A few dozen of Hugo Chavez’s compatriots gathered in Ferris Plaza today to protest the Venezuelan leader. The rally was part of an international day of demonstrations organized through Facebook, and while there were fewer Venezuelans demonstrating in Dallas than in, say, Orlando, the small group gamely rallied in the springtime sunshine and walked around the block wearing their native flag’s yellow, blue and red while carrying signs that read, “No + Chavez.”
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“Today, we defend the rights of freedom and democracy,” said organizer Diana Llanio. The protests commemorate the sixth anniversary of violent clashes between protesters and Chavez supporters in Venezuela in 2002. “Venezuela is becoming a completely Communist country,” said Luisa Ravelo-Guedes, who's lived in Dallas with her husband for more than 20 years, but, like most of those protesting, still has relatives in Venezuela. “Your family lives there,” said Claudia Alvarado, “and you feel like you have to do something.” --Megan Feldman