First, one of my brothers was at his girlfriend house when the manifestation started heading to Caracas downtown; and his girlfriend lived near to the freeway; so when they meet the political demonstration they were suddenly, almost part of the first line of people walking. Lets say they were like the 5th line; so they walked straight to the goal: Miraflores. First, a few blocks away; some tear gas bombs. Some people run back, mostly didn't (the tear gas doesn't scare Venezuelans at all anymore, it only make them stop for a while and then keep walking).
Then they heard some gun shots and my brother told us: "The first line of people just fall like domino". Then my brother and his girlfriend hided behind a small press point. They saw a death man, with a shoot in his head, laid just a few Cm. away where they were hiding. They also saw an acquaintance that they have meet at bars or something like that and they knew he was with the government, shooting and that impressed my brother the most: seeing some he knew doing that. My brother had many nightmares the days after.
My other brother called us, and you could hear gun shoots in the background of that call and he said "Don’t worry, I’m ok, I could hide inside a building, can't talk right now but I'm ok". We were worried as hell, no matter how many times he said "Don't worry". When he finally came back, he also brought a lot of stories. Don’t remember much of them now, except one: he saw how some people trying to carry a wounded man, or maybe he was already death; to a motorcycle, to take him somewhere else. But they didn’t realize that his foot was brushing past the paving of the street. So my brother saw how the motorcycle continue their road, and he couldn’t stop wondering about the foot of that mean; besides all his wounds.
My dad was the last to come back home. I run and hug him with tears, cause we haven’t heard from him in a few hours and we still heard about more people death on the radio (no TV yet). He’s deaf so he was on the streets but couldn’t hear the gun shoots. For a bit of luck, a guy notice and make him signs of a gun with his hands and help him hide.
At night, we suddenly saw something weird on TV: some military gave an announcement. In front of them was Lucas Rincon (later he become a minister of Chávez regime) and he said "A Chávez se le pidió su renuncia, la cual, aceptó" ("We asked Chávez to resign and he accepted"). "What does that mean?" - We asked to each other. My dad, my mom, and I got ready for go to the highway outside the military airport called La Carlota. The opposition was getting together there.
Why did we do something as crazy as going out in such a dangerous day? I guess, you would have to be in that situation to understand it. Certain things happens when you are not a spectator but part of the history (or the news, in modern terms) and some of those things the rational, logic, protective reason cannot understand and because of that, I wont try to explain it either.
I will never forget the scenes we saw in the highway "Francisco Fajardo" the night of April, 11, 2002. First, people with their cars parked in the middle of the highway; drinking, smiling and celebrating because Chávez was not our president anymore and second, in one corner, right in the entrance of "La Carlota" (air force airport); a tiny roof was the refugee of many angry and sad feelings. Could read what they wrote: "Asesinos!" (Killers). Some people insisted on giving me a marker to write something on that wall but I didn’t remember what I wrote. Wish I could remember. Then they lighted some candles and put them on some sides of the roof. That was the candle I lighted for those people who were killed that day.
I won't tell, for now, a thing about what happened later. If it was a coup or not. If those people from the manifestation were killed for who and under what circumstances. There’s many versions, many theories, many twists, many sides. Even "competitions" about the number of deaths from the government and from the opposition. Like it counts. For me in terms of deaths only one thing matters: many Venezuelans died that day and people forgot that.
In terms of violence: my brother saw people from the government shooting and I rather trust in my own brother than many government and international agencies, I have learned that from experience. And only one side was interested on avoiding the demonstration from the opposition get to their destiny: the Miraflores palace, the president palace. And the people from the opposition who get to be closer to that place, were only one block away and nothing more cause their lives ended right there for many.
On April 15, 2002; I think, we came back to school after many turbulent and confusing days. I was on my last year of a girls school back then; my classmates had many stories and the teachers couldn't focus on giving class. I still remember the face of the History Teacher telling us: "These are hard times for all of us. If this continues and you girls, have to leave the country, don't do it without studying first. No matter what happens, keep studying". And I kept studying. I'm still doing it no matter what.