Friday, February 21, 2014

Dios Venezuela necesita de Ti.

I have never taken Spanish in my life. My elementary school taught us all French instead of Spanish, and I obviously decided to keep with it. Even though I never took Spanish the title of this blog post needed no translation for me- God, Venezuela needs You.

If you have watched the news in the past week I'm sure you have seen all sorts of coverage about the uprising in Ukraine. Here's a short version- the people of Ukraine want a new election and a more Democratic government, those in office do not. The government has essentially turned against it's people and is using it's own military to take down the protesters. That means they are shooting their own people- killing and wounding many. Praise God they are getting the international attention they need so the world will respond to the major human and civil rights issues that are taking place there.

Eerily enough a similar situation is taking place in Venezuela as I type this. I bet you haven't really seen any coverage of this at all on the news. Social media, yes. The television, no. Social media has become an important tool to the citizens of Venezuela to get the message out of what is really taking place within the country. 

As you may have noticed around here, I love all things international. I love learning about new countries and cultures, and I hope I can visit many more in the days and years to come. I come by it honestly. My dad was born in Trinidad and grew up in Argentina and Venezuela. Venezuela is a country I have heard about my whole life. It has always seemed like a magical place to me. I have heard about it's wonderful people and beautiful landscapes. My cousins and I have all dreamed of going to visit the childhood home of our parents for years. 

My dad (second from right) and his siblings in Caracas, Venezuela in the 60s

My grandparents, dad and his siblings- Caracas, Venezuela in the 60s
As news of what is going on in Venezuela started to trickle out, my heart broke. I'm sure many of you know that the government in Venezuela has been corrupt for years. Ever since Chavez passed away and his successor (who was elected in an election that was very corrupt and staged) took over it has only gotten worse. On their National Youth Day this year Venezuelan students decided to peacefully protest against their government. The governments response? Like Ukraine they turned on their own citizens, storming apartments and shooting those that "looked like they could be protesting," sniper shooting people who are in the streets, and destroying things to make it look like the students had done it all. This is a major human and civil rights issue. It is not okay that this isn't being reported worldwide. Like Ukraine, the people of Venezuela need our help and attention. Here are just a few images that have made their way out of Venezuela- 

Christian Veron / Reuters
Reuters Tv / Reuters
A TV station being taken over and off air
Jorge Silva / Reuters
Showing their hands in a peaceful protest. Note- they don't have weapons.

I don't feel comfortable showing the graphic pictures on here. Some of them are truly disturbing beyond words. Please read this article to get a better understanding of how everything changed in Venezuela over Wednesday night- 

This video does a great job of describing exactly what is going on there right now. Warning- there are some images that are graphic.

I am not one to post my political beliefs in a public forum by any means. It just saddens me that this isn't getting more international attention. These people are standing up for what they believe in - their freedom and basic human rights. Please join me in getting the message out for them. Please join me in praying for the protection of the Venezuelan people and that peace is found there soon. Please join me in praying that the Venezuelan government has a veil lifted from their eyes so that they can see clearly what is happening within the country and how to give it's people their freedom back. 

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