Venezuela – Facing civil war

February 19th, 2014   Venezuela

The development in Venezuela is deeply disturbing and reminiscent in its rawness and brutality of what is simultaneously taking place in Ukraine, with the government attacking peaceful protesters.

Protests in Venezuela on February 18

Protests in Venezuela, February 18

Three people have so far been killed, hundreds injured and arrested as the regime’s brutality gets rougher. The Venezuelan mass demonstrations began as an initiative by young people and students. In recent days, more and more people have joined.

What is happening in Venezuela is extremely worrying. The violations of basic human rights and freedom of the press are unacceptable. The closing of churches and cancellation of the Sunday mass is a violation of religious freedom. The world must send a clear signal to the Venezuelan President and government that these acts can not be tolerated.

The Venezuelan economy has since President Maduro took office deteriorated greatly. Inflation is sky high, ordinary people find it difficult to acquire basic goods as the government uses its oil money to buy weapons and provide financial assistance to countries as Cuba and Nicaragua. Today, Venezuela imports oil to fill its own energy supply.

People are starving and their ability to survive the day is getting tougher. It is therefore quite natural that people choose to take to the streets to protest against the economic injustice and lack of democracy.

The regime’s response is increased brutality and violence. The violence against demonstrators is unacceptable and a violation of basic human rights.

The world can no longer ignore what is happening in Venezuela. We must demand an immediate stop to the regime’s violence as well as freedom for the protesters, opposition politicians, business owners and others who are now under arrest.

Christian Holm, MP
Board member, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation

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