Venezuela Is Fighting For Its Freedom
What is Venezuela to me?
Venezuela is the country who watched me grow. The country who received my grandparents when they came from Europe before and after the Second World War. The country who I had to abandon looking for better opportunities. A country so rich, nature wise and people wise, who is been shook by violence and insecurity. In my opinion the most beautiful country in the world, but with the worst luck. This country is not only my home, but it is my mother and the mother of million of people who are still fighting for her.
How did the problems start?
Venezuela is a relatively young country. It was founded 207 years ago on April 19th, 1810. Venezuelans fought for their freedom once to expel the Spaniards from their territory. After that, it thrived as a democratic country. With the petroleum boom at the end of the 1950s, Venezuela became one of the most important countries in terms of exportation. The real problem started in 1998 when the former president, Hugo Chávez, won the elections. He won using a populist and socialist message. This message intended to give the power to the lower classes of the Venezuelan society.
Chávez resented the higher classes, but he was getting richer while he was president, and every person who was in the government got richer too. His government was centralized in Caracas, the capital, and every single branch of the government took orders from Chávez. At this point, the money from the oil exportations was not enough. The government started to import raw materials to keep producing inside the country. The insecurity rate started to escalate and the mortality rate is bigger than from a country in war. During Chávez’s government, the separation between opposition and officialisms was very clear. Chávez died in 2013 leaving Maduro in charge of the country. The country was already ruined, economically and socially. For many, the decline could not be worse, but we were wrong.
What is happening today, 2017?
Since Maduro took the presidency, food and medicine shortages started to happen more often. Everyone has to wait in a line to buy the little products that supermarkets have. Most of the population got poorer, the minimum wage is ridiculous, and many are starving to death. The people of Venezuela want change, but the government is not going to change what they are doing. The president lies to people’s face and the rest of the officials ignore the fact that people are dying. On this day, at least 88% of the country is against the government and we do not know when the next elections are going to be.
At the beginning of April, the protests across the Venezuelan territory started. People are starting to talk about what is happening and we are trying to catch international attention. On April 19, 2017 the opposition convened a protest, calling it “The Mother Of All Marches”. The whole country mobilized against the government and they encountered repression in every corner. At least, four people died (among them a 17 year old boy), and hundreds were detained and labeled terrorists. The military and the National Guard support the government. They repress the people who are protesting for their rights, treat them like terrorists, and protect the rich people while the rest of us are starving.
Why should you care?
I think that it is important to care about what is happening in the world. You should recognize the effort Venezuelans are doing to get the government out of the power. Also, you should know that Venezuelans are not scared anymore, many people prefer to die while protesting than wait to die of starvation. The crisis has reached the point where people are desperate and they have nothing to lose anymore. If you still think that what is happening in Venezuela is not important, then you should see what is happening in your own country because any country can end up like Venezuela. What hurts me the most is that we are being labeled as violent and terrorists something we are not. We are desperate and the only way we have to demonstrate it is by being on the streets. We are not afraid anymore and we are ready to fight for our freedom.