Leopolo Lopez, just before being arrested by the narco-military
Today, February 18, Cuban puppet Nicolas Maduro, imprisoned Leopoldo Lopez, a young Venezuelan fighting for freedom and democracy in a peaceful manner, charging him with sedition and “unawareness” of the Constitution. This man could not be more cynical, as the Venezuelan Constitution in article 350 makes it imperative for citizens to try to restore lost democracy in the country.
Venezuela, under dead Hugo Chavez and now, under his successor, elected in a fraudulent and illegitimate manner, has been run into the ground. International airlines are no longer flying normally into the country since they are owed more than $3 billion. International reserves are scrapping the bottom in spite of high oil prices for many years. National debt is six times higher than before the regime arrived in power 15 years ago. 12 newspapers have shut down due to lack of paper, a maneuver by the regime to suppress freedom of speech. Half of the industries existing in 1998 have disappeared. Corruption in the state oil company and most other state owned companies runs wild. There is an acute shortage of basic foods and goods, from toilet papers to essential medical supplies.
This desperate situation has led thousands of demonstrators to march peacefully in at least 12 Venezuelan cities during the last 8 days. The magnitude of these peaceful marches has shaken the regime, to the point that they have arrested the visible leader of the marches, young Leopoldo Lopez, charged with crimes that, in fact, have been committed by the regime.
Nobel Peace prize Oscar Arias has protested these abuses of power by the regime. But he is not the only one: the UN High Commissioner, the European Union, Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Congressman Marco Rubio, president-elect Bachelet from Chile, Human Rights organizations in several places of the world, all have protested the criminal posture of the Venezuelan regime. In a dozen world capitals there have been protests in solidarity with the Venezuelan peaceful, civic insurgence.
Venezuela has been colonized by Castro’s Cubans. There are at least 60,000 Castro Cubans in the country, controlling all aspects of national life, thanks to the treason of the Cuban puppet Nicolas Maduro and that of Chavez before him. The Venezuelan regime provides Cuba with over 100,000 barrels of oil per day that Cubans do not pay for, another act of treason on the part of the ideologically colonized Venezuelan regime.
How has this happened? About $ 600 billion of Venezuelan money has gone to buy political loyalty in the Venezuelan military and from some of the very poor, as well as in countries like Bolivia, Nicaragua, Argentina, Ecuador, Belarus, or handed out to terrorist organizations all over the world: FARC, Hezbollah, Hamas and ETA. This money, which could have been utilized to develop the country in an efficient manner, has been used by the regime to cement its political survival. At least $25 billion have gone into Cuba, to support the Castro brothers.
Today the Venezuelan people are in a battle mood against the regime. It is not a war, since the protesters are unarmed while the Cuban and Venezuelan soldiers who serve the regime are armed to the teeth. Deaths have taken place and dozens of wounded. Hundreds have been imprisoned. This is a confrontation between the citizens and the Cuban- controlled regime. And this confrontation deserves the same attention from regional democracies and particularly from the United States as the struggles of the Syrians and Ukrainians for their democracy.
I ask the government of the United States to take a clear stance in connection with the Venezuelan situation. There is Castro-Cuban takeover of a previously democratic country. There is a repressive government in Venezuela. It is intolerable that this situation has developed without the OAS or the government of the United States taking a stand in defense of freedom and democracy in Venezuela.
If the U.S. government imposes an embargo on the Venezuelan oil barrels being imported into the country, although this number is now much less significant than 15 years ago, such a move would accelerate the fall of the dictatorial, communist Venezuelan regime and would eliminate Cuba’s stronghold on the South American continent.