[Warning: graphic images]
While you were sleeping, thousands of people continued massive protests against the socialist regime of President Maduro in Venezuela.
While you were sleeping, starving people scavenged through garbage for scraps of food in Venezuela.
While you were sleeping, government forces and armed militia have murdered more than 20 innocent people in Venezuela.
Democracy is dying, but the people of Venezuela are fighting back. They are marching for more than climate change, or women’s rights, or to protest the election of Donald Trump. They are marching for their very lives, and are willing to place their lives on the line to save the country they love.
The Maduro regime has used banned forms of tear gas on its own people, resulting in at least one death. Protestors have been shot. Some have been electrocuted. Yet still the citizens of Venezuela continue to turn out by the thousands, starting on Wednesday in what was called the “Mother of all Protests.” Beginning in Caracas, the protests have spread to cities throughout the country.
A once vibrant and wealthy country at the beginning of the 21st century can no longer feed itself. Vital medication for the sick is not available. Desperate pleas for drugs are sent around the world via social media. Children are starving to death. It is far beyond the time to discuss whether this is the result of a socialist government or not. The country is now under a virtual dictatorship and the United States, supposedly a beacon of hope and liberty, has remained silent.
Could the Trump administration’s silence be somehow connected to the $500,000 donation by Citgo, the official Venezuelan oil company, to the Trump Inauguration?
The media also bears some culpability as well. European coverage of events occurring in Venezuela far exceeds what Americans have seen on their own networks. CNN has, perhaps, offered the most coverage. But it is still not enough.
It is time for us to wake up! We can’t afford to sleep while a nation in our hemisphere is erupting. We cannot afford to allow a dictator on our back door to use chemical weapons against his own people. You can do something. You can call your Congressman or Senators and demand that they join with Senator Marco Rubio in speaking out against these atrocities.
You can donate money to help individuals in Venezuela through organizations like HelpingVenezuela.com. If you are on social media, follow @LibertyLatina on Twitter for updates on the ground in Venezuela. If the tweets are in Spanish, Twitter provides a translate function, so no excuses there.
The time for sleeping is over. The time to wake up has arrived.