On Saturday, May 20, Canadians and Venezuelan-Canadians gathered at Grand Parade in solidarity with Venezuelans fighting against president Nicolas Maduro. I
Many people in Canadian cities have been responding to these issues. Community-led events have been happening all across Canada in cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, in support of the people living in Venezuela’s state of crisis.
This was the first gathering in Halifax this year. The aim is to show the current reality of the country: Food shortages, economic inflation, high murder rate, the recent anti-democratic policies and the current government’s violence against protesters. At least 47 people have been killed and 750 injured in Venezuela in the past month, largely due to riot police violence.
At the gathering at Grand Parade, we held many posters and flags, in silence and mourning. We also received words of support from the Canadian Federation of Students Nova Scotia as well as Nova Scotia Public Interest Group. The names of all the deceased protesters were read, along with their ages to commemorate their lives lost. We proceeded to walk along Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road toward Victoria Park, handing out brochures urging people to get informed.
It is really important for Canadians, and Haligonians, to speak about these issues. Many of the people who have died in the Venezuelan protests have largely been youth and students. Halifax is a place where young people often exercise the right to protest without the fear of being physically and violently attacked by the forces that are supposed to protect us.
It is completely unjust and it is a human rights violation for a government to enforce physical force against its citizens. Individuals in a democracy have every right to demonstrate their opinions without fearing the end of their own lives in torture.
As a left-wing individual, it’s often difficult to explain to people how the supposed “socialist” party in Venezuela is in fact far from its name. The people in government power are the ones who have the most wealth in the entire country, mostly with oil and drug money. This
There are many things Canadians can do to help, such as sign petitions which urge the Canadian government to take action
The issues facing Venezuelans are issues of human rights and this is why we need to talk about it. Journalists are currently undergoing immense repression in Venezuela, so spreading the real and factual information coming from the protesters should be a priority for people all over the world.