Freedom for Venezuela

Arwen Rodriguez, Reporter

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As the Venezuela Aid Live Concert takes place in Cúcuta, Colombia today, people around the world are given the chance to donate money for the humanitarian cause of Venezuela. This event was merely announced a week and a half ago by English business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist, Richard Branson.

Venezuela has been going through a crisis since the beginning of the 90’s which worsened when Hugo Chávez was elected as president. For the last couple of years, Venezuela has struggled with hunger, crime, lack of medicine, and overall, difficulties of being under the leadership of a corrupt government. There have been countless protests against Nicolás Maduro (Venezuelan politician and ex-president) and the rest of the government, with a lot of them ending with innocent Venezuelans (most of them in their twenties) losing their lives to soldiers that support the government.

With Article 233 of the Constitution of Venezuela provides that, “when the president-elect is absolutely absent before taking office, a new election shall take place […] and until the president is elected and takes office, the interim president shall be the president of the National Assembly”, Juan Guaidó was able to be elected President of the National Assembly of Venezuela in December 2018, and was sworn in on 5 January 2019 as Interim President of Venezuela after he and others described the inauguration of Maduro on 10 January 2019 as “illegitimate”.

Since, Nicolás Maduro and the rest of his supporters (nicknamed “chavistas” and “maduristas”) have tried to find a way to stay in power. As of February 2019, Guaidó has been recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by more than 50 countries (including the U.S, Canada and multiple different Latin American countries) while Russia, China, and Cuba have openly shown their support for Maduro.

U.S President Donald Trump an the rest of the U.S government has worked with Juan Guaidó to send humanitarian aid to the millions of Venezuelans who need it. Because of that, Nicolás Maduro has closed the border between Venezuela and Colombia, making it impossible for the trucks, filled with food and medicine, to go to those who need it.

Richard Branson prepared the Venezuela Aid Live Concert in hopes that it will convince members of Venezuela’s military (who still support Maduro) to allow the humanitarian aid to cross the border.

“I think (this concert) will let Maduro’s team know they’re not welcome in Venezuela and that Venezuelans aren’t going to let go of their hope for a new and better country,” Patricia Citti, a junior was born in Venezuela said. “It’ll show them how determined everyone around the world is. Artists as well as politicians support Guaidó’s movement and his government and sooner or later their dictatorship is going to be over.”