Monday, February 12, 2018

Venezuela's National Youth Day on February 12, 2014 was a defining moment: Students rose up and Maduro murdered them.

"Gentlemen, he who is here will go out tomorrow to find a better future." - Bassil Alejandro Dacosta, age 24 , over Facebook on February 11, 2014. He was murdered the next day by the Maduro regime.

Robert Redman and Bassil Alejandro Dacosta murdered four years ago today
Four years ago today nonviolent student protesters Bassil Da Costa and Robert Redman were gunned down on February 12, 2014 in Venezuela, while engaged in nonviolent street protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Robert Redman was shot and killed hours after he had carried Bassil, who had also been shot and died earlier that same day, and tweeted about it.

"Today I was hit with a rock in the back, a helmet in my nose. I swallowed tear-gas, carried the kid who died, and what did you do?" - Robert Redman, age 28 over twitter on February 12, 2014 
On February 12, 2014 Venezuela's National Youth Day millions of young students took to the streets to nonviolently protest "the social and economic crisis caused by the illegitimate government that Venezuela has today."  

Robert Redman with other youths carrying Bassil Dacosta on February 12, 2014.
Young Venezuelans inside and outside of the country mobilized in a coherent and sustained effort to expose the anti-democratic nature of the Maduro regime. A full and brief explanation was offered by Andreina Nash at the time in the video titled: What's going on in Venezuela in a nutshell.

 

The violence had escalated in the days prior to February 12th. On February 11, 2014 in an update via twitter from Roderick Navarro and Guido Mercado they reported: wounded by bullets today: Jorge Monsalve 20 years old, Franco Perez 15 years old (Thorax), Pedro Alison 24 years old (Left arm), Anny Paredes 36 years old (Abdomen). 


Student nonviolently faces off with a security vehicle holding up a flag in 2014
These students continue to face a government that over the past eighteen years has been stripping Venezuela's democracy of all its constitutional and institutional democratic safeguards in order to consolidate power into the United Socialist Party of Venezuela and in the presidency. At the same time the presence of both Cuban state security and military officials in the country who have presided over the building of a totalitarian apparatus is cause for great concern. They have used technological tools to censor images over twitter. Over the past 18 years independent television press outlets have been taken over or shutdown by the government. 

Brutal repression against students in Venezuela in 2014
Four years later and across Venezuela the youth still remember the fallen and the Maduro regime's repressive forces who murdered them. They have not forgotten and it marked a before and after in the history of the South American country. Ana Karina Garcia over twitter stated in Spanish that, " February 12, 2014 marked us as a generation. Bassil Da Costa, Juancho Montoya and Robert Redman were murdered by the tyranny while they were in the streets demanding a country of opportunities. #AHeroIsNotForgotten"


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