START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,355,556 people care about Politics

Venezuela’s Vicious Cycle of Violence: What’s Going On and Why?

Venezuela’s Vicious Cycle of Violence: What’s Going On and Why?

When Henrique Capriles Radonski lost the 2013 Venezuelan presidential election to Nicolas Maduro, Capriles’ supporters made their disapproval known loud and clear by banging pots and pans.

The political unrest that was ignited when Capriles lost could now be boiling over.

Venezuela could be on the brink of civil war and it is in need of democratic reform. Venezuela’s political unrest has also spewed countless human rights violations.

Violence in Venezuela

There have been a number of high profile incidents that have shed light on Venezuela’s bleak present.

On January 6, 2014, Monica Spear, former Venezuelan beauty queen and telenovela actress, was shot and killed, along with her former husband, in front of their only 5-year-old daughter, who was also shot in the leg.

On February 19, 2014, Genesis Carmona, a Venezuelan beauty queen and model, became “the fifth person to die in violent anti-government protests.” As reported in Mirror Online, Carmona’s family member asked, “How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?”

In a country where beauty is highly valued and where some of the world’s most beautiful women are rumored to reside, the deaths of Spear and Carmona are huge blows. Yet, beauty queens, models and celebrities aren’t the only ones suffering from Venezuela’s wave of violence. As reported in the University of Pittsburg’s Panoramas, in Venezuela, “one person dies about every 21 seconds, leading to more than 43 deaths per day.”

The people are fed up, especially the youth. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, the youth describe President Maduro as a dictator and claim that he is destroying the Venezuelan economy (with inflation topping an alarming 56 percent). As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Colmenares, a disgruntled Venezuelan youth, said: “‘As long as there is repression, we will keep coming out. And something horrible is bound to happen again.’”

Leaders of the Opposition

The youth have a strong political opposition that is willing to help. Leopoldo Lopez, dubbed “the charasmatic face of Venezuela’s opposition,” turned himself in to Venezuelan authorities on February 18, 2014. Before his speech, Lopez also went to Twitter, saying: “Me desconecto. Gracias Venezuela. El cambio esta en cada uno de nostros. No nos rindamos. Yo no lo hare!” Translation: “I’m disconnecting. Thanks Venezuela. The change is in each of us. Let’s not give up. I won’t!”

He did it on his terms. In an emotive seven-minute discourse, Lopez, dressed in white and gripping the Venezuelan flag, explained why. After being in hiding, he concluded that he only had three options. The Harvard graduate said that his options were to: 1) leave Venezuela (but he won’t leave Venezuela); 2) stay in hiding (but that could make him look guilty and he has nothing to hide); or 3) turn himself in. Lopez called for peace.

As reported in USA Today, over the weekend following Lopez’s surrender, Capriles, backed by Lopez’s wife, Lilian, said, “‘If we need to get into the ring and put on some boxing gloves, let’s do it.’” He also mentioned his intention to talk to President Maduro at his “presidential palace.” While Capriles explained that he loved peace, he also insisted that “‘we will not kneel.’”

SOS Venezuela

Capriles won’t kneel, and neither will the world. Venezuelans and non-Venezuelans from the globe are begging for help. There have been protests in Miami, Spain, Chicago, Knoxville and Colombia, to name a few.

As reported in The Miami Herald, protestors explained that they were doing this for the students and the youth. It’s also an issue of basic human rights. As Veronica Arocha, told The Miami Herald, there are food and medicine shortages; her Type 1 diabetic brother can’t treat his diabetes because there is no insulin.

Maduros Disconnect

While the world stays connected to Venezuela’s struggles, especially through social media since the Venezuelan government controls the media, President Maduro seems highly disconnected from the people that he governs. As reported in Latin Times, President Maduro, a former bus driver, confuses SOS with the Argentinian verb conjugation of “to be.”

To Be Free

In life and now in death, Monica Spear represents her Venezuela. Despite the violence, Spear — like her husband, like Leopoldo Lopez, and like Henrique Capriles — loved Venezuela, though it would be easier (and a lot safer) to just walk away. Shortly before her death, Spear tweeted a prophetic message that symbolized her life, but could also be a reflection of the desires of what it means to be a young Venezuelan today.

Accompanied by a scenic blue and cloudy sky, Spear tweeted: ”Ligera de equipaje, como nube que pasa, como agua que corre, como viento que sopla.” Translation: “Light of luggage, like a cloud that passes, like water that runs, like wind that blows.”

Doesn’t that feel like freedom?

Take Action!

Democracy is not just a word, it is a practice. President Maduro is practicing violence and censorship, not democracy. Please sign and share the petition to restore Venezuela’s democracy, freedom and human rights.

Read more: , , ,

Photo Credit: Andreas Lehner

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

104 comments

+ add your own
8:52AM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

The opposition is trying to gain by violent demonstrations, barricades to impede normal circulation on the streets for people who need to get to work, putting wires across streets at neck level to decapitate motorcyclists (two have been killed so far), setting fire to government facilities, buses, cars and government vehicles and killing security personnel that is trying to remove their barricades, to bring down the government, instead of responding to the legally elected government's call for dialogue. Main business leaders and opposition members have met with the president's committee to try and resolve Venezuela's problems, not so the violent "protesters", who continue to try and bring down the government by chaos and violence.
We need to resolve the fact that demand has grown much faster than supply in Venezuela, in great part because the formerly powerless poor in Venezuela had very limited purchasing power and now they have much more, due to Chavez reforms. Supply now needs to catch up and this is not a small task, given the near century of Venezuela's neglect of agriculture and industry in favour of oil dollars buying almost everything through imports. This must change and needs everyone's cooperation, without undoing Chavez's reforms that gave the poor majority of Venezuela the political power they need but never had before.
The violent guarimberos are not contributing anything to this need and their leaders, Lopez and Machado are not either, all they can offer is h

3:37PM PST on Mar 5, 2014

So much violence...very sad.....we have it here in america too. We are not perfect.

3:47AM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Noted.

4:58PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

ty

2:50PM PST on Mar 2, 2014

I wish we could help but we can't. Venezuela has to figure itself out! Maduro was elected democratically as was Chavez. Venezuela is split down the middle and has been since long before Chavez. When any country allows a majority of it's citizens to live in poverty, a tiny middle class to cling to their position, and a small but powerful group of wealthy people to run things, trouble is not far behind. And we seem to be heading in that direction, too, though the middle class in the US is much bigger than in Venezuela.

8:38AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

It's really a shame that Venezuela can't come up with a government that would help it to take it's rightful place in SA.

Rather than holding it back.

It's a country that really has so much going for it.

3:04AM PST on Mar 2, 2014

ty

7:42AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

Venezuela is just one more of hundreds of examples where the (Karl Marx) useful Idiot masses exploited envy warfare, vilifying income disparity.
They elected the man that promised equality at the cost of capitalism and the free market. After nationalizing much of the countries industry, invoking price controls, currency controls and media controls, much of the capital left the country and foreign investments dried up. When food and basic necessities became short, the US was blamed even though we were purchasing over 800,000 barrels of oil a day.
Just one more example of socialism impediment on humanity.

3:34AM PST on Mar 1, 2014

What and why - Hugo Chavez died.

3:33PM PST on Feb 28, 2014

Thanks...

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free

meet our writers

Julie M. Rodriguez Julie M. Rodriguez is an arts, green living, and political writer based in San Mateo, CA. Her work... more
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK

Children

Civil Rights

Education

Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights

Politics

Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.