A very close SU friend from Venezuela told me one of her friends from home was murdered today. I have been preparing for some days to write this post, and I have asked many fellow SU students if they know about the situation in Venezuela and most people have no idea. This gave me even more motivation, so I would like to share with you the terrible reality that is going on in Venezuela.
Venezuela has been facing economic, social and security problems, among others, caused by the corrupt Venezuelan government. More than 90% of the murders in Venezuela go unpunished. On February 12, Venezuela’s national youth day, students were tired of the injustice and corruption in their country caused by the government, so they started a peaceful riot for their rights. These students were unarmed; they carried flags, cameras, signs and flowers. The police force reacted aggressively and attacked the students by throwing gas bombs, hitting them, arresting them, and even murdering some of these rioters. This caused a massive commotion so more and more people joined the riot. Two weeks have passed and chaos continues. What’s worse is that the government controls the TV and radio stations. The Venezuelan people resorted to social media but just recently Twitter, their main source of information, was banned. Their basic right of freedom of speech has been ripped from them.
On February 18, government officials captured Leopoldo Lopez, a family man of 42 years old and the leader of the opposition group. He advocated for peace and an alternative solution for the problems in Venezuela. However, hope is not lost. Venezuelans keep on fighting for their rights and many other countries have been supporting them.
Students, faculty and every member of the Syracuse University community, Venezuela needs us. As human beings, it is our duty to respond and help them create awareness of their devastating situation. It will help. It will make a difference if we unite and give them the support I know we all can provide.
The following pictures are SU students and faculty, including myself, creating awareness. Get informed, get inspired!