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The media silence in the United States about the situation in Venezuela is deafening- I was watching CBS News this morning and heard lots of talk about the Oscars and even recreational use of marijuana, but I didn’t hear anything about Venezuela and how its government is seriously oppressing its people! The government is responsible for murder and torture and news reporters don’t report it?  I am hoping I missed it! Even the roundup of what is going on in the world, with a world map for viewers, did not include anything about Venezuela. I can’t figure out if this is intentional or not-

I suspect a lot of people don’t want to touch the topic of the serious human rights abuses because of the political implications- left leaning politicians probably don’t want to shed light on how socialism/ communism hurts people, and how government controlled society FAILS. Right leaning politicians probably don’t like the idea of the United States getting involved in something that may lead to people requesting easier immigration laws or involvement in foreign affairs not directly related to us, or they may not like a particular politician who has spoken out against the atrocities occurring in Venezuela- The fact is, this is a human rights violation and needs to be addressed regardless of one’s political affiliation! The politics of it can be sorted out later- right now these people are being murdered and oppressed by their own government and the world needs to know!

Catholics, indeed all Christians, must rise above politics to support what is RIGHT, not wait to comment until something fits neatly into a political box. Venezuelan families are suffering at the hand of a brutal oppressive government. The ‘demands’ of the people are simply peace and freedom, and to be left alone from the government’s repression of their rights. We must not let leaders of our political affiliations tell us how to react to this gross violation. We must be compassionate and truthful. How can we not speak out when people are being shot in the head, detained and tortured for holding signs?

Here is an updated video about the situation- Please view and share:

What can you do?

1. PRAY 

Prayer is powerful.

Again [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:19)

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

If then, my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land…” (2 Chronicles, 7:14)

“I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” (James 5:16)

Catholics, praying the rosary is powerful. Other Christians, please join us, or pray in any other way you see fit.

2. Share Information With Your Family and Friends

Link to this blog, send the link to the videos here, discuss what is going on in Venezuela at the dinner table, at mother’s groups, after Mass, with your sister, brother, parents, friends.

3. Ask Your Senator to Make a Statement About / Address the Venezuelan Crisis

You can find your senator by zip code HERE.

Sample:

Dear Senator X,

As you surely must be aware, a crisis has emerged in our Latin American neighbor country Venezuela. The oppressive, socialist Venezuelan government has turned against its people with violence against their peaceful demonstrations for peace, security and safety.  Below are some links that substantiate this fact.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFS6cP9auDc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6gDP9tuEvw

Please address this issue with your colleagues and make a public statement opposing the atrocities of the Venezuelan government against its people. I wait for your response to this very important issue. 

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Your Name

4. Write to the major U.S. News Outlets and ask WHY they are not covering the gross oppression occurring just south of our country

Contact NBC News here

Contact ABC News here

Contact CBS News here

A few simple sentences asking for coverage of the event is sufficient. It only takes a few minutes, and could be done prior to your quilting group, homeschool meeting, dinner with friends, etc. This is so easy you can even do it while waiting at the doctor’s office or library on your cell phone!

5. Stay up to date on Twitter by following the following hashtags: #PrayForVenezuela, #SOSVenezuela, #VenezuelaPeaceful #Venezuela  If you follow these hashtags you will often see photos posted by Venezuelans of what is happening to them at that moment- Most of these personal posts are in Spanish, but Twitter has and you can use the ‘translate’ function. Click ‘translate’ in the upper left hand corner when prompted.

Stay up to date on Facebook by ‘liking’ these pages:

Praying for Venezuela  (my page)

Pray for Venezuela (It is my understanding that this page is posted by Ruben Blades a popular Panamanian recording artist and politician -It is a Spanish page- see below about translating) Allegedly, this page was actually responded to by Venezuelan president Maduro. Read the ‘notes’ section for more on that-

SOS Venezuela This page gets posts from those who run the SOS Venezuela website. (The website where information is shared and images are shared is here)

Some of these Facebook pages are in Spanish, but Facebook offers a ‘translate’ option when the page loads. Again, just like Twitter, you can choose the option of reading in English by clicking on ‘Translate’ on the upper left hand corner of your screen.

6. Write Letters to the Editor

Here is a list of and addresses for major news publications in the United States.

Sample letters to the editor would include information that the Venezuelan government is oppressing its people and the United States media is virtually ignoring it. Letters written could include any particular viewpoint, from pointing out the shortages and government control of all necessities, to the police shooting its own citizens to anything highlighted in news coming out from Venezuela. The point of the letter is to bring awareness and ask why there is no sustained and serious national media attention on this serious human rights issue. 

Thank you for caring about our South American neighbors. God bless you!!!

Photo from the Reality Venezuela's postPeaceful protestors in Caracas yesterday. Courtesy of ‘La Realidad en Venezuela’ Facebook page. 

UPDATE: New video from A. Nash, student whose first video on the situation in Venezuela went viral in a matter of days. This one addresses the updated situation and what people can do to help:

(Warning: Some sounds and images are disturbing. Do not view with young children.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHi-m_EsSr0&feature=youtu.be

You may also be interested in:

-Why You Should Use Social Media To Spread the Word of Venezuelan Protests

-Top Three Reasons American Media Needs to Pay Attention to Venezuela (short video with interviews actually in Venezuela, comparing what’s on television there that the government is broadcasting and what is actually happening outside)  Mariana Atencio

-This blog by “Daniel”, a pseudonym for a Venezuelan citizen who writes extensively about pro-democracy in a post Chavez Venezuela. For safety purposes (government is not appreciative of his viewpoint against Chavez ) he does not give his real name.  The perspective is decidedly ‘insider’. I do not endorse or disapprove of any posts- I simply offer the blog as a real life view of one who lives through the Maduro regime.

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