Currently, they labor under the dictatorship of President Nicolas Maduro.
If you’ve been paying attention at all, you’ve seen the harsh reminder that Socialism does not work, and in fact, it is very much a death sentence for those who are trapped in its grip.
Empty store shelves, starving babies, stories of mobs attacking food delivery trucks have become so common that it seems one day bleeds into the next, and there is the very real fear that the world has stopped watching.
Friday capped off three days of violent protests in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
Dissidents took to the streets, hurling rocks at riot police and chanting, “No more dictatorship!”
Some 10,000 protesters clogged the streets, all in defiance of a government that seems to have turned a blind eye to the suffering of its people.
Street protests are among the few options left for the center-right opposition to pressure Maduro, whom they blame for the country’s descent into economic calamity.
Negotiations have failed and he has resisted international pressure, while retaining backing from the military and control over most state institutions.
The opposition is accusing pro-Maduro Supreme Court judges of attempting an internal “coup d’etat” for attempting to take over the opposition-majority legislature’s powers last week.
The socialist president’s supporters held counter-demonstrations on Thursday, condemning Maduro’s opponents as “imperialists” plotting with the United States to oust him.
Meanwhile, Maduro’s regime, with judges and the attorney general, comptroller, and prosecutor general, are all very much on the same team.
Maduro’s opposition, Henrique Capriles was banned for 15 years from running for office, and although the Venezuelan Supreme Court reversed the decision, the Supreme Court’s decision to take over legislative power from the opposition-controlled National Assembly was the final straw for citizens.
It is a classic struggle for power that has left the people victim to the perils of giving too much power into the hands of government.
So what are people of good conscience to do?
I’m writing this now to say that there are people here who have stepped up.
It’s one community out of so many starving and broken communities in the country, but it’s a start.
The budding food bank service runs out of a children’s home. Mariela Blasco, the director of the home receives the supplies, divides everything into bags, then sets out to deliver to Puerto Cabello’s most needy.
A small effort when looking at the scope of the problem in Venezuela, but for those receiving these supplemental supplies, it is an effort with real world value.
You can also connect with the project on Twitter: @helpingvzla.
Here in America, it is too easy to take for granted the ease of access to practically anything we need.
It never hurts to be reminded just how blessed we are to have a system that allows us full shelves and full stomachs.