Carioti / The Washington Post via Getty Images

Americans watched in horror as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Jan. 6. As the dust settles, we are seeing more of the chaos including the attack on journalists who were there doing their jobs when the mob turned violent.

Associated Press photographer John Minchillo was attacked by Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

Video taken by his colleague Julio Cortez shows Minchillo being violently pushed and pulled around by the angry mob. The video is a jarring reminder of the physical manifestation of the attack on the free press. President Trump has routinely singled out the media at his rallies and has celebrated violence against the press.

You can hear Cortez pleading with the crowd to stop attacking Minchillo.

You can hear people in the crowd shouting, “Get the f-ck out of here.” The people in the crowd grab at Minchillo and he is quickly surrounded by 5 to 6 people who are shoving and pulling him to get him out of the crowd using violence.

“Thankfully, he wasn’t injured,” Cortez worte in his Instagram post. “He was labeled as an anti protesters (sic), even though he kept flashing his press credentials, and one person can be heard threatening to kill him. This is an unedited, real life situation of a member of the press keeping his cool even though he was being attacked. A true professional and a great teammate, I’m glad we were able to get away.”

Journalists are highlighting the video to show what it can be like to cover Trump events as press.

President Trump has a long history of attacking and belittling journalist while president. He has also launched attacks on the credibility of the press by calling major media outlets fake news. His supporters echo many of these claims when they are confronted by media or turn on the media at his events.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is calling for a full investigation into the attack.

Fellow journalists are calling for authorities to investigate what happened in that moment. The Capitol police were there when Minchillo was attacked yet nothing was done to protect the AP photographer as the crowd grew violent.

People are sharing screengrabs to start identifying the instigators.

The internet has made it hard to hide when you do something wrong. Not to mention that wearing a mask to follow Covid health guidelines would have covered their faces. There are rumors that the same people who mounted their failed coup on Jan. 6 are planning another attack on the Capitol on Jan. 19.

READ: Far-Right Trump Supporters Violently Storm The US Capitol Forcing Lockdown

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Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

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Story Of NYC Lawyer Who Went To Prison For Blinding His Girlfriend Then Married Her After His Sentence Resurfaces Again

Crazy Love / Dan Klores

Burt Pugach gained national attention in the 1950s after he was sent to prison for blinding his girlfriend with lye after she broke up with him. Fourteen years later, the New York City lawyer wrangled in headlines once again when it was revealed that after all of this, he persuaded his victim, Linda Riss, to marry him.

Now, almost 46 years after their marriage, Pugach’s story is headlining websites again. This time, as a result of his death, which occurred on Christmas Eve, and triggered another bizarre tale.

The 93-year-old lawyer made naional headlines for the first time in 1959 when he was 31 years old and cheating on his wife.

In 1959 Pugach was a New York-based lawyer who began a courtship with Linda Riss who was 21-years-old and from the East Bronx. When Riss learned that Pugach was married and had a daughter, she broke off their relationship. Enraged, Pugach threatened to kill or hurt Riss saying “If I can’t have you, no one else will have you, and when I get through with you no one else will want you.”

Riss reported the threat to the New York Police Department but did not receive help. When she became engaged to another man she was violated by Pugach who hired three assailants to attack her. The attackers threw lye in Riss’s face, leaving her blind in one eye, almost blind in the other, and forever scarred.

Bizarrely, in 1974, after spending 14 years in prison for the crime, Pugach and Riss resumed their relationship and married. In 1976 they even co-wrote a book, A Very Different Love Story. This story gets weirder (and it doesn’t end here): in 1997, Linda supported Pugarch and appeared at a trial as a character witness for him when he was accused of threatening another woman with whom he had an affair.

Linda died of heart failure on January 22, 2013, and in 2007 their story was produced into a documentary called Crazy Love which was directed by Dan Klores.

Now, years later, Pugach is in the news after he died and it was revealed that he left his $15 million estate to a female caregiver.

According to Daily Mail, “the funds have been frozen by a judge after friends and former colleagues accused Shamin ‘Sheila’ Frawley of coercing Pugach into changing his will after he suffered a stroke.”

Court documents obtained by Daily Mail alleged that Frawley, 52, withheld food and medicine from him until he died. “Pugach revised his will at least five times after Linda succumbed to heart failure in 2013, gifting differing amounts to friends, but always leaving the bulk of the money to a foundation for the visually impaired set up in his late wife’s honor.”

Peter S. Thomas, the foundation’s attorney noted that ‘Burt lived his entire life for Linda. I cannot imagine that under any circumstances, as incapacitated as he was, that he would even think to cut out the foundation.”

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