Venezuela Is In Conflict!!! // companion art by Marc Lee, pictures by various News Agencies (2014)
I’m very sorry to get political on you guys. I haven’t been around too much here because Venezuela, the country where I live is currently under a heavy turmoil and we have very few ways to let the world know what is happening. I could share this information in my personal blog, but I got 15000 souls following me here and I beg to any single one of you out there to spread this information to let the world know what is happening here.
As the year started the regime of President Nicolas Maduro took some heavy economic measures to manage the already terribly bad economic situation. In a short period of time our currency (the bolivar) was devalued almost 120% against the american dollar and all american currency the country gets from selling oil is managed only by the state. Those measures coped with a lot of new laws regulating economic activities and the inability of national entrepreneurs to produce new products because of the heavy debt the government has with most of them have created a vacuum of basic products, from toilet paper to food. These products can’t reach any store with ease because they don’t have the means to produce them and supply the heavy demand. There’s no conspiracy here, that’s just facts.
Since then, most of Venezuela’s political opposition has been trying to reach to the regime to ask them to acknowledge the problem and change their policies. The answer they get is to be labeled by the government as “fascists” and “conspirators” to depose the so-called “regime of the people” that Hugo Chavez used to lead.
Since the begging of February a Student movement started to rally against the government peacefully and each time they have been repelled using heavy force by Policemen and National guards, using tear gas, and bullets. No negotiations, no questions asked. On the past February 12 a rally was called by one of the leaders of the opposition, a man called Leopoldo Lopez asked the people to go with the Student movement to ask The Public Ministry to do their jobs regarding the increasing corruption in the regime. The rally went smooth until it reached their destination (The Public Ministry) and when most protesters where ready to leave they where ambushed by the SEBIN which is the policemen of the state. Two students and a community leader were killed.
The government put those deaths and the riots of that day on Leopoldo Lopez and released an executive order to arrest him. He turned himself in rather than flee the country or stay underground, because as he well says: he’s not guilty of anything and he can prove it. On February 18 he asked every follower he had to join him as he turned himself to a viced and corrupt justice (the Venezuelan government handles the justice system as they see fit). Venezuela replied in kind in every single state. Now he’s being held in a military facility and is being processed there in a closed audience where the government can make up charges as they wish.
Since then the student movement is still out there every day asking the regime to change their policies, to fix the country’s problems or to make way to new leaderships to handle what appears to be gotten out of their hands to no avail as more repression and extreme force has been used. More students have fallen under an array of bullets and the inside media of the country is in total news blackout under government orders (we only have CNN to back us up. but they can only do so much). The student movement only have their sings, their words, their irreverence to fight back. The state has weapons. When don’t know when or how is this going to end. And before we lose a basic right like internet connection we need the world to know that there’s heel breaking loose here and we appreciate all the help and prayers you can spare for our country.
Thanks for reading.