Caracas (CNN)On Venezuela's national Independence Day, rival demonstrations kicked off in the capital city Caracas, fueled by a new UN report describing political detentions and thousands of extrajudicial killings in the country.
Venezuelans protest after UN report alleges deaths and cover-ups
In the middle-class streets of Eastern Caracas, protesters gathered in large numbers at the call of opposition leader Juan Guaido. Their slogan: "No more torture."
"There are no euphemisms that exist to characterize this regime more than 'dictatorship'," Guaido told reporters that day, citing the scathing report's findings.
Meanwhile, as if in another world, embattled president Nicolas Maduro presided over a colorful military parade, where supporters shouted patriotic slogans as tanks rolled before them -- an unusual sight even for the highly militarized country.
UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, who oversaw the report, they said, had simply been following a script written by Washington.
Issued one day earlier, the 16-page report has renewed longstanding criticisms of the embattled Maduro regime. It was created by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a group Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has repeatedly criticized as "biased."
The report vividly described a state that's failing to deliver basic necessities to its people, including the right to food, medical care and freedom of speech.
Diseases that had once been eradicated from Venezuela are re-emerging, it said, and laid the blame at Maduro's feet for allowing hunger to run rampant. "The Government has not demonstrated that it has used all resources at its disposal to ensure [...] the right to food," it said, noting that public food aid is unequally distributed to favor government supporters.
Earlier this week, a Venezuelan Navy captain died while in government custody, prompting the arrest of two military officers for murder. His wife has accused counterintelligence officers of torturing him — an accusation that OHCHR's findings support: The report described arbitrary det