Title: Libertad con sangre, el madrugon del 23 de enero
Photographer(s): Various photographers
Size: 19,5 x 26,5 cm
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: Venezuela, 1958
On 17 December 1958, in Caracas, Venezuela, the Junta Patriótica, a clandestine body made up of representatives of various opposition parties organising resistance to the regime, accused President Marcos Pérez Jiménez of usurpation and, a few days later, called on the armed forces to do their duty and ensure respect for the Constitution. His call did not fall on deaf ears. On 1 January 1958, a military revolt against Pérez Jiménez failed, but it showed that the sovereign did not have the monolithic support of the military. In this context, anti-regime posters began to circulate from various civil society organisations: student movements, trade unions and many commercial and business organisations expressed their discontent, while underground parties took to the streets. Mass demonstrations resulted in riots. Thousands of people took to the streets in protest and the Ministry of Defence issued a statement warning that troops would open fire on anyone who attacked other people or property.
"23 January 1958 has been engraved in our political memory as the founding moment of Venezuelan democracy".
Sócrates Ramírez indicated that the date is of great importance because "the heroic history of a people capable of overthrowing a bad government was built on the events of that date, and this was imprinted as a symbol in Venezuelan subjectivity", furthermore "January 23, 1958 has been engraved in our political memory as the founding moment of Venezuelan democracy".
The New York Times, in its account of the events, wrote, 'Indiscriminate fire killed and wounded dozens of people', which then estimated the death toll over the two days at more than a hundred.