A notable rally of the Venezuelan diaspora took place on May 30th in Buenos Aires. Citizens of other countries of the region took active part in the proceedings. The protest was organized by the Faculty of Law building of UBA, though the corresponding marches were not limited to Argentina – hundreds of people in many neighboring states took to the streets in support of the opposition and the political prisoners, whereas in Venezuela itself the count went as high as tens of thousands.
We protested not only the degradation of the political prisoners’ holding conditions, but also the very fact of detaining and the incarceration of the people guilty only against opposing Chavez’s and Maduro’s regimes – the very regime which turned a successful, comfortable country into a breeding pit of lawless corruption and fundamental hatred.
Members of opposition in Venezuela are in constant fear for their lives. Young women suspected of wrong thinking can at any moment become victims of “corrective rapes” (i.e. a rape with the avowed goal of “driving in the right moral values”). The colectivos fighters (pro-governmental paramilitary units whose formal task is ‘overviewing the local political atmosphere’) act in tandem with the corrupted, criminal police force.
The shelves of the stores remain empty, robberies and murders became the new norm, and the head of state is openly insane who claims to have visitations from his dead predecessor. He is harboring and training Colombian ultra-leftist FARC terrorists, and at the same time condemns the Colombian government for ‘acts of terror’ against Venezuela.
Any politician speaking up against “the only true way” is either imprisoned or otherwise forced out of any political life, their influence stripped away. All those who could oppose Maduro earnestly have long been sentences to incarceration, and it falls to their wives to continue pick up the banner. For instance, Mitzy Capriles and Lilian Tintori, the spouses of Antonio Ledezma and of Leopoldo Lopez, are quite active in the Venezuelan opposition, they travel all over Latin American countries, meet with the refugees, etc.
Several hundred people attended the rally. The atmosphere, as usual, was quite heartening: the participants sang the anthem, told their stories, gave speeches. I fervently hope to see a new level of cooperation of the Venezuelan, Argentinian, Peruvian and Brazilian oppositions, making it inconceivable that someone like Chavez, Correa or Maduro come to power.
As a bonus for my readers, here is a photo of myself with Lilian Tintori – the notorious Venezuelan oppositionist, athlete and journalist, the good wife of Leopoldo Lopez.
Kitty Sanders, 2015