What do you do when society is bordering on collapse? Egg the president

Image: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
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Throwing eggs at a standing president is a desperate act of protest—especially in Venezuela, where the majority of the population can’t afford to buy enough food.

On April 11, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro was pelted (link in Spanish) with objects—eggs and stones, observers reported—while he presided over a parade in a northeastern province. Footage of the impromptu bombardment, captured on cell phones by bystanders and national television cameras, is going viral in Venezuela.

One heavily shared clip shows the protestors launching projectiles as one of them yells “¡Maldito!” (“evil one”).

The event’s broadcast on national TV cut out after Maduro and his entourage started covering their heads to fend off the attack. Minutes before, the presenter had remarked how the people had come out to support the beleaguered president.

The egging is the latest demonstration of growing discontent among already desperate Venezuelans. Government opponents have taken to the streets across the country and have clashed with government forces. Two people have been killed. In the video, a helicopter appears to drop tear gas canisters down onto protesters in the street.

Disapproval of Maduro’s regime, which had already been high, recently surged after the government-controlled supreme court took over the National Assembly—the legislative branch of the Venezuelan government—at the end of last month. The decision was later overturned, but it nevertheless sent protesters out to the streets. A few days later, the Maduro administration barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles from running for president in next year’s scheduled elections, due to “administrative irregularities” in his role as governor, according to the BBC—sparking more demonstrations.

In the video below, Capriles is seen giving an interview as he walks through the streets, only to be interrupted by tear gas cannister that drops in from somewhere unseen above.

Neither he, nor the rest of the opposition is bound to stand down, despite the tear gas.