On the afternoon of July 1st, Rufo Chacon, a 16-year-old Venezuelan boy, was participating in a protest against Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. He ended up blind after policemen fired rubber bullets that hit both his eyes. Rufo Chacon and his mother, Adriana Parada, were part of a movement protesting against the shortages of basic goods such as cooking gas and food in the state of Tachira.
On Tuesday, May 14th Amnesty International requested the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela’s government for causing a series of “crimes against humanity”.
During a report presented in Mexico, Erika Guevara, a Director for the Americas at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International reported about several human rights violations caused by the use of force by Maduro’s Government.
Ramon Rangel, a Venezuelan Air Force General, has asked military officers to “rise up”. In a YouTube video uploaded over the weekend, Rangel expressed his concerns of Venezuela permanently becoming a communist dictatorship controlled by Maduro’s allies in Cuba.
“We have to find a way to get rid of the fear, to go out into the streets, to protest, and to seek a military union to change this political system.”
In Maduro’s socialistic “paradise” it seems that the working class is struggling so much that it’s now resorting to selling hair to make quick cash. Yes, you heard that right! Venezuelan women are now shaving almost all their hair to make ends meet by selling their own hair samples. Many women claim that this is necessary due to the water shortages and the ever-increasing cost of essentials. As sad as this may sound, maintaining well-kept long hair in Venezuela is a luxury that only the privileged classes can afford.
Ryan Lau | @agorisms
Protests are turning deadly throughout the country of Venezuela Wednesday following major leadership turmoil. Earlier today, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the interim president of the country. In doing so, he ousted authoritarian leader Nicolas Maduro, who had led since 2013. The Venezuela National Assembly has said that Maduro’s recent reelection was not legitimate, and thus, Guaido has a rightful path to the position. President Donald Trump concurred, recognizing Guaido as the country’s new leader, as have parts of the Venezuelan military.
Many of the people of Venezuela have joined across the country in opposition to the Maduro regime. A large portion of the citizens blames him for recent hyperinflation and food shortages. These protests, particularly in Caracas, have turned violent.
Numerous videos on Twitter show gunshot victims lying in the streets. One video from the Venezuelan Resistance, an anti-Maduro group, shows that bullets hit a young man 12 kilometers from Junquito, a district of Caracas.
[Warning: Video contains graphic content]
— Pedro Paolucci (@paolucci40) January 23, 2019
Venezuelan Military, Police Take Sides
Beginning two days ago, parts of the military actually began to break with Maduro. Early Monday morning, a Venezuelan national guard unit broke with Maduro, stating that they no longer recognize him as a leader. One man, Sargeant Armando Figueroa, also urged the people of Venezuela to take to the streets with him.
Not every unit of the Venezuelan military is taking a stand in support of Juan Guaido, however. Many military and security forces are actually shooting back at civilian protesters. A number of Tweets also show this occurring. One claims that the military shot at civilians in a small town for opposing the rule of Maduro.
Today this happened to these people while showing support in a small town in Venezuela. The military shooting at them because they are showing support against Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship @NicolasMaduro @realDonaldTrump @Mmorin_informa #donewiththecommunism pic.twitter.com/RlZwCNitGi
— Thabatha Acosta (@Thabathaa) January 23, 2019
Venezuelan broadcasting stations VPITV and NTV have reported similar findings. The latter posted a video on Twitter recording some of the protests. Though the video footage is largely unclear, the audio shows many gunshots being fired, followed by the wail of sirens. Citizens yell in the background.
Though Nicolas Maduro is losing power quickly, it is currently unclear how long unrest in Venezuela will last.
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