It’s Time We Talk About Venezuela

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It’s Time We Talk About Venezuela

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On January 23rd, 2019, the country of Venezuela changed forever. Juan Guaidó, leader of Social-Democratic party Popular Will, declared himself the interim president of Venezuela. America, the European Union, Colombia, and countless other countries recognized Guaidó as the new president. However, despite the support of Venezuela’s people for Guaidó; Nicolás Máduro, the socialist dictator of Venezuela, has gained the support of China, Russia, Iran, and nearly a dozen other countries. Protests have erupted across the country and hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets to cry out against their oppression. Venezuela has begun its final fight for freedom.

Yet, looking at my home country, I can’t help but feel a sense of uncertainty wash over me. Trump’s support for a democratic rule in Venezuela is undoubtedly the catalyst we needed for change, but the question stands: How much are we willing to give for freedom? With superpowers such as America and Russia on opposing sides, a political gambit for the South American country could easily turn into a catastrophe; a power struggle that will lead to a rise in casualties from violent protests the country has already spent years enduring. Trump has not ruled out military intervention in Venezuela and the idea of a proxy war in Venezuela is no longer an impossible scenario.

This is not the first time the country has attempted to out Máduro by force with the 2017 Caracas helicopter incident, in which rebels hurled grenades at the Supreme Tribunal of Justice building which resulted in the El Junquito raid that killed rebel leader Óscar Peréz. The Venezuelan government was then met with accusations of extrajudicial executions. Peréz is just one of the dozens of names of opposition leaders that Máduro murdered. Not to mention the humanitarian aid from foreign powers that should-be inside Venezuela’s borders by now, but ended up being turned away by the government. Máduro’s refusal to compromise, even for his own people, has led to the deaths of hundreds.

So, the question stands: Do we need humanitarian aid or troops? Legislation or rebellion? Violence or pacifism?

The answer lies within our own country: America. The people in Venezuela are already fighting their battles, many uphill ones at that, so perhaps it’s time we answer their call to action. Trump has already declared his support for Guaidó and made promise to intervene, politically or otherwise, if Venezuela is unable to sort itself out soon. There are nearly half a million Venezuelans in America today and we have yet to really let our voices be heard. So many of us still have family in the country, often suffering or seeking a way out, and I find that up until Guaidó’s entrance, we simply shrugged our shoulders and went “What can we do?”

It’s time we stop asking questions and start giving answers. Write to Congress, the president, whoever you can to let your voice be heard. Rally in the streets and spread your message that you need your homeland free, because Venezuela deserves better than a far-left dictator to choke such a beautiful country to death. Tell your story to your coworkers, your friends, everyone around you to let them know that your struggle is universal in the Venezuelan people. Educate those unaware and pique the interest of those uncaring, it’ll take more than just us to make a change. Until we have rallied in the streets and are at Máduro’s doorstep, there will be no change in Venezuela. It’s not until we have convinced our nations leaders to step in and intervene that we will witness any more progress.

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