Protests, Violence, Civil Unrest: Is Venezuela in Turmoil?

Clarissa Garcia, Staff Writer

Now what exactly about the nation has been capturing the attention of many news reporters? Yes, the country is under the leadership of a new president, but so what? This is common in other nations, particularly those in the Middle East. In fact, this is almost normal. Like you, I myself was confused on what the buzz was about, but now it is time to shed some light to this situation.

On February 12th, or the Day of the Youth in Venezuela, hundreds of thousands of protesters (mostly students) occupied the streets of over 100 cities. Protesters did not have any possession of weaponry, but the groups were dissolved by the Venezuelan police, National Guard, and pro-government civilian armed groups, who used tear-gas and rubber bullets; 25 students were injured and 3 were killed.

In response to this occurrence and several other protests, the Venezuelan government took off air the nation’s international news channel, censored websites, tortured protesters, and issued an arrest warrant for one of the opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez.

But a question has yet to be addressed: what are these protests about? The Venezuelan people are coming outside to express both their dissatisfaction and concern over the actions of the country’s authoritarian regime. According to an article entitled “What is going on in Venezuela,” the Venezuelan government has been implementing reforms toward the “centralization of power, censoring media, jailing and torturing activists, restricting spending abroad, promoting polarization and violence, and submerging Venezuela in a severe economic crisis.” Setbacks of these policies include the fact that the nation was reported to have 56% inflation in 2013 and because of this, Venezuelans are finding it difficult to purchase basic necessities such as milk, sugar, and toilet paper. Furthermore, due to the enforcement of censorship, foreign nations are unaware of the fears of these citizens and cannot lend a hand. Civilians are afraid that Venezuela would convert into complete and utter totalitarianism, thus leading to human rights violations.

As in the article mentioned, I also would like to encourage spreading awareness of this atrocity through the usage of social media. The situation has reached an extent in which the nation cannot handle its domestic issues independently and therefore a call for the international community is essential. The process begins with you, so don’t let Venezuela sink any lower. Necesitamos una Venezuela para hoy, manana, y siempre!

Clarissa Garcia is a Staff Writer for Latino Giant. She is a college freshman currently Undecided at American University, but leaning to the Education field, looking into Secondary Education.

Source: Huffington Post