Anti-Nicolas Maduro protests have now persisted for more than 100 days in Venezuela. Expats – and those of Venezuelan descent – around the world have joined in by staging their own protests and calling for change. Over the weekend, things turned intense at Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn when two activists approached Rafael Ramírez, the Venezuelan representative to the United Nations. It ended with one woman, who was dining with Ramírez, reportedly bitten.
According to DNA Info, a man and woman confronted Ramírez – who previously served as the ministro de Petróleo de Venezuela – and called him a murderer for his role in the government. In a short video, a man is heard telling Ramírez that he’s partially to blame for the deaths of 90 people killed during the protests. It eventually becomes difficult to make out what is happening in the clip, but a woman is heard saying, “You’re not going to bite me” in Spanish. However, police were called to the restaurant at about 4 p.m. on Sunday because someone was bitten.
Agredieron a mi familia dos disociados: Gabriel Manzano y Tatiana Low. Los pusimos en su sitio. Se escudaban en un niño. Actuará la justicia
— Rafael Ramirez (@RRamirezVE) July 10, 2017
The woman who was dining with Ramírez – who remains unidentified – didn’t seek medical attention. After the incident, Ramírez turned to social media to call out the two protesters (Low is a suspect in the incident). According to El Nuevo Herald, Ramírez has received both messages of solidarity and critiques.
As inflation and food shortages wrack the country, many have pushed for the ousting of Maduro – who the opposition has labeled a dictator – only to find that the government has blocked attempts to remove him from power. On March 29, the Venezuelan Supreme Court disbanded the parliament, which gave Maduro’s party further control of the government. Though the court’s decision didn’t stand, protests had broken out by that point. With the demonstrations showing no signs of slowing down, Maduro has enlisted the armed forces to quell the opposition. As a result, more than 100 have died.