|We did it Venezuela, told the dictatorship recall will be this year. - Ana Karina Garcia|
Today, Venezuelan women are protesting by the thousands met in Miranda Park and took to the highway demanding the law be respected and the referendum on Maduro's rule to be held this year.
However it is important to remember that Venezuela has been a dictatorship for far longer than this past week. Students have been shot, killed and tortured for their nonviolent opposition to the regime. Cuban state security is assisting the Maduro regime to repress Venezuela's democrats along with Cuban soldiers. Workers are being stripped of their rights in Venezuela. Opposition leaders have been subjected to show trials and sentenced to long prison terms. The 2012 presidential election in Venezuela fell far short of international standards and was stolen from the opposition.
Secretary of State John Kerry in August of 2015 ignoring the above reality and believing that the relationship between the U.S. government and the Castro regime had been fundamentally changed said "the United States and Cuba are talking about ways to solve the Venezuelan crisis."
Meanwhile members of the Maduro regime hide billions in overseas bank accounts, traffic in narcotics, while Venezuelans go hungry in Venezuela and do not have access to the most minimal healthcare.
The international environment and the Obama Administration's outreach to the Castro regime leaves the Venezuelan democratic opposition in a more isolated and vulnerable position. This was easily predicted when the new Cuba policy was announced and is now a reality with Latin America imploding. The only option for the democratic opposition in Venezuela is to resist nonviolently and to develop a well thought out strategy of non-violent civic resistance.
Venezuelans have been standing up for freedom and need the solidarity of all people of good will. These are difficult times when international leadership on human rights is absent to a large degree.
All eyes on Venezuela this week because the democratic opposition needs your solidarity.
Update October 23, 2016: Opposition National Assembly votes to place Nicolas Maduro on trial for violating Democracy.