Students kicked out of Caracas residence, COVID-19 patients to move in

Caracas, Jul 21 (efe-epa).- Students denounced the Venezuelan government Tuesday for ordering their eviction from a residence in Caracas so patients with asymptomatic COVID-19 can move in.

“We do not agree that we should be evicted just because they feel like it,” university student Román Pérez, who has lived in the building for three years, told EFE.

“They are violating our rights as students. With this pandemic we cannot move out from the residence,” he added.

The young man – a native of the state of Bolívar, about 12 hours from Caracas – added that many have belongings such as refrigerators, stoves and computers in the building, which are difficult to transport amid restrictions on mobility ordered by the Venezuelan government to stop the spread of the virus.

Art student David Cisneros told EFE that the eviction order was given on Monday, and that they had three days to leave the residence, baptized in 2013 as Livia Gouverneur in honor of a communist activist who opposed the first democratic government of Venezuela with violence.

“We really, really are not willing to leave the space, because that’s where we live,” he added.

In an audio clip the students sent to various media outlets, the voice of an unidentified woman is heard, saying that the building does not have drinking water and part of its infrastructure is damaged, making it impossible to house COVID-19 patients.

She points out that the residence has an active population of about 400 people and that everyone’s belongings are on the site.

But the Minister of University Education, César Trompiz, said on Twitter that there are only 90 students in the building, and that everyone will be guaranteed a healthy return to their rooms and readmission when classes begin again, something that those affected by the move doubt and denounce.

The Livia Gouverneur residence was handed over to students in 2013 by the Nicolás Maduro government, a year after the late President Hugo Chávez promised the spaces to young people.

Those affected accuse the government of betraying Chávez’s legacy and his commitment to the people.

The intention of using the student residence to house COVID-19 patients is part of the efforts of the government of Maduro to contain the disease, which according to reports Monday, has infected 12,334 people, with 116 deaths. EFE-EPA


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