Saturday, March 22, 2014

Venezuela and Cuba: From Bad to Worse

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King Jr.

The Venezuelan opposition knows that if they do not succeed in altering the course of the Maduro regime what awaits the people of that country is to become an extension of Cuba. International organizations and many governments are refusing to even listen to the voices of the victims of Venezuelan dictatorship's repression. The international media has not been providing sufficient coverage on events in Venezuela due to extensive government censorship and pressure.  The evidence since February 12, 2014 is that the Maduro regime seeks to impose a one party state through the use of political terror that includes the murder and torture of high school and college students. Meanwhile democrats are mobilizing hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans to take nonviolent action. As of March 22, 2014 the death toll stood at 34. Today marks one month since Geraldine Moreno Orozco, age 23, was killed, a victim of repression.

11 of the 34 victims killed since February 12, 2014 associated with protests
This is not a surprise for Cubans but for those old enough to remember how the Castro regime installed itself, first with rhetoric of respecting freedom of expression, human rights, denying they were communists while  claiming to be democratic and the entire time erecting a totalitarian apparatus beginning with mass executions to impose a terror that has subjected millions of Cubans to a half century of tyranny and oppression and today have extended their reach into Venezuela. The terror being visited upon Venezuelans is just the beginning.

Tens of thousands of Cubans have been killed for trying to exercise their rights over the past half century. Saving the lives of Cuban rafters and advocating for nonviolent change led to the murder of four members of Brothers to the Rescue on February 24, 1996 shot down by rockets launched by Cuban MiGs. In four months Cubans will mark 20 years since 37 men, women, and children were massacred by Castro regime agents for wanting to leave Cuba on July 13, 1994. Most of the world ignored this latter crime because it only involved Cubans. Today, March 22, 2014 marks 20 months since Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante were extra-judicially executed by agents of the Castro regime but still neither the IACHR or UNHRC has issued a report on the merits involving the murder of a lifelong and consistent human rights defender.

20 years ago this July 13, 1994 murdered by Castro for wanting to be free

The President of the United States shook hands with Raul Castro in December of 2003 as have many other president's of the Americas have also done so with Raul and his brother Fidel Castro ignoring their status as murderous tyrants. In the case of Venezuela Carlos Andres Perez had a public friendship with Fidel Castro. Only to see his country's democracy gutted and destroyed by the Castro regime years later. We witnessed earlier this year at CELAC how not only Latin American leaders but the Secretary Generals of the United Nations and the Organization of American States met with the Castro tyrants and refused to criticize them and in the case of the UN Secretary General praised the dictatorship's treatment of women. Ignoring the well documented pattern of brutalizing and killing women who dissent from the dictatorship's official line.

Months later, on March 21, 2014,  the Organization of American States refuses first to listen to the testimony of Maria Corina Machado, an elected representative of the Venezuelan people, and when the government of Panama demonstrates its solidarity, a majority of the rest of the countries led by the Maduro government (and their Castroite advisors) closed the audience so that what is said by Venezuelan democrat would not be carried by the media and engaged in additional maneuvers not to have to hear aout the worsening situation in Venezuela. Furthermore a video providing evidence of  government violence was not shown. At the top of the page is the embedded video which is available on youtube.

The violence in Venezuela perpetrated by the Maduro regime is escalating. The question that arises is will the nonviolent democratic resistance be able to bring what is for all purposes a dictatorship to back down from the path it is set on to install the Cuban model in Venezuela? The next few days, weeks and months may prove decisive. Time to pray for Venezuela and to be in solidarity with Venezuelan democrats. It will likely go from bad to worse before it gets better.

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